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Friday, February 06, 2004

THE 'WEAPON OF MASS DISTRACTION' COMMISSION 

Orcinus points out that Bush's supposedly WMD-related "independent commission" is co-chaired by a Republican for whom the descriptor "rabidly partisan" is an understatement.

He's not merely a conservative. He's a jurist who has a proven track record of making decisions, and enforcing policy, based not on the law, reason or basic principles of fair play, but purely on how they will benefit or harm the Republican party.

This is the man who overturned the conviction of Oliver North and played a role in Reagan's "October Surprise."

Not only that, the counsel is charged with investigating absolutely nothing of interest to anyone. He also blocked Clinton from pursuing the source of leaks from Ken Starr's office, and accused Clinton of "declaring war on the United States" by shielding Secret Service agents from testifying against Clinton. (Again, Orcinus provided these links.)

According to the executive order, the commission has been founded "established for the purpose of advising the President in the discharge of his constitutional authority under Article II of the Constitution to conduct foreign relations, protect national security, and command the Armed Forces of the United States, in order to ensure the most effective counter-proliferation capabilities of the United States and response to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and the ongoing threat of terrorist activity." In other words, the commission is charged with the task of identifying weaknesses in the intel system prior to the Iraq invasion, and NOT CHARGED WITH LOOKING INTO THE MANIPULATION OF INTELLIGENCE RELATED TO THE ALLEGED WMDS IN IRAQ. And the commission has no supoena power, it seems. According to Joshua Micah Marshall,. "what's 'relevant' is at the discretion of the department heads of the various executive branch agencies."

In other words, the commission is not charged with investigating the role Bush and his administration played in deceiving (themselves and...) the American public into supporting an invasion of Iraq.

It's a smokescreen conjured to cover up a lie, and it now gives the Bush administration a tactical copout going into the election: whenever anyone asks them about the WMD issue, BushCo can claim they're barred from discussing the matter for as long as the "independent commission" does its work.

Did you expect anything less?

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