I look at this as a simple act of comparitive hypocrisy. During the Clinton impeachment scandal, Clinton was derided repeatedly for lying about the nature of his relationship with Monica Lewinsky. This nearly led to his impeachment. Bush, on the other hand, fudges some facts, trots out a similarly weak defense, and everyone is supposed to roll over. From the details, it appears to be clear that at least some of the White House staff, if not all, were aware of the false nature of the reports, yet they included it anyway. William Saletan writes the following:
It’s also now OK to hedge your language just enough to avoid clear falsehood. According to Tenet, CIA “officials who were reviewing the draft remarks on uranium raised several concerns about the fragmentary nature of the intelligence with National Security Council colleagues. Some of the language was changed.”
It makes you wonder what else this administration is fudging, like, say, the estimates for the Iraqi reconstruction project, or the real beneficiaries of the tax cuts?