diet coke for breakfast

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Posted by Jake
Kay: 'We Were Almost All Wrong' (

As for the view that 'analysts were pressured to reach conclusions that would fit the political agenda of one or another administration,' Kay said, 'I deeply think that is a wrong explanation.' He said that 'innumerable analysts' had apologized to him about their faulty estimates of Iraq's capability, but none had said, 'I was pressured to do this.' Instead, Kay said, the explanation usually was that 'limited data' had led to their conclusions, and that they now realized there was another explanation.

'And you know, almost in a perverse way, I wish it had been undue influence, because we know how to correct that,' Kay said. 'The fact that it wasn't tells me that we've got a much more fundamental problem of understanding what went wrong.'

We were all wrong to assume that because Saddam was so intrasigent in his defiance of the UN, he most assuredly had the weapons we thought he had. We and the President need to be honest about that.

We were not in disagreement with the majority of the Western world and two previous administrations in our analysis. We were not wrong in our assessment of the depravity of Saddam's regime.

Our bad...but the world is still better.

Furthermore, I think that this should really shut up the Democrats peddling the Bush LIED!!! line. Kay is the analyst. He admits that the analysts were wrong. The Bush administration listened to them and believed them. This may have been in part because they wanted to find a way to remove Saddam, but to be perfectly honest we needed to find a way to remove Saddam. There are no lies here.

James-- Just because we may have been mistaken in hindsight does not mean that we were wrong to assume that Saddam had WMD. Life is full of ambiguity. Despite the old addage about assumptions, it is very rare that anyone has complete information. We often have to make decisions based on incomplete data and therefore must fill the gaps with assumptions and educated guesses. Of course we should identify gaps in our data collection procedures and plug them, but with the information we had, we made reasonable assumptions at the time.


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