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Wednesday, January 31, 2007
WND Falsely Accuses Clinton of Flip-Flop
Topic: WorldNetDaily

An unbylined Jan. 30 WorldNetDaily article accuses Hillary Clinton of flip-flopping on the Iraq war:

New York Sen. Hillary Clinton Hillary [sic] has told an Iowa audience that she was deceived on the congressional vote to take military action against Saddam Hussein in Iraq, contradicting an earlier video recording in which she testifies that her decision was made based on her own information and intelligence.

But the article makes no mention of evidence that the Bush administration did, in fact, offer misleading evidence to Congress on Iraq. According to a Nov. 19, 2005, FactCheck.org article, noted that one main piece of evidence was a classified National Intelligence Estimate released to members of Congress shortly before its October 2002 vote to authorize action against Iraq:

This so-called National Intelligence Estimate was supposed to be the combined US intelligence community's "most authoritative written judgment concerning a specific national security issue," according to the Senate Intelligence Committee. The report was titled "Iraq's Continuing Programs for Weapons of Mass Destruction."

Though most of the document remains classified, the "Key Judgments" section and some other paragraphs were cleared and released publicly in July, 2003. The most recent and complete version available to the public can be read on the website of George Washington University's National Security Archive, which got it from the CIA under the Freedom of Information Act.

The NIE as declassified and released by the CIA says pretty much what Bush and his aides were saying publicly about Iraq's weapons - nearly all of which turned out to be wrong:

[...]

On one important point the National Intelligence Estimate offered little support for Bush's case for war, however. That was the likelihood that Saddam would give chemical or biological weapons to terrorists for use against the US.

Al Qaeda: The intelligence estimate said that – if attacked and "if sufficiently desperate" – Saddam might turn to al Qaeda to carry out an attack against the US with chemical or biological weapons. "He might decide that the extreme step of assisting the Islamist terrorist in conducting a CBW attack against the United States would be his last chance to exact vengeance by taking a large number of victims with him," the NIE said.

The report assigned "low confidence" to this finding, however, while assigning "high confidence" to the findings that Iraq had active chemical, biological and nuclear weapons programs, and "moderate confidence" that Iraq could have a nuclear weapon as early as 2007 to 2009.

That was the intelligence available to Congress when the House passed the Iraq resolution Oct. 10, 2002 by a vote of 296-133. The Senate passed it in the wee hours of Oct. 11, by a vote of  77-23. A total of 81 Democrats in the House and  29 Democrats in the Senate supported the resolution, including some who now are saying Bush misled them.

Further, a December 2005 Washington Post article noted that a congressional report had found that "President Bush and his inner circle had access to more intelligence and reviewed more sensitive material than what was shared with Congress when it gave Bush the authority to wage war against Iraq."

If WND does not point out evidence that Congress was "deceived" by the Bush administration about Iraq war intelligence, how can it claim that Clinton was "contradicting" herself by pointing that out?

Answer: She's a Clinton. The old journalistic rules about making factual claims don't apply to the Clintons, as far as WND is concerned.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:48 AM EST

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