The Corner

Re: No Debate Over War?

Rich, what strikes me when I read Tenet’s account of this argument between Powell and Cheney is what Tenet doesn’t say.  That is, Powell wants to give diplomacy a chance and Cheney sees this as a delay with no tactical upside and lots of downside, but one thing they are apparently not arguing about is the intelligence

Obviously, Tenet is in the war-counsel room, and his only purpose — a critically important purpose — for being there is his expected contribution as the nation’s top intelligence source.  As he tells it, though, the patent assumption appears to be that it’s settled that the intelligence justifies invading; the whole argument by then is down to (a) timing and (b) the question whether our goals be accomplished by diplomacy.  They’re not arguing about whether the case for going to war can or should be beefed up; they plainly see the case for going to war as … a slam-dunk. 

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