DROPPING THE KNOWLEGE.

One of the still unanswered questions on the Iran NIE issue is just what President Bush knew and when he knew it. To hear the White House tell it, intelligence chief Michael McConnell came into the Oval Office, performed some sort of interpretive dance while mumbling the words "Iran ... nuclear ... information ..." while the president absent-mindedly worked on his Facebook profile. Or something like that.

But if back in August, when this meeting took place, Bush suddenly shifted the terms he used to talk about Iran, it would strongly suggest that he knew that intelligence indicated that Iran was not in fact working on nuclear weapons. This was what Eric Black (who, by the way, everyone should be reading) set out to determine. He went back through Bush's statements on Iran and found that, lo and behold, around August he stopped talking about "nuclear weapons" and started talking about "knowledge" and "know-how":

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