Monday, February 02, 2004

The conversion of David Kay

David Kay is starting to sound like one of the lefty peaceniks who opposed the attack on Iraq for reasons that it breached international law. He said:

"If you cannot rely on good, accurate intelligence that is credible to the American people and to others abroad, you certainly can't have a policy of preemption."


"Pristine intelligence - good, accurate intelligence - is a fundamental benchstone of any sort of policy of preemption to even be thought about."

This is exactly what opponents of the attack screamed until they were blue in the face, but got absolutely nowhere with anyone in power in the United States, including Kay. Bush's policy of pre-emptive strike against countries deemed a threat to the United States is untenable unless the President can have absolute certainty in the quality of his intelligence. There are very circumscribed exceptions to a country's ability in international law to attack another. Without the approval of the United Nations, which the United States tried to obtain but could not, the only possible exception applicable in the case of Iraq was that Iraq posed an imminent threat to the United States and war was the only solution to avoid this threat. It is impossible to make this argument without accurate intelligence, as you have to be certain of the imminence of the threat. Kay has conclusively demonstrated that the United States did not have accurate intelligence. Of course, he doesn't go into why the intelligence was inaccurate, as that would involve a consideration of the political manipulations of the Office of Special Plans, and how the truth was actually hidden in order to lead to a war desired for other reasons. It's nice to see Kay speak at least part of the truth, but he suffers to some extent from the 'Robert McNamara syndrome' - given he has spent most of the last 15 years mongering for a war on Iraq, it is somewhat grating to hear the truth come from him.