Friday, July 16, 2004

we was duped

Eric Alterman gets to the heart of things in his new Nation column
"Wrong Again":
"It is thanks in part to the Democrats' weakness in Congress that the Bush Administration has been able to convey the impression of having been (along with Congress and the rest of us) the innocent victim of a CIA misinformation campaign--much easier since the committee postponed its examination of the Administration's prewar hype until after the election. But this misimpression is also a product of the selective amnesia of much of the media that covered the release of the report. In fact, almost everything we have learned about the shoddiness of the case for war was known at the time we were being stampeded into it. As the tireless Warren Strobel and Jonathan Landay reported for the Knight Ridder chain back in October 2002, 'Intelligence professionals and diplomats...privately have deep misgivings about the administration's double-time march toward war. These officials charge that administration hawks have exaggerated evidence of the threat that Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein poses [and]...charge that the administration squelches dissenting views and that intelligence analysts are under intense pressure to produce reports supporting the White House's argument that Hussein poses such an immediate threat to the United States that pre-emptive military action is necessary.'" (emphasis mine)
Yeah, I remember October 2002. It was the date of my very first protest march--ever. I remember hearing the hype and I remember hearing the rebuttals, often from intelligence types.

I think part of my skepticism came out of a feeling that the whole issue was stage managed. This was not a crisis arising out of world events that had to be dealt with. This was a blockbuster movie whose scheduled release date was timed nicely with other dates like the 9/11 anniversary, the 2002 congressional election, and the 2004 primary season.

And don't think I've forgotten why Congressional Dems were so weak-minded in October 2002. They cared more about winning the election that they did about having an honest debate about the war resolution. Way to go, guys.