The promised Senate report is out, and the main conclusion shouldn’t surprise anyone who hasn’t shared the White House’s isolation chamber for the last five years.

There’s no evidence Saddam Hussein had ties with al-Qaida, according to a Senate report on prewar intelligence that Democrats say undercuts President Bush’s justification for invading Iraq.

Bush administration officials have insisted on a link between the Iraqi regime and terror leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. Intelligence agencies, however, concluded there was none.

Republicans counter this is “old news.” I’d agree with them…. if the administration didn’t continue to insist that Iraq had terror connections, and that the invasion was justified. For it to be “old news”, war supporters actually have to accept it as true.

And as I noted yesterday, we’re still waiting for the real report: What, if anything, the administration did to manipulate or shade the intelligence it received. We won’t know until the report comes out, but allow me a purely speculative question: why would Congressional Republicans tie that particular report up in knots unless there actually was something to hide?

Let us hope the truth comes out sooner rather than later. Yes, we have to deal with the hand we’re currently holding, however it was dealt. But knowing what happened will help us avoid making similar mistakes in the future — and give us an idea of whom to believe and whom to dismiss.

Politics Surprise, surprise