The main stream media are trying to put heat on Jeb Bush for his support for the war in Iraq. And by doing that they've signaled one of the points of attack they'll take against Republicans as the 2016 election approaches.
So now may be a good time to take a look at Judith Miller's recent refresher course at WSJ.com in The Iraq War and Stubborn Myths. (It's behind the pay wall, but you probably know how to get around it.) Here are some excerpts:
There was no shortage of mistakes about Iraq, and I made my share of them. The newsworthy claims of some of my prewar WMD stories were wrong. But so is the enduring, pernicious accusation that the Bush administration fabricated WMD intelligence to take the country to war. Before the 2003 invasion, President Bush and other senior officials cited the intelligence community’s incorrect conclusions about Saddam’s WMD capabilities and, on occasion, went beyond them. But relying on the mistakes of others and errors of judgment are not the same as lying.
Turns out that after Saddam was toppled a significant cache of old chemical weapons was found in Iraq.
Miller goes on:
A two-year study by Charles Duelfer, the former deputy chief of the U.N. inspectors who led America’s hunt for WMD in Iraq, concluded that Saddam Hussein was playing a double game, trying (on the one hand) to get sanctions lifted and inspectors out of Iraq and (on the other) to persuade Iran and other foes that he had retained WMD. Not even the Iraqi dictator himself knew for sure what his stockpiles contained, Mr. Duelfer argued. Often forgotten is Mr. Duelfer’s well-documented warning that Saddam intended to restore his WMD programs once sanctions were lifted.
One important aspect that wants to be forgotten was the support prominent Democrats gave to the WMD hypothesis. Miller again:
Though few legislators apparently read the classified version of the 2002 WMD estimate—which contained more caveats than the sanitized “key findings” disclosed in October of that year—almost none disputed the analysts’ conclusion, with “high confidence,” that Saddam retained both chemical and germ weapons, or their view, with “moderate confidence,” that Iraq did not yet have nuclear weapons. Speeches denouncing Saddam’s cheating were given not just by Republican hawks but by prewar GOP skeptic Sen. Chuck Hagel and by senior Democrats Al Gore, Hillary Clinton and Jay Rockefeller, among others.
So while everyone is looking back and playing arm chair quarterback with full knowledge of the facts, one wonders if they are able to foresee that alternate history beyond the start of the war. Saddam Hussein had been busy seducing and bribing officials everywhere in an effort to get sanctions lifted. Given how easy Iran seems to be having in getting their own sanctions lifted, the shrewd Hussein would have had an easy go of it. By now one of his sons would be heading a clandestine program to develop a nuclear weapon. The middle east would be in an arms race to get the first nuclear bomb. And Saddam would be thumbing his nose at the west, only this time he wouldn't be bluffing.
That's the problem with backwards time travel the msm want to do. You go back and change the one thing you don't like, and here come those annoying unanticipated consequences.