Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean says it’s time for President Bush to tell the American people why he — in Dean’s words — “misled the nation” about Iraq’s nuclear capabilities in the prelude to war. Dean says he doesn’t “think it’s O.K. to mislead the American people, whether it’s intentional or inadvertent.” The Bush Administration has admitted an intelligence report President Bush cited in the State of the Union message had been questioned by top officials. British Prime Minister Tony Blair says even if some of the intelligence used to justify the war turns out to be false, the war was still worth it to rid Iraq of a brutal dictator. Dean disagrees.Dean says that’s like saying the end justifies the means. Dean says it’s never the right thing to do is you mislead people to get them to do something. Dean says Saddam Hussein was a dreadful person, but there are probably 20 other dreadful people running countries around the world and the U.S. can’t “take out every one of them.” Dean made his comments during taping of the Iowa Public TV program Iowa Press, which airs tonight. After the taping, Dean issued a list of 16 questions he said Bush should answer about the 16 words that wound up in the President’s January speech. Dean says “it’s very important to know if we have a President who is honest or not” and Bush needs to tell the American people whether he was misled by his aides, or he deliberately decided to cite discredited information about Iraq’s nuclear capabilities. Dean, a former Vermont Governor, says despite his focus on the case for war with Iraq, it’ll be economic issues that’ll decide the 2004 election.
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