Monday, April 03, 2006

Post-Hoc Vindication?

Yesterday's Wall Street Journal contains an article about some recently-released documents pertaining to terrorist links with Saddam Hussein's government.  The documents were discovered during and after the invasion on Iraq.  Some of the documents are described as evidence that there were, in fact, links between the Iraqi government and terrorist organizations.  The author, on the WSJ article, Ms. Mylroie, concludes:
Many more documents are to be released in the coming months. Quite possibly, they will vindicate the decision to undertake the Iraq war; help maintain public support for fighting it; and radically change our understanding of Saddam's role in international terrorism.
I can't help but comment on this.  First of all, you can't justify starting a war based upon documents found after the war started.  The decision to go to war has to be judged based according to the information that was available at the time the decision was made.  Second, the webstie containing the documents states plainly that:
The US Government has made no determination regarding the authenticity of the documents, validity or factual accuracy of the information contained therein, or the quality of any translations, when available.
Vindication of the war may be desirable, but it is a serious matter.  Making such a judgment based upon unverified documents would be rash, at best.  A much more thorough analysis would be called for.