Get your pricey NYT columnists for free at Truthout.org

You just have to wait a day or so… Kristof has a good one on the tragic consequences of Bush’s UN Population Fund “policy” (and yes, call Kristof “naive” when he suggests it at the end of the column). And Frank Rich —

We don’t yet know whether Lewis (Scooter) Libby or Karl Rove has committed a crime, but the more we learn about their desperate efforts to take down a bit player like Joseph Wilson, the more we learn about the real secret they wanted to protect: the “why” of the war.

— makes a nice companion piece to the NYT feature on the rationale for the war:

The dispute over the rationale for the war has led to upheaval in the intelligence agencies, left Democrats divided about how aggressively to break with the White House and exposed deep rifts in the administration and among Republicans.

The combatants’ intensity was underscored this week in a speech by Lawrence Wilkerson, former chief of staff to Colin L. Powell while he was secretary of state, who complained of a “cabal” between Mr. Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld when it came to Iraq and other national security issues and of a “real dysfunctionality” in the administration’s foreign policy team.

The intensity could be further inflamed by comments from Brent Scowcroft, national security adviser during the administration of Mr. Bush’s father, in the coming edition of The New Yorker that are a reminder of how the breach over Iraq had its roots in competing views of foreign policy that extend well back into the last century.

Mr. Scowcroft, a self-described realist who prides himself on seeing what could go wrong in any course of action, argues against what he characterizes as the utopian view of neoconservatives within the administration that toppling Saddam Hussein would open the door to democracy throughout the Middle East. He also suggests that Mr. Cheney is a man much changed, and not for the better, from the policy maker he worked with closely during the Persian Gulf war in 1991.

Mr. Scowcroft has long expressed reservations about the current White House’s foreign policy approach and about the Iraq war in particular, but his comments could further exacerbate divisions among Republicans, especially to the degree that they are seen as reflecting the views of his close friend, the first President Bush.

“The real anomaly in the administration is Cheney,” Mr. Scowcroft told Jeffrey Goldberg of The New Yorker. “I consider Cheney a good friend – I’ve known him for 30 years. But Dick Cheney I don’t know anymore.”

I picked up the New Yorker today and will share more of that interview when I finish it.

The NY Daily News has a story on Mr. Congeniality’s celebrated and worsening temper. The stress of fabricating the case for an unjust war is really taking a toll on him.

(Meanwhile, another blogging soldier trying to make sense of the war has been officially silenced.)

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