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The debate about weapons of mass destruction (search) in Iraq has now morphed into something else — the allegation that President Bush and his administration lied when it compiled its case against Saddam Hussein.
The latest twist goes like this: The former ambassador to Iraq, Joseph C. Wilson, IV (search), was sent to the African country of Niger to determine whether a document, which purported to show Saddam was buying nuke bomb material, was real.
Wilson concluded it was not true, and that the document was probably a fake or a forgery. A year before the Iraq war, he came home and reported his findings to the CIA, which then informed the vice president's office.
So Wilson was later surprised to find Bush referring to Niger nuke fuels in his State of the Union speech — a claim that Wilson discredited.
White House Spokesman Ari Fleisher (search) later came out to say, "Yeah, we made a mistake. That document shouldn't have made it into a presidential speech."
The anti-war types have seized on this, and are now jumping up and down that Bush lied.
Here's the deal: Is anybody going to come forward and say Bush was wrong about Saddam? He didn't really torture and imprison his own people? He wasn't really a murderer who cut out tongues and conducted summary executions?
No, that isn't going to happen.
So does all the complaining about Bush's reasons mean the war opponents think it would be better if the war hadn't happened and if Saddam were still in charge in Baghdad?
I really do want to hear someone make that argument. The absurdity of it is just priceless.
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