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December 04, 2007

Lies or Incompetence?
Posted by Ilan Goldenberg

Bush says today

I was made aware of the NIE last week. In August, I think it was John — Mike McConnell came in and said, We have some new information. He didn’t tell me what the information was. He did tell me it was going to take a while to analyze.

As Think Progress points out, it seems extraordinarily unlikely that the President would not be briefed on this potentially huge development months in advance.  There are only two conclusions here.  Either:  A.  He is lying or at least not telling the full truth.  B.  He really didn't know. 

I'm actually much more  disturbed by option B.  It reflects a level of incompetence that would actually be quite stunning.  At the same time that Iran has been moved to the top of the Administration's  list of priorities, the intelligence community is sitting on a bombshell that the President doesn't know about?  McConnell comes in and tells the President that they are looking at some new and important information and the President doesn't even bother to ask what it is? 


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It really tells you something about your leadership when you HOPE that they are lying to you.

Today's quote from Bush is "I feel" that Iran is dangerous- even if the intelligence community says otherwise. If that is the case it does not really matter what he is told.

Nobody's lying. He was briefed but forgot. There's a pattern here. Somehow, we've all forgotten that Bush is "intellectually lazy," which is the polite way that we used to call him dumb. But I can suss out what happened:

In August, McConnell gave him a cursory briefing and he said it like this... "This is really preliminary stuff and we're still checking on it, but it is starting to look like Iran halted it's nuclear program some years ago."

Bush heard "Really preliminary" and zoned out. He then heard, "checking... Iran nuclear program... years."

Then he asked McConnell to bring him a taco.

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