More from Playboy

In the marginalia, there's this tiny little article about the Committee on Government Reform Minority Office--that's Henry Waxman's (D-CA) group, and a damn fine job he does on any number of issues. He's the ultimate gadfly in the House, and I wonder what he could get done if his party were in charge.

So Playboy points up Waxman's committee's website, found here, and looky at the top story:
Iraq on the Record: The Bush Administration's Public Statements on Iraq.

The Committee has documented 273 statements made by one of the five following people: Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Powell, Rice--that were misleading at the time they were said. Look at the methodology:

The statements in the database are drawn from 125 public statements or appearances in which the five officials discussed the threat posed by Iraq. The sources of the statements are 40 speeches, 26 press conferences and briefings, 53 interviews, 4 written statements or articles, and 2 appearances before congressional committees. Quotes from the officials in newspaper articles or other similar secondary sources were not included in the database because of the difficulty of discerning the context of such quotes and ensuring their accuracy. Statements made by the officials before March 2002, one year before the commencement of hostilities in Iraq, were also not included.

The database contains statements about Iraq from the five officials that were misleading based on what was known to the Administration at the time the statements were made. In compiling the database, the Special Investigations Division did not assess whether “subjectively” the officials believed a specific statement to be misleading. Instead, the investigators used an “objective” standard. For purposes of the database, a statement is considered “misleading” if it conflicted with what intelligence officials knew at the time or involved the selective use of intelligence or the failure to include essential qualifiers or caveats.

The database does not include statements that appear mistaken only in hindsight. If a statement was an accurate reflection of U.S. intelligence at the time it was made, the statement is excluded from the database even if it now appears erroneous.


Italics mine, bolding from the original.

That's a hell of a standard, far stricter than most groups of any ilk would use. Yet they still came up with 273 examples, even though they cut themselves off at March 2002. It includes old favorites like Cheney's "We know they have biological and chemical weapons" and "There's overwhelming evidence that there was a connection between Al Qaeda and the Iraqi government." The whole list is in a pdf file available here. It's 36 pages long, so it'll be a nice long read, but it should prove to be informative.


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