Tuesday, November 04, 2003

Sorting out the "imminent threat" debate

Excellent clarity!!
Spinsanity - Sorting out the "imminent threat" debate: "Sorting out the 'imminent threat' debate
By Ben Fritz

November 3, 2003

In recent weeks, a debate has raged over the phrase 'imminent threat.' Many liberal critics have asserted that a central claim in President Bush's case for war in Iraq was that Iraq posed an 'imminent threat.' They argue that it's now clear that no such threat existed, and thus the President's argument has been revealed as deceptive or illegitimate. Conservatives retort that Bush never actually used the phrase and in fact specifically used language indicating that the threat was not imminent on several occasions.

As a factual matter, conservatives are largely correct and liberal critics and journalists are guilty of cheap shots or lazy reporting. However, the evidence is not completely clear and both sides are guilty of distorting this complex situation for political gain. Specifically, while there's some evidence indicating the Bush administration did portray Iraq as an imminent threat, there's much more that it did not. Those attempting to assert that the White House called Iraq an imminent threat are ignoring significant information to the contrary. Similarly, those who say the Bush administration never used the phrase or implied as much are ignoring important, though isolated, evidence."

I would argue the administration wanted to move fast to prevent the Iraqi troops from preaparing to attack, but that angle was not covered in this review.

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