Iraq War at 10 and “The Questions We Didn’t Ask”

Veteran Washington journalist Howard Fineman has written a fine, self-critical article about how “we”–meaning “the decision-making machinery of Washington, including elected lawmakers, appointed officials and the national media”–allowed Dick Cheney and George W. Bush’s “warped vision” of the possible threat that Saddam Hussein’s regime might someday play “drive us” to a catastrophic war.

His answer:

Too few questions were asked, too many assumptions were allowed to go unchallenged, too many voices of doubt were muffled or rejected in a toxic atmosphere of patriotism, ignorance and political fear.

….Of course for journalists, the most patriotic thing we can do is our jobs — which meant that we all should have doubled down on skepticism and tough questions. Some did. I wish I could say that I was one of them.

….I should have known more, studied more, asked more questions and been more skeptical.

Indeed. It will be interesting to see how Fineman acts on this hard-won wisdom.

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