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November 3, 2005
Lying Liars Love Joseph Wilson

Today's Wall Street Journal has a can't-miss editorial published in its open-to-all OpinionJournal website. It excoriates the "Clare Luce Democrats," those who have again appointed Joe Wilson their poster boy for the Bush-lied meme that went down to defeat in 2004 when their party used it as the only plank in their platform. Harry Reid took up that strategy himself when he led the Senate into secret session, the first time in 25 years Rule 21 had been used without agreement between the two parties:

Harry Reid pulled the Senate into closed session Tuesday, claiming that "The Libby indictment provides a window into what this is really all about, how this Administration manufactured and manipulated intelligence in order to sell the war in Iraq." But the Minority Leader's statement was as demonstrably false as his stunt was transparently political. ...

We are now seeing the spectacle of Bush-hating Democrats adopting a similar slander against the current President regarding the Iraq War. The indictment by Patrick Fitzgerald of Vice Presidential aide I. Lewis Libby has become their latest opening to promote this fiction, notwithstanding the mountains of contrary evidence. To wit:

In July 2004, the Senate Intelligence Committee released a bipartisan 500-page report that found numerous failures of intelligence gathering and analysis. As for the Bush Administration's role, "The Committee did not find any evidence that Administration officials attempted to coerce, influence or pressure analysts to change their judgments related to Iraq's weapons of mass destruction," (our emphasis).

The Butler Report, published by the British in July 2004, similarly found no evidence of "deliberate distortion," although it too found much to criticize in the quality of prewar intelligence.

The March 2005 Robb-Silberman report on WMD intelligence was equally categorical, finding "no evidence of political pressure to influence the Intelligence Community's pre-war assessments of Iraq's weapons programs. . . .analysts universally asserted that in no instance did political pressure cause them to skew or alter any of their analytical judgments. We conclude that it was the paucity of intelligence and poor analytical tradecraft, rather than political pressure, that produced the inaccurate pre-war intelligence assessments."

Most commentators missed the final bullet point. The Robb-Silberman report was the "missing" Phase II that Reid demanded. He and the Democrats refused to accept it because it doesn't help them raise money or gather voters for elections.

Kerry had the good sense to drop Wilson like, as the WSJ says, a Paris Hilton boyfriend once Wilson's lies came to light. His delayed adoption by the rest of the Democratic leadership shows just how ethically empty and bereft of ideas they have become.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at November 3, 2005 6:46 AM

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