About those WMDs....

Discussion in 'Middle East - General' started by wonderwench, Jan 28, 2004.

  1. wonderwench
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    wonderwench Guest

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    Good read on what Kay's investigation really means.

    Iraq weapons inspector David Kay speaks to the Senate today, and our (probably forlorn) hope is that his remarks will get wide and detailed coverage. What we've been hearing from him in snippets so far explains the mystery of whatever happened to Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction.

    His answers, we should make clear, are a long way from the "Bush and Blair lied" paradigm currently animating the Democratic primaries and newspapers. John Kerry of all people now claims that, because Mr. Kay's Iraq Study Group has not found stockpiles of WMD or a mature nuclear program, President Bush somehow "misled" the country. "I think there's been an enormous amount of exaggeration, stretching, deception," he said on "Fox News Sunday." This is the same Senator who voted for the war after having access to the intelligence and has himself said previously that he believed Saddam had such weapons.

    The reason Mr. Kerry believed this is because everybody else did too. That Saddam had WMD was the consensus of the U.S. intelligence community for years, going back well into the Clinton Administration. The CIA's near east and counterterrorism bureaus disagreed on the links between al Qaeda and Saddam -- which is one reason the Bush Administration failed to push that theme. But the CIA and its intelligence brethren were united in their belief that Saddam had WMD, as the agency made clear in numerous briefings to Congress.

    And not just the CIA. Believers included the U.N., whose inspectors were tossed out of Iraq after they had recorded huge stockpiles after the Gulf War. No less than French President Jacques Chirac warned as late as last February about "the probable possession of weapons of mass destruction by an uncontrollable country, Iraq" and declared that the "international community is right . . . in having decided Iraq should be disarmed."

    All of this was enshrined in U.N. Resolution 1441, which ordered Saddam to come completely clean about his weapons. If he really had already destroyed all of his WMD, Saddam had every incentive to give U.N. inspectors free rein, put everything on the table and live to deceive another day. That he didn't may go down as Saddam's last and greatest miscalculation.

    But Mr. Kay's Study Group has also discovered plenty to suggest that Saddam couldn't come clean because he knew he wasn't. In his interim report last year, Mr. Kay disclosed a previously unknown Iraq program for long-range missiles; this was a direct violation of U.N. resolutions.

    Mr. Kay has also speculated that Saddam may have thought he had WMD because his own generals and scientists lied to him. "The scientists were able to fake programs," the chief inspector says. This is entirely plausible, because aides who didn't tell Saddam what he wanted to hear were often tortured and killed. We know from post-invasion interrogations that Saddam's own generals believed that Iraq had WMD. If they thought so, it's hard to fault the CIA for believing it too.

    Mr. Kay has also made clear that, stockpiles or no, Saddam's regime retained active programs that could have been reconstituted at any time. Saddam tried to restart his nuclear program as recently as 2001. There is also evidence, Mr. Kay has told the London Telegraph, that some components of Saddam's WMD program "went to Syria before the war." Precisely what and how much "is a major issue that needs to be resolved." The most logical conclusion is that Saddam hoped to do just enough to satisfy U.N. inspectors and then restart his WMD production once sanctions were lifted and the international heat was off.

    By all means let Congress explore why the CIA overestimated Saddam's WMD stockpiles this time around. But let's do so while recalling that the CIA had underestimated the progress of his nuclear, chemical and biological programs before the first Gulf War. We are also now learning that the CIA has long underestimated the extent and progress of nuclear programs in both Libya and Iran. Why aren't Democrats and liberals just as alarmed about those intelligence failures?

    Intelligence is as much art and judgment as it is science, and it is inherently uncertain. We elect Presidents and legislators to consider the evidence and then make difficult policy judgments that the voters can later hold them responsible for. Mr. Kay told National Public Radio that, based on the evidence he has seen from Iraq, "I think it was reasonable to reach the conclusion that Iraq posed an imminent threat." He added that "I must say I actually think what we learned during the inspection made Iraq a more dangerous place potentially, than in fact we thought it was even before the war."

    As intelligence failures go, we'd prefer one that worried too much about a threat than one that worried too little. The latter got us September 11.


    http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB107524984790913551,00.html?mod=opinion_main_review_and_outlooks
     
  2. Moi
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    Moi Active Member

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    I've said it before, but it bears repeating: don't bring a knife to a gun fight and they bitch because you got shot before you could lob your weapon.

    If there was a complete breakdown of intelligence which caused the majority of the world to believe that Iraq had WMD or was pursuing them and this proves untrue, it is the fault of those who have continually chipped away at the intelligence community's ability to do their job. It is the fault of those who, when presented with an opportunity to curtail the actions of dictators and enemies, failed to act. It is the fault of a UN who continually mandated patience and pussyfoot maneuvers rather than enforcing their own resolutions. And, it is the fault of Saddam Hussein for flaunting the conditions of his surrender.

    Bush may have based his belief that WMD were a threat at the hands of Saddam on faulty information- that remains to be seen. However, if true, nothing that's been said indicates that he was lying or distorting the facts.
     
  3. jon_forward
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    jon_forward Active Member

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    Edwards seems to be back-paddling too.....you make a mistake you admit it and go on...
     
  4. Palestinian Jew
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    Palestinian Jew Member

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    I think the misleading came from the CIA and Bush. It seems Bush wanted to go to war for any reason and the CIA was willing to either make up intelligence or use obviously faulty intelligence.

    Right now, the most important thing for America to do is not criticize Bush(we'll hold that off for later :D), but to get somebody into the CIA who will shake things up and start protecting America.


    What is he backpeddling on?
     
  5. jon_forward
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    jon_forward Active Member

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    the war in Iraq, WMD and bashing G.W.
     

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