Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Missing WMD Report

Remember the pre-election Senate Intelligence Committee's WMD whitewash? The one that blamed it all on bad intelligence?

Jay Rockefeller, the committee's senior Democrat, noted that the report outlined "one of the most devastating...intelligence failures in the history of the nation."

But the committee's report did not cover a crucial area: how the Bush Administration used -- or abused -- the prewar intelligence to build support for the Iraq invasion. Roberts claimed his committee was hot on that trail: "It is one of my top priorities," he said. The problem, he explained, was that there was not enough time before the November election to complete the assignment. Rockefeller took issue with that and complained that the "central issue of how intelligence was...exaggerated by Bush Administration officials" was being relegated into a "Phase II" investigation that would not begin until after the election. A Democratic committee staffer said that such an inquiry could easily be completed within months.

Still, Roberts succeeded in his transparent effort to kick that inconvenient can down the road. (Imagine the headache for the Bush campaign if news stories appeared before the election reporting that the committee had found Bush had stretched an already stretched truth.) Now -- with Bush re-elected -- Roberts no longer considers Phase II a priority. In mid-March, Roberts declared further investigation pointless.

You would think that after pointing out for the hundredth time that irony is deader than than doornail, I would stop being surprised at the the things Republicans say without cracking a smile. Yet I am gobsmacked again.

Well sure it is pointless, Mr. Roberts. I'm sure members of the Politburo thought exactly the same thing when they looked at Stalin's excesses. It is pointless because swells like yourself have decided that the rule of law is one of those ancient aires and dances Alberto Gonzales dismissed as "quaint." It is pointless because there is no line the boy king can cross that will shake you from your slumber. It is pointless because no failure of logic or demonstration of monstrous illegality will deflect your headlong lunge toward collective oblivion.



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