On Nov. 20, the Tribune began an inquest: We set out to assess the Bush administration's arguments for war in Iraq. We have weighed each of those nine arguments against the findings of subsequent official investigations by the 9/11 Commission, the Senate Intelligence Committee and others. We predicted that this exercise would distress the smug and self-assured--those who have unquestioningly supported, or opposed, this war.
The matrix below summarizes findings from the resulting nine editorials. We have tried to bring order to a national debate that has flared for almost three years. Our intent was to help Tribune readers judge the case for war--based not on who shouts loudest, but on what actually was said and what happened.
The administration didn't advance its arguments with equal emphasis. Neither, though, did its case rely solely on Iraq's alleged illicit weapons. The other most prominent assertion in administration speeches and presentations was as accurate as the weapons argument was flawed: that Saddam Hussein had rejected 12 years of United Nations demands that he account for his stores of deadly weapons--and also stop exterminating innocents. Evaluating all nine arguments lets each of us decide which ones we now find persuasive or empty, and whether President Bush tried to mislead us.
After reassessing the administration's nine arguments for war, we do not see the conspiracy to mislead that many critics allege.
Read the entire case and the matrix that the Tribune sets up for its analysis. On several items, the Chicago Tribune concludes that the Administration may have "exaggerated" what information it had (based on what we know today); but most of the major points of its case for war were accurate.
I will leave it for history to decide whether Bush actually "exaggerated" (and they will base their determination on much more than on what we know today--while we are still embroiled in Iraq); or, whether he courageously decided to "connect the dots" that his predecessors had barely noticed, and in doing so, changed the course of history in a way decidedly disadvantageous to Islamofascism.
RightwingNuthouse has more.