Adam White, posting over at Phil Carter’s Intel Dump while Phil is teaching the operations of law to Iraqis (Phil, I owe you a steak when you come back…soon and healthy, please!) has three great posts up.
In reverse chronological order:
He takes apart the argument that there was no justification for Bush not to have bombed the terror camp where Al-Zarqawi was hiding in the No-Fly Zone in 2002 except as a pretext to rationalize the war.White’s argument is simple; Bush tried to move international institutions (read France and Germany) to support actions up to and including war with Iraq, was ultimately unsuccessful and proceeded anyway. A premature attack would have been sees as reckless escalation, and since there was no way to know that the negotiations would be unsuccessful in advance (we hadn’t seen the Oil-For-Food books yet), it was sensible to try everything in our power – including restraint – to strengthen them.
He highlights the Perry/Carter proposal that we send a Tomahawk in to bomb the Nork launch pad before they launch their missile. He’s kinder to the proposal than I would be, and asks his audience for comments (which are interesting). My view is that this is a fairly typical example of Clinton’s policy calculus: cheap, theatrical, guaranteed casualty-free, and ineffective. The fact that it would constitute an act of war seems to evade folks’ attention.
And he highlights the LA Times/ NY Times articles exposing the (valuable, now hopelessly compromised) financial intelligence programs, and points out the first-cut legal arguments that support their legality.
As a side note, I’ll comment that the LA Times has finally pushed me to cancel my subscription with this article, and I’d encourage anyone else reading this who gets the paper to do the same thing.