I have been watching with interest but great caution the sifting through of the Iraqi documents, paying attention to Stephen Hayes’, Ed Morrissey’s and Powerline’s work among others.
Now comes another document with more potentially significant language, and so the question grows: What do these documents mean?
The suspicion is growing that the American intelligence community never systematically checked these docs. If they did, they should produce the record of that evaluation and the conclusions reached on documents which, on their face, seem to be proof of Saddam’s pre-war WMD stockpiles.
The White House as well must recognize that these documents are not yesterday’s news and must not be afraid to reopen the debate about the WMDs.
The significance of the WMDs is that the argument is being mounted, as recently as yesterday by Andrew Sullivan (“If US intelligence is as good in Iran as it was in Iraq, the chances of getting all of Iran’s nuclear capacity by aerial bombing must also be close to zero”) that pre-Iraq invasion intelligence mistakes disable the United States from relying on intelligence to take action against Iran.
Although that argument is meritless –taken to its logical conclusion, the United States could never again defend any of its actions based upon the conclusions of its intelligence community– it would be crippled in its crib by the defense of the pre-war intelligence which is becoming more and more urgent with the release and translation of these docs.