Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

If it's true, as I wrote below, that the public case for the Iraq War was built on a series of half-truths, misdirections and lies, it's fair to ask, just what was the point then? And what did President and Dick Cheney and everyone else think was going to happen after the invasion? It's a good question. Let me try to answer it.

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As the GOP has quickly settled into a new consensus that the decision to invade Iraq was - at least in retrospect - a mistake, it has come with a willful amnesia bordering on a whole new generation of deceit about exactly what happened in the lead up to the invasion of Iraq in March 2003. To hear Republican presidential candidates tell it, Americans believed Saddam Hussein had a stockpile of Weapons of Mass Destruction which justified and necessitated the invasion. Since he didn't, there was no reason to invade. The carnage and collateral effects we've seen over the last dozen years only drives home the point: knowing what we know now, the invasion was a mistake. We wouldn't do it again.

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The Jeb watershed has sent TPMers out onto the terrain of Iraq War dead-enders trying to find someone who will say, yes, it's still awesome. And it's turning out to be pretty hard. Even Elliot Abrams has given up the fight. So far only John Bolton says he's still in favor. We're still looking.

Help us find who else is still on board. If you see news reports of people saying they still think the invasion was a good idea, please drop us a line.

I mentioned a couple days ago that this might be happening. And now I think we're seeing that it is. Improbably, Jeb Bush's run for president and painful bumbling have triggered, though by no means caused, a watershed moment in the country's reckoning with the strategic blunder - and let's just say it - self-inflicted catastrophe of the Iraq War.

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This has not been a good few days for Jeb Bush. But I want to highlight one issue this is bringing to the fore about his campaign and the entire 2016 primary process. Through all this clumsy fumbling over "would you invade Iraq" what's most conspicuous is the dog that is not barking. It is very hard to find any Republican partisans that are lifting a finger to defend him. Laura Ingraham kicked things off ridiculing him. Byron York wrote a merciless column lambasting Bush both for the substance of his remarks and their optics. But it goes well beyond these Republican commentator-elites.

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