One addendum to yesterday's release from Jay Rockefeller about the administration's misuse of intelligence before the war is to say that it sure would have been nice for Rockefeller to have been so on the ball about this stuff before the war. Instead, in a floor speech explaining his decision to vote "yes" on the AUMF resolution, he gave us this:

There is unmistakable evidence that Saddam Hussein is working aggressively to develop nuclear weapons and will likely have nuclear weapons within the next five years. And that may happen sooner if he can obtain access to enriched uranium from foreign sources -- something that is not that difficult in the current world. We also should remember we have always underestimated the progress Saddam has made in development of weapons of mass destruction.

When Saddam Hussein obtains nuclear capabilities, the constraints he feels will diminish dramatically, and the risk to America’s homeland, as well as to America’s allies, will increase even more dramatically. Our existing policies to contain or counter Saddam will become irrelevant. [...]

But this isn’t just a future threat. Saddam’s existing biological and chemical weapons capabilities pose a very real threat to America, now. Saddam has used chemical weapons before, both against Iraq’s enemies and against his own people. He is working to develop delivery systems like missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles that could bring these deadly weapons against U.S. forces and U.S. facilities in the Middle East.

And he could make those weapons available to many terrorist groups which have contact with his government, and those groups could bring those weapons into the U.S. and unleash a devastating attack against our citizens. I fear that greatly.



It's much easier for the president to mislead people when the erstwhile opposition party is doing more to echo his rhetoric than to debunk it.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.