I came across this article, via Jim Henley, and the piece does raise some uncomfortable – to put it mildly – questions about how advocates of the recent Iraq war should feel if it turns out that Bush and Blair told untruths (perish the thought) about the existence and scale of WMDs in Iraq.
If Bush, Powell and the Rest lied deliberately to us to boost the case for war, then that is baaaaaad news, in my view. For starters, pro-war folk like me who took the stance we did on proactive self defence will feel betrayed. We have been made to look like twerps. Yes, I know that you might argue that we should not have been so naive in the first place (ever trust a politician?), but the WMD threat seemed to be pretty genuine, if only because of what happened under Saddam’s rule these past two decades or more. And of course the onus was on him, not us, to comply with the terms laid down by United Nations weapons inspectors. He didn’t as even Hans Blix’s report made clear shortly before hostilities commenced. Even so, the feeling of betrayal will be immense if turns out that Bush and Blair seriously exaggerated the evidence.
Which may suggest that our whole approach to self defence needs a major rethink. It suggests to me that the CIA and other intelligence services in the west require a massive overhaul, if not outright abolition. I haven’t seen any examples in the media of such folk getting the sack. Far too many of them have been allowed to stay in their cushy jobs despite manifestly screwing up. If it turns out that they gave false info to gin up the case for war, that is very bad.
And in case any warbloggers’ blood pressure is rising dangerously about the above two paragraphs, no, I am of course thrilled we stiffed the Ba’ath regime in Iraq, but forgive me, that wasn’t the original reason why we committed blood and treasure to deal with Saddam.