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Thursday, January 29, 2004

Don't confuse Dick Cheney with the facts
The Minneapolis Star-Tribune writes some great editorials. Yesterday's was in response to David Kay's statements about the phantom WMD's. Here's the conclusion:

Recall what was happening at the U.N. Security Council prior to the war. France, Russia and Germany weren't denying that Saddam might pose a risk; they disputed that the risk was imminent; they disputed that war -- especially immediate war -- was the only alternative.

The Bush administration was having none of it; Saddam had 12 years to comply with U.N. demands and had not; years of inspections had failed. Iraq needed to be invaded.

Adopting that unyielding line was a political decision, not an intelligence judgment. It came from the neoconservatives in the administration and was pushed most actively by Vice President Dick Cheney.

He's still at it. Last week, Cheney continued to assert that the United States had discovered two mobile biological weapons labs. That is simply false. Ask Kay; he'll tell you the two mobile trailers were just what the Iraqis said they were: hydrogen generators for weather balloons.

Cheney also continues to spread the tale that "there's overwhelming evidence there was a connection between Al-Qaida and the Iraqi government." That, too, is false. There is no such evidence, as Secretary of State Colin Powell and others have acknowledged.

What the American people are hearing from Cheney now is just what the world heard from other prominent administration officials before the war. It's all wrong, and Cheney's responsibility for that can't be neatly off-loaded onto intelligence agency scapegoats.

Shorter Star-Trib: Fearmaster Cheney is a lying liar.