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Friday, February 06, 2004

REWRITING REALITY 

This one comes from Josh Marshall's Talking Points Memo, via Paul Krugman in today's NYT:

Last year Laurie Mylroie published a book titled "Bush vs. the Beltway: How the C.I.A. and the State Department Tried to Stop the War on Terror." Ms. Mylroie's book came with an encomium from Richard Perle; she's known to be close to Paul Wolfowitz and to Dick Cheney's chief of staff. According to the jacket copy, "Mylroie describes how the C.I.A. and the State Department have systematically discredited critical intelligence about Saddam's regime, including indisputable evidence of its possession of weapons of mass destruction."

Tenet and others who work for Bush now might be coming out and saying there was no pressure to provide justification for the war, but what then was the point of the Pentagon's new Office of Special Plans?

And, turning to the budget deficit, more from Krugman:

The fiscal 2005 budget report admits that this year's expected $521 billion deficit belies the rosy forecasts of 2001. But the report offers an explanation: stuff happens. "Today's budget deficits are the unavoidable result of the revenue erosion from the stock market collapse that began in early 2000, an economy recovering from recession and a nation confronting serious security threats." Sure, the administration was wrong — but so was everyone. The trouble is that accepting that excuse requires forgetting a lot of recent history. By February 2002, when the administration released its fiscal 2003 budget, all of the bad news — the bursting of the bubble, the recession, and, yes, 9/11 — had already happened. Yet that budget projected only a $14 billion deficit this year, and a return to surpluses next year. Why did that forecast turn out so wrong? Because administration officials fudged the facts, as usual.

Bush may well get away with these rewrites, and it's not the mainstream media who will call him on it.

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