Wednesday, May 02, 2007

ET TU, Bill?

For 3+ years, the Democrats and the media have been accusing Bush of having lied in his 2003 SOTU address, by claiming that Hussein had purchased uranium in Niger, when in fact Hussein had done no such thing.

And for 3+ years, Bush and his few defenders have challenged the Democrats' depiction of what Bush said, arguing (and correctly so) that Bush never said Hussein had purchased uranium in Niger, and that Bush had a basis for saying what he said: "The British Government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa".

And for 3+ years, Bush's defenders, as well as those who may not like him but would prefer the media to get things right (such as Patterico), scream each time they read or see yet another story that gets things wrong by depicting Bush as having said that Hussein did purchase uranium when it is clear that Bush said no such thing.

But they have been fighting a losing battle. The false storyline has been pushed so often and so long that the conventional wisdom has been firmly established that Bush lied. If you were to stop people at random and inquire about this issue, I'd venture that 9 out of every 10 believe the false story line to be true, including people who ought to know better, such as William F Buckley, who in writing about George Tenet, says "Begin with the president’s State of the Union address, in which he spoke of uranium being purchased in Niger to facilitate nuclear operations in Iraq...".

C'mon Bill, what part of Bush not mentioning Niger and not claiming that uranium was purchased do you not understand?