Reflecting on Iraq
The Senate Intelligence Committee has released a report
about the information that led the Senate and House of Representatives to authorize the war in Iraq:
Senator Pat Roberts, the Kansas Republican who chaired the bipartisan committee, said CIA assessments that Iraq had chemical and biological weapons and could make a nuclear weapon by the end of the decade were wrong.
"As the report will show, they were also unreasonable and largely unsupported by the available intelligence," he said.
Following pressure from Republicans on the committee, the report is being published in two phases, with the White House being spared the committee's scrutiny until phase two begins. The second part of the report may not be published until after the presidential election takes place in November.
(Guardian story by Sarah Left & Agencies)
Many people, like Nancy Pelosi (press release
) and Salon.com
are not happy about this.
While I wish the Senate Democrats--the only ones with much real power--wouldn't "wimp out," I think it's important for people to realize what little power the minority party does have. The checks and balances system has been greatly eroded by the Republican party's ever-increasing lock-step. That's why house and senate races are also crucial, and so is getting in the best man for that tie-breaking vote
Josh Micah Marshall at TalkingPointsMemo indicates that the Senate Democrats weren't too happy
about their own report. When people protest the way the Administration is let off the hook until the elction, of course, the charge will be that they are attempting to politicize the process. Given that we have a four year election cycle, and that we are supposed to elect our President partially based on his previous performance, I'm not really sure what's wrong with politicizing the process--it is
a political process. Of course, as Wonkette notes
, this White House is known for being a bit vague.
Sidenote: TPM linked
to an interesting figurative painting
by Gene Gould
. While I agree with Matthew Yglesias
that the no-blood-for-oil argument isn't really relevant, I think the visual arts have to be a little more general and symbolic with their strokes. That's why I actually deeply admire the ability of a man like John Kerry to take advantage of grammar to express complexity. That's what grammar is for.