Thursday, January 29, 2004

Required Reading

I am strongly recommending to everyone these days that they read Kenneth Pollack's Atlantic Monthly article, "Spies, Lies, and Weapons: What Went Wrong." Pollack is a former intelligence analyst and the author of the 2002 book "The Threatening Storm: The Case For Invading Iraq," which featured prominently in a lot of debate over whether we should invade. He has now written a very comprehensive article analyzing the same evidence in the light of what we know now, and it's extremely thought-provoking. Read it for yourself, but here's the short version:

The Left gives too little credence to the fact that Saddam had a long history of lying his ass off right up to the moment someone proved he was lying; and a history of being proven to have more prohibited materials than he admitted. The Left also gives too little credence to the fact that Saddam was about six months away from a nuke when we invaded Kuwait. The intelligence community was complacent in its own presumptions that Saddam would be a mad dog in search of WMD; the intelligence agencies had become overdependent on the UN inspectors to feed them information. The Right gave too little credence to the experience of those that had gone before; when rumors were discounted, they assumed it was because of a political failing rather than a sober assessment. And the Bush administration was guilty of egregiously mis-selling the war in Iraq because it trumpeted only those possibilities that were labeled "worst case scenarios," without telling the rest of the story.

It's a sobering read, both because it details the dangerous world we live in, and the dangerous battles going on in our own government.

 1:07 PM

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