WASHINGTON -- The White House stepped back from a high-profile assertion by President Bush, in his January 2002 State of the Union Address, that U.S. forces had uncovered evidence of a potential attack against an American nuclear facility.
In the speech, Mr. Bush warned of a terrorist threat to the nation, saying that the U.S. had found "diagrams of American nuclear power plants" in Afghanistan.
Coming just months after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks -- and as U.S. forces were on the hunt for al Qaeda in Afghanistan -- the statement was offered as evidence of the depth of antipathy among Islamic extremists, and of "the madness of the destruction they design."
"Our discoveries in Afghanistan confirmed our worst fears," Mr. Bush told Congress and the nation in the televised speech. He said "we have found" diagrams of public water facilities, instructions on how to make chemical arms, maps of U.S. cities and descriptions of U.S. landmarks, in addition to the nuclear-plant plans.
Monday night, the White House defended the warnings about Islamic extremist intentions, but said the concerns highlighted by Mr. Bush were based on intelligence developed before and after the Sept. 11 attacks, and that no plant diagrams were actually found in Afghanistan. "There's no additional basis for the language in the speech that we have found," a senior administration official said.
What the hell? This was 2002. This had nothing to do with Iraq. There was no direct reason for this particular lie except to scare the shit out of us all. Jeebus H. Effing Khryst. This makes me madder than all the Iraq bullshit. That bullshit at least had a purpose - to lead us into a horribly pointless war. But, that little tidbit was just to make us frightened of the monsters under our bed and pray that God's appointed Leader, George J.C. Bush, would save us from the evil Terra ists who were going to kill us all!
This type of thing just confirms our most cynical fears - that they were exploiting the hell out of this terrorism stuff from Day 1. Bastards!
And, yes, lying to congress is a crime.