Friday, July 11, 2003

The Ministry of Truth

Tenet grovels:

"Some of the language was changed. From what we know now, agency officials in the end concurred that the text in the speech was factually correct that the British government report said that Iraq sought uranium from Africa.''

Now I understand! I get it! It's all clear!

Lie: "Iraq said sought uranium from Africa."

"Truth": "A British government report said that Iraq sought uranium in Africa."

And Tenet grovels some more:

''This should not have been the test for clearing a presidential address,'' the statement continued. ''This did not rise to the level of certainty which should be required for presidential speeches, and CIA should have ensured that it was removed.''

Yes, but no. Nice try, though.

It's clear that the White House had editorial control of writing the SOTU all the way, down to each and every word -- and who can believe that this White House, famous for control, would want it any other way? (Thanks to alert reader Hunter for making this point.)

The White House figured out how to tweak the wording so a lie was, technically, the truth.

That's the White House responsibility, Mr. Tenet. Not yours. Don't blame yourself for letting them get away with it. And sleep easy tonight.


"It's very clear that it may be George Tenet's responsibility, but that information also existed in the State Department and it also existed in the vice president's office, so they will not get away with simply throwing George Tenet over the side."

NOTE: And remember the big picture: It's the pattern of deceit that matters, not playing Gotcha! with each and every lie.