So unlike the Bush Administration's deeply plausible explanation that the Libby leak of classified information to the NY Times, was really just a case of "previewing" some information that was going to be in the public domain in a few days anyway (and for God's sake, the NYT was really acting "deeply unfair", and isn't that reason enough?), I don't think this story is going to go away.
On May 29, 2003, 50 days after the fall of Baghdad, President Bush
proclaimed a fresh victory for his administration in Iraq: Two small trailers
captured by U.S. and Kurdish troops had turned out to be long-sought mobile
"biological laboratories." He declared, "We have found the weapons of mass
The claim, repeated by top administration officials for months
afterward, was hailed at the time as a vindication of the decision to go to war.
But even as Bush spoke, U.S. intelligence officials possessed powerful evidence
that it was not true.
A secret fact-finding mission to Iraq -- not made public until now --
had already concluded that the trailers had nothing to do with biological
weapons. Leaders of the Pentagon-sponsored mission transmitted their unanimous findings to Washington in a field report on May 27, 2003, two days before the
That, is what we call a lie. Even if you are so generous as to not call it a lie, it is misleading. And even if you were so generous as to say "they weren't deliberately misleading us", you have to admit that we (the American people) were once again not provided the whole and truthful story as to this specific intelligence finding. Ezra Klein goes off the deep end and slams them.
**Update, some are chiming in that the report is really not as explosive as it seems. Taking their criticisms in stride, is anyone really going to say that when you have three teams of inspectors, one from the Pentagon, who disagree on the purpose of the labs, AS WELL AS additional informants who, in contrast to "Curveball", state the labs are for hydrogen for weather balloons, that this information supports the statement "We have found the weapons of mass destruction"? I think not. As I said above, I'll be generous and state "highly misleading". Standard administration operating procedure though. Whatever supports what you are trying to sell is presented as fact, with no context as to whether there is disagreement among experts or even within the administration. I'm not saying I need to know all of that, I'm just saying, when it exists, a statement like "We have found the weapons of mass destruction" is not warranted, its propaganda.**
Oh yeah, speaking of a good blogospheric slam, please go read this absolute trashing of Mark Steyn by Belgravia Dispatch, who now that he's back, is in fine form.
This is scandalously absurd tommyrot to the nth degree. But in some bien pensant quarters, I gather, such musings pass for high-brow "Jacksonian"-style foreign policy deep-think, and quite apart from being met with protracted guffaws and sniggers, are instead greeted with furrowed brows and hearty, if appropriately resigned, nods of agreement. Let's be more plain: if this is the future direction that some in the Republican Party plan to cheer-lead regarding security policy matters like Iran--'blow up the whole bloody place, mate, and we'll see where the chips fall later'--please count the proprieter of this humble little site out of the fiery festivities.
Truth be told, my tolerance for such devastatingly juvenile B.S. being beamed in from the still wintry outlands of New Hampshire, ostensibly for eager and ready consumption by legions of newbie foreign policy mavens spinnin'-it-steely-Steyn-style-in-the-'sphere, is growing pretty thin. But, hey, maybe that's just me. It's Munich again, see, and the times require gumption and spine and fortitude--not the cowardice of the Eastern Establishment say, or Kofi's kleptocracy granting Kojo the run of the mill, or some other bastion of weak-kneedness, one too far removed from the pure, virgin northern woods, where a man can live and breath free, and see the great challenges of the time in starker, more cogent relief.
Ouch. Can we get some props for the trash talk as well?
This is certainly not to downplay the Iran problem. It is a huge issue and unfortunately, military action can not be taken off the table. As I said before, this issue scares me more than any other issue since 9/11.