Monday, April 30, 2007

Edwards apologized with a lie

In an editorial in the Washington Post, John Edwards offered this version of his Iraq War vote apology:
The argument for going to war with Iraq was based on intelligence that we now know was inaccurate. The information the American people were hearing from the president -- and that I was being given by our intelligence community -- wasn't the whole story. Had I known this at the time, I never would have voted for this war.

John Edwards. "The Right Way in Iraq"
The Washington Post. Nov 13, 2005.

That's very nice.

The only problem is, Dick Durbin who served on the senate intelligence committee with Edwards said they had the information to know Bush was lying and exaggerating about the intelligence.

Senator Bob Graham was disturbed enough by the difference between the public rhetoric and what the committee was hearing that he asked CIA director George Tenet to draft a public letter summarizing the intel and analysis on Iraq.

Tenet slanted the letter toward Saddam being more dangerous than he was, but he had to admit that Saddam would not have used WMD against us or given them to terrorists who did unless his life and grip on power were in immediate jeopardy.

And anyone serving on the senate intelligence committee might have a passing knowledge of our ability to retaliate against a WMD attack would take fewer of our 10,000 nukes than we lose to spoilage every year, they might be old enough to remember Mutually Assured Destruction that kept the Soviets at bay when they had as many or more nukes than us, and they might know the rest of the world is acutely aware that we are the only nation that has ever used a nuclear weapon--that senator might wonder why Saddam would be a threat to us if he got nukes anyway, apart from the action movie level view of Arabs as bad guys who live to run in front of our guns and be shot.

Individuals may go on suicide missions, but nations do not, nor do thugs who worked hard to get and hold power like Saddam.

So in essence, what Edwards didn't know when he voted that he knows now is that the war would become unpopular, not that the intelligence was faulty, which was not the case. The same is true for any politician who uses the same excuse.

This shows a serious flaw in the approach of the Democrats: they want to tell lies that are less extreme and mean than the republican ones, and fewer of them if possible, but still want to keep the real reasons for doing things and deliberations behind closed doors where the "little people" like us can't interfere.

The Democrats on the intel committee who voted for the war have shown that's what they are doing, and even those who voted against the war are showing that loyalty to the good old boys is greater than loyalty to our country. If they were motivated by patriotism, they could broken their vow of secrecy and the courts likely would have backed them up as they did with Daniel Ellsberg when he leaked the Pentagon Papers. That leak would have been in the public interest and would have saved hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars and hundreds of thousands of lives.

Edwards says he wants to do things for poor people, and I believe him. I believe he would do them. LBJ did things for poor people too, but the deals he made with the corporate suits for war in Vietnam was a price we shouldn't have had to pay for the good things LBJ did. And if those same people show up at President Edwards door asking for a war in Iran or Venezuela, I'm not so sure he'd give them the boot in the ass they deserve.