“we went to war…under false pretenses”

George Will is quoted today at the Corner as saying “…we went to war…under false pretenses.” He means the Iraq war, of course, which in retrospect was not such a great idea. But, as we used to say, “the retro-spectro-scope always gives you 20-20 vision.”

As for George Will’s saying this, it’s just an establishment conservative’s way of saying “Bush lied; people died.” Cheney may have been the ore-eminent proponent of going into Iraq, but it was hardly under “false pretenses.”

At the time, if memory serves, there was a near-universal consensus, including among our allies’ intelligence services, that Saddam had WMDs. This turned out to be untrue, or at least not an imminent threat to us. But this does not change what we thought we knew at the time.

George Will’s statement amounts to a smug re-telling of history with the benefit of hindsight. Or, perhaps, a backhanded attack on Dick Cheney, who was allegedly able to both cook the books on WMD intel and force the president to authorize the war.

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