Bush is facing the lies direct. It is about time! This is an excerpt of an advance copy of remarks President Bush will deliver tonight on Iraq, "addressing some Democrats who continue to play politics with the war on terror."
Reasonable people can disagree about the conduct of the war – but it is irresponsible for Democrats to now claim that we misled them and the American people. Leaders in my Administration and members of Congress from both parties looked at the same intelligence on Iraq – and reached the conclusion that Saddam Hussein was a threat. Let me give you quotes from three senior Democrats: First, quote, “There is unmistakable evidence that Saddam Hussein is working aggressively to develop nuclear weapons.” End quote. Here’s another one, quote, “The war against terrorism will not be finished as long as [Saddam Hussein] is in power.” End quote. And here’s the way another Democratic leader summed it up, quote, “Saddam Hussein, in effect, has thumbed his nose at the world community. And I think that the President's approaching this in the right fashion.”
The truth is that investigations of the intelligence on Iraq have concluded that only one person manipulated evidence and misled the world – and that person was Saddam Hussein. In early 2004, when weapons inspector David Kay testified that he had not found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, he also testified that, quote, “Iraq was in clear material violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1441. They maintained programs and activities, and they certainly had the intentions at a point to resume their programs. So there was a lot they wanted to hide because it showed what they were doing that was illegal.” Eight months later, weapons inspector Charles Duelfer issued a report that found, quote, “Saddam Hussein so dominated the Iraqi Regime that its strategic intent was his alone. He wanted to end sanctions while preserving the capability to reconstitute his weapons of mass destruction when sanctions were lifted.”
Some of our elected leaders have opposed this war all along. I disagree with them, but I respect their willingness to take a consistent stand. Yet some Democrats who voted to authorize the use of force are now rewriting the past. They are playing politics with this issue and sending mixed signals to our troops and the enemy. That is irresponsible.