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Balanced Fare: We Report, You Deride

Thursday, July 31, 2003

Moving The Goalposts

Josh Marshall, among others, has spent most of July pretending that the famous "16 Words" from the President's State of the Union Address defined the enitire Administration rationale for the war in Iraq. Now, he notices that in a recent press conference, George Bush is discussing Saddam's weapons programs, and concludes that the President is moving the goalposts.

Let me wave in a rebuttal witness:

The question is not whether there was any reason to believe there was a threat. There was.

I'm sorry, Mr. Marshall, I only cut you off in tribute to Maureen Dowd. I am sure you have more.

The questions were whether that threat was imminent and whether we dealt with it in the best possible way or the stupidest possible way.

Well. I am surprised that there is no middle ground between "best" and "stupidest". Perhaps a Third Way! But I'm glad we all agree there was a threat.

As to what the President said in his State of the Union, I will get back to you. Meanwhile, here is the Congressional Resolution titled "Joint Resolution to Authorize the use of United States Armed Forces Against Iraq", from October 2002. I see the phrase "continuing threat" twice, and it clearly refers to Iraqi activites dating back to the 90's; the phrase "imminent threat" does not appear.

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