Granted, finding a way to end the ongoing bloodshed in Iraq is at present more pressing than re-examining the rationale that was developed to start the war there more than two years ago. But the so-called Downing Street memos are still too significant to be dismissed as simply old news -- as the White House would like -- or left to historians.
They speak to the credibility of the administration of President George W. Bush, which is now telling the American people that significant progress is being made in Iraq and the murderous insurgency there is in its final throes. Meantime, U.S. military leaders say rebel attacks have remained constant at 50-60 a day, and last month was the deadliest for Iraqi civilians since the March 2003 U.S. invasion.
The eight memos also show British concern, bordering on alarm, for the lack of American plans for post-war Iraq at a time when the Bush administration was selling the belief that Iraqis would welcome their liberation and quickly embrace democracy. It has not, obviously, been such a smooth transition.
Most important for today, the evidence reflects an administration that makes a major decision and then finds or fits the evidence to back it up and sell it. That's not thoughtful policy. It's marketing.
LOCAL COMMENT: Conyers letter
White House spokesman Scott McClellan said the Conyers letter was "simply rehashing old debates that have already been discussed."
I love how the White House says things like that, as if the fact that you brought something up before and didn't get an answer then means you've somehow magically gotten an answer so why are you asking now? Being stonewalled earlier is not "discussed".
Everytime I hear these people open their mouths, it's to say the same crap I've heard people say to me in the corporate world to get out of answering a question, or said myself, when I needed to be evasive. "I think if you go back over X you'll find it was already addressed" -- well, no, if it was already addressed we wouldn't still be asking. Can't just answer yes or no, because the answer is not what the client wants to hear: you're delayed, you screwed it up, you can't do the work, or it's going to cost twice as much, or whatever. Sheer cover-your-ass and avoidance.
I'm sick of it. I want some truth.
BBA | After Downing Street