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August 19, 2010

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The events of February and March 2003 have sort of gone down the memory hole, but speaking as someone who spent the majority of the pre-invasion year supporting the Bush administration’s policy, what happened during those months was fairly shocking.

Once again we're reminded that being right is not that important, career-wise, for policy-makers and pundits.

He can't be wounded 'cause he's got no heart.

My impression at the time was that the "everybody" who thought Saddam had WMDs referred to national intelligence organizations -- explicitly including folks, like the French and the Russians, who were not in agreement with the American apporach. At least, those were the ones I saw cited.

Which, to the extent it was correct, just shows that the fact that "everybody knows" is far from a guarantee of correctness.

It's such a crazy period to look back at. It's so surreal.

This article is like a microcosm of the whole thing

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,88767,00.html

Headline: DIA: Intelligence Report Supports WMD Claims

Lede: Senior Defense Department officials intend to declassify and release a defense intelligence report from last September that said agents could not prove Iraq had ongoing chemical or biological weapons facilities, officials told Fox News on Friday.

Sound contradictory? Well fear not, here's a senior official to explain why not having any actual evidence is not a problem.


"We want to get it out because it will show there was plenty of evidence to suggest they had weapons," a senior official told Fox News. "It refers to intelligence evidence that the Iraqis were moving things around in preparation for a coming war. You don't move things around and disperse them if you don't have them."


That's seriously the rationale. Your intelligence apparatus at work.

But there's more:

The DIA report, of which only one page is currently declassified, says the United States couldn't prove its suspicions because it didn't have experts on the ground. DIA was one of several agencies, including the CIA, that developed estimates of Iraqi capabilities.

Even though they had no actual knowledge of any program that may or may not have existed, they weren't going to let a little thing like that keep them from speculating on Iraq's "capabilities."

That's what we were working with back then. People were pushing a conclusion before even getting the evidence.

Cheney began saying "They wouldn't let inspectors in," IIRC, in August or September 2003. Pretty fast memory hole.

It refers to intelligence evidence that the Iraqis were moving things around in preparation for a coming war. You don't move things around and disperse them if you don't have them.

That sounds pretty conclusive to me. There were definitely things in Iraq immediately prior to the US invasion.

"WMD-related program activities" was once the operative euphemism for one or more semi-trailer.

Such memories those words bring back.
Good times.

They had salt and electricity. Salt can be turned into chlorine by use of electricity. Why do you think the US went for the power plants first? They also had that sticky black stuff that comes from the ground and can be lit on fire.
Btw, I was cynic enough to expect that WMDs would be found. Not old ones but some freshly planted for that very purpose. Even with my rather low opinion of the US public I did not expect that it would be possible to persuade so many even without such 'evidence'. Iirc a lot of people even believed that Saddam not only had nukes but actually used them on US troops (but what do you expect from people that think that Hitler started WW1 and that the attack on Pearl Harbor was executed by the Germans*?).

*we all know of course that it was the Brits (wether FDR was in on the plot is still a point of debate).

Such memories those words bring back.

For me it just conjures up the uncomprehending bewilderment I felt that there were actually people who couldn't see how transparently full of $hit these clowns were.

I mean, it was comically blatant. They were like cartoon characters. It would be hilarious if it weren't responsible for the deaths of thousands.

For me it just conjures up the uncomprehending bewilderment I felt that there were actually people who couldn't see how transparently full of $hit these clowns were.

That was a tough one for me, too. Today I think a good many of them did see how transparently full of $hit those clowns were and didn't care. The coming war suited them fine, for whatever reason.

Which reminds me, Where is Raed?

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