10 June, 2008

Senate Investigates Iraq Pre-war Intelligence

This is, what, the 7th, investigation into Iraq pre-war intelligence now? Don't the members of our Congress have anything better to do? Like come up with sensible plans for keeping the economy out of a recession, and for lowering the price of gas?

Apparently not. Apparently, it's worthwhile to investigate Iraq pre-war intelligence one more time and come up with the same conclusions as previous investigations. As Fred Hiatt points out:

On Iraq's nuclear weapons program? The president's statements "were generally substantiated by intelligence community estimates."

On biological weapons, production capability and those infamous mobile laboratories? The president's statements "were substantiated by intelligence information."

On chemical weapons, then? "Substantiated by intelligence information."

On weapons of mass destruction overall (a separate section of the intelligence committee report)? "Generally substantiated by intelligence information." Delivery vehicles such as ballistic missiles? "Generally substantiated by available intelligence." Unmanned aerial vehicles that could be used to deliver WMDs? "Generally substantiated by intelligence information."

[S]tatements regarding Iraq's support for terrorist groups other than al-Qaeda "were substantiated by intelligence information." Statements that Iraq provided safe haven for Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and other terrorists with ties to al-Qaeda "were substantiated by the intelligence assessments," and statements regarding Iraq's contacts with al-Qaeda "were substantiated by intelligence information."

This is from the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Report on their investigation. Remember, please, that the party in the majority writes these reports, and that Democrats control the Senate.

The dissenter (minority) view?

The dissenters assert that they were cut out of the report's preparation, allowing for a great deal of skewing and partisanship, but that even so, "the reports essentially validate what we have been saying all along: that policymakers' statements were substantiated by the intelligence."

Another statement from the dissent:

"There has been some debate over how 'imminent' a threat Iraq poses. I do believe Iraq poses an imminent threat. I also believe after September 11, that question is increasingly outdated. . . . To insist on further evidence could put some of our fellow Americans at risk. Can we afford to take that chance? I do not think we can."

Who said this in October of 2002? Was it George W. Bush (R-USA)? No, it was Senator John. D. Reckefeller IV (D-WV), at the time the vice-chairman (now chairman) of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

"Bush Lied, People Died"? Only in Fantasyland. Even the most partisan Democrats in Washington can find no evidence to support that claim.

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