In the comment debate about conservatives, Liberative blog host bobn cites a Vincent Bugliosi article titled "The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder," as evidence of Bush's deceit and failures in Iraq. The article was published on May 9th on the "Winnipeg Independent Media Centre" website, which describes itself as "a loose collective of individuals working to provide an alternative source of news and reporting to Winnipeg and surrounding regions" affiliated with Indymedia. Both WIMC and Indymedia are far-left organizations.
That doesn't mean everything they publish is wrong. Still, inquiring Neo-cons wondered whether Bugliosi’s article was accurate.
Simply put, no. Indeed, Bugliosi's piece--a flack job for his Spring 2008 book "The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder" (I haven't read it, nor am I likely to)--is flatly false.
- Bugliosi says that Bush lied in claiming Iraq was an "imminent" threat. Wrong--Bush said no such thing. Indeed, he said the exactly the opposite--that we must act before a threat materialized--when adopting a "preemption" policy nine months before the invasion.
- Bugliosi next cites the mid-2002 so-called "Downing Street Memo" claiming that Bush suggested flying U2 reconnaissance planes falsely painted with UN colors over Iraq. This is strictly hypothetical--neither Bugliosi nor anyone else says it happened. Even if it did, the U2s weapon of choice is cameras, not munitions. In any event, the Downing memo is more relevant to British, not U.S. policy and, if anything, actually bolsters the case for invasion.
- Bugliosi insists that UN weapons inspector Hans Blix ruled out the possibility of Iraq having WMDs before the war. Nonsense--he said Saddam hadn't showed him any. He also reported that:
"the consensus of the intelligence community," as Mr. Wilkerson puts it, "was overwhelming" in the period leading up to the invasion of Iraq that Saddam definitely had an arsenal of chemical and biological weapons, and that he was also in all probability well on the way to rebuilding the nuclear capability that the Israelis had damaged by bombing the Osirak reactor in 1981.Charles Duelfer, Chairman of the Iraq Survey Group, agreed. As did virtually every Democrat and foreign government, which also believed Saddam possessed WMDs.
- Referring to Bush’s January 28, 2003 State of the Union speech, Bugliosi claims the Administration employed "then discredited information" about Saddam's attempt to acquire uranium from Africa" to frighten the American public. Bugliosi never acknowledges that multiple government and media investigations concluded that Bush was right--and that Bush's accuser, Joe Wilson, is a liar.
- Finally, Bugliosi argues the Administration pressured U.S. intelligence agencies to alter their analysis so as to support the rationale for war. This assertion--also promulgated by George Soros--ignores a similar stack of media and Congressional conclusions that intel wasn't re-worked.
When the tin-foil hat types talk, seek their sources.
Last May, Geoffrey Britain accurately reviewed the rationale for invading Iraq. And the debate continues here.