Friday, September 08, 2006

Spin This!

According to a 2005 CIA report released today by the Senate Intelligence Committee, there is no evidence of a link between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda prior to the start of U.S. military action there in 2003. The report states that Hussein's Iraqi government "did not have a relationship, harbor, or turn a blind eye" with regard to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi or his al-Qaeda associates.

WH spokesman Tony Snow called it "nothing new" and spun it thus:

"In 2002 and 2003, members of both parties got a good look at the intelligence we had and they came to the very same conclusions about what was going on..."

Meanwhile, Senator John D. Rockefeller (D-WV) put it this way:

"[The Bush administration] exploited the deep sense of insecurity among Americans in the immediate aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks, leading a large majority of Americans to believe _ contrary to the intelligence assessments at the time _ that Iraq had a role in the 9/11 attacks."

Predictably, we have one side claiming that everyone, not just them, bought into faulty intelligence, while the other side claims innocence and points the finger. The way I see it, both sides have something to answer for. The Democrats, out of fear of looking like unpatriotic appeasers, let themselves be swept away in the current of Rove/Cheney/Rumsfeld's efforts to parlay the momentum of the successful operation in Afghanistan into the execution of a far more questionable mission in Iraq. But in the end, it's those in power (the Republicans) who should be held to final account for the screwups of the last four years. The buck always gets passed up, not down, and the guy at the top wears red.

This brings up an interesting question to ponder: Who is more wrong, the offender or his enablers?

Just a small dose of reality to counteract the upcoming pre-election 9-11 propagandathon.


redcrow said...

As bad as the Democrats have been on this, they get continually accused of having "voted for the war" when they voted on the resolution allowing the use of force. Nonsense. As one commentator I heard the other day pointed out ( it might have been Bill Maher, I forget), the vote was to give Bush a gun in case he HAD to use it, not to give him a gun so he could run into the next room and start shooting at everything that moves. The vote was to put the use of force into the diplomatic toolkit, with the express notion that diplomacy was going to be continued in good faith. Bush broke that faith.

SuperSteve said...

I like that analogy, but it strikes me as too "easy" in hindsight. Diplomacy had clearly failed by that point, and any Dem who thought we might see restraint used once the leash was taken off was deluded. No, I think the writing was on the wall, and to take a stand against the tide at that point would have been political suicide. The smart play was to go with the crowd and then either distance yourself from it or take credit for it depending on the outcome.

I should run for office.