The Big Lie

"We've had no evidence that Saddam Hussein was involved with the September 11th attacks."

George W. Bush -- September 17, 2003

To the extend that George Bush had retained the slightest shred of dignity through the whole ugly Iraq imbroglio, it was found in his refusal to fully embrace the biggest of the Big Lies told by his aides: The claim that the Iraqi government of Saddam Hussein had played a role in the September 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

The point here is not to defend Hussein. The point is to recognize reality: The invasion and occupation of Iraq did not control the spread of terrorist activity in the Middle East. It handed the terrorists new opportunities for recruitment, and it gave them new territory in which to operate. Until the president acknowledges these fundamental realities -- and his own responsibility for making things worse -- it will be impossible to undo the damage.

George Bush set out to deceive to the American people Tuesday. That was morally wrong, and tactically foolish.

But George Bush also deceived himself, by engaging in the fantasy that some new spin will allow him to avoid taking responsibility for making the world a more dangerous place. Ultimately, that is the bigger, and far more dangerous lie.

Complete piece here.


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