Scott Ritter, one of the few Americans in the loop who got it right before the Iraq War, points out that both the British nor the American Iraq War commissions (both of which were stacked with promoters of the Iraq War) got to the root of the problem. The search for WMD was never taken seriously by the Bush administration; all they wanted from it was an excuse to invade Iraq.
“The unwillingness of the American and British governments to capitalize on the dramatic breakthroughs regarding the disarmament of Iraq between July 1995 and July 1996 only underscores the reality that, when it came to the fate of Saddam’s government, the outcome had been preordained. There was never an intention to allow a finding of Iraqi compliance concerning its disarmament obligation, even if one was warranted. Saddam was to be removed from power, and WMD were always viewed by the policymakers as the excuse for doing so.
The failure of either the Senate committee or the Butler Commission to recognize the role that the policy of regime change had in corrupting the analytical efforts of U.S. and British intelligence services means that not only will it be more difficult to achieve meaningful reform in these services, but more importantly, the general public will continue to remain largely ignorant of the true scope of failure regarding Iraq policy. ”
Ritter was the victim of a smear campaign early in 2002 and has never been quite rehabilitated. More information here and here. If there are any decent Republicans left, they have to be bothered by the Rove administration’s propensity for smearing professionals, even former staff members, who dare to disagree with Bush.