wmd lies continue to unravel
One of the criticisms of the Warren Commission in the aftermath of the Kennedy assassination was that, when presented with conflicting evidence, it tended to focus on the evidence supporting the "lone gunman" theory and ignore evidence that contradicted it.
It's becoming obvious that the same situation occurred with regard to evidence of weapons of mass destruction. There were a lot of assumptions, a lot of suspicions, and a lot of questions, and precious little in the way of hard evidence. Yet the Administration, dissatisfied with the best efforts of its intelligence community, which was not giving it the answers it wanted, had its Office of Special Plans cherry-pick the favorable nuggets from a sea of negative information. And the Administration trumpeted, over and over, that it knew Iraq had WMDs. (And no, we couldn't see the evidence, we'd just have to trust them. A L4m3 argument the Administration and its apologists are still using...) Once again, here's more from CalPundit.
As I said in the comment thread to this post, it's irrefutable that the Administration could not possibly have had the evidence they said they did. Assumptions, perhaps; hard evidence, not at all. We went to war on a hunch -- and Bush couldn't possibly bring himself to be honest about it. Instead, he said he had proof. The evidence is clear: He lied. An impeachable offense, in my opinion, and a breathtaking assertion of tyrannical authority -- to go to war on a whim, and to lie if the public won't accept the rationale -- that I'm simply flabbergasted so many conservatives whom I would have credited with some integrity are defending.
E.J. Dionne has more in today's WaPo, and I echo his point: regardless of whether the ousting of Saddam was a Good Thing, it's essential that we hold the Bush administration accountable for its justifications. It's a matter of national security.
Update: This story definitely has legs: Intelligence Historian Says CIA 'Buckled' on Iraq