The revisionists in the Bush administration are still trying to cover their tracks on the war in Iraq. Even in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, these officials are engaged in pure storytelling.
Douglas Feith, the under secretary of defense to Donald Rumsfeld, is a prime offender. Leave it to the Wall Street Journal opinion page to give him a forum for false claims, most recently on Independence Day.
Feith tells us the president would not have invaded Iraq "if there had been a realistic alternative" to bring down Saddam Hussein. That is a real whopper for the ages.
Higher-ups in the Bush inner circle have told us that the president was itching for war after taking office.
Paul O'Neill, Bush's first treasury secretary, wrote that Bush could not stop thinking about Iraq even before 9/11. Scott McClellan, although on the sidelines as an assistant press secretary, wrote that the White House was obsessed with selling the war to the public—much of it in secret.
After 9/11, Feith said the threat of renewed aggression was more "troubling and urgent."
Feith conveniently omits the fact that the invasion came even though the job was not completed in Afghanistan. Richard Clarke, a counterterrorism expert, told Bush officials that attacking Iraq would mean largely leaving Afghanistan.
The nation is still paying a price for that blunder. The Taliban is surging back and forcing the United States to send more manpower to the battered country.
The essay by Feith also fails to touch on the lack of preparation in the aftermath of toppling Hussein. We were told we would be treated as liberators, rather than occupiers. We were told Iraqi oil would pay for most of the recovery effort there.
Six years later, we all know the result of that disastrous belief. It was gross incompetence.
Feith is donating the proceeds of a recently published book to aid veterans. Well, he should since he and others in this administration got us into this terrible situation of lost lives, maimed men and women warriors, and expenses in the billions of dollars with the cost still rolling on.