Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Received Wisdom

Paul Kerr at Arms Control Wonk says he's shooting fish in a barrel by deconstructing Stephen Rademaker's obnoxious comments about WMD intelligence. Well, I'm not even going to work that hard; I'm simply going to fire a cannon directly into his barrel full of long-dead fish, from about an inch away.

Rademaker says:

I guess it's the received wisdom now that the Bush administration was all wrong in its assessment of Iraq. I think it's important to just recall that – I mean, errors may have been made but they were not simply made by the Bush administration. The judgments of the Bush administration with respect to weapons of mass destruction programs in Iraq were the same judgments that the Clinton administration reached prior to the Bush administration.
It's true that other parties than the Bush administration had bad intelligence, Mr. Rademaker...but it's also true that this intelligence didn't inspire anyone else to lead a disastrous, incompetently prosecuted war on Iraq. The problem isn't that BushCo had bad intelligence; it's that it acted on it, despite knowing that it was false, insufficient, outdated, or some combination of the three.

Rademaker strives desperately to revive that sad old false dichotomy which says that BushCo's only options were to 1) invade Iraq, or 2) let Saddam do whatever the hell he wanted, without let or hindrance. No credible intelligence ever supported this daft assertion, and pretty much everyone but BushCo and its hebephrenic handmaidens has long since acknowledged as much.

Before 9/11, Colin Powell said containment and inspections had worked, and so did Condi Rice. The Clinton administration may indeed have thought Saddam was a threat, but even the most casual observer will note that Clinton did not go so far as to illegally and unnecessarily invade Iraq. No, it took George W. Bush and his cadre of professional liars, whores, profiteers, and thugs to do something that stupid. And I really don't think that BushCo gains much credibility by being compared to an administration that didn't use faulty or fraudulent intelligence as an excuse to squander America's blood and treasure.

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