President Bush again attacked the Democrats today. This time, he accused the Democrats of being irresponsible. "Reasonable people can disagree about the war, but it is irresponsible of the Democrats to claim that we misled them and the American People," Bush said in prepared remarks that you can read here.
Point of order. The american people were misled. The President's admission through his National Security Advisor yesterday that we were wrong about WMDs in Iraq - the primary impetus for our invasion of the country - can stand as nothing less than an admission that the american people were misled by the President. What stands to be seen is whether the American people were DELIBERATELY misled. This would take Congressional hearings - something that the President doesn't want to see.
He doesn't defend his actions so much as he criticizes the Democrats for questioning them. He claims that it's dangerous for the soldiers who are fighting overseas to have Democrats (though he doesn't mention the Republicans who have asked for a Congressional hearing) making claims against the war. Apparently, what needs to happen is the Democratic Party needs to shut the hell up until the war is over (remember the end of hostilities some time back?) and give the troops unwavering support. The mindset is that we can't be critical of the leadership and demand accountability from one who's credibility is in the toilet while we have troops fighting a war that his leadership got us into because it might lower their morale. Pointedly, the troops' morale would be painfully lower (not to mention a ton of egg on our collective faces) if there were to be congressional hearings into the intelligence situation and it turned out that we were deliberately misled. Bear in mind that last part is a hypothetical, but consider the worst case scenario if it were the case.
I think the President is right on one part. Democrats should NOT be charging that the President and his administration deliberately misled us - not now. That is irresponsible and improper. What Congress needs to do is accept that the President admitted errors in intelligence and demand an inquiry into the situation to see what the truth is. Then, depending on what happens, history will be written. Anything that happens before an in-depth inquiry is premature.
As a closing point, I can't accept the President's line of the week that the Democrats are trying to "rewrite history." It was the President and his staff that switched tactics on invasion rationale from being primarily a WMD issue to a terrorism issue to a "make the middle east safe for democracy" issue. That is rewriting history. Mr. Kettle, meet Mr. Pot.