need more stuff?

July 17, 2003

Is 16 words Bush's 18 1/2 minutes?

Daniel Radosh

The White House's most effective yellowcakegate spin has been that no one seriously believes that this one claim formed the bulk -- or even a significant amount -- of the case for war. Technically true -- most Americans probably never heard or registered this specific claim when it was made. Who can follow such minutia? But people did pay attention to the endlessly repeated soundbite, "We can't let the smoking gun be a mushroom cloud." And the Niger intelligence was the key factor that allowed people like Condi Rice to say that. Indeed, as The Washington Post points out, it was, by the time of the SotU, the only intelligence pointing to Iraqi nukes that had not been specifically discredited. The Post's recap of the way Iraqi nukes were hyped is a pretty good reminder of why these 16 words were far more important at the time than we're supposed to remember them as now.

Powered by
Movable Type 3.2