The Iraq Study Group and James Baker’s Saudi Connection: Dem Skepticism Takes a Magical Holiday

As we’re all aware, the Iraq Study Group, otherwise known as the Baker-Hamilton Commission (lawyers can’t do anything without having the word “commission” in the title, can they?) has released their report.

The “Study Group” — the stated goal of which was to pursue a round-table bipartisan discussion on commissions for the purpose of delineating task forces and implementing two-way dialog on methods for eliminating bureaucracy in the arena of Middle-East think-tanks — found that the United States is way off course in its goal of getting out of Iraq. President Bush disagrees in many areas.

Democrats in Congress and the mainstream media have gleefully devoured the report as damning evidence of the failures of Bush and Rumsfeld to properly wage war (by “properly” I mean doing it so nobody gets hurt or loses cable reception in the process). Gee, normally Democrats are so inquisitive about the source of their information. What happened?

Just for fun, lets ponder one question for a moment. Shortly after the attacks on 9/11, some Americans filed a $1 trillion lawsuit against Saudi officials and the Sudanese government. Who is a senior partner in one of the law firms Saudi Defense Minister Sultan bin ‘Abd-al-‘Aziz hired for his defense? You guessed it: James Baker III.

This all could be meaningless as it pertains to the Study Group findings, or maybe not, but still, how loud and how often would this fact have been trumpeted in the media if the Iraq Study Group report found that Bush’s war plan was right on track? How come nobody is pointing to Baker and questioning his personal motives? How can Baker be considered “neutral” in any of this?

What about Hamilton?

Then of course there’s Lee Hamilton, who once co-chaired a commission (there’s that word “commission” again) to investigate security issues at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. This was again done hand-in-hand with James Baker. The Baker-Hamilton report on Los Alamos, which was commissioned (doh!) in the early summer of 2000, after the theft of hard drives at the apparently not-so-heavily-guarded laboratory, released their recommendations later that year.

And how’s that going? Earlier this year, police in New Mexico, responding to a routine call at a trailer park, found nuclear secrets from Los Alamos that were allegedly “accidentally” taken by an employee — who was keeping them nice and warm next to a meth lab. The Baker-Hamilton report recommendations sure did a bang-up job there. What was recommendation #1? “Fire Gilligan as security director and replace him with Barney Fife”?

So, take the “Iraq Study Group” report for what it is: An opinion presented by people who have potential agendas and past track records of laughable failures, not to mention have the word “commission” listed way too many times on their resumes.


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Author: Doug Powers

Doug Powers is a writer, editor and commentator covering news of the day from a conservative viewpoint with an occasional shot of irreverence and a chaser of snark. Townhall Media writer/editor. alum. Bowling novice. Long-suffering Detroit Lions fan. Contact: