January 13, 2005

 

No WMDs? I'm Shocked!

"Well, like you, I felt like we'd find weapons of mass destruction," (President Bush) said, according to excerpts released from an ABC television interview.

"Or like many, many here in the United States, many around the world, the United Nations thought he had weapons of mass destruction, and so, therefore, one, we need to find out what went wrong in the intelligence gathering. Saddam was dangerous. And .. the world was safer without him in power."
You "felt" you'd find them? Like me? Like "many here in the United States," "around the world"...and the U.N.? Huh. I believe "many" felt otherwise. For example, Scott Ritter, the former chief weapons inspector in Iraq for the United Nations, felt the existence of WMDs in Iraq was extremely unlikely:
While we were never able to provide 100 percent certainty regarding the disposition of Iraq's proscribed weaponry, we did ascertain a 90-95 percent level of verified disarmament. This figure takes into account the destruction or dismantling of every major factory associated with prohibited weapons manufacture, all significant items of production equipment, and the majority of the weapons and agent produced by Iraq.
Many of our own intelligence gatherers were also skeptical:
In early October (2002)...the CIA released a declassified version of its new National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq. ...the CIA report had "exposed a sharp dispute among US intelligence experts" over Iraq's arsenal.
As were a number of military officers and diplomats:
These officials...charge that administration hawks have exaggerated evidence of the threat that Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein poses—including distorting his links to the al-Qaida terrorist network.... They charge that the administration squelches dissenting views and that intelligence analysts are under intense pressure to produce reports supporting the White House's argument that Saddam poses such an immediate threat to the United States that pre-emptive military action is necessary.
And let's not forget the "focus groups"
President Bush: Two points. One is that democracy's a beautiful thing, and that people are allowed to express their opinion, and I welcome people's right to say what they believe. Secondly, evidently, some in the world don't view Saddam Hussein as a risk to peace. I respectfully disagree.

NPR: The president said war is his last choice, and that the real risk for the future would come from doing nothing. As for the size of the protests, and specifically the implications for Prime Minister Tony Blair, his staunch ally in Britain, the president had this to say.

Pres. BUSH: First of all, you know, size of protests--it's like deciding, `Well, I'm going to decide policy based upon a focus group.' The role of a leader is to decide policy based upon, in this case, the security of the people.
My conclusion? The Big Turd Sandwich is either:
a) A complete and total moron,
b) A big fat liar, or
c) A big fat, complete and total lying moron
And by the way:
Asked whether it was worth it to invade Iraq even without WMD found, Bush replied, "Oh, absolutely."
For more fun, go here to read the Bush Administration's "Before and After" WMD quotes, including these two gems:
"Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction. There is no doubt he is amassing them to use against our friends, against our allies, and against us." - Vice President Dick Cheney, Aug. 26, 2002.

"We got it wrong. We have seen nothing to suggest that he had actual stockpiles." - Powell, Oct. 1, 2004.
And go vist The Poor Man for a nifty chart comparing the results of two recently completed investigations: "Rathergate" vs. "Saddam's WMD". Enjoy!

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