Monday, February 02, 2004

A Mist of 'Controversy' 

For Bush, a Tactical Retreat on Iraq

Bush will announce this week that he is creating, by executive order, a bipartisan independent panel of at least nine members that will make a report in 2005, the White House confirmed yesterday. But those close to the president say he is doing so while continuing to avoid any explicit public acknowledgment that the intelligence was wrong. Why the reluctance to state what appears increasingly obvious as Kay spent the past 10 days dashing prospects that significant weapons stockpiles would be found in Iraq? Although the tactic may appear to be obtuse, there is a real strategy behind the Bush response -- and one that has been used before, to great effect.

Bush aides have learned through hard experience that admitting error only projects weakness and invites more abuse.
[Editorial note: this doctrine has from time to time been known as "infallibility." It has been successfully used to help solidify the authority of the Pope, God, and many others...]
Conversely, by postponing an acknowledgment -- possibly beyond Election Day --
[E.n.: We have so much truth to look forward to, once the second Bush administration can stop fiddling around with "partisan politics" and get back to the business of governing!]
the White House is generating a fog of uncertainty around Kay's stark findings, and potentially softening a harsh public judgment.
[E.n.: Whence comes this dark cynicism from Dana Milbank? He must know that the American people are a far too positive and forgiving people to judge Bush "harshly."]
"They aren't giving up," Hans Blix, the former chief U.N. weapons inspector in Iraq, said recently. Blix's failure to find weapons of mass destruction before the war was ridiculed by the administration. "They all prefer to retreat under a mist of controversy rather than say, 'I'm sorry, this was wrong,' " he said.
Full story.


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