For readers' convenience, I've created an index of the Kevin letters so you can see the full progress of the dialogueKevin:
Thanks for dropping in again and responding to my discussion of Kerry's "global test", which was among the things about Kerry that you found disconcerting in your comments responding to my open letter to you. Though I'm slow to respond in kind, I'm hopeful that you'll drop by and continue the dialogue --- I think that we are agreed that neither one of us is going to convince the other, but for myself at least I've come away with a better understanding of your perspective.
In your reply to my post, you suggested that when the administration said things in the run-up to the Iraq war that were spectacularly untrue, it was because of an intelligence failure rather than out of deceit.
if there was faulty intelligence it was years in the making, hardly something to blame on the President .... I don't believe we lied
You said this in response to a general assertion on my part that the US did not justify the invasion of Iraq well either to the world, or to our own citizens. I supported that assertion with the specific example of a recent article about Colin Powell's UN testimony. The article quotes some of Powell's aides who claim they told the Secretary that the evidence he was going to present was shaky at best. In hindsight, we see that Iraq had no nuclear program, and Powell was wrong. Did he have bad information, or was he lying? If his aides quoted in the article are telling the truth, then Powell had good information but lied.
You evidently conclude that he aides must be lying. You say, "I personally have met Secretary Powell, and he is an honorable man, I believe that he told the truth. It does make me wonder why you would believe he didn't?"
That's a fair question. I have two reasons for doubting Powell.
First, he changed his tune. On 24 February 2001 he said, "He [Saddam Hussein] has not developed any significant capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction. He is unable to project conventional power against his neighbors." (CBS News) Either Powell started lying later, in support of administration policy, or our intelligence got much worse after Bush took office.
Second, the whole administration lies a lot. I have come to this conclusion by reading liberal commentators, yes, but it was an argument I was hesitant to accept. Bad policy, yes --- I confess that I'm a liberal, and thus I'm inclined to start by presuming that any policy proposal from Republicans is going to be bad. But deceit? I was brought around to that conclusion very slowly. I posted a while ago about the example that completely convinced me that the President is a liar.
Bush explained his decision to invade Iraq, in a joint press conference with Kofi Annan, saying, "We gave him [Saddam Hussein] a chance to allow the inspectors in, and he wouldn't let them in." Hans Blix's UN team entered Iraq to begin a series of weapons inspections on 18 November 2002; Bush made this statement 14 July 2003.
So I have, at the very least, one example of the President telling a bald-faced, absurd lie. That makes me willing to accept other examples of his deceit as being credible. That makes me willing to believe that when people in his administration say things that aren't true, they are lying rather than mistaken.
I've seen no such evidence about Kerry.
You, on the other hand, have formed the reverse impression. Bush and his administration are "honorable," while you say, "My puzzlement comes when I see apparently intelligent, well educated people who can't see beyond the facade that the Kerry/Edwards ticket has put up."
So my puzzlement --- my question to you --- is this: How did you conclude that Bush is honorable and Kerry is not? How did you determine that Kerry's campaign is a "facade"? How did you conclude that the Bush administration is honorable? Where did those fundamental conclusions come from?