Norman Podhoretz, the arch-Neo-Con, pushes back against those who would turn the Fitzgerald probe into an indictment of the rationale for the Iraq war (i.e., “most Democrats”). He lays the cards on the table, both about Joe Wilson’s Niger adventure and the state of pre-war WMD intelligence. It’s not so much a constructed argument as a litany of facts and quotations that the other side finds it inconvenient to remember.

His conclusion throws down the gauntlet:

In his press conference on the indictment against Libby, Patrick Fitzgerald insisted that lying to federal investigators is a serious crime both because it is itself against the law and because, by sending them on endless wild-goose chases, it constitutes the even more serious crime of obstruction of justice. By those standards, Wilson�who has repeatedly made false statements about every aspect of his mission to Niger, including whose idea it was to send him and what he told the CIA upon his return; who was then shown up by the Senate Intelligence Committee as having lied about the forged documents; and whose mendacity has sent the whole country into a wild-goose chase after allegations that, the more they are refuted, the more they keep being repeated�is himself an excellent candidate for criminal prosecution.

And so long as we are hunting for liars in this area, let me suggest that we begin with the Democrats now proclaiming that they were duped, and that we then broaden out to all those who in their desperation to delegitimize the larger policy being tested in Iraq�the policy of making the Middle East safe for America by making it safe for democracy�have consistently used distortion, misrepresentation, and selective perception to vilify as immoral a bold and noble enterprise and to brand as an ignominious defeat what is proving itself more and more every day to be a victory of American arms and a vindication of American ideals.

Politics When Neo-Cons Attack