Bush goes on a lying campaign

Thomas Veil

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Feb 14, 2004
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OBJECTIVE reality
Apparently the White House has tired of all the recent setbacks and is seeking to go on the offensive:

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Top White House officials say they're developing a "campaign-style" strategy in response to increasing Democratic allegations that the Bush administration twisted intelligence to make its case for war.

White House aides, who agreed to speak to CNN only on the condition of anonymity, said they hoped to increase what they called their "hit back" in coming days.

The officials say they plan to repeatedly make the point -- as they did during the 2004 campaign -- that pre-war intelligence was faulty, it was not manipulated and everyone was working off the same intelligence.

They hope to arm GOP officials with more quotes by Democrats making the same pre-war claims as Republicans did about Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction.
Link

Sounds like desperation to me. Frankly, I don't know what they hope to accomplish by repeating old lies more loudly and more often. Josef Goebbels' philosophy aside, I just don't think people believe the talking points anymore.

Personally, I relish seeing what they plan to trot out. I have a feeling it'll be ineffective and Harry Reid & co. will have a lot of fun with it.
 

zimv20

macrumors 601
Jul 18, 2002
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toronto
yeah, sounds like they're really feeling it. what they're risking is keeping in the forefront of everyone's minds that the iraq intelligence was indeed wrong. w/ the way things are going, i'd think they'd want to change the subject.
 

Dont Hurt Me

macrumors 603
Dec 21, 2002
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Another Spin campaign, I wonder what the new spin slogan will be?................ Dont pay attention to that man behind the curtain?

I have to admit i have never seen a President Spin so much, Iam still waiting for more spin on torture and secret prisons. A very solid foundation to build a police state i must say. 911 = Iraq still works in the red states.:rolleyes:
 

rdowns

macrumors Penryn
Jul 11, 2003
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I think this cartoon sums up recent events well, even though it is from a local Long Island paper.
 

Attachments

Thanatoast

macrumors 65816
Dec 3, 2002
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Denver
Yeah, desperate, but maybe sly enough to pull it off. If they pull out those quotes from (gullible, which-way-is-the-wind-blowing) Democrats, they'll muddy up the waters enough to save their asses from the worst of it.
 

mactastic

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Apr 24, 2003
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Thanatoast said:
Yeah, desperate, but maybe sly enough to pull it off. If they pull out those quotes from (gullible, which-way-is-the-wind-blowing) Democrats, they'll muddy up the waters enough to save their asses from the worst of it.
Not if evidence is being talked about in either a Libby trial or a Senate 'Phase 2' investigation that the WH only passed along evidence that supported their viewpoint. And that's a distinct possibility at this point.
 

zimv20

macrumors 601
Jul 18, 2002
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toronto
mactastic said:
Not if evidence is being talked about in either a Libby trial
it does sound like they're going court... link
Libby Establishes a Fund to Help Pay Legal Bills

WASHINGTON, Nov. 8 - I. Lewis Libby Jr., Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff, is establishing a fund to help pay for his legal defense in the C.I.A. leak case, and associates of Mr. Libby have begun soliciting money from his friends and Republican donors, lawyers and people who have been contacted about the fund said on Tuesday.

Barbara Comstock, a Republican communications strategist who has been hired to work with Mr. Libby's defense team, has pulled together a list of potential contributors and has been in touch with some of them in the last week, providing an address in Washington for sending checks, the people said.
and my favorite bit...
"We're certainly establishing a legal defense fund," Mr. Jeffress said, "and we'll do everything we can to make it successful, because he's not a wealthy man."
also:
But in establishing the fund, Mr. Libby is opening himself to questions. Legal and campaign finance specialists said he could face scrutiny about whether any financial assistance he might receive from allies of President Bush and Mr. Cheney was going to finance a defense strategy intended in part to minimize harm to the administration.
 

mactastic

macrumors 68040
Apr 24, 2003
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Yeah, I'd love to see the list of names supporting the defense of a man accused of outing a CIA agent... I don't suppose it will be made public in it's entirety.

I'd wager it would contain some of our most vocally patriotic Americans...
 

solvs

macrumors 603
Jun 25, 2002
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The officials say they plan to repeatedly make the point -- as they did during the 2004 campaign -- that pre-war intelligence was faulty
Yeah, cuz that's much better. I don't really care who supported it, and what happened to get us into it. What really pisses me off is what we did when we got there, and the fact that we're still there losing troops proves we didn't do such a good job. Though, the administration lying about why we were going and their cronies trumpeting the lie long after we knew it was is also on my list of stuff that pisses me off.

But yeah, Dems are wishy-washy. They should have gone with Dean. A little nutty, but at least he would have been a discernible voice.
 

Thomas Veil

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Original poster
Feb 14, 2004
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"We're certainly establishing a legal defense fund," Mr. Jeffress said, "and we'll do everything we can to make it successful, because he's not a wealthy man."
This, this is why we need to raise the minumum wage! The poor man. He was the aide to the Vice President of the United States, and apparently he made but a pittance. :(
 

Thanatoast

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Dec 3, 2002
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Bush Forcefully Attacks Critics of His Strategy in Iraq
Published: November 11, 2005

President Bush lashed out today at critics of his Iraq policy, accusing them of trying to rewrite history about the decision to go to war and saying their criticism is undercutting American forces in battle.

President Bush challenged a new round of accusations by Democrats that he exaggerated the threat posed by Saddam Hussein's weapons programs.
"While it's perfectly legitimate to criticize my decisions or the conduct of the war, it is deeply irresponsible to rewrite the history of how that war began," the president said in a Veterans Day speech in Pennsylvania.

Mr. Bush delivered his aggressive and unusually long speech as part of an effort to shore up his credibility as he faces growing public skepticism about Iraq and accusations by Democrats and others that he led the nation into war on false pretenses.

more...
Somebody please save us from this jerk-off...
 

tristan

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Jul 19, 2003
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It's the "Believe the Lie" strategy. Just repeat a lie over and over again until people start to believe it's true. McCain has a black baby. Kerry didn't deserve his medals. Clinton did something wrong in Whitewater and Travelgate. Social security reform will save social security. Etc etc.
 

Dont Hurt Me

macrumors 603
Dec 21, 2002
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tristan said:
It's the "Believe the Lie" strategy. Just repeat a lie over and over again until people start to believe it's true. McCain has a black baby. Kerry didn't deserve his medals. Clinton did something wrong in Whitewater and Travelgate. Social security reform will save social security. Etc etc.
This is the current administration,just repeat the mantra over and over and over and soon people will take it as truth. Why is this president going to Mongolia???:rolleyes: To get away from the homeland ?:cool:
 

Advance The Man

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Apr 6, 2005
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Looks like another red/blue opinion.

As a conservative, I look at it as the President finally defending the opinion that democrats had before they made it a political issue. Everyone from Clinton, Gore, to current democratic senators agreed that Iraq had wmd's and they agreed to go to war.

Democrats have become revisionists to try to regain the house, senate and White House. And I have to say, it is working. The President appears to be on the defense and opinion polls are way down on him. He has the right approach to attack the revisionists and make them explain why they have flip-flopped on their original opinion. I prefer we work together, win the war on terrorism and get our troops home.
 

Dont Hurt Me

macrumors 603
Dec 21, 2002
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Yahooville S.C.
Advance The Man said:
Looks like another red/blue opinion.

As a conservative, I look at it as the President finally defending the opinion that democrats had before they made it a political issue. Everyone from Clinton, Gore, to current democratic senators agreed that Iraq had wmd's and they agreed to go to war.

Democrats have become revisionists to try to regain the house, senate and White House. And I have to say, it is working. The President appears to be on the defense and opinion polls are way down on him. He has the right approach to attack the revisionists and make them explain why they have flip-flopped on their original opinion. I prefer we work together, win the war on terrorism and get our troops home.
The difference is Clinton didnt take us to war in Iraq,,George did after a year of repeating his WMDs line. There wasnt any WMDs? We cant ever win a war on Terrorism as long as extreme Islam is being taught all over this planet. Now how do you get into every extremist mosque? This president took us into Iraq knowing he didnt have diddly squat so here we are. Bin Laden is still free, The Border is still open after 5 years Bush & the Republican Gang. Solution is to boot the Neocons out and do the same to the Democrats if they arent doing the will of the PEOPLE! Its a sad shame that Corporations so clearly run our Govt and Both Party's.
On working together this president has done more to divide people, and is more partisan then any president in recent history. Working together isnt his cup of tea.
 

toontra

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Feb 6, 2003
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Advance The Man said:
I look at it as the President finally defending the opinion that democrats had before they made it a political issue. Everyone from Clinton, Gore, to current democratic senators agreed that Iraq had wmd's and they agreed to go to war.

Democrats have become revisionists to try to regain the house, senate and White House. And I have to say, it is working. The President appears to be on the defense and opinion polls are way down on him. He has the right approach to attack the revisionists and make them explain why they have flip-flopped on their original opinion. I prefer we work together, win the war on terrorism and get our troops home.
With all due respect, that's the kind of nonsense I expect to hear from a neo-con clone. Word for word the Bush & Co party line. And it's wrong in fact & in analysis.

1) The Dems DIDN'T see all the intelligence that Bush, Rumsfeld did.

2) Bush & Co sifted & slanted the intelligence shown to the Dems, Congress , the UN & the public.

3) The Dems didn't start the war when they were in power, Bush did.

Bush is down in the polls because the public have finally seem through his nonsense, nothing to do with Dem "revisionist" smear campaigns. If anyone can be accused of revisionism it is the Bush camp. No longer removing WMD but regime change - no mention of that to the UN by Colin Powell!
 

mactastic

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Apr 24, 2003
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Funny thing is, Clinton et al. thought that Saddam had WMD programs operational prior to 1998 -- when Clinton bombed Iraq and Republicans objected, thereby playing politics with our nation's security.

After 1998 (and the subsequent bombing that the GOP tried to say Clinton was doing to take the spotlight off his impeachment woes) Saddam's programs were never brought back to their pre-1998 levels.

So yes, Clinton thought Saddam had WMDs and he did something about it that didn't involve thousands of US troop deaths. After Clinton left office, Democrats didn't see the same intelligence BushCo. saw. Did Congress get to see the PDBs? Was Congress in general, not to mention Democratic leaders, given the raw data that the WH had access too? Did Congress have an 'Office of Special Plans' to do intelligence analysis? No, no and no. Congress and the American people were given worst-case analysis of Saddam's WMD programs and best-case scenarios of how the war would go. Remember when BushCo mouthpieces were out there poo-pooing the idea that the war would cost $50 billion? Yeah, me too.

The idea that Congress sees all the same data as the President is preposterous. (And growing more ludicrous by the day as more evidence emerges.)

And while you can say that Democrats were convinced Saddam had WMD prior to 1998, they all seemed convinced that Clinton had taken care of the problem for the foreseeable future. Then they all got nervous when Bush and Cheney started to tell us that there was going to be a mushroom cloud over a US city if we didn't go to war in Iraq RIGHT NOW. So while you can fault them for not having a spine, you can't say they were given all the same data as the President.

Remember, the GOP wanted to impeach a sitting president while US troops were in harm's way. They undercut the troops by attacking the President during missions in both Kosovo and Iraq. And now they want to say that one shouldn't do those things? Puhleeze.
 

Advance The Man

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PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, 1998
If Saddam rejects peace and we have to use force, our purpose is
clear: We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq's
weapons of mass destruction program. We want to seriously reduce his
capacity to threaten his neighbors.

PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, 1998
If he refuses or continues to evade his obligations through more tactics of delay and deception, he and he alone will be to blame for the consequences. … Now, let’s imagine the future. What if he fails to comply, and we fail to act, or we take some ambiguous third route which gives him yet more opportunities to develop this program of weapons of mass destruction…? Well, he will conclude that the international community has lost its will. He will then conclude that he can go right on and do more to rebuild an arsenal of devastating destruction. And some day, some way, I guarantee you, he’ll use the arsenal. And I think every one of you who’s really worked on this for any length of time believes that, too.
 

Advance The Man

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mactastic said:
So yes, Clinton thought Saddam had WMDs and he did something about it that didn't involve thousands of US troop deaths.
What he did was NOTHING. And that nothing killed many people on 9/11 and has killed over 2,000 of our soldiers. President Bush is left to clean up the terrorism mess that Clinton didn't take care of.
 

mactastic

macrumors 68040
Apr 24, 2003
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Advance The Man said:
What he did was NOTHING. And that nothing killed many people on 9/11 and has killed over 2,000 of our soldiers. President Bush is left to clean up the terrorism mess that Clinton didn't take care of.
Oh? So why were there WMD in Iraq in 1998 and none in 2003?

And are you seriously still banging that '9/11 = Iraq' drum?
 

toontra

macrumors 6502
Feb 6, 2003
261
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London UK
Advance The Man said:
What he did was NOTHING. And that nothing killed many people on 9/11 and has killed over 2,000 of our soldiers.
OK - I've heard enough. You are talking absolute ****. I'm not sure where you came from or what your intentions are in this forum, but repeating proven lies isn't likely to ingratiate you with anyone here, of any persuasion.

Let's get some things straight:

1) Saddam WASN'T responsible for 9/11

2) 2000 US troops are dead BECAUSE YOU INVADED IRAQ.

Excuse me - I don't usually capitalise, but at times like this it's hard to control.
 

Sayhey

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May 22, 2003
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At this point I've got to post two articles in response to Bush's "Attack the Democrats" strategy. The first is an editorial from the New York Times, the second is a recent blog by Kevin Drum over at Washington Monthly.

Decoding Mr. Bush's Denials
Published: November 15, 2005
To avoid having to account for his administration's misleading statements before the war with Iraq, President Bush has tried denial, saying he did not skew the intelligence. He's tried to share the blame, claiming that Congress had the same intelligence he had, as well as President Bill Clinton. He's tried to pass the buck and blame the C.I.A. Lately, he's gone on the attack, accusing Democrats in Congress of aiding the terrorists.

Yesterday in Alaska, Mr. Bush trotted out the same tedious deflection on Iraq that he usually attempts when his back is against the wall: he claims that questioning his actions three years ago is a betrayal of the troops in battle today.

It all amounts to one energetic effort at avoidance. But like the W.M.D. reports that started the whole thing, the only problem is that none of it has been true.

Mr. Bush says everyone had the same intelligence he had - Mr. Clinton and his advisers, foreign governments, and members of Congress - and that all of them reached the same conclusions. The only part that is true is that Mr. Bush was working off the same intelligence Mr. Clinton had. But that is scary, not reassuring. The reports about Saddam Hussein's weapons were old, some more than 10 years old. Nothing was fresher than about five years, except reports that later proved to be fanciful.

Foreign intelligence services did not have full access to American intelligence. But some had dissenting opinions that were ignored or not shown to top American officials. Congress had nothing close to the president's access to intelligence. The National Intelligence Estimate presented to Congress a few days before the vote on war was sanitized to remove dissent and make conjecture seem like fact.

It's hard to imagine what Mr. Bush means when he says everyone reached the same conclusion. There was indeed a widespread belief that Iraq had chemical and biological weapons. But Mr. Clinton looked at the data and concluded that inspections and pressure were working - a view we now know was accurate. France, Russia and Germany said war was not justified. Even Britain admitted later that there had been no new evidence about Iraq, just new politics.

The administration had little company in saying that Iraq was actively trying to build a nuclear weapon. The evidence for this claim was a dubious report about an attempt in 1999 to buy uranium from Niger, later shown to be false, and the infamous aluminum tubes story. That was dismissed at the time by analysts with real expertise.

The Bush administration was also alone in making the absurd claim that Iraq was in league with Al Qaeda and somehow connected to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. That was based on two false tales. One was the supposed trip to Prague by Mohamed Atta, a report that was disputed before the war and came from an unreliable drunk. The other was that Iraq trained Qaeda members in the use of chemical and biological weapons. Before the war, the Defense Intelligence Agency concluded that this was a deliberate fabrication by an informer.

Mr. Bush has said in recent days that the first phase of the Senate Intelligence Committee's investigation on Iraq found no evidence of political pressure to change the intelligence. That is true only in the very narrow way the Republicans on the committee insisted on defining pressure: as direct pressure from senior officials to change intelligence. Instead, the Bush administration made what it wanted to hear crystal clear and kept sending reports back to be redone until it got those answers.

Richard Kerr, a former deputy director of central intelligence, said in 2003 that there was "significant pressure on the intelligence community to find evidence that supported a connection" between Iraq and Al Qaeda. The C.I.A. ombudsman told the Senate Intelligence Committee that the administration's "hammering" on Iraq intelligence was harder than he had seen in his 32 years at the agency.

Mr. Bush and other administration officials say they faithfully reported what they had read. But Vice President Dick Cheney presented the Prague meeting as a fact when even the most supportive analysts considered it highly dubious. The administration has still not acknowledged that tales of Iraq coaching Al Qaeda on chemical warfare were considered false, even at the time they were circulated.

Mr. Cheney was not alone. Remember Condoleezza Rice's infamous "mushroom cloud" comment? And Secretary of State Colin Powell in January 2003, when the rich and powerful met in Davos, Switzerland, and he said, "Why is Iraq still trying to procure uranium and the special equipment needed to transform it into material for nuclear weapons?" Mr. Powell ought to have known the report on "special equipment"' - the aluminum tubes - was false. And the uranium story was four years old.

The president and his top advisers may very well have sincerely believed that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. But they did not allow the American people, or even Congress, to have the information necessary to make reasoned judgments of their own. It's obvious that the Bush administration misled Americans about Mr. Hussein's weapons and his terrorist connections. We need to know how that happened and why.

Mr. Bush said last Friday that he welcomed debate, even in a time of war, but that "it is deeply irresponsible to rewrite the history of how that war began." We agree, but it is Mr. Bush and his team who are rewriting history.
New York Times
 

Sayhey

macrumors 68000
May 22, 2003
1,690
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San Francisco
Here is the second.
November 14, 2005
MANIPULATING INTELLIGENCE....Did the Bush administration mislead the country during the runup to the Iraq war? It's true that they turned out to be wrong about a great many things, but that doesn't answer the question. It merely begs it. Were they sincerely wrong, or did they intentionally manipulate the intelligence they presented to the public in order to mask known weaknesses in their case?

The case for manipulation is pretty strong. It relies on several things, but I think the most important of them has been the discovery that the administration deliberately suppressed dissenting views on some of the most important pieces of evidence that they used to bolster their case for war. For future reference, here's a list of five key dissents about administration claims, all of which were circulated before the war but kept under wraps until after the war:

The Claim: Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, an al-Qaeda prisoner captured in 2001, was the source of intelligence that Saddam Hussein had trained al-Qaeda members to use biological and chemical weapons. This information was used extensively by Colin Powell in his February 2003 speech to the UN.

What We Know Now: As early as February 2002, the Defense Intelligence Agency circulated a report, labeled DITSUM No. 044-02, saying that it was "likely this individual is intentionally misleading the debriefers." Link. This assessment was hidden from the public until after the war.

The Claim: An Iraqi defector codenamed "Curveball" was the source of reporting that Saddam Hussein had built a fleet of mobile biowarfare labs. Curveball's claims of mobile bio labs were repeated by many administration figures during the runup to war.

What We Know Now: The only American agent to actually meet with Curveball before the war warned that he appeared to be an alcoholic and was unreliable. However, his superior in the CIA told him it was best to keep quiet about this: "Let's keep in mind the fact that this war's going to happen regardless of what Curveball said or didn't say, and the powers that be probably aren't terribly interested in whether Curveball knows what he's talking about." Link. This dissent was not made public until 2004, in a response to the SSCI report that was written by Senator Dianne Feinstein. Link.

The Claim: Iraq had purchased thousands of aluminum tubes to act as centrifuges for the creation of bomb grade uranium. Dick Cheney said they were "irrefutable evidence" of an Iraqi nuclear program and George Bush cited them in his 2003 State of the Union address.

What We Know Now: Centrifuge experts at the Oak Ridge Office of the Department of Energy had concluded long before the war that the tubes were unsuitable for centrifuge work and were probably meant for use in artillery rockets. The State Department concurred. Link. Both of these dissents were omitted from the CIA's declassified National Intelligence Estimate, released on October 4, 2002. Link. They were subsequently made public after the war, on July 18, 2003. Link.

The Claim: Saddam Hussein attempted to purchase uranium yellowcake from Africa as part of his attempt to reconstitute his nuclear program. President Bush cited this publicly in his 2003 State of the Union address.

What We Know Now: The primary piece of evidence for this claim was a document showing that Iraq had signed a contract to buy yellowcake from Niger. However, the CIA specifically told the White House in October 2002 that the "reporting was weak" and that they disagreed with the British about the reliability of this intelligence. Link. At the same time, the State Department wrote that the documents were "completely implausible." Link.

Three months later, in January 2003, Alan Foley, head of the CIA's counterproliferation effort, tried to persuade the White House not to include the claim in the SOTU because the information wasn't solid enough, but was overruled. Link. Five weeks later, the documents were conclusively shown to be forgeries. Link. In July 2003, after the war had ended, CIA Director George Tenet admitted publicly that that the claim should never have been made. Link.

The Claim: Saddam Hussein was developing long range aerial drones capable of attacking the continental United States with chemical or biological weapons. President Bush made this claim in a speech in October 2002 and Colin Powell repeated it during his speech to the UN in February 2003.

What We Know Now: The Iraqi drones had nowhere near the range to reach the United States, and Air Force experts also doubted that they were designed to deliver WMD. However, their dissent was left out of the October 2002 NIE and wasn't made public until July 2003. Link.

This is not a comprehensive list, so feel free to add other specific examples of suppressed intelligence in comments.

One final word on this: the issue here is not who was right and who was wrong, or even whether the overall weight of the evidence was sufficient to justify the war. It would have been perfectly reasonable for the White House to present all the evidence pro and con and then use that evidence to make the strongest possible case for war. But that's not what they did. Instead, they suppressed any evidence that might have thrown doubt on their arguments, making it impossible for the public to evaluate what they were saying. In fact, by abusing the classification process to keep these dissents secret, they even made it impossible for senators who knew the truth to say anything about it in public.

This is not the way to market a war. It's certainly not the way to market a war that requires long term support from citizens in a democracy. But that's how they marketed it anyway.

UPDATE: I've removed a note from the first item about al-Libi providing his false information under torture. The linked Newsweek article (here) doesn't unambiguously support that notion, and it's not really germane to the topic of this post anyway.
Kevin Drum