The op-ed page of today’s Tribune features a syndicated column by Washington Post pundit Charles Krauthammer. Either the Trib didn’t notice or didn’t care, but the column (which ran in last Friday’s Post) is based on a flagrant lie, which was detected eons ago in blogosphere time, first by conservative writer Andrew Sullivan on Friday and then by political scientist/blogger Brendan Nyhan on Saturday.

Krauthammer writes: “Our objectives in Iraq were twofold and always simple: depose Saddam Hussein and replace his murderous regime with a self-sustaining, democratic government.”

Amazingly, Krauthammer airbrushes the claim that Hussein possessed “weapons of mass destruction,” the notoriously false rationale used by the Cheney administration during the run-up to the war — and echoed by tame columnists at the time. Fortunately for the rest of us, it’s not 1984, so Nyhan can refute Krauthammer simply by quoting his old columns, which dwelled obsessively on WMD.

Hey, it’s the Trib‘s newspaper, the Trib‘s reputation, and the Trib‘s stock price (not necessarily in that order). But why should the rest of us settle for sloppy seconds that were full of E. coli the first time around?