White House Damage Control

"Karl Rove, President Bush's chief political adviser, cautioned other White House aides in the summer of 2003 that Bush's 2004 re-election prospects would be severely damaged if it was publicly disclosed that he had been personally warned that a key rationale for going to war had been challenged within the administration," the National Journal's Murray Waas writes in a revealing article on White House damage-control efforts. The Bush administration's campaign to counter charges that it "misrepresented intelligence information to make the case for war had three major components," Murray reports, "blame the CIA for the use of the Niger information in the president's State of the Union address; discredit and undermine Joseph Wilson; and make sure that the public did not learn that the president had been personally warned that the intelligence assessments he was citing about the aluminum tubes might be wrong."