There is a lot of buzz on the cable news shows today about this Editorial from yesterday’s Chicago Tribune (hat tip – Rhymes with Right)
Judging the case for war – Chicago Tribune main editorial, December 28, 2005
On Nov. 20, the Tribune began an inquest: We set out to assess the Bush administration’s arguments for war in Iraq. We have weighed each of those nine arguments against the findings of subsequent official investigations by the 9/11 Commission, the Senate Intelligence Committee and others. We predicted that this exercise would distress the smug and self-assured–those who have unquestioningly supported, or opposed, this war.
After reassessing the administration’s nine arguments for war, we do not see the conspiracy to mislead that many critics allege. Example: The accusation that Bush lied about Saddam Hussein’s weapons programs overlooks years of global intelligence warnings that, by February 2003, had convinced even French President Jacques Chirac of “the probable possession of weapons of mass destruction by an uncontrollable country, Iraq.” We also know that, as early as 1997, U.S. intel agencies began repeatedly warning the Clinton White House that Iraq, with fissile material from a foreign source, could have a crude nuclear bomb within a year.
Seventeen days before the war, this page reluctantly urged the president to launch it. We said that every earnest tool of diplomacy with Iraq had failed to improve the world’s security, stop the butchery–or rationalize years of UN inaction. We contended that Saddam Hussein, not George W. Bush, had demanded this conflict.
Many people of patriotism and integrity disagreed with us and still do. But the totality of what we know now–what this matrix chronicles– affirms for us our verdict of March 2, 2003. We hope these editorials help Tribune readers assess theirs.
Following the editorial, the Tribune lays out the NINE arguments for war (not just one!) that the Bush Administration discussed with the American public before March 2, 2003. This is a remarkable and responsible piece of journalism — a welcome oasis in the midst of the MSM’s Bush bashing Sahara desert.
Read the whole thing!