Notes on the Atrocities
Like a 100-watt radio station, broadcasting to the dozens...


Tuesday, December 23, 2003  

I'm not really sure how I missed this, but a week ago, Diane Sawyer and the President had this exchange.

DIANE SAWYER: But let me try to ask — this could be a long question. ... ... When you take a look back, Vice President Cheney said there is no doubt, Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction, not programs, not intent. There is no doubt he has weapons of mass destruction. Secretary Powell said 100 to 500 tons of chemical weapons and now the inspectors say that there's no evidence of these weapons existing right now. The yellow cake in Niger, in Niger. George Tenet has said that shouldn't have been in your speech. Secretary Powell talked about mobile labs. Again, the intelligence — the inspectors have said they can't confirm this, they can't corroborate.

PRESIDENT BUSH: Yet.

SAWYER: — an active —

BUSH: Yet.

SAWYER: Is it yet?

BUSH: But what David Kay did discover was they had a weapons program, and had that, that — let me finish for a second. Now it's more extensive than, than missiles. Had that knowledge been examined by the United Nations or had David Kay's report been placed in front of the United Nations, he, he, Saddam Hussein, would have been in material breach of 1441, which meant it was a causis belli. And look, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein was a dangerous person, and there's no doubt we had a body of evidence proving that, and there is no doubt that the president must act, after 9/11, to make America a more secure country.

SAWYER: Again, I'm just trying to ask, these are supporters, people who believed in the war who have asked the question.

BUSH: Well, you can keep asking the question and my answer's gonna be the same. Saddam was a danger and the world is better off cause we got rid of him.

SAWYER: But stated as a hard fact, that there were weapons of mass destruction as opposed to the possibility that he could move to acquire those weapons still —

BUSH: So what's the difference?

There's more, but let's just pause for a moment to consider that last comment. What's the difference. Indeed, one imagines this is not a rhetorical question. And that is what's shocking. (But it's Howard Dean who's a little slow on foreign policy.) The exchange continues:

SAWYER: Well —

BUSH: The possibility that he could acquire weapons. If he were to acquire weapons, he would be the danger. That's, that's what I'm trying to explain to you. A gathering threat, after 9/11, is a threat that needed to be de — dealt with, and it was done after 12 long years of the world saying the man's a danger. And so we got rid of him and there's no doubt the world is a safer, freer place as a result of Saddam being gone.

SAWYER: But, but, again, some, some of the critics have said this combined with the failure to establish proof of, of elaborate terrorism contacts, has indicated that there's just not precision, at best, and misleading, at worst.

BUSH: Yeah. Look — what — what we based our evidence on was a very sound National Intelligence Estimate. ...

SAWYER: Nothing should have been more precise?

BUSH: What — I, I — I made my decision based upon enough intelligence to tell me that this country was threatened with Saddam Hussein in power.

SAWYER: What would it take to convince you he didn't have weapons of mass destruction?

BUSH: Saddam Hussein was a threat and the fact that he is gone means America is a safer country.

SAWYER: And if he doesn't have weapons of mass destruction [inaudible] —

BUSH: Diane, you can keep asking the question. I'm telling you — I made the right decision for America —
SAWYER: But-

BUSH: — because Saddam Hussein used weapons of mass destruction, invaded Kuwait. ... But the fact that he is not there is, means America's a more secure country.

posted by Jeff | 12:55 PM |
File
archives
Blogroll and Links
Commerce