Bush on Iran: I'm right because ... I'm right

The president is asked what assurances he can give Americans that the intelligence is accurate this time.

By Tim Grieve
Published February 14, 2007 8:35PM (EST)

Today, nearly four years after the start of the war in Iraq, CNN's Ed Henry asked the president of the United States a question that struck us as pretty reasonable: With contradictory claims now being made about Iranian involvement in Iraq, "What assurances can you give the American people that the intelligence this time will be accurate?"

The president's answer: Trust me.

No wait, that's not exactly true. It suggests that the president actually engaged with the question -- that he said that he knows that there were problems with the intelligence and the way it was used in the run-up to Iraq and that he has worked double-triple hard to make sure he's right about what he's saying this time.

That's not how the president answered the question. What he said was this:

"Ed, we know [that Iranian-supplied weapons are] there, we know they're provided by the Quds force. We know the Quds force is a part of the Iranian government. I don't think we know who picked up the phone and said to the Quds force, 'Go do this,' but we know it's a vital part of the Iranian government.

"What matters is, is that we're responding. The idea that somehow we're manufacturing the idea that the Iranians are providing IEDs is preposterous."

Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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George W. Bush Iran Middle East War Room