This morning this writer came upon a "letter to the editors" by Fulton Armstrong, a former National Intelligence Council (NIC) officer insider who summarily described how and why the intelligence used to justify the Iraq war was "cooked".
For those of us who closely followed the run up to the Iraq war and the daily aspersions made by the Bush/Cheney crowd particularly from January 2002 (the State of the Union address where Bush announced the incomprehensible "axis of evil" alliance of Iraq, Iran and North Korea, through the Colin Powell "charade" speech to the U.N. in February, 2003) and all the phony revelations that came to light in between i.e. the "yellow cake" from Niger to Iraq (never happened), the "centrifuge tubes" (purported to be used for uranium processing but were the wrong size and dimension for such a purpose), to the raw intelligence evidence (never vetted for accuracy) provided by "curveball", the purported Iraqi insider (that proved wholly unreliable and fabricated), this "letter" provided no new revelations to what we already knew about the Bush administrations machinations to justify its intentions to invade Iraq in March, 2003.
What the "letter" did do was describe (from an insiders perspective) the insidious pressures put on the intelligence analysts to produce the "evidence" (what Bush/Cheney wanted to hear) that supported their politically motivated and preconceived determination to justify the case for war.
It renewed the disgust one felt at the time toward the whole unholy enterprise that was the Bush/Cheney administration.
It also renewed the terrible wrenching discomfort one felt as an American, feeling alienated from his government and so completely opposed to the road his government was taking.
Our government, in the past and in our name has done some despicable things, from countenancing slavery, destroying the indigenous American Indian culture to the internment of its Japanese citizens during World War II. We have clandestinely overthrown (by CIA inspired coups) legitimately elected governments (Iran in 1953, Chile in 1968) to say nothing of the war in Viet Nam which was escalated based upon a Tonkin Gulf incident that never occurred (just to name a few of the not so honorable undertakings our government has done).
Now we have preemptively started unnecessary wars based on trumped intelligence evidence, put our troops in harms way unnecessarily by illegally invading and occupying other countries that pose no threat (imminent or otherwise) to us.
Of course it is the government in power at the time that is directly responsible for carrying out these policies. But that government supposedly represents us, the people of the U.S. We live in this country, we benefit from its bounty.
We are supposed to be a country guided by the Constitution and the rule of law. When our government and its elected leaders act illegally, do they not attack the very principles of that document, belying the oath they took to defend it?
We as a people can not wave a magic wand to make it all right. But we will not be exonerated by continuing to sit idly by, passively accepting (and thus enabling) the clear illegalities our government is committing.
We the people have to be the conscience of the country, for if we do not act to rein in our governments rogue behavior done in our name, we are but the 21st century "good Germans" that allows our government and its leaders to wreak havoc on the world.