Now John Howard is blaming the intelligence people.
"You can never prove anything in a court of law based on intelligence," he said. "And if you wait until you get evidence enough to satisfy an Old Bailey jury, it's too late... You have to make a judgement based on intelligence assessments."
Never mind that there were significant intelligence reports claiming Iraq posed no threat to the USA, let alone Australia, and did not possess WMDs. The question is, will the intelligence services obediently roll over and cop the blame, or will their professional pride compell them to throw the blame back on the politicians? While "intelligence" has always been a shady world of half-truths, the outrageous misrepresentation of information used to justify the Iraq War seems to set a dangerous precedent which cannot be allowed to stand. There are lies, lies and then there are damned lies like this.
Bush first claimed those two weather balloon trucks were WMDs. Then he said looters stole the WMDs before the invaders could find them. He called anti-war protestors "revisionist historians". Bush is still ducking and weaving, despite a few questions belatedly beginning to escape the mouths of Democrat Presidential nominees, but maybe he has nothing to worry about.
New research shows that an incredible one third of the American public believes U.S. forces found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. And 22 percent believe Iraq actually used chemical or biological weapons. Before the war, half of those polled in a survey said Iraqis were among the 19 hijackers on Sept. 11, 2001. Crazy, just crazy.
Whatever happened to "Truth, Justice and the American Way"?
Back in the UK, Tony Blair has had the hardest time justifying the war, and looks unlikely to escape recriminations unless some WMDs conveniently turn up in the next few weeks.