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Did Bush and Blair Lie About WMD?

June 08, 2003

Re "Blair and Bush Aren't That Stupid," Commentary, June 5: Max Boot misses the point in defining the issue of missing weapons of mass destruction in Iraq as to whether Prime Minister Tony Blair and President Bush lied. Their great failing is not dishonesty. It is that they set themselves up as judge, jury and executioner, denigrating everyone, including the United Nations, who dared disagree. Bush's tendency to act unilaterally (the views of others be damned) is because he is a right-wing ideologue, not a liar.

Checks and balances are central to our system of government to prevent errors of all types, including ideological blindness. Bush's failure to honor this basic principle is what makes him dangerous.

John M. Shahan

Glendale

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Of course Bush, Blair, et al, didn't lie about WMD thinking they would be found out when the war ended. They lied thinking they would be vindicated when caches of WMD were found. They lied because they were convinced that WMD existed in abundance in Iraq despite the lack of evidence their own intelligence agencies provided. They lied because they needed a reason to exercise their appetite for war, which had been whetted by Afghanistan but frustrated by the failure to capture Osama bin Laden.

This is like the old vaudeville sketch where a bystander asks a man who is crawling around under a street lamp looking for a lost object, "Why are you looking here? You lost it over there, in the dark." The man looks up and replies, "Because the light is better over here." For Bush and Blair, the light was better in Iraq.

Tim Hebb

Sherman Oaks

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The point is not that Bush and Blair lied about WMD. The point is that they were so determined to invade Iraq that they were willing to believe any evidence in support of their position no matter how obviously incorrect or unexamined. How else does one explain the "British intelligence" report that was plagiarized from a graduate student's Web site or the forged documents from Gabon presented by Bush to Congress and by Secretary of State Colin Powell to the U.N.?

Many of us who opposed this invasion did so because we felt there was not adequate evidence of an imminent threat to justify launching a war that would, and did, kill thousands of people. To date, the evidence vindicates our position.

Pat Gallagher

Venice

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Boot makes a profound statement, asking, "Why would they lie, knowing postwar weapons searches were inevitable?" A recent Gallup poll shows that Americans, by 67% to 31%, say the Bush administration did not deliberately mislead the public about whether Iraq had WMD. Opponents of the war were stunned when Baghdad fell so quickly with little resistance. The Bush bashers can only comfort themselves by calling our president a liar because the WMD aren't out in the open waiting to be discovered. These were the same people who wanted to give Hussein more time for inspections.

Boot also hit the mark in stating that, whatever the details of his WMD program, the fact that Hussein was a dangerous monster is no lie.

Harold Simms

Canoga Park

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