Let me say publicly that DonBoy’s answer exudes a combination of intuitive genius and confidence that make me think DonBoy is going to do big things in his life. -- Steven D. Levitt (Freakonomics blog)
Friday, July 18, 2003
What he said

Add me to the list of people who complain that Andrew Sullivan's letters page has a) no signatures and b) no permalinks, forcing me to simply cut and paste:

I see you have made up your mind that the yellowcake thing is "a bunch of bull." I have a different opinion. I think it has to be investigated. President Bush may have only used 16 words, but one of them was enough: nuclear. You know better than most the power of words, and that one comes loaded with 50+ years of Cold War rhetoric and fear; with duck-and-cover, dirty bomb, Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It is so much more than a word-- it is the cultural code for annihilation. And as a national security matter, it IS the pretext for pre-emptive war.

I supported the war without it. I'm one of the moderate-left who thought the war justified on humanitarian reasons alone; that Saddam Hussein was a WMD to his own people and would be to anyone else he could conquer. I also thought that we had no other choice--Osama had such success rallying support in the Arab world against the US because we were in the land of Mecca and Medina. But we were there because of Saddam. We couldn't let the terrorists win. We had to go through Iraq for our own and the regions' security.

So I thought the war was justifiable for a host of reasons, but I had my doubts about the idea that Saddam was an imminent threat. I was hoping the Bush Administration would treat us like adults and use the humanitarian argument, the strategic argument, the defiance-of-the-UN argument, to tell us why we needed to rid Iraq of Saddam. Until the word nuclear entered the discussion. Then we couldn't wait, we had to go now. And I argued that with friends and family and neighbors. Now I have to admit that I had it wrong because the President may have told me and everyone else a lie? Because he trotted out the big gun, 'nuclear' and now claims that Tenet made him do it? I go out there and support a president I didn't vote for and then he says he didn't mean to use the words that came out of his mouth? I am pissed off at that.

So I think he has to do two things: first, tell us if our intelligence got it wrong. And two, tell us that he's responsible for the things that come out of his mouth and apologize if he gave it to us wrong. Then let the chips fall where they may. But being one of those adults I alluded to earlier, I'd respect him more for it. This disassembling and blaming others for what he said and all of that only diminishes him and the Presidency

You have now, in fact, "read the whole thing".

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