Congress has initiated a new Blue Ribbon Panel to:

study the U.S.-led war in Iraq and to make policy recommendations for both Capitol Hill and the White House.

The bipartisan Iraq Study Group — led by former Secretary of State James Baker, a Republican, and former Democratic congressman Lee Hamilton — is designed to focus “fresh eyes” on the war debate from people who “love their country more than their party,” said Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Virginia, during a Capitol Hill news conference.

It’s a doozy of a Blue Ribbon panel, with the following members of the permanent government.

James Baker
Lee Hamilton
Robert Gates
Rudy Guliani
Charles Robb
Alan Simpson
Vernon Jordan
William Perry
Leon Panetta
Sandra Day O’Connor

These commissions have been a sham ever since Earl Warren and Arlen Specter invented alternative physics. But this one is not charged with uncovering a mystery (something Lee Hamilton has a very poor record on), but with finding a way to get the fuck out of Iraq without the Establishment losing all their credibility and many of them, their jobs.

It’s good to know that Dick Cheney’s best friend Alan Simpson will be on the panel, as well as election fixer James Baker. Rudy’s mob connections are a big comfort. It’s nice to have Bush pere’s CIA Directer on board, as well as Clinton’s Defense Secretary. Above all, it is good to know that Vernon Jordan can both get the President’s girlfriend a job AND solve major foreign policy conundrums.

I wish them luck. But I don’t expect to hear any realism out of this bunch. We’d do better to pull ten people off the street. At least they wouldn’t have all kinds of financial interests in making PermaWar.

Hamilton said the group will travel to Iraq and may produce interim reports before issuing a final report but he declined to give a timeframe for release of those reports. He said the group would make every effort to reach bipartisan recommendations.

Wolf said Congress will appropriate $1.3 million to fund the group, which will work under the auspices of the congressionally chartered U.S. Institute for Peace and three think tanks.

It really is 1984. This U.S. Institute of Peace is the same organization that Bush recess appointed the loathsome, Muslim hating Daniel Pipes to. War is peace. Lee Hamilton is a Democrat. Rudy Guiliani is clean. And so on. We’ll be waiting to hear your collective wisdom.

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