Now that the Times has let Judy Miller be semipurged, a more honest narrative has emerged.
It features Brent Scrowcroft, ponders whether Libby will be offed, and finally says the intel was wrong.
Miller confined to a billabong?
"The real anomaly in the administration is Cheney," Mr. Scowcroft
told Jeffrey Goldberg of The New Yorker. "I consider Cheney a good
friend - I've known him for 30 years. But Dick Cheney I don't know
Mr. Cheney's focus on the threat from Iraq has put
some of his aides, especially I. Lewis Libby Jr., his chief of staff,
in the middle of an investigation by a special prosecutor into the leak
of the C.I.A. operative's name. According to lawyers in the case, Mr.
Libby remains under scrutiny this week in the investigation stemming
from his effort to rebut criticism by Joseph C. Wilson IV, a former
diplomat, that the administration had twisted intelligence about Iraq's
Mr. Libby has become emblematic of the broader
Iraq debate, cast by supporters as a loyal aide working diligently to
set the record straight, and by critics as someone working to smear or
undermine the credibility of a politically potent opponent.
way in which the leak investigation is being pursued is becoming a
symbol of who was right and who was wrong about the war," said Ivo H.
Daalder, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution who worked at the
National Security Council during the Clinton administration. "The
possibility of Libby being indicted, and the whole Cheney angle, is all
about proving in some sense that they were wrong and therefore that
those who opposed the war and never thought the intelligence was right
have been proven correct."
Except for this bit:
The passions surrounding the investigation and the question of why the
administration got it wrong about Iraq, other analysts agree, reflect
the troubled course of the war and the divisions over whether it was
necessary or a diversion from the effort to fight Islamic extremism.
This (the bold my emphasis) assumes that there were people - "analysts" - who actually believed that deposing a secular strong-man (a nasty nasty murderer of a man of course) and balkanizing Iraq would somehow, uh, stave off Islamic extremism. If there are such analysts, I suggest they check their mercury levels.
Finally this bit by a former (first?) Bush employee deserves comment: "If the war had gone extremely well, you wouldn't have this controversy." If the "war had gone extremely well," there wouldn't have been a war in the first place.