…the traditional policy process was viewed not only as unproductive but “perilous.” Information, that is, could slow decision-making; indeed, when it had to do with a bold and risky venture like the Iraq war, information and discussion — an airing, say, of the precise obstacles facing a “democratic transition” conducted with a handful of troops — could paralyze it. If the sober consideration of history and facts stood in the way of bold action then it would be the history and the facts that would be discarded. The risk of doing nothing, the risk, that is, of the status quo, justified acting. Given the grim facts on the ground — the likelihood of a future terrorist attack from the “malignant” Middle East, the impossibility of entirely protecting the country from it — better to embrace the unknown.
From Mark Danner’s “Iraq: War of Imagination.” On a side note, this appears to be very similar to the keynote address he would have given at the Bard College Arendt Conference had he been able to attend. The conference sorely lacked a keynote to compete with Christopher Hitchens. While Danner does not mention Arendt’s “Lying in Politics,” it bears a strong resemblance.
Update: Here‘s all Hitchens had to say on the event. I guess it didn’t make much of an impression.