The same clueless nitwits who, with no evidence, cried “Bush lied, people died!” are now ignoring overwhelming evidence of Hillary Clinton’s violation of the Espionage Act and how that behavior imperiled national security. In George W. Bush’s case, there is zero evidence of a “lie.” In Clinton’s case, as to a violation of the Espionage Act, her violation is clear-cut.
Though he decided against recommending criminal prosecution, FBI Director James Comey did say: “There is evidence that (Clinton and her colleagues) were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information. For example, seven email chains concern matters that were classified at the top-secret special access program at the time they were sent and received. Those chains involved Secretary Clinton both sending emails about those matters and receiving emails about those same matters. There is evidence to support a conclusion that any reasonable person in Secretary Clinton’s position or in the position of those with whom she was corresponding about those matters should have known that an unclassified system was no place for that conversation. …
“We do assess that hostile actors gained access to the private commercial email accounts of people with whom Secretary Clinton was in regular contact from her personal account. We also assess that Secretary Clinton’s use of a personal email domain was both known by a large number of people and readily apparent. She also used her personal email extensively while outside the United States, including sending and receiving work-related emails in the territory of sophisticated adversaries. Given that combination of factors, we assess it is possible that hostile actors gained access to Secretary Clinton’s personal email account.”
In Bush’s case, however, he is completely, totally, absolutely innocent of the damnable lie that he lied. The bipartisan Robb-Silberman Commission, set up in 2004 to examine the weapons of mass destruction intel on which the Iraq War was based, found — after more than a year of investigation — that (SET ITAL)no one lied(END ITAL). A decade after its work, Judge Laurence Silberman, co-chair of the commission, wrote:
“Our WMD commission ultimately determined that the intelligence community was ‘dead wrong’ about Saddam’s weapons. But as I recall, no one in Washington political circles offered significant disagreement with the intelligence community before the invasion. The National Intelligence Estimate was persuasive — to the president, to Congress and to the media. …
“In any event, it is one thing to assert, then or now, that the Iraq war was ill-advised. It is quite another to make the horrendous charge that President Bush lied to or deceived the American people about the threat from Saddam.”
President Bill Clinton’s top Persian Gulf adviser, the CIA’s Kenneth Pollack, disagreed with Bush’s decision to invade Iraq. But as to the intel, Pollack said the opinion was unanimous — among all 16 of the nation’s intelligence commissions — that Saddam Hussein possessed stockpiles of WMD. He wrote:
“The U.S. intelligence community’s belief that Saddam was aggressively pursuing weapons of mass destruction pre-dated Bush’s inauguration, and therefore cannot be attributed to political pressure. It was first advanced at the end of the 1990s, at a time when President Bill Clinton was trying to facilitate a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians and was hardly seeking assessments that the threat from Iraq was growing. …
“Other nations’ intelligence services were similarly aligned with U.S. views. … In sum, no one doubted that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.”
One more thing, since this is often thrown into the “Bush lied” mix. Yes, Bush haters, we were greeted as liberators. New York Times war correspondent John Burns, who was in Iraq at the time of the invasion, set the late Tim Russert straight on the matter. Russert, in an interview with Burns, said, “The judgments made here were that when we went in, we would be greeted as, quote, ‘liberators.'”
Burns replied: “To be fair, American troops were greeted as liberators. We saw it. It lasted very briefly. It was exhausted quickly by the looting and the astonishment, the puzzlement and finally the anger of Iraqis that nothing, or very little, was done to stop that.”
On the other hand, Clinton lied. Consider FBI head Comey’s testimony before the House Select Committee on Benghazi:
Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C.: “Secretary Clinton said there was nothing marked classified on her emails, either sent or received. Was that true?”
Comey: “That’s not true.”
Gowdy: “Secretary Clinton said, ‘I did not email any classified material to anyone on my email. There is no classified material.’ Was that true?”
Comey: “There was classified material emailed.”
Neither Bernie Sanders nor Barack Obama, both fierce Iraq War critics, has accused Bush of “lying” about the war. This has not stopped Bush haters from doing so. In truth, the only way critics can, with a straight face, maintain that George W. Bush “lied us into the Iraq War” is to immerse themselves in ignorance, refuse to acknowledge clear, obvious facts and possess a hatred of Bush bordering on pathological.
They need a shrink. Either that or they should apply their skills to assessing Hillary Clinton’s true crimes.
Larry Elder is a best-selling author and nationally syndicated radio talk-show host. To find out more about Larry Elder, or become an “Elderado,” visit www.LarryElder.com. Follow Larry on Twitter @larryelder. To read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.
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