A fully partisan, less than fully honest report, Part Two

I haven’t had time to follow up on my post about the report of the U.S. Senate Select Committee as to “whether public statements regarding Iraq by U.S. government officials were substantiated by intelligence.” However, I’m happy to note that Fred Hiatt of the Washington Post has waded through the Committee’s report and has concluded (though he doesn’t put it this way) that the Committee has engaged in something of a fraud.

Hiatt points out that, in releasing the report, Committee Chairman Rockefeller claimed to have demonstrated that the administration “repeatedly presented intelligence as fact when it was unsubstantiated, contradicted, or even nonexistent.” But Hiatt finds, correctly, that the Committee report does not substantiate its Chairman’s claim. On point after point, the report shows that the administration’s stated concerns about Iraq were in fact supported by the intelligence at hand.

The report does criticize statements the administration made about Iraq’s intentions. But, as Hiatt observes, this was a judgment call, not a misrepresentation of intelligence.

Moreover, Sen. Rockefeller (among many other Senate Democrats) propounded the same judgments his Committee criticizes. For example, Rockefeller stated:

There has been some debate over how ‘imminent’ a threat Iraq poses. I do believe Iraq poses an imminent threat. I also believe after September 11, that question is increasingly outdated. . . . To insist on further evidence could put some of our fellow Americans at risk. Can we afford to take that chance? I do not think we can.

It’s easy to understand why Chairman Rockefeller and other Senate Dems want to see the history of the prewar debate rewritten in order (a) to perpetuate the phony “Bush lied” mantra and (b) air-brush themselves out of the picture. And it’s easy to see why the Committee Democrats were frustrated by their inability to support the anti-Bush mantra except through specious reliance on the kind of statements they themselves made in spades. But frustration isn’t a defense to fraud.

JOHN adds: Gateway Pundit has much more, including a response by Kit Bond to the Democrats’ disgusting trick, and quotes from the Senate Intelligence Committee Report on pre-war intelligence, which was issued before the Democrats went stark raving mad; click to enlarge:

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