Karl Rove is spreading the lie that the Bush Administration wanted to wait for the resolution to authorize the use of force against Iraq in 2002. He started spreading this lie on the Charlie Rose show on public television and continued pushing it in another interview. This is from a story that appeared in the Washington Post:
Rove repeated his assertion in an interview yesterday, pointing to comments made by Democrats in 2002 that they wanted a vote. "For Democrats to suggest they didn't want to vote on it before the election is disingenuous," he said. The vote schedule, he said, was set by lawmakers. "We don't control that."
What Rove overlooks, though, is the fact that his former boss, you know "The Decider" was pushing for a vote before the 2002 midterm elections. This is from the same story:
News accounts and transcripts at the time show Bush arguing against delay. Asked on Sept. 13, 2002, about Democrats who did not want to vote until after the U.N. Security Council acted, Bush said, "If I were running for office, I'm not sure how I'd explain to the American people -- say, 'Vote for me, and, oh, by the way, on a matter of national security, I think I'm going to wait for somebody else to act.' "
Then there is this beauty, also from the same story:
Two days later, Bush sent a proposed resolution to Capitol Hill, saying: "We've got to move before the elections."
Notwithstanding the above facts, though, this is how the Post characterized Rove's remarks in the story's first paragraph:
Former White House aide Karl Rove said yesterday it was Congress, not President Bush, who wanted to rush a vote on the looming war in Iraq in the fall of 2002, a version of events disputed by leading congressional Democrats and even some former Rove colleagues.
See, for the writer of this article, Rove wasn't lying, it's just that his version of events is "disputed." It is this kind of supposed objectivity that is killing newspapers' reputations.
If someone says something that isn't true, that is demonstratively untrue, then reporters can point that out in their stories. Instead, however, perhaps because the reporter likes Rove, or perhaps because the Post is afraid of Rove, or for whatever stupid reason, the article's author chooses to use the word "disputed."
Rove isn't stupid. He knows that Iraq will go down as one of the biggest diasters in American foreign policy history. It cost the GOP control of Congress in 2006, could cost it control of the White House in 2008, and he is doing his bit to rewrite history so it doesn't happen. And just like it did in 2002 when it pushed the story line of Iraq having weapons of mass destruction, the Post is there to help him.