Joshua Marshall, praised in this space two weeks ago for his coverage of that fictitious Nigerien uranium, continues to produce smart, incisive commentary about the intelligence scandal. What makes this especially valuable right now is that he's doing it while many Democrats are just interested in finding an easy way to score points against the president, and while many Republicans are more interested in dodging questions much deeper than whether one particular untruth was technically a lie.
"Again and again," Marshall writes, "we hear the refrain that this single instance of mentioning discredited intelligence about Iraqi uranium purchases pales in comparison in the much broader set of reasons why the United States invaded Iraq." The trouble, he notes, is that the administration has always been slippery about spelling out those reasons:
[I]t is almost as if administration war-hawks told the public a vastly simplified, fairy-tale version of the Iraq war's connection to stopping terrorism and justified this benign deception because the story contained a deeper truth, almost in the way we tell children similar stories because their minds aren't advanced enough to grasp or process all the factual details connected to the lessons or messages we're trying to convey….
Of course, one might also say that the public might have intuited that fighting this sort of war was too risky, improbable and costly than anything it wanted to get involved in.
The whole thing is worth reading.