One of the more subtle benefits of the nomination of Chuck Hagel for Secretary Of Defense is that it has required in our political discourse that we re-litigate — or, arguably, litigate honestly for the first time — the sweeping criminal fraud that was the selling of the war in Iraq by the administration of George W. Bush. Remarkably, at least in the prominent arenas of public discussion, the "left" side of this debate is primarily represented by people who supported the criminal fraud at first — like Peter Beinart and, admittedly, Hagel himself — and who then soured on the whole business either because they saw what a massive blunder it was, or because they needed to obfuscate their own hysterical support of it in order to maintain their public credibility in a country that was realizing that they'd helped play it for a sucker. And hello to you, too, Andrew Sullivan.More.
Let us be clear. The Avignon Presidency's excellent adventure in Iraq was a fake from start to finish, planned long in advance of the 9/11 attacks and sold to the country on the basis of "evidence" that bordered on the risible. (Remember the Iraqi drones spraying anthrax up the Hudson?) More to the point, there were people who knew it at the time, who talked about it at the time, who yelled about it at the time, and who, at best, were ignored and, at worst, slandered and marginalized. Those voices are still on the outskirts of the conversation, as though the more right you were, the less credibility you had.
Short of locking up everybody who perpetrated that clusterfuck, I would be happy with the symbolic gesture of locking up Dick Cheney and deny him the luxury of avoiding accountability for his war crimes by being allowed to die a free man.