Tuesday, November 08, 2005

The Short Attention Span On WMD

Short attention span on WMD. Jack Kelly explains.

The president went on television to announce: "Earlier today, I ordered America's armed forces to strike military and security targets in Iraq. Their mission is to attack Iraq's nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programs and its military capacity to threaten its neighbors."

"There is unmistakable evidence that Saddam Hussein is working aggressively to develop nuclear weapons and will likely have nuclear weapons within the next five years," the vice chairman of the Intelligence committee told the Senate.

The president was Bill Clinton (Dec. 16, 1998). The senator was Jay Rockefeller, a Democrat from West Virginia (Oct. 10, 2002).

These were not statements made with "doctored intelligence." These were statements made by the "other" party (the one that now pretends to be mislead when it was making the same misleading statements). The most tragic thing, however, is that none of the statements were misleading. Maybe Bush oversold what we would find. He did not mislead about what we knew or believed to know.

The Iraq Survey Group found no large stockpiles of chemical or biological weapons in Iraq. This could be because no such weapons actually existed.

Or it could be because they were moved to another country between the time Congress authorized the use of force against Iraq and when the war actually began.

"We've had six or seven credible reports of Iraqi weapons being moved into Syria before the war," a senior administration official told reporter Kenneth Timmerman.

Well, I suppose you could claim that is just administration lying as well. How about this?

Or it could be the Iraq Survey Group had an unusually restrictive definition of what constitutes a WMD stockpile.

The 4th Infantry Division discovered in an ammo dump near the town of Baiji 55 gallon drums of chemicals which, when mixed together, form nerve gas. They were stored next to surface-to-surface missiles which had been configured to carry a liquid payload.

Now that sounds suspiciously like WMD. But if we allowed such definitions to rule the day, the press would not get to bash the current administration so relentlessly.

If prewar intelligence was faulty, the fault lies with the CIA which supplied the erroneous information, not with the political leaders, Democratic and Republican, who relied upon it.

But Democrats who had access to the same intelligence President Bush had, and who because of it voted to authorize war with Iraq, are charging now that the president deliberately deceived the nation into war.

I don't see how you let any Congressman off the hook, especially those Democrats on the Security and Intelligence committees. These Senators had the intelligence Bush had, and that France and Russia had, all of which said the same thing.

Sorry to bring this back up again, but the press won't let it die. And for some reason, Bush doesn't seem to get the point across all that well either.


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