Q: Mr. President, before the war, you and members of your administration made several claims about Iraq that U.S. troops would be greeted as liberators with sweets and flowers, that Iraqi oil revenue would pay for most of the reconstruction; and that Iraq not only had weapons of mass destruction, but as Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld said, we know where they are. How do you explain to Americans how you got that so wrong? And how do you answer your opponents, who say that you took this nation to war on the basis of what have turned out to be a series a false premises?
THE PRESIDENT: ... Saddam Hussein was a threat. He was a threat because he had used weapons of mass destruction on his own people. He was a threat because he coddled terrorists. He was a threat because he funded suiciders. He was a threat to the region. He was a threat to the United States. That's the assessment that I made from the intelligence, the assessment that Congress made from the intelligence; that's the exact same assessment that the United Nations Security Council made with the intelligence.
... The United Nations passed a Security Council resolution unanimously that said, disarm or face serious consequences. And he refused to disarm.
At least he's consistent. He'll never give anybody the benefit of the truth; Bush will just repeat the same lies that he's given all along. Why expect anything different?
Its clear to everybody now that Iraq had no illegal weapons. How can a country refuse to disarm if the arms never existed in the first place? From the sound of it, we went to war with Iraq because they were a threat to Israel and Saudi Arabia (from the neo-Con's point of view anyway). If the safety of our allies is so paramount, why not justify the war that way to begin with?
Q: Thank you, Mr. President. Two weeks ago, a former counterterrorism official at the NSC, Richard Clarke, offered an unequivocal apology to the American people for failing them prior to 9/11. Do you believe the American people deserve a similar apology from you, and would you be prepared to give them one?
THE PRESIDENT: ... Here's what I feel about that. The person responsible for the attacks was Osama bin Laden. That's who's responsible for killing Americans. And that's why we will stay on the offense until we bring people to justice.
So the answer would be no then. I thought this was supposed to be an administration of "grown-ups"; people who would take responsibility for both their successes and their failures. Bush heralds those tax cuts at every opportunity, but he can't take the slightest responsibility for presiding over one of the countries biggest intelligence failures in history, or worse ignoring the intelligence that would've tipped off a more competent administration?