Friday, June 06, 2008

The Final Judgment: The Administration Misrepresented Pre-War Intelligence

That is, they lied.

Here's the report of the Select Committee On Intelligence, though I haven't read the whole thing yet.

Here's the WaPo article. Apparently it isn't front-page news.

Here's the NYT story.

Here's the NYT editorial, which includes a brief discussion of the arguments of the five dissenting Republicans: "The bulk of their criticisms were sophistry transparently intended to protect Mr. Bush and deny the public a full accounting of how he took America into a disastrous war."

It's notable that this is hardly news: everyone who is even remotely well-informed and intellectually honest already knows this. The Senate report is simply dotting the 'i's and crossing the 't's to make it more difficult for dead-enders to deny what has been obvious since before the invasion.

It is, however, unfortunate that the GOP's strategy of dissembling and delaying has worked so well. By dragging their feet at every point, they've put off the day of reckoning so long that it's no longer news, and the public hardly cares anymore. It's just one more blow against the truth.

No evidence will ever be conclusive enough to shut the dead-enders up. Their commitment is religious, and such commitment can outlast even the most obvious of facts. But, ridiculous and irrational as they were even as late as three months ago, they are even more so now, after McClellan's book, after we learned about the cadre of ex-generals organized to spread propaganda, and after this final Senate report. The dead-enders will continue to spew lies in defense of lies, of course, but by this point their sophistry is no more convincing than that of flat-Earthers, creationists, or Bigfoot enthusiasts. They may get a certain gratification from showing that, no matter what the evidence, they can continue to say mouth certain words, but they are convincing no one.

The lies that took us to war, like the war itself, were a blow against our democracy, and the fact that the final disclosure of the truth has been so delayed and its impact so diminished are yet further blows. The sad, almost unimaginable fact of the matter is that George W. Bush and Dick Cheney have done more harm to America than Osama bin Laden and Kalid Sheik Mohamed, and yet they will never be punished for it.

But we failed to stop the dishonest rush to war, we failed to demand the facts, we failed to protest the cover-up. Bush and Cheney should have been impeached. They should probably be imprisoned. But because the rest of us were insufficiently vigilant and insufficiently outraged, they will never pay for their crimes.

Perhaps the lesson to keep in mind is that, if political criminals are audacious enough, and if opposition is meek enough, it is possible to get away with almost any crime. It is, apparently, too late for justice to be done in the case at hand. The least we can do is learn our lesson.


Blogger lovable liberal said...

Yeah, all true, sad to say.

12:42 PM  

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