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Thursday, March 04, 2010


Karl Rove's double lie

We're told this about Karl Rove's new book:
Karl Rove...says in a new memoir that his former boss probably would not have invaded Iraq had he known there were no weapons of mass destruction there.

Mr. Rove adamantly rejects allegations that the administration deliberately lied about the presence of weapons in Saddam Hussein’s Iraq.
The second lie I've dealt with many times. In a nutshell, if the Bush administration had claimed they thought there were probably WMD in Iraq, it might not be a provable lie (though personally I believe it still would have been). However, when they said there were WMD, that was and is a provable lie. And that distinction was important, because only by saying they knew there were WMD could they get the American public (and the entire American ruling class) behind their invasion.

But the other assertion, that Bush "probably would not have invaded Iraq had he known there were no WMD there," is a very clever lie as well (aside from being hypothetical and speculative and basically irrelevant). Why? Because it was never possible, and still isn't even today, to "know" there are "no WMD" in Iraq, or anywhere for that matter. For all we know there are WMD hidden somewhere in Poughkeepsie, or Oshkosh. Unless you simultaneously search every possible location (including underground) in a city, or a country, you could never be 100% sure that something you're looking for isn't there. So Rove knows very well that Bush could never have "known" a negative like that, and therefore, his claim is completely, utterly irrelevant.

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