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This is what has to happen when things are not done properly - as when a committee is produced by breech birth, rather than as a proper state commission of inquiry. This is how the Winograd Committee was born. Now, its ending matches its beginning like a tattered glove on the hand that delivered it.

Conspiracy theory enthusiasts will find fertile ground for subversive speculation on the committee's birth and demise.

At first the panel found a need to issue a partial, interim report, because time was pressing, and there was a lot of rehabilitation work to be done. One must not tarry, for example, to establish a national security council worthy of the name. This was to be a prelude to the final report, which would be issued - rest assured - at some stage in the future.

The interim report released some seven months ago was extremely harsh and the term "failure" was predominant in it.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was exempt at the time from drawing personal conclusions, because only half the work had been done. Everyone was waiting for the complete report, including Ehud Barak and Ophir Paz-Pines. They needed historic perspective, not to mention quality time in the Defense Ministry and in the Labor Party leadership.

Meanwhile, they're inciting the Israel Defense Forces against the committee, by means of the High Court of Justice, to remove its sting before it can do any harm. As though the Military Advocate General is an independent body - a state within an army - and the defense minister has no say about its conduct. A conspiracy theory usually requires less substantial material to develop. Shall two walk together - interrogator and interrogatee - unless they have agreed?

Only this week did it suddenly transpire that the complete report is actually the partial report - how did we all fail to see that? Volume B refers you to Volume A - ibid. First they referred the public forward, and now they make us look backward. No wonder the report is a pillar of salt, pointlessly surveying the ravaged land of Sodom.

It is also clear now that Olmert will get away with it. An official doesn't rise one morning and resign because of ancient statements made long ago. After all, even the war has become a "distant memory." Only a few bereaved Grossmans still hover in the wings, silently refusing to forget.