Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Who's Crazy?

Joe Conason lets us know:

The president was fantasizing again this afternoon about the circumstances that led to war -- and if his remarks at his press conference with the Polish president are to be taken seriously, he also seems badly confused about his Iraqi timeline. This was Bush's first attempt to answer the damning findings of David Kay, departing director of the Iraq Survey Group. It didn't go well, although almost everyone in the White House press corps pretended not to notice.

So removed from reality is the president that it seems worthwhile to unpack two exchanges with reporters who asked about Kay's admission that he expects no weapons of mass destruction to be found in Iraq.


Leaving aside those incoherent references to "programs" and what the world obviously "felt," what is most notable in Bush's answer is that he again said Saddam "did not let us in." This is the second time he has made this weird statement, as if Hans Blix and UNMOVIC had never existed, nor conducted the most intrusive weapons inspections ever done in Iraq. (The first time was last July, when Bush said, in the presence of an astonished Kofi Annan: "And we gave [Saddam] a chance to allow the inspectors in, and he wouldn't let them in.")

How dare the press mock Howard Dean when they listen respectfully to this arrant lunacy?

Someday even Bush may learn to cope with the reality of the weapons of mass disappearance. He and his friends will no doubt remind us, however, that liberating the Iraqis from Saddam's evil oppression justifies itself, even though Iraq posed no military threat to us or anyone else. That's an argument of dubious legality -- and Ken Roth disposes of it in Human Rights Watch's annual report: