Bush says today that he would have invaded Iraq even if he knew then what he knows today. This investigation is therefore a farce — designed once again to shift responsibility from the people who demanded corrupt intelligence to serve their ideological obsessions to those who were forced to provide it.
Our political process has become so degraded that the commissioners themselves can admit that they were forbidden from examining the one issue that still matters. As commission co-chair Laurence Silberman explained, “Our executive order did not direct us to deal with the use of intelligence by policy makers, and all of us were agreed that was not part of our inquiry….”
Much of the coverage of the report — which was, perhaps via divine intervention, drowned out by the deaths of Terri Schiavo and Pope John Paul II — gesticulated in the direction of this fundamental truth before returning to the agreed-upon story line that Bush was very, very angry about the fact that he received bad intelligence that led him to invade a country that presented no threat whatever and made him out to be a liar to the rest of the world. He was so mad, in fact, that the only person deemed to be responsible for this massive failure, former CIA director George Tenet, was given the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor. (Everybody else involved was punished with a promotion and a raise.)