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The reporting from Hussein Kamel and the Iraqi foreign minister, sources with excellent access, was suppressed in favor of "evidence" - from forgeries, for example, like the infamous Iraq-Niger yellowcake report.
When finally U.S. officials were forced to concede that the Iraq-Niger information was based on a forgery, lawmakers like Rep. Henry Waxman, D-California, protested loudly - but too late.
Three days before President Bush let slip the dogs of war, NBC's Tim Russert braced Cheney with the assertion by the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that Saddam Hussein did not have a nuclear program.
Cheney strongly disagreed and cited support for his view from the CIA and other parts of the intelligence community. He even ratcheted up his bogus assessment of Iraq's nuclear capability: "We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons."
We? Maybe his wife, Lynne, and Liz were on board for that judgment; few others believed it.
Marine Gen. Anthony Zinni, retired CENTCOM commander but still enjoying access to the most sensitive information on Iraq, was sitting in the audience on Aug. 26, 2002, and later described himself as astonished at the Iraqi threat as described by Cheney.
The most knowledgeable analysts - those who knew Iraq and nuclear weapons - scoffed at Cheney's faith-based intelligence.
In our July 14, 2003, appeal to President Bush to ask for Cheney's resignation, we warned of the likelihood that intelligence analysts would conclude that the best way to climb the ladder of success is to acquiesce in the cooking or "fixing" of their judgments, since neither senior nor junior officials would ever be held accountable.
This remains as acute a concern as the tolerance for torture and the like.
We shall have to demand that Attorney General Eric Holder do his duty and move quickly to start the process to hold accountable those responsible for dragging our country down into a moral abyss.
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