Friday, September 19, 2003

Kennedy's Complaint

Sen. Ted Kennedy is being attacked today for making what I believe are some very obvious points about the Bush administration's conduct before and during the war in Iraq.

Kennedy essentially said that the case for going to war against Iraq was a fraud and that the Bush administration relied on "distortion, misrepresentation, a selection of intelligence" to justify their case for war.

Based on what we know now, there is little that Bush partisans can say to refute this statement.

Now, I think that Kennedy took his partisan attack a little too far when he said that the whole case for war had been "made up in Texas" as a way to help Republicans on the political front. I have no doubt that the timing of the attack - that the rush to build up support for the war just prior to the mid-term elections last year - was politically motivated. However, I also accept that most if not all members of the Bush team truly believed that taking out Saddam was a good and necessary thing.

The real question is not whether Saddam needed to be overthrown, but how we went about doing it - hyping up dubious allegations (i.e. Lying) to make the threat from Iraq seem more serious than it was; and forging ahead with a pre-emptive attack without the support of the large majority of our traditional allies; and refusing to curtail Bush's massive budget-busting tax cuts to help pay for the invasion and its aftermath.

But Kennedy also made another allegation that hasn't gotten much attention up to this point and is something I find very interesting. He said the Bush administration has failed to account for nearly half of the $4 billion the war is costing each month and went on to says that he believes much of the unaccounted-for money is being used to bribe foreign leaders to send in troops.

I'd like to see some of the Bush administration's defenders address that issue rather than just casting aspersions at Sen. Kennedy.

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