« It doesn't ad up | Main | Canary in the coal mine? »

Free Hint: Don't Appoint Kissinger This Time

So after having his arm twisted, President Bush has finally agreed to an independent investigation of some sort as to what went wrong, intelligencewise, on the whole Weapons of Mass Destruction fiasco.

In terms of the politics of the situation,I think Bush is being an idiot. By rejecting the idea of an investigation, he made it look like he had something to hide. And by giving in only after weeks of criticism and demands for an investigation (or is it only days? It seems like weeks.), he's not going to get any credit for trying to get to the bottom of things. It looks like he grudgingly did so only after pressure became too great for him to bear. Which means either he simply doesn't care why the intelligence was wrong, or he already knows why, because he was aware it was false from the beginning.

For what it's worth, I think the answer is much closer to the former than the latter, with the added factor that he cares more about re-election than anything, and he feels that giving even an inch, admitting that there was a problem, will hurt his chances.

(Or is Bush craftier than I thought? Perhaps his logic went like this: "If I spontaneously respond to the Kay report by appointing a commission to investigate, my critics will accuse me of stalling. They'll insist upon a more immediate response. But by dragging my feet I got them to demand a commission to investigate, which I just gave them, so now they can't complain." Nah, he's not that crafty.)

My guess as to the ultimate outcome of the investigation: the resulting report will gently chide the administration for being too sure of itself, but will ultimately blame the CIA. But that blame will be posed in a way that actually exonerates the CIA; that is, the report will lay responsibility at the feet of the CIA, but rather than saying that they did something wrong, it will say that they need more resources in order to do their job effectively. I'm not going out on a limb here; every report about a government screwup ultimately concludes that the fault is institutional rather than personal, and proclaims that the solution is more money.


TrackBack URL for this entry:


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on February 2, 2004 12:02 AM.

The previous post in this blog was It doesn't ad up.

The next post in this blog is Canary in the coal mine?.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

Powered by
Movable Type 3.31