Friday, April 01, 2005

Report Confirms Baselessness of Iraq Conflict

March 19(April 1), 2005
In a report released yesterday, the a federal commission has confirmed what many of us already believe; that the entire basis for the initiation of the Iraq war two years ago was in fact flawed and that the supposed weapons of mass destruction (or even plans to build weapons of mass destruction) were non-existent. The report choruses the assertions of many scientists and military personnel; that Iraq didn’t have technology even remotely advanced enough to begin enriching uranium, and that Saddam Hussein’s regime likely had no intention of trying to obtain said technology.
The commission gave President Bush seventy-four recommendations that he could implement easily and without the permission of Congress, advising that he take their measures to heart and carry them out as soon as humanly possible. However, given Mr. Bush’s response to the findings of the 9/11 Commission (months after that body published its discoveries, the president has not yet acted on any of its requests), there is doubt as to whether he will take the necessary action and if he will do so quickly enough. To his credit, President Bush did order the commission’s formation following growing evidence last year that Iraq’s weapons of mass destructions were figments of the intelligence community’s imagination. Whether the president made this decision so as to sincerely find the truth or whether he did it to stave off rising political tension against him remains to be seen (the commission was formed near the 2004 Election).
The commission advised President Bush to concentrate more power in the hands of John Negroponte, the newly appointed Director of National Intelligence, and to fervently resist any challenges to Mr. Negroponte’s authority from within the intelligence community. The commission was adamant that turf warfare between the CIA, FBI, and other affiliated agencies not come between what it called, “true integration.”
One of the commission’s most controversial proposals is the merge of the counterterrorism and counterintelligence bureaus into one office, which some say may create an internal police within the United States. Eventually, it will be how that power is harnessed that will determine whether or not it violates Americans’ civil liberties.
While some provisions of the commission’s findings have already drawn criticism, the body is firm about the Iraq war.
“The intelligence community was dead wrong in almost all of its pre-war judgements Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction,” the report said bluntly.
“We simply cannot afford failures of this magnitude,” came another harsh assessment.
The president has already violated one of the commission’s tenets; the commission urged President Bush that Negroponte should not be the man to give the president his daily briefing and that he should not be summoned from important intelligence work to witness that briefing. The commission’s logic held that if Negroponte is made to focus too narrowly on day to day intelligence, he could be prevented from piecing together the fragments of a larger puzzle. President Bush has made clear that Negroponte will continue to brief him, an arrogant and dismissive choice from a president with a long track record of ignoring well-informed and knowledgeable advisers. All the same, it can only be hoped that some of the “dramatic change,” that the commission says is necessary to salvage our intelligence networks will actually be implemented.


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