David Brooks has responded non-confrontationally, without using Krugman’s name, to Krugman’s op-ed of May 18 where Krugman asserts that the Bush Administration lied us into the Iraq War. Brooks refers to that notion as a fable and says it doesn’t gibe with the facts, and he cites the Robb-Silverman report which found a major intelligence failure, Brooks apparently taking great comfort in the bi-partisan nature of the commission that rendered the report.
Some of us who have been paying some attention over the past several decades don’t feel comfort because there are an equal numbers of Democrats and Republicans on some commission or other. The amount of money given to the Defense Establishment by Democrats is more than enough to require some other criteria for comfort than bi-partisanship. And Brooks should probably spend some time considering the statements of Michael Morell, CIA briefer to Bush, that make it quite clear that there was a whole lot more than failure on the part of the Bush Administration as this country lurched towards its greatest foreign policy disaster, maybe ever. But can there be some sort of debate here?
I would ask Mr. Brooks if he agrees that Donald Rumsfeld wrote a note to an aide on the morning of 9/11 with the words: “good enough, hit SH,(Saddam Hussein)…sweep it all up things related and not.” I think it is a question, but knowing the character of the character doing the writing, and considering the use of the word “good” under the circumstances, almost all of human conceptions must be allowed for. What exactly does Mr. Brooks make of this moment in history? Does he concede that one not implausible reading of the facts is that the thought had crossed DR’s mind before 9/11 that if there were sufficient excuse, military action might be taken against SH?
Does he acknowledge that at least one of his beloved Generals, Wesley Clark in this instance, has reported that military action all across the region was being contemplated before 9/11? Does he acknowledge that this sort of planning would require a certain preparation of the populace since most people look askance at military action without provocation? It seems there may be a way of conducting business that is being exposed here. If there were sufficient lack of scruple, the concocting of the right kind of intelligence might well be part of some playbook somewhere. And in fact, we know now that the facts were not what the Administration claimed at the time. So there was either misinterpretation or fraud.
Does Mr. Brooks even acknowledge that fraud is a theoretical possibility? Or has it been stricken from consideration because its possible existence might require Mr. Brooks to reevaluate a whole range of historical events which, haven’t, in his mind, been considered blemishes upon the Administration record to date? He might be compelled to think: if they, Cheney and Rumsfeld, were capable of considering the benefits of the 9/11 catastrophe so quickly and so blithely, and had been planning for war in the region for some time, is it plausible to consider that they may have had a hand in the catastrophe’s final form? Or, perish the thought, played a role in its facilitation, possibly? And that might lead this fine upstanding man, moral to his core, we presume, to do some research and find the continent of evidence denied admittance by all authority into any court of law, which happens to give wretched substance to suspicion. In fact, proves complicity in the 9/11 nightmare beyond the slightest question..