On AP:

Oregon Sen. Gordon Smith, a Republican who voted in favor of the Iraq war in 2002 and has supported it ever since, now says the current U.S. war effort is “absurd” and “may even be criminal.”

In an emotional speech on the Senate floor Thursday night, Smith called for changes in U.S. policy that could include rapid pullouts of U.S. troops from Iraq. He said he never would have voted for the conflict if he had known the intelligence that President Bush gave the American people was inaccurate.

Senator, when the “intelligence” does not pass the sniff test, it probably reeks of political manipulation. But, in any event, welcome back to reality. We’ve missed you. May you bring more and more of your colleagues back over.

Of course, the impact of the remark is more than a little diluted by the mandatory I-was-misunderstood moment that came later:

A spokesman said Friday that Smith did not mean to call the war criminal in a legal sense.

Fine. A political sense will do.

There are thus just two amendments to the Senator’s remarks that are in order. First, delete the “may even be” and replace with “is.” Second, add the adjective “high.” Then we’ll really be getting somewhere.

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