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WMD search ends

2005-01-12 18:47:37.575716+00 by Dan Lyke 5 comments

Search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq ends:

Chief U.S. weapons hunter Charles Duelfer is to deliver his final report on the search next month. "It's not going to fundamentally alter the findings of his earlier report," McClellan said, referring to preliminary findings from last September. Duelfer reported then that Saddam Hussein not only had no weapons of mass destruction and had not made any since 1991, but that he had no capability of making any either.

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comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2005-01-12 20:11:28.553966+00 by: ebradway

"Our friends and allies had the same intelligence that we had when it came to Saddam Hussein," McClellan said.

Every time I read this, I seem to hear "Our buddies were just as stupid as we were..."

#Comment Re: [Entry #7607] Re: made: 2005-01-13 17:46:05.359108+00 by: Unknown, from NNTP

It was the rest of the world being just as stupid then. Prior to the invasion the only people saying that there were no weapons in Iraq were the Iraqis.

Yeah, we should have known better but we didn't and neither did any other government, buddy or not.

#Comment Re: made: 2005-01-13 21:16:39.536282+00 by: Mars Saxman

Don't lump me into your "we", because I sure as hell knew better, and have been saying so all along. It was obvious from the start that Bush wanted to invade Iraq for his own personal reasons, and was just looking for an excuse that he could give the public. His administration kept throwing out one reason after another, whether the reasons made any sense or not, whether the reasons conflicted with previous reasons or not, until they found one that stuck. Then they flogged that reason until everyone was sick of hearing about it. But the fact remained that there never was any evidence of chemical or biological weapons in Iraq - much less any trace of a nuclear program. For all their endless blather about "WMD" the Bush people never had any hard facts to go on, and you can bet that if there were any facts, they would have trotted them out to help make their case. Colin Powell's sorry speech to the U.N. proved that.

There were inspectors crawling all over Iraq who never found any trace of anything. All they found was a bunch of sneakiness and evasion - and if I were a cranky mideast dictator and the U.N. said "let us spy out all your military installations or we'll let the Americans kick your ass again", well, I'd let them in, but I sure as hell wouldn't cooperate any more than I had to. After all, once those inspectors left and told the world that Iraq was defenseless, how was Hussein supposed to protect his borders against unfriendly neighbors? Of course he was going to try to preserve an air of mystery, so Iran would never feel quite sure he *didn't* have that nuclear bomb in his back pocket. But the fact remains, nobody ever found any trace of any such bomb, or of the industrial apparatus necessary to build one, or of any delivery system which could have made such a bomb useful, or any trace of any other weapon he wasn't supposed to have, or any evidence of any factories or labs which might be working on learning how to someday develop components for any weapon he wasn't supposed to have.

So. There was no evidence. The parties claiming such weapons existed all had something to gain from a U.S. invasion of Iraq, and no particular track record of honesty. No, I don't think "we should have known better"; I think, for the most part, people DID know better, but simply chose to play along with this latest worldwide round of "the emperor's new clothes".

#Comment Re: [Entry #7607] Re: made: 2005-01-13 22:26:04.93976+00 by: Unknown, from NNTP

Actually, Mars, I agree with pretty much everything you wrote there. For myself, though, I didn't know and it still stands that while France, Germany, Russia, China and a host of other nations objected to the invasion of Iraq none of them disputed the US and UK claims about the weapons.

#Comment Re: made: 2005-01-14 16:22:06.494991+00 by: Dan Lyke

But various members of the U.S. government did dispute the U.S. claims about the weapons, it's gone into archives, but a month before the invasion http://www.nytimes.com/2003/02/27/international/27WEB-TNAT.html quoted a U.S. diplomat saying:

The sacrifice of global interests to domestic politics and to bureaucratic self-interest is nothing new, and it is certainly not a uniquely American problem. Still, we have not seen such systematic distortion of intelligence, such systematic manipulation of American opinion, since the war in Vietnam.

And, to back up Mars' interpretation, after Colin Powell's presentation to the U.N., Hans Blix said that his team had free access to all of the sites he'd been kept out of before, and there were no WMDs (from this entry).

It's easy, with a year gone, to forget the number of leaks from the intelligence community that said "Bush is lying", or all of the other counter-evidence that was above the fold in even the New York Times, but I call "bullshit" on the "nobody else saw it either" interpretation.