Saturday, April 9


Richard Cohen addresses Bush's breach of faith with America:

The record will show, however, that as war approached I was expressing second thoughts. I urged patience since it was becoming obvious that my source might be right: Saddam's various arms programs either didn't exist or were being hyped by the administration. In short, I knew that the most alarming case against Saddam Hussein — that he was an imminent threat to the United States — was a lie.

Paradoxically, that basic fact becomes increasingly obscure the more one commission or another looks into America's epic intelligence failures. No doubt they were legion and no doubt they contributed to a public case for war, but the inadvertent impression left by these commissions — buttressed by the aw-shucks demeanor of the Bush administration — that something like an act of God led America to war is just plain ridiculous. America went to war because George Bush wanted to go to war.
From the very start, he had expressed the view that he had no need to read newspapers because, as he insisted, he got everything he needed from briefings. Unlike Bill Clinton, who got the PDB (the President's Daily Brief) on paper and routinely defaced it with questions and comments, Bush's briefings were delivered orally, much like children's medicine. Much was made of them, but we now know they were worthless and sometimes misleading.
No doubt that Iraq was a doozy of an intelligence failure. But it was, fundamentally and above all, a breach of faith with the American people. When it comes to matters of life and death, we expect our government to level with us. The Bush administration did not — and it would not matter if all of the Middle East, from the Tigris to the Nile, becomes a democracy overnight. The fact will still remain that this war was fought for a lie. The failure was not in intelligence. It was in political character.


Post a Comment

<< Home