Friday, July 11, 2003

CBS: "Just Call Him Old Stonewall"

Finally it looks like the SCLM are starting to connect the dots on this administration. Dick Meyer of CBS writes:

before we became experts on nonexistent uranium from Niger and the kinds of aluminum tubes needed to make nukes, our intelligence wizards faced a much simpler and scarier question: Could 9/11 have been prevented?

The White House never wanted an independent commission established to answer that question. Calls for a heavyweight inquest came from both parties. The administration fought the bad fight and eventually lost. Thankfully.

More broadly, the report said “the Administration underestimated the scale of the Commission’s work and the full breadth of support required.” Translation: without the White House cracking the whip of cooperation, agencies will cover their political posteriors.

This bodes badly for an independent examination of the intelligence and political marketing used to sell the war in Iraq to the public – and to the world.

The White House has successfully fought that battle so far. Congressional intelligence committees have launched narrowly focused investigations – in closed sessions only. If no further smoking-gun evidence of WMD’s turns up in Iraq in the next few months, perhaps then there will be a major congressional or independent accounting. Perhaps. General Stonewall Bush hasn’t lost many battles.

This week, President Bush petulantly declared that excavations into pre-war intelligence were “attempts to rewrite history.” Actually, they are the first attempts to write history.