Friday, October 20, 2006

Hutchison Admits the War Was Unnecessary But Still Doesn't Want a Withdrawal

In yesterday's Senate candidate debate, Kay Bailey Hutchison made a stunning admission.

U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison said in a televised debate with her Democratic and Libertarian opponents Thursday night that she would not have voted for the Iraq war if she had known in 2003 that Saddam Hussein had no weapons of mass destruction.

"If I had known then what I know now about the weapons of mass destruction, I would not have voted to go into Iraq as we did," said Hutchison, a Republican seeking a third term in Washington. "But I don't think the president would have asked us to."

Maybe somebody should get her a copy of Richard Clarke's book before she goes too far with this argument. As Clarke described the aftermath of 9/11:

I expected to go back to a round of meetings [after September 11] examining what the next attacks could be, what our vulnerabilities were, what we could do about them in the short term. Instead, I walked into a series of discussions about Iraq. At first I was incredulous that we were talking about something other than getting Al Qaeda. Then I realized with almost a sharp physical pain that Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz were going to try to take advantage of this national tragedy to promote their agenda about Iraq. Since the beginning of the administration, indeed well before, they had been pressing for a war with Iraq.

Radnofsky was quick to jump all over the "If I'd known then..." theory, too.

The concession drew a sharp rebuke from Democrat Barbara Ann Radnofsky, who said key senators had intelligence reports questioning whether nuclear, chemical and biological weapons were stashed in Iraq. And she questioned whether those reports were read by many in the Senate before they cast their votes.

"Any senator who did not do what their colleagues begged them to do was derelict in their duty," Radnofsky said.

So Hutchison thinks it's finally time to admit the obvious and move on, eh? Well, no, not exactly. Now that we're in Iraq we don't want to "cut and run." Of course, we know that Hutchison has no plan to end the war. (See previous post Senator Hutchison's Plan to Get Out of Iraq.) But it's also no secret that things in Iraq are going very badly, and that President Bush plans on making adjustments to the Iraq plan just as soon as the elections are over. Of course, that's cold comfort to the families of Texans lost so far in this senseless war, or of the 72 U.S. soldiers killed in fighting so far this month.

But, hey, on the upside, Hutchison did broker a deal on the Wright Amendment, so I guess it all evens out.

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