Rove Loses WMD Message War

It’s interesting how quickly the media narrative about Karl Rove’s new book has formed. Though the memoir, which is called Courage and Consequence and will be released on Tuesday, covers Rove’s long and controversial career as a political operative, all the initial news stories on the book zero in on his claim that George W. Bush did not “lie us” into the Iraq war. This is bad news for Bush. It indicates that this particular case against Bush and his crew has become the conventional view and accepted history—and that remains an open wound for the Bush presidency.

In a piece posted earlier, I explain why Rove’s defense is flat-out wrong and list key assertions made by Bush in the run-up to the war demonstrating that he and his aides showed utter disregard for the truth. Bush and his crew recklessly overstated the uncertain intelligence about Iraq’s WMD capabilities and literally made stuff up that was not true (and not supported at all by the iffy intelligence). It was a campaign of willful misrepresentation.

Later today, I’m scheduled to appear on Hardball to discuss all this. Moreover, I’d like to see Rove to debate this matter—and be forced to respond to the list of Bush’s false assertions. You think he has the “courage” to do so? In the meantime, anyone who’s troubled by how Bush and Rove spun this nation into war can be somewhat comforted by the knowledge that Rove believes he lost the most important message war of the George W. Bush presidency—and years later is still scrambling to make up that lost ground.


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  • David Corn

    David Corn is Mother Jones' Washington bureau chief and an on-air analyst for MSNBC. He is the co-author (with Michael Isikoff) of Russian Roulette: The Inside Story of Putin’s War on America and the Election of Donald Trump. He is the author of three New York Times bestsellers, Showdown, Hubris (with Isikoff), and The Lies of George W. Bush, as well as the e-book, 47 Percent: Uncovering the Romney Video that Rocked the 2012 Election. For more of his stories, click here. He's also on Twitter and Facebook.