Jeb Bush’s people are trying to walk back his disastrous interview with Megyn Kelly in which he said that even if he knew then what we all know now, he would have launched the war on Iraq in 2003.
It is true that he doesn’t seem to have been very clear-headed in his answer. He blamed “the intelligence” for what he said was a consensus of himself and Hilary Clinton. But the question was not, would you have trusted intelligence agencies all over again, but rather would you still do it knowing what we know now. He said he would, even now.
We know now (actually we knew then) that there was no connection between Iraq and al-Qaeda or the attacks of September 11, 2001, and that Iraq had no nuclear weapons program.
But even before 9/11, in 1998, Jeb Bush signed the letter of the so-called “Project for a new American Century” trying to pressure Bill Clinton into an attack on Iraq. The signatories mostly came to power under W. and more or less made a coup.
The problem with his blaming “the intelligence” is that his brother, George W., actively disregarded or even dictated the intelligence. That is why he sourced the phony allegation that Saddam Hussain’s Iraq received uranium from the central African country of Niger to “British intelligence” in his 2002 State of the Union address. The CIA saw the same document and thought it was a forgery, and wouldn’t sign off on including it in a State of the Union speech. Moreover, the “intelligence” was being fixed around the policy, as the British head of MI-6, Sir Richard Dearlove, was disturbed to discover on a visit to Washington in summer of 2002.