The Declassifier-in-Chiefthe Iraqis themselves to Pakistan and a healthy majority of US citizens - think the US shouldn't be in Iraq. Their reasons are a diverse as the causes and effects of this putrid pox on the nation.
The war kills far too many Americans. It kills even more Iraqis. It's plunging Iraq into a civil war that's taking it back to the stone age. It antagonizes Iraq's neighbors. It loots our national treasure and drives up prices on the strength of war fears and threats to the oil supply. But this week's reason du jour was the accusation that the war makes the US less safe from terror - an explicit slap at the President's long, self-aggrandizing idea that we're somehow safer as a result of the War on Terror/Iraq/Afghanistan/Insert Name of Combatant Here. Things have gotten so bad that even the Cabal du Bush no longer clings to the idea that things are going "rite well" and "vicktry's rite 'round tha corner".
And the proof is in the leak of a classified National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) that directly contradicted His Ineptness. It posits that - unlike George's non-intuitive assumption - killing people actually pisses them off. In fact, pisses them off so bad they're willing to fight with you, thereby making you less safe.
Hmm, imagine that. Who woulda' thunk it George, who woulda thunk it?
Of course, George got as snarling and red-faced as a Clinton on Fox when the NIE mud soiled his wingtips. He had the audacity to claim that the release may have been politically motivated, coming as it does, just weeks before Republicans may get a spanking like none since the Grinch the Prince and his Contract on America ousted the Dems.
Politically motivated? No shit Sherlock. Did Karl tell you that or did you figure it out all by your lonesome?
So to "put politics aside", BaBushka decided to declassify three of the document's 34 pages. The expected result was that miraculously, the three pages would be the ones with the exculpatory information needed to rebut his critics. But clever bastard that he is, the pages actually buttressed the claim that we're worse off as a result of the war (see The Master of Lowered Expectations). It's nice to see that some things, principally ineptitude, are a constant in this administration.
But with all the political fussing, it seems to me that everyone has lost sight of a few important details.
It may have been illegal to have leaked the classified material. The in-fighting has gotten so bad that people are divulging national secrets and risking jail time so they can have their arguments heard. Wouldn't this suggest we're having just a spot of trouble?
Isn't it equally bad that the Declassfier-in-Chief was willing - for only the third time in the history of National Intelligence Estimates - to declassify even more secrets to salvage his skunk-bitten political ass. I mean for Chrissakes, he was willing to keep the big Dick's Energy Task force notes a secret even though they weren't even classified. It seems to me this is the bigger deal.
Even his declassification was slipshod. He selectively declassified material - a tactic that has purpled his nurple before - leaving questions about the validity of what he provided and the worse damage that may have lurked in what didn't come out.
I'll go along with the idea that George was the target of a political hit here, but I'll show him no sympathy. If he hadn't bollixed things up this badly, this leak probably would never have happened. If he actually listened to people, perhaps the leaker might have been able to find a more acceptable way to be heard. If he hadn't pulled so many political shenanigans on others, perhaps they might have played a little fairer with him or at least given him the benefit of the doubt.
This whole case is a series of what ifs that we'll probably never have answered. The only thing the American public can postulate with any accuracy is the "what if George wasn't the President?" question. And when we ask it, we can only answer it like this:
"Unfortunately, he is President, and for a long time to come too. But one day he'll pass like a kidney stone and it will truly be morning in America once again."
Truth Told by Omnipotent Poobah, Wednesday, September 27, 2006