Jewish World Review July 26, 2004 / 8 Menachem-Av, 5764

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Who's sorry now? | At this point we have four independent sources that say there was no lying by President Bush and British Prime Minister Blair regarding weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. The 9/11 Commission, the Senate Intelligence Committee, Lord Butler's British investigation and Vladimir Putin have all stated that the WMD intelligence was faulty but the politicians did nothing untoward.

So what should be done with the people who accused Bush and Blair of intentionally lying to bring war to the world? Have you heard any of these folks apologize for their slander? I haven't.

And let's take the issue one step further. As you know, the 9/11 Commission report criticizes both President Bush and Bill Clinton for failing to act on the Al Qaeda danger. That's what the Richard Clarke controversy was all about. The former White House terrorism advisor ran wild in the media suggesting that Bush ignored him. Being a partisan, Clarke played down the fact that Clinton also failed to act on his advice to actively engage Bin Laden, but the 9/11 Commission filled in that blank.

For the sake of argument, can you imagine if President Bush had ignored the CIA's assertion that Saddam had anthrax and other deadly substances? Can you just picture what would have happened if Al Qaeda attacked America with deadly weapons acquired from Baghdad and Bush had rejected intelligence reports about WMDs? My G-d! President Bush would have gone down in history as the incompetent of all time.

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So based on intelligence, Bush had to confront Saddam and tried to work within the framework of the United Nations to do it. But it was obvious the U.N. was going to procrastinate as long as possible, just as it is doing now in the Sudan. While thousands of innocent people die every week at the hands of the brutal Khartoum regime, U.N. diplomats sit there and eat lunch.

What would you have done if you were Bush? You are told by U.S. and British intelligence that a brutal dictator had WMDs. That dictator had funded and supported terrorism all over the Middle East. Known terrorists, including Bin Laden pal al-Zarqawi, were living inside Iraq. And you sit there while Hans Blix runs around the desert? Come on. President Bush could have delayed the action and planned better for the aftermath but, ultimately, he had to act.

Every time I hear some extremist rant about presidential "lies" I get furious. These people are putting all of us in danger. Many far left Websites are simply out of control, spewing forth deceit and allegations that have no basis in fact whatsoever. Unfortunately, these people now have sympathy in the mainstream press and can get their libel widely distributed. Let me give you one example from personal experience.

In my analysis of the attack on September 11, I tried to bring all voices to the table. Thus I gave airtime to a young man who lost his father at the World Trade Center. This guy said on my TV program that President Bush and his father were responsible for the 3,000 deaths and that his own father had "allegedly" been murdered by Al Qaeda. The guy went on to imply that America was the true terrorist nation.

The man had no evidence to back up his claims and was dismissed by me in a not very gentle way. I would have given it to him worse if not for his widowed mother, and I said that to him on the air. The guy was and is a disgrace.

But not to the far left, to them he's a hero. And these people have used this guy time and time again as an example of someone persecuted by "conservatives."

It is all so dishonest and disheartening. The ultra-left fanatics will pretty much say and do anything to destroy those with whom they disagree. These people are hurting all Americans by obstructing the true terrorist danger we are facing today.

The lesson here is simple. Bush and Blair did not lie. And it far past time that clear-thinking Americans begin holding the true liars accountable. Our lives may depend on it.

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JWR contributor Bill O'Reilly is host of the Fox News show, "The O'Reilly Factor," and author of, most recently, "Who's Looking Out for You?" Comments by clicking here.

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