There's a lot to digest in the leaked transcript of a February 2003 conversation between President Bush, Spain's Jose Maria Aznar, and Condoleezza Rice on the impending invasion of Iraq, but it pretty much confirms what we already knew about the president: By February 2003, he was already committed to going into Iraq, UN mandate or not; he viewed the entire UN process, at best, as a form of theater necessary to calm the concerns of other world leaders less gifted with heroic vision than he (and given what we now know about the utter fiction of Colin Powell's WMD pageantry, he treated it as such); he was completely unreflective and unprepared for anything but the best possible outcome; as indicated by his reference to Iraq having "a relatively strong civil society," he was surrounded by advisers every bit as incompetent as he.

--Matthew Duss