They were right about Iraq in 2003, but their current complaints are off target.
Joe Nocera admirably sums up what went right in the fizzling Strauss-Kahn rape case.
The amazing thing about this case is that Vance apparently did what we expect a responsible prosecutor to do -- and that he will probably be punished for scrupulously following the law he is sworn to uphold. His job is elective. Doing his job embarrassed the kind of people that pay for campaigns and vote in elections. He's probably in trouble.
Was he supposed to ignore a credible accusation of rape? Was he supposed to help the woman make up stuff in order to save his own ass? Or to conceal information from the investigation?
Vance deserves credit, not blame. It wasn't his job to help a French political party win a presidential election. (This is certainly part of the French distress over the case, in addition to their racial and economic elitism.) It was Vance's job to follow up on a plausible suspicion that a crime had been committed. He did.
Maybe he's been watching too many TV dramatic heroes who end up doing the right thing after much soul searching, instead of caving to "reality." Maybe we all should be taking those values more to heart.