Wednesday, February 4
by Tom Engelhardt, Tom Dispatch.com, February 4, 2004
Guess who's already calling around town in search of figures to be named to the "independent commission" to investigate intelligence failures in Iraq (and elsewhere), according to the New York Times? As Douglas Jehl and David E. Sanger report (Commission to Decide Itself on Depth of Its Investigation), "Mr. Bush, the White House said, plans to appoint the members himself, though Vice President Cheney has been calling around Capitol Hill sounding out ideas." The Great Sounder-Outer. I wonder what an idea Dick sounds out sounds like?
A name, a name… what's in a name? In the rigged crapshoot that's the commission to be, two curious and fascinating names have already floated by. The planned nine-member panel, White House officials said, "would include current and former officials with experience in intelligence matters."
Among the names Washington Post reporters Dana Milbank and Dana Priest mention (Intelligence Panel Will Cast Net Beyond Iraq) is that of former CIA director James Woolsey. He would certainly be a fabulous addition to any merry band of pranksters this administration put together.
As Paul Woodward, editor of the always interesting War in Context website comments, "If James Woolsey -- a man who before the war merrily tried to popularize the slogan, 'Give war a chance' -- is included in this commission it will be exposed as an utter charade.
" Woolsey, who also popularized the idea -- post-the-Afghan but pre-the-Iraqi war -- that we were already enmeshed in "World War IV" and rushed off on a bizarre series of semi-private intelligence adventures for members of the administration, won't make the cut, I suspect. But just seeing his name surface adds a bit of zest to this black (or is it bleak) comedy.