Patterico's Pontifications



Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:31 am

THE BIG LIE ABOUT THE BIG LIE: I haven’t closely followed this big ol’ controversy about the Bush folks supposedly lying about WMD before the war. It sure has the panties of many of my liberal friends in a wad, but I am waiting for things to shake out a little more, for several reasons. One of them is that I haven’t seen much evidence of the lies themselves; rather, I have seen a bunch of isolated quotes taken so far out of context that their citation sometimes approaches libel.

The Wolfowitz quotes from the Vanity Fair article are a good example. I don’t know how many times I saw it quoted that Wolfowitz said that WMD was a “bureaucratic” (i.e. phony) justification for war. As anyone following this objectively should know by now, that was a completely bogus charge — as was the charge that Wolfotitz said we went to war because of oil. Despite the fact that these bogus charges have been thoroughly debunked, they have been (and will continue to be) repeated by wild-eyed partisans, and those whose news sources are all one-sided.

Here is another good and recent example of another phony out-of-context quote. Eugene Volokh effectively debunks the claim that Cheney maintained that Saddam had reconstituted nuclear weapons. Yes, Cheney said those words, but when you read Volokh’s piece you will see that nobody who watched the whole interview could possibly have thought Cheney had done anything but briefly misspeak.

This out-of-context quote is far less outrageous than the Wolfowitz quotes, because the context is more subtle. Still, I think Volokh’s piece should be compelling to any dispassionate reader. If you read it and are not convinced, I suspect that you are seeing this whole controversy through lenses stained red with partisan rage.

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