Wednesday, December 17, 2008

All our suspicions confirmed

In a way it's not much of a big deal. VP Cheney tells ABC that the war on Iraq would have happened even if the administration had believed the intelligence (which was there only ignored) suggesting Saddam Hussein had no WMD at all. They were simply determined to go to war. But we knew this at the time. I knew about July 2002 that the administration was going to invade with or without any evidence of a real threat to the U.S., and the trips to the UN, the inspection demands, the inspections (which Bush ended, even though he has repeatedly said, almost never challenged, that Saddam kicked the inspectors out, a lie he has to know is a lie) the scary talk of mushroom clouds, were nothing but pretexts designed to fool the American people. It worked for a while but even with the reduction in violence and the apparent success of the surge, 70-75 percent of the American people think the war was a mistake, which it decidedly was.

And now we have a report from the Senate Armed Services Committee -- with no Republican dissent -- saying that the impulse to torture came from the top, largely from Rumsfeld (though Bush had to be in the loop). It wasn't a few non-com "rogues, and it wasn't interrogators in the field begging to be allowed to use more aggressive methods. It was a bunch of sofa samurai with no practical experience in such matters but with a faux-tough attitude who pushed torture, and it came from the top. Here's my column on the subject.

What's remarkable is that in almost all of the accounts finally coming forth, it is apparent that those who were most skeptical and cynical about the Bush administration turned out to be right, and they (we) may even have understated the venality and dishonesty af this administration.

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