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Wednesday, July 16, 2003

Detroit Free Press Lives Up to its Name:
Monday, White House spokesman Ari Fleischer dismissed as "a bunch of bull" the very idea that fear of Hussein building nuclear weapons was central to the president's decision to go to war.


With an anxious world hanging on his every word, was it just careless to leave those 16 words in the president's State of the Union speech, or did somebody decide it was OK to embellish the case for a preemptive war? How good is the intelligence upon which the United States government makes momentous decisions to send Americans to war, destroy foreign dictatorships and undertake the rebuilding of a hostile nation? If the basis for the nuclear claim was shaky, how firm was the information about Hussein's arsenal and his ties to terrorism? How realistic were the estimates of what would be involved in the postwar restart of Iraqi society?

Given the danger facing American forces in Iraq today, given the failure to find weapons of mass destruction there, given the lack of clear and convincing evidence linking the Iraqi regime to Al Qaeda or the 9/11 attacks, these are questions worth asking. They should not be summarily dismissed by an administration that's quick to holler "national security" and clam up.

This is about 16 words, sure. But it's about a lot more. It's about things the American people are entitled to know, because it is their security that is involved, and their lives being laid on the line to defend it.

And that is no bull.
-- from a Free Press editorial on Tuesday.