Trust but…well, there was no time to verify.

Condoleeza Rice, the Inspector Clouseau of the National Security Council, invokes the Dan Rather defense:

National security adviser Condoleezza Rice used Sunday’s talk shows to defend President Bush’s performance at last week’s debate and counterpunch Sen. John Kerry’s ideas about pre-emptive strikes.

Rice also defended comments she made September 8, 2002, on CNN that Iraq was trying to buy aluminum tubes for a nuclear weapons program — part of Bush’s rationale for invading Iraq.

A New York Times report Sunday cited Rice’s comments and quoted CIA and administration officials as saying that Department of Energy experts told her staff almost a year before — in 2001 — that they thought the tubes were for artillery rockets, not for creating nuclear weapons.

Rice said she was vaguely aware of a debate about the tubes but believed that the intelligence community “as a whole” agreed they were meant for nuclear weapons work.

“If you’re a policymaker, you do not want to end up on the short side,” she said on CNN’s “Late Edition.”

Rice said that when she said the tubes were “only really suited for nuclear weapons programs,” she “knew there was some debate out there but … I didn’t know the nature of the debate.”

Sooooo…when CBS runs an apparently fake memo even though there are doubts about it, we are never ever ever to trust them again. BUT, when Condoleeza Rice helps make the case for a war that has so far resulted in 1060 (and counting) American deaths using information that is, oh, let’s be generous and call it sketchy, well, you know, she didn’t want to be caught on the “short side”.

Pfc. Joshua K. Titcomb, 20, of Somerset, Ky., died Sept. 29 in Ar Ramadi, Iraq, of injuries sustained on September 28 when an improvised explosive device exploded near his military vehicle.

Dying at age 20 in an unjustified war is being caught on the “short side”.

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Yeah. Like I would tell you....