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I understand the eagerness of some to welcome Newt Gingrich to the "this war was really bad idea" camp.  After all, it’s not going to be possible to get our collective ass out of there until the people in power, the people who got us into this mess, the GOP, decide to do something about it.

But Newt should not be allowed to assume the status of visionary hero for seeing the light.  Newt is a guilty fucker with blood on his hands and no amount of apostasy is going to wash that off.  I think it’s important to consider this point now because we are going to be seeing a lot of Rethuglicans finding their (*cough*) "conscience" as time  (and political expediency) go on.  

Says Digby (email):

Gingrich is not to be trusted.

He was a major behind-the-scenes player in the run-up to the Iraq war, and even worse, was a major proponent of Rumsfeld’s delusional RMA experiment that left Iraq undermanned in the early days when the conventional theories requiring large numbers of troops were pooh-poohed as outmoded "second wave" thinking.  Considered among the starry eyed neocons to be something of a military visionary, Newt was giving speeches at AEI about our glorious new military that could invade a country with a cell phone from the back of a camel.  Completely nuts. If his kooky ideas had not been adopted, that war might never have happened — there were never enough troops to do it right unilaterally.

He’s trying to cover his ass and he might get away with it because he kept a very low profile.  But he’s almost as responsible for this cock-up as Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz and should never be allowed to meddle in national security — hell, politics — ever again.  

Amen to that.   No. Fucking. Prisoners. We had to live through this war because nobody put a stake through the heart of Cheney, Rumsfeld, Gingrich etc. the first time around.  They were allowed to rehabilitate themselves and they came back in another more deadly incarnation.  Nobody gets a free pass because they suddenly see the political opportunities in distancing themselves from the debacle they manufactured.

It’s a trick they keep running and the left keeps falling for it.  Goober Graham is the master, he’ll suddenly take a "principled" stand and set himself up as judge and jury, then use it to give every crook involved a pass.  Specter’s doing it himself right now, calling for the Administration to be more forthcoming about their involvement in the Plame leak.  You watch.  Having established himself as watchdog he’ll wind up saying something to the effect that "I’ve weighed all the evidence and I find that the President acted within the law."  It’s just how the cons work this particular shell game.

Gingrich is just the first crook on the other side of the river, and he’ll stand there and throw a rope to all of his warmongering pals.  He must not be allowed to do it.  Every one of those bastards must be made to wear this war, the war of their own making, around their necks — or we’ll be standing right here wondering how we got into the middle of World War III at their behest once again.

Matt Stoller is collecting evidence of Gingrich’s war crimes over at MyDD — every time Newt banged the war drums, every time he implied those who opposed his war were "traitors" giving aid and comfort to the enemy.  A great place to start is Digby’s post on Newt’s responsibility for this deadly, disastrous war from 2003; it’s a must-read, especially for anyone who might be thinking of giving him a "pass" in all of this.   I hope everybody contributes to tying the anvil around his neck he so richly deserves.