Bush Lied, Etc.: More Stuff You Already Knew

Yesterday the Senate Intelligence Committee released a report saying that the President, Dick the Dick and other top Bush Administration officials knowingly and willfully promoted the invasion of Iraq “with public statements that weren’t supported by intelligence or that concealed differences among intelligence agencies,” writes Jonathan S. Landay of McClatchy Newspapers.

The release of this report was delayed by committee infighting, and they let it loose yesterday when the whole world was focused on the Obama Nomination and the Clinton Petulance.

The real kicker — and again, this is Stuff You Already Knew — is that there is suspicion that the famous Iraqi Exiles like Ahmad Chalabi really were working for the Iranians all along and fed bad intelligence to Defense Department Doofus Doug Feith and others to goad the U.S. into taking out Saddam Hussein for the benefit of Iran. Better our tax dollars than theirs, eh?

This is news? you ask. Well, no, it’s pretty much what most of us suspected all along.

John Walcott writes for McClatchy Newspapers:

Defense Department counterintelligence investigators suspected that Iranian exiles who provided dubious intelligence on Iraq and Iran to a small group of Pentagon officials might have “been used as agents of a foreign intelligence service … to reach into and influence the highest levels of the U.S. government,” a Senate Intelligence Committee report said Thursday.

You’ll love this:

A top aide to then-secretary of defense Donald H. Rumsfeld, however, shut down the 2003 investigation into the Pentagon officials’ activities after only a month, and the Defense Department’s top brass never followed up on the investigators’ recommendation for a more thorough investigation, the Senate report said.

It’s almost like … they knew they were being used by Iran but didn’t want anyone else to know about it.

The revelation raises questions about whether Iran may have used a small cabal of officials in the Pentagon and in Vice President Dick Cheney’s office to feed bogus intelligence on Iraq and Iran to senior policymakers in the Bush administration who were eager to oust the Iraqi dictator.

Isn’t that, like, treason or something?

Anyway, I want to go back to Conservative National Defense Strategy, which (as I’ve said before) boils down to chest thumping and tree-peeing.

Have you ever noticed that in right-wing parlance, a “serious” foreign policy is one that requires invading someone? In rightie world, if a policy doesn’t involve missiles and bombs and stuff, it’s not “serious.” I’d like to float the idea that a “serious” foreign policy is one crafted by mature and intelligent people with thorough knowledge of whatever it is they are making policy about.

Instead, for the past going on eight years we’ve had —

George W. Bush’s Defense Department Working to Defend America!

You still see the TeeVee pundits intone that Republicans are “better” at national defense and foreign policy than Democrats, although for the life of me I can’t tell what criteria they are using to judge “better.” I think it’s way past time this little “better at national defense” meme was revisited.

The “Dems are soft on defense” bluff is one the Right has been pulling since the late 1940s. But it’s a bluff. If you look hard at U.S. foreign policy from the end of World War II to 2000, and compare effectiveness of Democratic and Republican administrations, seems to me it’s pretty much a wash. Presidents of both parties have had their successes and failures.

If John McCain wants to run on the innate superiority of Republicans in national defense matters, I say bring it on.