Saturday, June 18, 2005

The Smartest Guys in the Room

As I digest the import of The Downing Street Memo, I can't help but notice the parallel between the current administration and the downfalls of Enron or MCI. They, like the President, cooked the books.

Admittedly Ken Lay didn't annihlate a sovereign nation, but the similarity is there. Enron management had a goal- keep the stock price at X per share, and do whatever you have to do keep it there. W also had a goal- war in Iraq by March, 2003- and do whatever you have to do to get us there.

Of course there were some problems with that. The world community tends to look disfavorably upon such things as unjustifiably warmaking. So what did they decide to do? According to the head of the British Secret Service, they cooked the books.

C reported on his recent talks in Washington. There was a perceptible shift in attitude. Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy. The NSC had no patience with the UN route, and no enthusiasm for publishing material on the Iraqi regime's record. There was little discussion in Washington of the aftermath after military action....

It seemed clear that Bush had made up his mind to take military action, even if the timing was not yet decided. But the case was thin. Saddam was not threatening his neighbours, and his WMD capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea or Iran....

"The intelligence and the facts were being fixed around the policy."

In other words, the policy was decided- they just needed to facts to justify it. I tend not to believe that there is such a thing as objectively verifiable truth. Truth is simply the agreed upon version of events, and such agreements change over time. This memo is different- the Administration didn't look at intelligence and spin it toward a particular interpretation. The Administration fabricated it. We gotta keep our stock price up, let's figure out how to do that.

1 comment:

Sith Lord said...

The Sith Lord thinks you are right.