Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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July 10, 2004
By: Kevin Drum

THE REAL HEADLINES....The big headline from yesterday's release of the Senate Intelligence Committee report is "CIA Screwed Up." Fine. But I want to remind everyone of the other big headlines:

  • Iraq didn't have any WMD or even any serious WMD programs.

  • Iraq didn't have any serious relationship with al-Qaeda.

Both David Kay and the Senate Intelligence Committee agree on the first point, and common sense supports it since we've found virtually nothing in over a year of looking.

And both the 9/11 Commission and the Senate Intelligence Committee agree on the second. There were a few contacts here and there in the 90s, but nothing came of them and they had stopped completely nearly half a decade before we invaded.

I pointed this out in a wordier way yesterday, but I wanted to repeat it more directly today. Remember, this is what Paul Wolfowitz said in an interview last year about the reasons for going to war with Iraq:

....there have always been three fundamental concerns. One is weapons of mass destruction, the second is support for terrorism, the third is the criminal treatment of the Iraqi people....The third one by itself, as I think I said earlier, is a reason to help the Iraqis but it's not a reason to put American kids' lives at risk, certainly not on the scale we did it.

So #1 turned out to be wrong, #2 turned out to be wrong, and #3 wasn't a good enough reason by itself. Even by their own standards, there just wasn't a good reason to fight this war, and this is something that shouldn't get lost amid the ongoing and self-serving effort to pretend that it was really George Tenet who led us to war. Even a child can see that for the hokum that it is.

UPDATE: And add one more headline to the list: Saddam Hussein's military posed no threat to either regional stability or American interests.

Really, Democrats should stop whining about Jay Rockefeller signing off on this report and get to work publicizing what it actually says. Taken as a whole, it's fatally damning toward practically everything Bush said about Iraq before the war. It's Republicans who should be upset about this report, not Dems.

Thanks to Melanie Mattson for pointing this out.

Kevin Drum 2:22 PM Permalink | Trackbacks

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