Slate has an article on Donald Rumsfeld’s private team of intelligence analysts who are trying to come up with evidence that Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein are somehow linked, mainly because the CIA and DIA have not found evidence of such a connection. It’s obvious that producing a clear link between Saddam and Osama would provide the easiest justification for war that there is, so Rumsfeld and his cronies won’t be satisfied until such a connection is produced. The article takes a historical perspective and shows how Cold War hawks basically took the same approach — twisting the available evidence to produce bogus reports about Soviet capabilities in order to argue against arms control. Ironically, several of the Cold War players who distorted the facts about the Soviets are now on the job making a case for war in Iraq based on fiction.
There is a place for debate in this country about what should be done with Saddam Hussein, who is obviously dangerous and has designs on growing infinitely more dangerous by producing nuclear weapons. Unfortunately, the current administration has no interest in approaching that debate in an intellectually honest way, preferring instead to turn to rhetoric and lies in order to justify an invasion of Iraq. The fact that they won’t be honest with us now as they ask us to go to war leads me to believe that they’ll reject any form of accountability during the war, and more importantly after the war. Politics being what it is, none of this surprises me, but the bottom line here is that many thousands of lives are at stake. It saddens me that the administration has so little faith in the American people that they refuse to bring us an honest case to back up their agenda.