Saturday, June 07, 2003

Mistaken vs. Lying

In their rush to condemn President Bush and accuse him of being disingenuous and lying to get us into a war in Iraq, Democrats, liberals, and leftists of every kind are overlooking the crucial distinction between being mistaken and lying.

If -- and I stress, if -- no weapons of mass destruction are found, it would be incorrect to automatically deduce that President Bush lied in order to get us to war. If in fact Iraq has (or rather, had) no WMDs, it is entirely possible that President Bush mistakenly believed that there were such weapons, based on the intelligence data all the time. If that were the case, that isn't lying. Lying requires deliberate misinformation, not misinformation per se. If someone asks me what it's like out, and I say it's sunny, and it turns out that in fact it's cloudy, have I lied? Not necessarily... I may simply have been mistaken.

So when people trot out the President's pre-war statements concerning Iraq's WMDs, remind them of the difference between a lie and a mistake.

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