There's a new argument against Bush. It's not completely new, but it's taken a new form with Richard Clarke's testimony. See here for one example among many. Apparently the Bush Administration is responsible for basing an attack against Iraq on intelligence that was faulty. The problem so far has been that they didn't have high enough standards in weighing the intelligence to determine that such an attack was necessary. (I still think it turns out that the connections between some of Saddam's men in higher positions and some higher-up al Qaeda figures plus the existence of WMD in even the small quantities attested to by David Kay should be enough to warrant careful consideration of dealing with someone who had made the threats Saddam had made.)
Well, now we have a new problem (at least in relation to the one they've been focusing on). Now they're saying that Bush should have paid more attention to the intelligence reports suggesting al Qaeda was going to do something. In the light of those objections, defenders of the Bush Administration have pointed out that the Clinton Administration had the same intelligence and didn't do anything, even giving up a couple opportunities to get Usama bin Laden. In front of the 9-11 commission now, the Clinton Administration officials have been defending their lack of action by saying they didn't think the intelligence was strong enough to be worth the potential negative consequences. The 9-11 commission isn't buying it. They think the threat was serious enough that they should have done something. The Clinton and Bush Administrations both bear the brunt of this criticism if it's a good one.
Now the liberals pushing such an argument can't have their cake and eat it too. Once they accept this argument, they can't criticize the military action in Iraq very easily. If lowered standards for accepting questionable intelligence were necessary given what they knew about the threat before 9-11, then how is it that the Bush Adminstration can be blamed for using lowered standards with respect to intelligence once it became clear how much more of a threat al Qaeda turned out to be after 9-11? In supporting this investigation of the Bush Administration before 9-11, liberals against the Iraq conflict are going to end up with two consequences they won't like:
1. Any criticism of Bush on this issue equally applies to Clinton.
2. This will undermine the main arguments against Bush on Iraq.