It's the constant fallback line of the Bushies whenever anyone suggests they ginned up the intelligence about Iraq, Saddam and non-existant WMDs - why Washington only had the same intelligence every other country had. In other words, we all believed Iraq was awash in WMDs and ready to use them against us or hand them over to terrorists.
But being the consummate liars they are, the Bushies always skip over the little point that the reason all these other nations believed the same thing is because all these other nations got spoonfed the same propaganda packaged as intelligence by the same people - the Bushies themselves.
What they're saying is "we fooled everybody else, so we get a pass on this one." Yes, they fooled everybody else - or almost everybody. The White House was warned, well in advance, that the smoking gun intelligence they were getting from Iraqi dissident "Curveball" was dodgy at best. And, of course, they were told - again and again - by the UN's eyes on the ground in Iraq, Hans Blix and his teams of weapons inspectors, that there was no sign of such weapons even as they checked out one CIA lead after another.
Drop dead gorgeous Dana Perino, successor to former White House mouthpieces Tony Snow, Scott McLellan and Ari Fleischer, is perhaps the most blatant liar of them all. On the 5th anniversary of Bush's "Mission Accomplished" aircraft carrier speech, Perino tried to turn history on its head by claiming the bold banner was actually about the carrier's completed cruise, not victory in Iraq. Now Deceitful Dana is dragging out the old intelligence scam to refute Australian Prime Minister John Rudd's allegation that the White House "abused" the intelligence to get its way.
"No-one else in the world, no other government, had different information and so we acted based on what was the threat that was presented to us. When the intelligence community presents you with their concerns, you'd better take them seriously," said Perino.
Yeah, Dana, that's right - no other government had different information and the White House saw to that. It's why, today, there are a lot fewer nations willing to take America's word about anything.
"Fool me once ...shame on ...shame on you ...fool me, you can't get fooled again."