In case anyone missed it, British Prime Minister Tony Blair feels there is little difference between things that “indicates” and things that “show.” The topic, of course, is Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, and the place was Wednesday’s presentation in the House of Commons, where Blair showed himself as smug after being cleared by a report on the use of prewar intelligence.
Well, wait. Was he showing he was smug? Or just indicating it?
Here’s part of the report from The New York Times:
[Blair] asserted that the editing of intelligence documents that assert that the evidence “indicates” weapons were present to a harder formulation that the evidence “shows” they were present was “hardly of earth-shattering significance.”
This follows -- at a distance -- President Bush’s infamous “What’s the difference?” comment made Dec. 16 to Diane Sawyer on ABC television.
SAWYER: But stated as a hard fact, that there were weapons of mass destruction as opposed to the possibility that he could move to acquire those weapons still --
BUSH: So what's the difference?
SAWYER: Well --
BUSH: The possibility that he could acquire weapons. If he were to acquire weapons, he would be the danger. That’s, that’s what I’m trying to explain to you.
To think: We were once complaining about President Clinton parsing the meaning of the word “is”!