On ABC last night Vice-President Dick Cheney defended the decision to go into Iraq:
I think we made the right decision in spite of the fact that the original [intelligence estimate] was off in some of its major judgments.It is more likely that Cheney wanted to invade Iraq and would have done it even if the intelligence showed Saddam Hussein was Mother Teresa. Again he makes the fine men and women working intelligence who are doing the job of protecting us out to be the fall guys. Valarie Plame was not exceptional in this case. What a class act Cheney is.
We all of have our ideas why we made this mistake -- other than the supposed threat of Hussein -- and all of them are probably right.
Even if Cheney and Bush had gone into Iraq for honorable, decent, constructive reasons the invasion was poorly planned, ham-handedly conducted and opened the doors to incredible corruption on the part of administration cronies. Over 4,000 of our own people have been killed, thousands more injured, thousands more of the reservists had their lives disrupted due to stop loss, scores of thousands of Iraqis killed and about two million displaced from their homes.
At the least honest leadership with character would have resigned in disgrace or a competent Congress - both on the Republican and Democratic side -- would have held hearings and meted out punishments and sanctions.
The New York Times on Sunday had an op-ed talking about how the Clinton impeachment poisoned our political process with the partisanship leaving little taste for another impeachment, this time for what looks like cause.
In the dwindling days of the Bush administration it looks like this inquiry won't happen. And let's be clear. An impeachment is only an inquiry, not a conviction, and should have been conducted to get to the bottom of this colossal mess.
The founding fathers put impeachment in place for a reason -- to prevent an out of control executive branch. If we fail to hold the Bush administration accountable for this and a bunch of other suspicious acts, the standard for impeachment will be so high that this Congress may have rendered that section of the Constitution effectively null and void.