The new GOP meme, as repeated by White House marionette Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday this morning, is that "The President never said Saddam posed an imminent threat." (You can watch it at Crooks & Liars.)
I’m guessing Chris pinched this off the daily Fox News "official opinion" crib sheet and didn’t actually do much research into the claim himself, because that is just some remarkable revisionist history. Sadly Jay Rockefeller was ill-prepared to answer the charge, so mindful of being ever-helpful, we present this little historical refresher:
"Well, of course he is. •White House Communications Director Dan Bartlett responding to the question."is Saddam an imminent threat to U.S. interests, either in that part of the world or to Americans right here at home?", 1/26/03
"No terrorist state poses a greater or more immediate threat to the security of our people and the stability of the world than the regime of Saddam Hussein in Iraq. • Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, 9/19/02
"Absolutely." •White House spokesman Ari Fleischer answering whether Iraq was an "imminent threat," 5/7/03
"This is about imminent threat." • White House spokesman Scott McClellan, 2/10/03
Okay, fine, we know Scottie doesn’t speak for anybody, he’s just David Gregory and Terry Moran’s puffy pinata. So what about Preznit Remedial Reading himself?
"The world is also uniting to answer the unique and urgent threat posed by Iraq whose dictator has already used weapons of mass destruction to kill thousands." • President Bush, 11/23/02
"There are many dangers in the world, the threat from Iraq stands alone because it gathers the most serious dangers of our age in one place. Iraq could decide on any given day to provide a biological or chemical weapon to a terrorist group or individual terrorists." •President Bush, 10/7/02
"The Iraqi regime is a threat of unique urgency." • President Bush, 10/2/02
You’re right. He didn’t use the specific word "imminent."
Too many syllables.
(graphic by Monk at Inflatable Dartboard)