We think everyone's puzzled about who knew whom and who made what deals with whom, and when, and under what circumstances, and whether Mohamed al-Iraqi had serious meetings with Tarik Abdullah al-Whatshisname about WMD. And so forth. What impresses us the most is how eager the news media are to find and report a "bottom line" in a complex matter. Did Iraq collaborate with al-Quaeda or not? We think the media are primarily lazy and looking for a hot, simple story. Add to that their bias against the Bush Administration, and you get "news" reports like the ones all of us have seen in the last few days, summarizing the 9/11 Commission's report either falsely, out of context, or in a downright blockheaded manner (and sometimes all three).
Still and all, there are so many important and unanswered questions out there. Here, Melanie Phillips sorts some of them out for us.
Here's another editorial that views the issue "down the middle," and tries to describe the general ambiguity and conflict surrounding the Commission's report.
As for us, we honestly don't know what to think, except to say that we disagree with anyone who says the world now knows enough to conclude that this issue is closed.
And about that 9/11 Commission: It has generated much more heat than light and seems to have become a political tool. We wish the President had never appointed it.
Finally, a thought from the Arizona Republic with which we fully agree:
"The killings of Johnson and Berg and Pearl have steeled Americans for the fight ahead. We face years of miserable, bloody work, of making mistakes and doubting ourselves, of infuriating allies who fear our muscular resolve. But we will make the long, hard slog because we know the enemy."