A Mind That Suits What doesn't kill me, makes me laugh... usually.

Thursday, October 28, 2004 :::
Nice Work, Guys

In what the British call the "run-up" to the war, a favorite expert of conservative commentators was the estimable Dr. David Kay. The equally estimable Kate O'Beirne, no less, dedicated one column to his testimony on Iraqi WMD, but other conservatives relied on him no less.

And then he was asked by our President to figure out what happened to those WMD.

And, because he did not flinch from the truth, he became Public Enemy Number One.

In his "exit interview" before the Senate Armed Services Committee as lead investigator on WMD--technically, as head of the CIA's Iraq Survey Group--he did his best to justify the war. He called it "incredibly prudent." And indeed, it was his work which converted this war skeptic to reluctant war supporter. There is a colloquy between Dr. Kay and that embodiment-of-Republican-ideals, Sen. Roberts of Kansas, which should form the cornerstone of any realistic policy on fighting terror and WMD.

So Dr. Kay was of course embraced by the conservative intellectual elite for his bravery and dedication to the truth?

No, he was villified or ignored.

This writer had wondered about the psychological effect of being isolated by people who used to idolize you, and he got a hint in an interview with the estimable doctor not so long ago on MSNBC. Dr. Kay--surprisingly for someone who spent most of his life working for bureaucracies--is very good at soundbites, and gave 10 second answers which were models of quotability.

They were also models of accuracy.

There were also models of exasperation.

For Dr. Kay granted Pres. Bush precious little wiggle room, unlike his responses to the Senate Armed Services Committee, which allowed any conservative listening wide latitude in using what he had found--which was, alas, that there simply were no WMD to be found. But, as we noted, those responses were not used.

That was a few weeks ago. What about now, just when Pres. Bush most needs cover and actually deserves it--over these not-even-WMD explosives that are unaccounted for? Dr. Kay is right in there trying to push this Administration over the edge, claiming that the explosives were probably there when we took Baghdad. That is plausible, but it is not probable.

What does it take for an honorable and dedicated man like Dr. Kay to actively seek the defeat of a cause he has served so well? We now know.

That is yet one more consequence of this lock-step, closed-minded, on-to-victory mentality that has seized our conservative intellectual elite. How much time has been lost through defending a (clearly false) certainty when conservatives should have been dedicated to finding the truth, no matter what happened to the reputation of Donald Rumsfeld--or of George W. Bush, for that matter?

And that, more than anything else, explains why W. is the fight of his life against an opponent he should have buried by late September.

::: posted by A Mind That Suits at 1:05 PM



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