The Seatle Post-Intelligencer claims not only that
the president misled the country in the State of the Union speech about the nuclear threat from Iraqbut that
the White House now says, yes, the president misled the American peopleFirst of all, the White House never said the President "misled" anybody, only that
Knowing all that we know now, the reference to Iraq’s attempt to acquire uranium from Africa should not have been included in the State of the Union speech.My Oxford English Dictionary defines mislead as
To lead astray in action or conduct; to lead into errorIn other words, to "mislead" someone is to lead them in a direction whither they would not otherwise go. So to say that the President "misled" someone about the Iraqi nuclear threat, implies that there are people out there who had opposed the liberation of Iraq, but whose minds were changed on the basis of the President's statement about African uranium. Furthermore, those same people would have to believe, in hindsight, that the liberation of Iraq was a mistake that could have been avoided had the President not said anything about African uranium in the State of the Union speech.
I agree that the President should avoid making statements for which it does not have a very solid foundation. But may I see a show of hands, please, from anybody who felt they were wrongly led to support the war on the basis of this statement? Let me inquire further: Do you feel that you were deliberately deceived? If so, why do you suppose the administration didn't do a better job of maintaining this "deception"?Posted by Stefan Sharkansky at July 12, 2003 06:16 PM