Rove: If We Knew the Truth, We Wouldn't Have Invaded

Contradicts president's past statements
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 3, 2008 1:59 PM CST
Republican strategist Karl Rove addresses delegates at the Republican state convention at the Mayo Civic Center on Saturday, May 31, 2008 in Rochester, Min.   (AP Photo/The Star Tribune,Jennifer Simonson)
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(Newser) – If George Bush had known that Saddam Hussein had no weapons of mass destruction, he wouldn’t have invaded Iraq, Karl Rove said last night during a debate in New York. Were it not for the WMDs, the administration would have found “more creative ways to constrain him, like in the '90s.” Rove's remark reflected a similar Bush comment this week, in which he backed off earlier assurances that he'd have invaded even without WMDs, the Huffington Post reports.

In an ABC interview aired last night, Bush said that intelligence failure was his greatest regret, but that it was “hard to speculate” if he’d have invaded otherwise. But in 2005 he told Fox News that it was “absolutely” the right decision. “Knowing what I know today, I would have still made that decision,” he said. Rove’s account also conveniently glosses over the pre-war intelligence reports warning that the WMD case was flimsy.