The Pharos-Tribune Online Edition
Sunday, July 20, 2003, 10:08:23 PM
Most callers say president misled nation
Sunday, July 20, 2003
By DAVE KITCHELL
Pharos-Tribune staff writer
Diane Kepner borrowed a line from a famous comedian to describe her thoughts on President George W. Bush and the American occupation of Iraq.
"I can fill your editorial pages with comments on 'who to believe' but will simplify my response to this week's Sound Off by borrowing a quote from Groucho Marx," she said. "'What are you going to believe, what we tell you or what you see with your own two eyes?'"
Based on what respondents to the Pharos-Tribune Sound Off line have either seen, heard or read, most say the president lied to the American people in his State of the Union Address this year when he emphasized the reasons for invading Iraq. Some even said Bush's speech misled the country so much, he should be impeached.
Bush supporters also made their thoughts known.
"No, I do not believe President Bush misled the people," said Elaine Hall of Logansport. "I believe he is a man of great principle and character."
Phillip Carmichael of Logansport said the Iraq invasion was the right thing to do.
"Misled or not, if we hadn't gone into Iraq, Iraq would have come into us. Saddam needed to be taken out."
Don Freehafer of Logansport said criticism of Bush is partisan wrangling.
"This whole thing is Democrat politics. Bush only repeated what he had been told was true and he thought it was true when he said it."
More callers did not agree, however.
"He most certainly did," said Dennis Kuritz of Logansport.
"The President has lied to us. (Secretary of Defense Don) Rumsfeld lied to us. (National Security Adviser Condoleeza) Rice has lied to us and so has (Secretary of State) Colin Powell. We have been deceived by lies before the war started right through the 18th of July."
Hank Easley said American forces should not have been sent to Iraq.
"I think the Bush Administration has misled the American people and we have no business over there. The rest of the world would not go over there and do anything, and they won't even help us now that they're taking potshots at our boys over there. These people have been fighting since the world began, and they'll still be fighting. They hate Americans. We've got no business over there. They talked about Hitler and Mussolini and Stalin wanting to fight the world. I don't know what they can call Bush. He's misleading the American people. I feel sorry for those guys over there. I really feel sorry for them."
William Lytle Sr. of Logansport also questions the validity of Bush's comments.
"I definitely think George Bush lied to the American people and I don't think he was the only one in the American government that did. Saddam Hussein didn't have any nuclear weapons or he would have used them when we first went in there."
Phillip Penn of Burrows was among callers who said Bush should be punished.
"My opinion is that President Bush misled the people. I think that he and Dick Cheney should both be impeached."
Rick Snay of Logansport was even more emphatic.
"President Bush lied. Let's get that straight. Let me repeat it. He lied. He shamelessly used people's paranoia about another terrorist attack so that he could support his Iraq habit. After what we impeached Bill Clinton for, if this does not result in an impeachment, there is no justice in this country. President Bush lied."
Mark Camp compared Bush's actions if he did lie to Bush's predecessor.
"President Bush has lied to the American people long enough. If the Congress can try to impeach Bill Clinton for an infidelity which he lied about, then Bush surely should be impeached for having American people killed for a war that is just for oil."
Mercedes Brugh of Logansport said the 16 words cited in the State of the Union address that is at the center of controversy are not the only misleading statements in the speech.
"There were more deceptions in the President's State of the Union address than the assertion that Iraq had a viable nuclear weapons program," she said. "Bush also linked Saddam to the 9/11 attacks. But no credible evidence has ever been presented linking Saddam to Sept. 11, and claims about an Al Qaeda cell operating in Iraq were never substantiated. The State Department, CIA, and other U.S. agencies repeatedly stated that there was no link between Iraq and Al Qaeda, and that Iraq was not engaging in terrorist attacks on the US. A few brave members of the intelligence community, both in the US and in Britain, complained that their work was being distorted to make the case for war. Yet Bush, in his State of the Union address, said that Saddam 'could provide one of his hidden weapons' to terrorists, and invited us to 'imagine those 19 hijackers ... armed by Saddam Hussein ..." President Bush's suggestion that Saddam would give precious military assets to a terrorist network beyond his control was never credible. Bush's 'selling of the war' included not only long-discredited 'intelligence' on a nuclear weapons program, but also a link between Saddam and 9/11 conjured out of thin air. America's fine sons and daughters, who are fighting in Iraq, deserve the truth."
Dave Kitchell may be contacted at 722-5000, Ext. 5150, or via e-mail at email@example.com
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