We’ve been so wrapped up in the Iraq funding issue that this bomb is going off nearly unnoticed. Jonathan S. Landay writes for McClatchy Newspapers:
U.S. intelligence agencies warned the Bush administration before the invasion of Iraq that ousting Saddam Hussein would create a “significant risk” of sectarian strife, encourage al-Qaida attacks and open the way for Iranian interference.
The Senate Intelligence Committee on Friday released declassified prewar intelligence reports and summaries of others that cautioned that establishing democracy in Iraq would be “long, difficult and probably turbulent” and said that while most Iraqis would welcome elections, the country’s ethnic and religious leaders would be unwilling to share power.
Nevertheless, President Bush, then-Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and other top aides decided not to deploy the major occupation that force military planners had recommended, planned to reduce U.S. troops rapidly after the invasion and believed that ousting Saddam would ignite a democratic revolution across the Middle East.
The Senate Intelligence Committee ought to know better than to dump something like this on the Friday before Memorial Day Weekend. I suspect there’s a story behind that, and I’d like to know what it is.