Of all the justifications that President Bush gave for invading Iraq, the most terrifying was that Saddam Hussein was on the brink of developing a nuclear bomb that he might use against the United States or give to terrorists. Ever since we learned that this was not true, the question has been whether Mr. Bush gave a good-faith account of the best available intelligence, or knowingly deceived the public. The more we learn about the way Mr. Bush paved the road to war, the more it becomes disturbingly clear that if he was not aware that he was feeding misinformation to the world, he was about the only one in his circle who had not been clued in.
The foundation for the administration's claim that it acted on an honest assessment of intelligence analysis - and the president's frequent claim that Congress had the same information he had - has been steadily eroded by the reports from the Senate Intelligence Committee and the 9/11 commission. A lengthy report in The Times on Sunday removed any lingering doubts....read on
Ms. Rice's spokesman, Sean McCormack, said it was not her job to question intelligence reports or "to referee disputes in the intelligence community." But even with that curious job disclaimer, it's no comfort to think that the national security adviser wouldn't have bothered to inform herself about such a major issue before speaking publicly. The national security adviser has no more important responsibility than making sure that the president gets the best advice on life-and-death issues like the war.
If Ms. Rice did her job and told Mr. Bush how ludicrous the case was for an Iraqi nuclear program, then Mr. Bush terribly misled the public. If not, she should have resigned for allowing her boss to start a war on the basis of bad information and an incompetent analysis.