The Duck of Minerva

Once more, with feeling

15 November 2005

How bloody difficult is it for people to distinguish the widespread belief that Iraq had possession of biological and chemical agents from the Bush administration’s arguments that Hussein’s possession of, or eventual acquisition of, weapons of mass destruction posed an imminent threat to America’s urban centers? I know we have a small readership, but it isn’t exactly like Rodger and I are the only people explaining the difference.

This, after all, is what’s at stake in accusations that the Bush administration distorted and selectively used intelligence to make their case for war: they inflated the threat posed by Iraq beyond any reasonable levels to convince the American people (and many Democratic officials) that immediate action by the United States against Iraq was necessary to prevent another 9/11.

We know that threat inflation happened. Now we need to know whether it reached the level of malfeasance. Anyone who believes in the accountability of elected officials or the importance of a separation of powers should support a good-faith investigation to find out.

This is also why I am profoundly sympathetic to the many Democratic officials who now say they were misled by the administration. Looks to me like they were, even if some of them “should have known better.” If a few of them are simply reading the polls, well, that’s democracy for you.

Shorter version: Glenn Reynolds is full of it.

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