While I was watching the 2 debates last week, I was listening to the remarks from the veep, the prez and their minions (though it could be argued that the prez is a minion of the veep or vice versa *smirk*, creating a hall of mirrors effect for the logic of the mind and language, but that is something to ponder in the next post), I heard repeated several times a version of this line as regards to pre-Iraq war 2: "We were all working from the same intelligence." My response typically is something along the lines of: Yes, and you were not seeking contrary opinions hence you are all guilty of willful ignorance.
One thing Kerry lovers (note: not merely supporters, like myself, but people who really think that the slimeball is terrific) like to point out is his ability to examine an issue...to look at all sides and reach a sound conclusion and policy decision on the issue. This line of thinking is designed to deflect Bush's criticism of Kerry's alleged "flip flops" by referring to Kerry as "nuanced" and in turn attacking Bush as a man who thinks in nothing but dichotomies which are inevitable false. Well, one might ask, where was this grand, nuanced ability to examine issues when we were leading up to the Iraq war? Sure, I realize his vote was to give the president a big stick to negotiate with in conjunction with our allies. I understand that manuever (though I never would have supported it precisely because of the type of man Bush is - that he would yield the power without discretion). But where were his questions regarding the possibility that sought for weapons might not exist? Was he reading any contrarian views on this topic or was he relying solely on trumped up CIA reports?
I recall seeing Scott Ritter on CSPAN and CNN before the way had begun. He actually led a UN team of inspectors and he questioned the intelligence reports coming from the CIA. He's a dissenter with credibility despite the vicious attacks that came afterwards attempting to undermine his credibility with spurious and false charges of which McCarthy would have been proud. While watching the debates, when we get to that line, "We were all working from the same intelligence", I think of Scott Ritter and ponder the meaning of "We".
I've been wondering what Ritter has been up to as of late. Since the release of the Duelfer report this week (which note that Iraq had complied with with UN resolutions), Ritter has re-emerged with an essay in yesterday's Guardian and another in the Independent today. Both are highly recommended. The American Street pointed out the essays to me and has a condensed version of them on it's posting as well as a decent analysis of them and links to other Ritter topics including the smear campaign against him and his thoughts before the war began. All of this is highly recommended and should be kept in mind when watching the next foreign policy debate. Don't let Kerry or your other representatives off the hook on this issue.