Okay, some mixed thoughts on the Iraq <$NoAd$>Commission roster.
On the one hand, the president has some reputable Dems down on the list. But Democrats who had much of any experience of Washington in the 1990s aren't going to be overly impressed with its being headed up by Judge Laurence H. Silberman, who was one of the key operators in the right-wing onslaught against Bill Clinton.
Start with this article by Jonathan Broder in Salon in 1998, from which we excerpt the two lead grafs ...
The roster of combatants in the brawl between Kenneth Starr and President Clinton has now expanded to include a conservative federal judge and friend of Starr who has stunned even battle-weary Washington insiders with his intemperate attack on Clinton and Attorney General Janet Reno.
As part of the federal appellate panel that refused to hear the administration's arguments to prevent Secret Service agents from testifying last week, U.S. Judge Laurence H. Silberman wrote a scathing opinion that accused Reno of acting not on behalf of the U.S. government, but in the personal interests of President Clinton. Then, using language seldom seen in the federal judiciary, Silberman questioned whether Clinton himself, by allowing his aides to attack Starr, was "declaring war on the United States."
And then proceed from there to this interview with David Brock, who discusses Silberman's involvement -- while a sitting federal judge -- in much of Brock's anti-Clinton shenanigans from the early and mid-1990s. Again, a brief excerpt ...
Yes he was a sitting judge. For example, they reviewed in draft the galleys of that book. And so it certainly went beyond a reporter-source relationship. And coming out of that, Judge Silberman became a mentor to me and was someone who I relied on, as well as Ricky, for political advice while I was at the American Spectator pursuing a lot of the anti-Clinton stories. When Ricky Silberman left the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, she founded, or was one of the co-founders, of the Independent Women's Forum -- it was actually her idea. And it was actually Ricky Silberman's idea to approach Ken Starr to file that friend-of-the-court brief in the Paula Jones case. And Ricky knew the Jones case was simply payback for the Anita Hill affair. She thought, wouldn't it be delicious that Clinton would now be accused of sexual improprieties in the same way that Clarence Thomas had been? Judge Silberman played an absolutely key role at a critical juncture.
More on the roster to follow.