Ordinarily, I’d be pretty dubious about this report, but one of the sources is Richard Perle. If it’s true, Iraq was trying pretty hard to negotiate a peace — including allowing thousands of US scientists into the country to look for WMDs and UN-sponsored free elections.
One could argue that Saddam would have gone back on his deal. But it would have been a lot easier getting international support for an invasion at that point.
Gwen tipped me to the story. Josh Marshall has more wary commentary. If Marshall is right, mind you, it says interesting things about Perle’s willingness to screw the Pentagon and CIA for political gain.