There's the verdict. They weren't mistaken. They weren't misled by faulty intelligence. It wasn't just an honest mistake. THEY LIED!
Yes Messrs. Bush and Cheney lied their assess off to deceive Congress and the American people into supporting their war of whim in Iraq. From McClatchey Newspapers' Washington Bureau:
“Before taking the country to war, this administration owed it to the American people to give them a 100 percent accurate picture of the threat we faced. Unfortunately, our Committee has concluded that the administration made significant claims that were not supported by the intelligence,” said committee Chairman John D. Rockefeller IV, D- W. Va.
It's long been known that the administration's claims in the runup to the Iraq war, from Saddam Hussein's alleged ties to al Qaida to whether Iraq had an active nuclear weapons program, were incorrect, and White House spokeswoman Dana Perino suggested the problems were faulty intelligence.
"We had the intelligence that we had fully vetted, but it was wrong," she said. "We certainly regret that and we've taken measures to fix it."
But the Senate report, the first official examination of whether the president and vice president knew that their claims were incorrect at the time that they made them, reached a different conclusion.
“There is no question we all relied on flawed intelligence. But, there is a fundamental difference between relying on incorrect intelligence and deliberately painting a picture to the American people that you know is not fully accurate," Rockefeller said in a statement.
'Statements by the President and the Vice President indicating that Saddam Hussein was prepared to give weapons of mass destruction to terrorist groups for attacks against the United States were contradicted by available intelligence information," the report concluded.
Among the reports conclusions:
Claims by President Bush that Iraq and al Qaida had a partnership "were not substantiated by the intelligence."
The president and vice president misrepresented what was known about Iraq’s chemical weapons capabiliies.
Rumsfeld misrepresented what the intelligence community knew when he said Iraq's weapons productions facilities were buried deeply underground.
Cheney's claim that the intelligence community had confirmed that lead Sept. 11 hijacker Mohammed Atta had met an Iraqi intelligence officer in Prague in 2001 was not true."
Looking for the High Crimes and Misdemeanours department? Look no further than the White House and its denizens. The committee report reads like an indictment for crimes that have directly taken the lives of tens, probably hundreds of thousands of innocents. Finally official Washington has said what a lot of us have known all along, this criminal regime deliberately and methodically betrayed its nation and lied the country into a war that has brought little but devastation and rebuke. If ever an executive belonged behind bars and high walls, this is it.