« Ron Fournier watch: Obama's leadership | Main | WSJ suggests Pelosi wants Iraq failure »

October 15, 2007


John Marshall may well be a sloppy writer and I don't wish to defend him here. But I think the point about Thompson is generally accurate.

The basic argument the Bush Administration made was that Saddam had a military capability that was a direct threat to the US.

The argument was also made that Saddam was working to increase his military power.

And, the argument was made, that Saddam was allied directly with Al-Queda and other terrorist groups and was willing to share his weapons with them (or that they could eventually fall into their hands).

These arguments were weak at the time and have proven to be even less credible following the invasion of 2002.

Thompson is making the same case (that Saddam was a threat). Then he says WMD were real (even though they no longer existed in 2002) because they existed in 1991. He does the same thing with nuclear programs, saying there was one in 1981 so we knew Saddam wanted to have one.

The facts don't support the initial argument but the argument is still valid - Thompson says - because, basically, Saddam would have liked to have been a threat.

I have two comments: first, Kleefield seems in my mind to make the error, and Marshall simply follows it, with the " 'clearly' had" as opposed to "had had".

Second, I have been back into those other post you list and have to ask: at what point does splitting hairs become irrelevant? Howard above points out, and rightly so, that the various "justifications" for the invasion were, leading up to the war, legion. I remember counting at least six, never in reference to the others, and often contradictory, in the lead-up. Anyone with an attention span could have seen that the gulf between the intention, and the excuse, were wide indeed. That's not "mind-reading", that's recognizing a pattern of misrepresentation. Sadly, those that can recognize this pattern often lack the rhetorical capability to point it out with appropriate terms.

The comments to this entry are closed.