Thursday, July 10, 2003

Leadership

DEAN SAYS THOSE IN ADMINISTRATION WHO MISLED NATION SHOULD RESIGN Manchester, NH -- Former Vermont Governor Howard Dean issued the following statement today: [July 10, 2003] "Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld's statement yesterday - that he only found out that the Niger documents were forgeries -- "within recent days" was stunning. "What is now clear is that there are those in this administration that misled the President, misled the nation, and misled the world in making the case for the war in Iraq. "They know who they are. And they should resign today. "There will be investigations, and the truth will come out - the American people must know the truth - and those in this administration must be held accountable for their failure to give us the truth before we went to war. "But we do not need to wait for the investigations to rid these people from our government - they can resign on their own today. "I am now convinced more than ever that it was a mistake to have given this administration a blank check to engage in this war - as too many in Congress did when they supported the Iraqi war resolution."
This is what is known as seizing the initiative without overplaying your hand. I've already seen some criticism of the "those in this administration" line by those who say that Dean should come right out and accuse Bush, Powell, Rice and/or Rumsfeld. However, while it may be true that these people are among "those who knew", accusing them by name would be quickly knocked down as over-reaching by the press (who may still do this, but there is no reason to make it easy for them). Dean has, instead, done something better. By issuing a blanket general statement Dean has effectively labeled the ENTIRE administration as culpable for the deception until specific individuals step forward and take the blame. It no longer matters who specifically deceived the American people on this. They ALL share in the blame until they find someone specific to blame. Its also nice that this allows Dean to say, "I told you so" without actually having to say "I told you so".

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