Bush Balked At WMD Evidence After Four Months Of Pumping It

Daily Howler

On December 21, 2002, Bush sat down with George Tenet and John McLaughlin to look at the best intelligence America possessed on Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction. He was less than impressed.

McLaughlin’s version used communications intercepts, satellite photos, diagrams and other intelligence. “Nice try,” Bush said when the CIA official was finished, according to [Woodward’s] book. “I don’t think this quite—it’s not something that Joe Public would understand or would gain a lot of confidence from.”

He then turned to Tenet, McLaughlin’s boss, and said, “I’ve been told all this intelligence about having WMD, and this is the best we’ve got?”

“It’s a slam-dunk case,” Tenet replied, throwing his arms in the air. Bush pressed him again. “George, how confident are you?”

“Don’t worry, it’s a slam dunk,” Tenet repeated.
Bob Somerby then carefully points out what the press is pretending not to notice: the Bush Administration had been hyping the intelligence for four months before this meeting.

On August 27, the Vice President spoke before a veteran's organization in Nashville and stated that there was "no doubt that Saddam now has weapons of mass destruction [and] there is no doubt that he is amassing them..." Two weeks later, Bush himself stated that Saddam had WMD. Bush did it again on September 26. Rice was pumping the aluminum tubes that she said could only be used to refine nuclear fuel for atomic weapons.

But George W. Bush only sat down to examine the evidence himself in December. He states as much in Woodward's account: "I've been told all this intelligence about having WMD..." Rice and Cheney have been feeding him a line the entire time! And now that he's looking at the real evidence, he realizes how weak it is.

And yet he still went to war.

Do we need any more proof that George W. Bush is not the leader of this country? He's the Focus-Group-in-Chief. He's the stooge that the criminals and powerhungry ideologues in his administration use to test their presentation before putting it in front of the public. If they can convince Bush by whatever means necessary, then they know they can persuade a majority of Americans of the same thing.

When do we get a grownup to be the President?