Read Kristoff’s editorial and note how, as Josh Marshall points out, Kristoff waffles a bit at the end, writing “But it does look as if ideologues in the administration deceived themselves about Iraq’s nuclear programs”. See? They didn’t decieve the public, or at least if they did do so, it was only because they themselves were deceived (by themselves). Here’s Marshall’s take on the issue:
There was an element of self-deception. A strong one.
If you simply insist on believing white is black, even when you can see it’s white, then when you tell people it’s black then, well, maybe you’re sort of not really lying, right?
Here’s an example from Kristoff’s column of this doublethink in action:
It was a foregone conclusion that every photo of a trailer truck would be a `mobile bioweapons lab’ and every tanker truck would be `filled with weaponized anthrax,’ ” a former military intelligence officer said.
Finally, here is Winston being tortured in the Ministry of Love:
“You are a slow learner, Winston,” said O’Brien gently.
“How can I help it?” he blubbered. “How can I help seeing what is in front of my eyes? Two and two are four.”
“Sometimes, Winston. Sometimes they are five. Sometimes they are three. Sometimes they are all of them at once. You must try harder. It is not easy to become sane.”
We must try harder.
UPDATE: Via Thinking it Through, another tough column–this time from the Chicago Tribune–for the administration.