It's tiresome to need to point this out at this late date but, yes, George W. Bush and his administration misled the country while making the case for war with Iraq and, remarkably, are still trying to mislead people about it. In a Dec. 1 interview with ABC News' Charlie Gibson, Bush said that "the biggest regret" of his presidency was "the intelligence failure in Iraq."
In other words, his biggest regret wasn't regret over anything he did but rather regret over something that was done to him, a vague "intelligence failure" rather than a misguided decision to invade another country. Bush explained that "a lot of people put their reputations on the line and said the weapons of mass destruction is a reason to remove Saddam Hussein. It wasn't just people in my administration; a lot of members in Congress, prior to my arrival in Washington, D.C., during the debate on Iraq, a lot of leaders of nations around the world were all looking at the same intelligence."
This is, even by Bush standards, a pretty breathtaking revision of history. In fact, very few members of Congress looked at the intelligence -- Thomas Ricks reports in his book Fiasco that just five read the classified version of the National Intelligence Estimate on Iraqi weapons of mass destruction capabilities. But had more members taken the time, they would have found what Spencer Ackerman and John Judis reported back in June of 2003 -- that the Bush administration removed a number of caveats and contrary pieces of evidence from the classified version of the estimate when producing a shorter, unclassified version for public consumption. More curious investigators might have been further interested in the fact, reported in the same piece, that even the more accurate classified version represented a dramatic change in the intelligence community's assessment of the Iraq situation. As Judis and Ackerman observe, when George Tenet offered his January 2002 review of nuclear proliferation issues "he did not even mention a nuclear threat from Iraq." CLICK TO CONTINUE