Why Should Doug Feith Start Telling The Truth Now?
Yes, up on NRO, Feith — he of the not-quite-illegal-but-officially-”inappropriate” Office of Special Plans — defends Condoleezza Rice’s infamous pre-war quote, “We don’t want the smoking gun to come in the form of a mushroom cloud.” Befitting his designation as the “stupidest guy on the face of the earth,” Feith writes:
She was warning that we might not learn this until after a detonation. This was an important and accurate statement.
Important yes, accurate — of course not. The available intelligence, collected in the 2002 National Intelligence Estimate (not completed when Rice made that statement on CNN, by the way), gave varying degrees of warning about imminence in terms when Iraq would possess a nuclear weapon. The most hysterical — and therefore most wrong — said it would take months. That comes in stark contrast to what CIA Director George Tenet said earlier that year, which was that it would take years. Alas, that was before Feith’s homeboys manipulated the intelligence.
But look: this is all besides the point. Feith knows how intellectually dishonest he’s being. And Rice knows that she crafted that statement precisely to have a plausible-if-tendentious defense of its veracity always close at hand. She also knew she couldn’t get Bush his war unless she implied to the American people that Saddam Hussein was thisclose from passing off a nuclear weapon to the people who attacked us on 9/11. This is how liars in power operate. Feith will never change. Neither will the GOP. So we’ll just have to make sure that we never stop pointing out how these liars led us into the greatest unnecessary disaster in recent American history.