General Wesley Clark, the front-runner in the Democratic race for the White House, launched a high-risk attack on American foreign policy yesterday when he said the Bush administration should face an investigation into possible 'criminal' conduct in its drive to war.
Gen Clark, who as Nato supreme commander led the war in Kosovo, accused the Bush administration of entering office already determined to attack Iraq, then seizing on the September 11 attacks as justification.
He called for an independent review of what he called the 'possible manipulation of intelligence' to convince the American people that war with Iraq was necessary.
'Nothing could be a more serious violation of public trust than consciously to make a case for war based on false claims,' he was due to say in a speech last night. 'We need to know if we were intentionally deceived.
'This administration is trying to do something that ought to be politically impossible to do in a democracy, and that is to govern against the will of the majority,' he said. 'That requires twisted facts, silence, secrecy and very poor lighting.'
This is strong, strong stuff.