Jeffrey Goldberg today:
Did I say “pre-emption”? The doctrine that shall not be named? The Bush administration did the nation no service by pre-empting an Iraqi weapons-of-mass-destruction program that no longer existed in any meaningful way. The danger, of course, is in the ever-swinging pendulum, whose movement could lead a Democratic president to flinch when presented with intelligence (“intelligence” often being a euphemism for “Mr. President, we really don’t know exactly what’s going on, but …”) that a ship, or a port, or a nuclear plant faces an imminent, or semi-imminent threat.
Some other guy named Jeffrey Goldberg, back then:
For instance, when Doug Feith had a hard-on about launching military action against Arab terrorists in Paraguay, who stepped forward and wrote the scare piece? Now we have a big special-ops base! And when Chalabi wanted to disseminate a dodgy tidbit about Saddam having a secret evil plan to kill 100,000 Israelis in a single day with bioweapons, was it not Goldberg who duly pimped it to the New Yorker’s million discerning readers? It was indeed.
Goldberg did this, in fact, in his (in)famous 2002 feature "The Great Terror," which helped create the well-worn media portrait of Saddam as a genocidal lunatic with WMDs on hair-trigger ready to exterminate every hamburger-eating, freedom-loving person in the world. Both Bush and Cheney spoke approvingly of the 16,000-word article and singled it out as a good explanation why a war effort was justified. But the "Great Terror" is a J-school nightmare: bad sources, compromised sources, unacknowledged uncertainties, and the whole text spun through with an alarmist rhetoric that is now either laughable or nauseating, depending on your mood.