Iraq, again

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I was recently involved in a discussion on Iraq (semi-involuntarily; it was a better option than listening to more Rush Limbaugh) and was faced with the claim that "everyone knew there were WMDs there," followed by "I wonder where they all went." I responded that, in fact, the alleged Iraqi WMDs were known to be illusory before we invaded.

Some books published before the war were quite clear about the absence of WMDs--most notably Scott Ritter and William Rivers Pitt's War on Iraq: What Team Bush Doesn't Want You to Know and Michael Ratner's Against War with Iraq: An Anti-War Primer--but much of the information was unavailable from the mainstream media until years afterward (books describing the Bush administration's misuse of intelligence are legion, but I would recommend Craig Whitney's The WMD Mirage, along with Scott Ritter's Frontier Justice and Iraq Confidential.

One of the examples I used--which was greeted with disbelief--was Colin Powel's famous exclamation "I'm not reading this bullshit" before his infamous UN speech:

On the evening of February 1, two dozen American officials gathered in a spacious conference room at the Central Intelligence Agency in Langley, Va. The time had come to make the public case for war against Iraq. For six hours that Saturday, the men and women of the Bush administration argued about what Secretary of State Colin Powell should--and should not--say at the United Nations Security Council four days later. Not all the secret intelligence about Saddam Hussein's misdeeds, they found, stood up to close scrutiny. At one point during the rehearsal, Powell tossed several pages in the air. "I'm not reading this," he declared. "This is bulls- - -."

(Source: US News & World Report, 1 June 2003)

As an example of the Busheviks' message discipline, the "mobile production facilities" lie attributed to Curveball and was re-inserted into Powell's speech after being removed. In 2005, far too late to do any good, Powell publicly admitted his errors on 20/20:

He told Walters that he feels "terrible" about the claims he made in that now-infamous address -- assertions that later proved to be false.

When asked if he feels it has tarnished his reputation, he said, "Of course it will. It's a blot. I'm the one who presented it on behalf of the United States to the world, and [it] will always be a part of my record. It was painful. It's painful now."

As far as Iraq's actual pre-war capabilities are concerned, the "Key Findings" of the Duelfer Report clearly state that "Iraq's WMD capability...was essentially destroyed in 1991."

"Maybe they're in Syria," indeed.

It's frustratingly difficult to discuss issues such as the Iraq invasion with someone who isn't aware of Charles Duelfer and the eponymous Duelfer Report, doesn't know who Hans Blix or Scott Ritter are, or what UNMOVIC (UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission) is.

Too much Fox, perhaps?

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This page contains a single entry by cognitivedissident published on February 1, 2009 11:05 PM.

Dimitrios Roussopoulos: Faith in Faithlessness was the previous entry in this blog.

secularism is good overseas...why not here? is the next entry in this blog.

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