Froomkin goes beyond arrogance and audacity when he reaches the merits of the pre-war intelligence issue. First, he asserts "Far from being baseless, the charge that [Bush] intentionally misled the public in the run-up to war is built on a growing amount of evidence." Froomkin points to no such evidence. Instead, he hides behind the story by Dana Milbank and Walter Pincus. But Froomkin knows that this story provides no evidence that Bush intentionally misled the public about WMD. In fact, Milbank and Pincus concluded thatThe administration's overarching point is true:
Intelligence agencies overwhelmingly believed that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, and very few members of Congress from either party were skeptical about this belief before the war began in 2003. Indeed, top lawmakers in both parties were emphatic and certain in their public statements.
Froomkin lacks the integrity to mention this dispositive admission. If the overwhelming intelligence consensus was that Saddam had WMD, then Bush did not mislead the American people in making that claim. On this crucial point, Froomkin shows himself to be more partisan and less honest than Milbank and Pincus.
I swear, I don't have their patience. If I saw Froomkin, I'd slug him. His lies are disgusting and deserving of contempt. This smarmy, self-righteous attack on the President's decision to go to war is outrageous. Bush may have faults, but he saw the same intelligence as the Democrats and rightly concluded that after September 11, it was not enough to rely on the words of a madman like Saddam Hussein, and that if Saddam didn't come clean we would make him come clean.
But slimy little j**zbuckets like Foomkin don't care about that. They only have one agenda, which ironically enough is spelled out in another Washington Post column written by Fred Hiatt:
Whether Iraqis are in fact committed to a life-or-death struggle for democracy will become clear as its army does, or does not, continue to shoulder a greater burden. But the aptness of Mahdi's view of the United States is already evident in Congress, which pours most of its Iraq-related energy into allegations of manipulated intelligence before the war.
"Those aren't irrelevant questions," says Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.). "But the more they dominate the public debate, the harder it is to sustain public support for the war."
What Lieberman doesn't say is that many Democrats would view such an outcome as an advantage. Their focus on 2002 is a way to further undercut President Bush, and Bush's war, without taking the risk of offering an alternative strategy -- to satisfy their withdraw-now constituents without being accountable for a withdraw-now position.
Many of them understand that dwindling public support could force the United States into a self-defeating position, and that defeat in Iraq would be disastrous for the United States as well as for Mahdi and his countrymen. But the taste of political blood as Bush weakens, combined with their embarrassment at having supported the war in the first place, seems to override that understanding.
No kidding. Hiatt goes on to say that a true wartime President would be assuaging Democrat demands, by meeting with them over strategy and bringing them into the war effort. But that complaint is baseless. The Democrats making these arguments aren't patriots at all. They want America to lose in Iraq (meaning soldiers must die) and their constant questioning of pre-war intelligence is a proxy fight, designed to hide their commitment towards RETREAT, because it'd be too embarassing otherwise to directly call for a return of the troops. They don't have the guts for that argument. And a President running a war can't afford to make friendly with an opposition party that wants America to be defeated, purely for partisan purposes. In fact, the President should continue to call them out for the gutless cowards that they are.
All in all, it proves that Democrats can never be trusted with national security issues at all. They never could, and they never will.
UPDATE: TKS points out a perfect example of why Democrats cannot be trusted on national security: "[Senator Rockefeller] is suggesting that the President and these forces could bring in Zarqawi if he and they wanted to, and they simply haven't. Zarqawi roams freely, plotting more terrorist attacks, because the President and U.S. military want it that way. If this is what Rockefeller's point is, then this is paranoid nonsense, and it is baffling to see not just any member of the Senate, but the top-ranking Democrat on the intelligence committee saying this."
Not baffling to me, when you consider that they are so twisted around the pursuit of political power that they'll believe the most ridiculous things in order to criticize the President.