Friday, July 09, 2004

Dodging the bullet, for now

Bob Kur (MSNBC) and others have commented this morning that because the investigation of the White House role in the exaggerated pre-war intelligence will not be launched until after the election, it lets the Bush administration off the hook temporarily. The republican-led committee has seen to that. Saxby Chambliss has even insisted that the White House cannot be blamed for the flawed evidence, saying the report is "a total vindication of any allegations that might ever have been made about what the administration did with the information."

Not so fast, argues Vincent Cannistraro, a former chief of operations in the CIA's counter-terrorist unit, who insists that the facts don't support Chambliss' assertion.

"People would have to forget an awful lot of history to make that wash. It ignores the fact that [the Bush administration] had already taken a strategic decision to go to war, before they asked for the intelligence."

He said repeated questioning of reports downplaying Iraq's arsenal and links with al-Qaida by Mr Cheney and other senior officials led to an atmosphere in which the CIA leadership and analysts "bent over backwards" to find evidence that conformed to the administration's views.


Time will tell who's really to blame here, right?