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Where's WMDo?

I actually wasn’t gonna link to the long list of administration statements about Iraq’s WMD. But then I thought about it some more, and I came up with a thought experiment.

Let’s assume the best. Let’s assume Bush and the rest believed everything they said. Let’s assume Wolfowitz’s rationale for misinformation is justified.

Great. But now you know the government either a) bungles intelligence information, or b) is willing to stretch the truth a good long way to get your support. So when the next one comes around — when Bush starts talking about Iran’s Al Qaeda connections — how can you trust that? You gotta have more evidence than just his assertions, because they have been proven wrong before in similar situations, and that is true no matter who you blame or don’t blame for that inaccuracy.


  1. Haws Haws

    …or c) WMD are there and just haven’t been found yet; or d) they were moved outside of Iraq; or e) they were destroyed just prior to the war.

    But if it turns out they weren’t there, then a great many intelligence services, not just our own, got it wrong. Syria, I think, was the only security council member even to deny that they believed WMD existed in Iraq. Also, remember that it was Saddam’s burden to prove that he no longer possessed them. To nearly everyone’s standard, even Hans Blix’s, he refused to do that (the quibble was, exactly, on how to disarm him). It’s very weird why, if he didn’t really have them, he refused to cooperate as the UN resolutions demanded.

    Oh, and speaking of misinformation, here’s what Wolfowitz really said.

  2. Moved outside of Iraq, for me, qualifies as a serious failure of intelligence. We had air dominance, we had the ability to watch the borders, and we had satellite intelligence. If Iraq managed to move large quantities of WMD out of the country without us noticing, we failed.

    Destroyed just before the war is also fairly unlikely, at least if they existed in the quantities claimed. Also, bear in mind that the administration claimed that Republican Guards had chemical warheads issued. It’s not at all likely that such warheads could be destroyed by troops in the midst of retreat without leaving traces.

    As to getting it wrong — welp, yeah, that surprises me too. There have been a few reports over the weekend that Blair and Bush rejected intelligence which didn’t indicate WMD, but even if you accept those at face value it’s still pretty odd. I think a lot of people owe Blix an apology, myself. In retrospect, it looks like his “we haven’t found anything yet, we don’t think it’s been proven either way” was a pretty accurate statement.

    I, too, am perplexed as to why Saddam wouldn’t admit to disarming. I’d propose the hypothesis that it was a matter of pride. His goal has always been to be the Caliph, n’est pas? Is it possible that he didn’t want to admit to giving into world pressure?

    Well, yeah, it’s possible. Likely? Honestly not sure.

    And there have been the three trailers found. Not anything close to what Powell claimed existed, and we don’t know yet when they were buried, but…

    I’m sure the story will continue to come out.

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