New York Times op-editorialiste Maureen Dowd has an interesting comment on George Bush's reaction to intelligence that contradicts his repeated claims that Iran is working on a "nucular" bomb. She harped on Bush's quip about "Psychology 101" in response to a question about his dispirited body language.
In fact, Bush was on to something but Dowd failed to pick it up -- Bush's attitude towards the Iran intelligence was a classic example of confirmation bias -- the tendency of decision-makers to lap up information consistent with their beliefs and to ignore that which contradicts them. The Economist recently summarized an article I wrote on the topic which was published in Business Strategy Review.
Ever since his "Axis of Evil" speech it seems that Bush has been looking for an excuse to attack Iran. So rather than admit that he was wrong for repeating over and over that Iran was working on a nuclear bomb, Bush used the report to justify his belligerent attitude. While he certainly comes off as a petulant child, he is still President.
And as his Iraq mis-adventure illustrates -- with its manufactured evidence of weapons of mass destruction -- confirmation bias in the hands of a powerful person can be lethal.