David Kay resigned stating that there are no WMDs in Iraq and that Hussein was not pursuing them in the 1990s. What I just can’t understand is, given previous Presidents’ refusal to admit when they’re wrong and their downfalls, why can’t Bush just come out and admit they were wrong?
I don’t see how holding to their story is going to play out well for them, and it certainly doesn’t help the US internally or externally. And it sends a message that the US is a bunch of arrogant jerks. They should just admit they were wrong, explain the evidence they had that they refuse to make public, explain why they drew the conclusions they did and, the way the US is supposed to work, we’ll decide whether they were justified. And they should remember that they work for us, not the other way around.
Besides, it’s clear that although Hussein had no WMDs, he was in violation of Resolution 1441, which deserved some penalty from the UN. And he was a ruthless dictator who violated civil rights for many years. The UN has reason to do something about that too. Whether that penalty was removal from power or not, is a good question.
If Bush does the right thing, the world will respect him and his administration much more than if they stubbornly hold their ground. But most importantly, the US will look better in the eyes of the world and Americans can put their partisan animosity aside.
Update: On 2nd thought, I think the reason Bush can’t and won’t admit that their intelligence was wrong is because doing so would be admitting that our intelligence is unreliable. And if our intelligence is unreliable, then our nation is less secure than we think it is (and less than Bush wants us to think it is). And if our national security is weak then Bush will not be re-elected, given that that is his strongest point. And of course, he can’t just blame it on the CIA given how poorly that was received when he tried that in the past.
Now, let’s take the Occam’s razor approach and assume the simplest answer is the right answer, i.e., that Bush simply lied/mislead with no evidence whatsoever. Obviously, he can’t admit that.
In other words, Bush is between Iraq and a hard place. So his best option is to just hold tight and hope people forget. The sad thing is that he’s probably right — Americans tend to take the easy way out. Forgetting and ignoring is easy. Doing the right thing is hard.