Friday, May 20, 2005

You don't even have to believe the Brits. Lessons learned from A Few Good Men.

Digby, again in rare form talks about the Downing Street Memo, which is receiving all the traction you'd expect hard documentation of our worst fears to get. None. But I digress.

The Downing St. Memo contains another smoking gun that I haven't heard anyone mention. It says:

The Foreign Secretary said he would discuss [the timing of the war] with Colin Powell this week. It seemed clear that Bush had made up his mind to take military action, even if the timing was not yet decided. But the case was thin. Saddam was not threatening his neighbors, and his WMD capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea or Iran.

I must say that this answers definitively one of the biggest questions I had in the run-up to the war. I had always wondered how, if anyone believed even for a second that Saddam had serious biological or chemical weapons, that we would ever have placed 100,000 American soldiers like sitting ducks in Kuwait over the course of several months before the war. It was an incomprehensible risk, I thought, considering that everyone knew that the war was unnecessary in terms of the terrorist threat. Even Bush couldn't be that craven and stupid. And he wasn't. He expected a razzle dazzle military "cakewalk," not a catastrophic loss of life, and that's what he got. It seemed clear to me then that we knew with certainty from the start that there wasn't a serious WMD threat in Iraq.

Now, I really like that 'cause it reminds me of A Few Good Men. Even if you think the Downing Memo is full of shit -- which I don't, but even if you do -- how do you square this military maneuver? It's along the lines of

Your honor, these are the telephone
records from GITMO for August 6th. And
these are 14 letters that Santiago wrote
in nine months requesting, in fact
begging, for a transfer.
Upon hearing the news that he was finally
getting his transfer, Santiago was so
excited, that do you know how many people
he called? Zero. Nobody. Not one call
to his parents saying he was coming home.
Not one call to a friend saying can you
pick me up at the airport. He was asleep
in his bed at midnight, and according to
you he was getting on a plane in six
hours, yet everything he owned was hanging
neatly in his closet and folded neatly in
his footlocker. You were leaving for one
day and you packed a bag and made three
phone calls. Santiago was leaving for the
rest of his life, and he hadn't called a
soul and he hadn't packed a thing. Can
you explain that? The fact is there was
no transfer order. Santiago wasn't going
anywhere, isn't that right, Colonel.

This is the piece of evidence that you look back at at the end of the movie and realize your worst fears have been confirmed.

I'd always given Bush the benefit of the doubt in the small area of, "Well, I think he cooked and exaggerrated intellegence, but I believe he honestly thought there were some WMDs in Iraq." But he sure as shit didn't act like a man who believed that.

Can we handle the truth?


Blogger Noisette said...

Nobody talked about it? I did!

2:27 PM  
Blogger milquetoast said...

Yes, you did. I'm sorry. I was referring to the MSM.

5:58 PM  

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