One of the interesting things about the current presidential race is that the whole issue of the criminal act of taking the US to war against a country that had not attacked it has come front and center. Pretty much all Republicans are being asked about the Iraq war, with the question being framed as to whether, given what we know now (presumably that Iraq did not have any nuclear weapons), they would have made the decision to go to war.
The expected acceptable answer seems to be ‘no’, though some Republican candidates are having trouble coming right out and saying it. Tierney Sneed rounds up all the responses so far from the candidates and the war hawks and cheerleaders. Of course, many of us were saying back then that going to war was wrong but that seems to be too much to ask.
In an interview with Chris Matthews, Mike Morrell (the deputy chief of the CIA during the time of the run up to the war with Iraq) now admits that Dick Cheney lied when he told the nation that the intelligence services had concluded that Iraq had reconstituted nuclear weapons, because the CIA never told him that.
Morrell tries to avoid any responsibility for not exposing the lies and even suggests that he was not aware of what Cheney was saying because he was not watching TV, which is utterly absurd. But it is convenient for these people trying to avoid any culpability to act as if they had their heads buried in the sand and had a tightly restricted view of what their job required.
It would have been good if Chris Mathews and other media heavyweights had been this probing and skeptical before the US went to war. As far as the major media in the US went, only Jonathan Landay and Warren Strobel of McClatchy news service (then it was called Knight-Ridder) showed any desire to investigate whether what the government saying was true. The TV networks and major newspapers just swallowed the government line and acted like stenographers.