It really gets tiresome refuting over and over a myth that the left dearly wishes were fact: Bush lied about WMD in Iraq as an excuse to invade. The MSM has recited it so often they seem to have forgotten the truth. In that vein, watch for this latest small-news tidbit to get major play in tomorrow's headlines. It might just get spun into several days. The lead:
In his final word, the CIA's top weapons inspector in Iraq said Monday that the hunt for weapons of mass destruction has "gone as far as feasible" and has found nothing, closing an investigation into the purported programs of Saddam Hussein that were used to justify the 2003 invasion.Buried further down in the artice however, is this:
The addenda conclude that Saddam's programs created a pool of experts now available to develop and produce weapons and many will be seeking work. While most will probably turn to the "benign civil sector," the danger remains that "hostile foreign governments, terrorists or insurgents may seek Iraqi expertise... Because a single individual can advance certain WMD activities, it remains an important concern." ...Among unanswered questions, Duelfer said a group formed to investigate whether WMD-related material was shipped out of Iraq before the invasion wasn't able to reach firm conclusions because the deteriorating security situation limited and later halted their work. Investigators were focusing on transfers from Iraq to Syria. [emphasis added]What "benign civil sector"? Would this be Iraq's burgeoning biotech industry, perhaps? Or all of those domestic uses everyone knows about for nerve agents and mustard gas and missiles and plutonium? I'm sure the Iraqi venture capitalist community will be all over this one: "Hey, lets start a little ma and pa business selling blister agents as face creams!"
Of course in the MSM's amnesiac assessment, the program never existed in the first place, so these experts can't be real, can they? Except that they are. Saddam paid them to be, and we spent twelve years dilly-dallying with the UN while they advanced their skills on his payroll. So now maybe, just maybe, one won't be able to find a job (which will no doubt also be Bush's fault), and he'll go to stay with his uncle or brother in Syria. He'll decide to moonlight for a little cash, using Iraqi materials that were shipped over there before the war, but we don't know because we stopped the investigation because of the "security situation" - a longstanding excuse for politically oriented Western relief groups to flee. Nah, not a problem.
Let's just yell louder that BUSH LIED! and this will all go away. Case closed. No WMD. No war justification. No problem. And if the WMD experts that don't exist turn out to be a problem, blame it on the invasion. After all, they were gainfully employed when Saddam was in power. Whistle past the graveyard. Ignore the Islamofascists bent on our destruction. It worked in the '90s, didn't it? Well yes. Until it didn't... Demonize the Republicans. On to '08 and a new administration. Nothing else matters. It is truly a house of mirrors.
What keeps getting brushed under the rug is that this administration never based its case for invasion solely on WMD. Capability and intent were sufficient. Go find me a quote that says differently. It doesn't exist. Nor did it invent the case. It inherited the case (see below), and put it into action. Some presidents do that. They mean what they say and follow through on tough decisions. That scares some people, but that's what we hire presidents to do. Nor did the President ever claim that there were definitely WMD in Iraq. Again, go find me the quote. It doesn't exist either.
The fact was, nobody really knew for sure about WMD in Iraq except Saddam, and he was trying hard to imply that he had them. It is surely an intelligence failure, but one rooted way back in strictures put on the CIA starting in the 1970's. Regardless, we knew about Saddam. That was enough. Even now, despite the MSM headline spin, we still don't know for sure about what he created - the grain of truth that the left spins into the big lie. WMD may have been shipped to Syria. The 'final' report admits as much.
We may never know - until it's too late. Everyone suspected the WMD were in Iraq- Western security services, Republicans and especially Democrats - at least during the Clinton administration. But everyone (except perhaps Scott Ritter) also knew that the UN was getting led around by the nose by Saddam. It's inconvenient for the MSM to report, but these oldies-but-goodies are still around:
Senator (and thankfully only that) John Kerry, February 23, 1998: "Saddam Hussein has already used these [WMD] and has made it clear that he has the intent to continue to try, by virtue of his duplicity and secrecy, to continue to do so. That is a threat to the stability of the Middle East. It is a threat with respect to the potential of terrorist activities on a global basis. It is a threat even to regions near but not exactly in the Middle East."So if "Bush lied" about these things in 2002 and 2003 what does that make these scions of the left four or five years earlier? Either prescient - or gutless and duplicitous. You decide.
Senator (what? still?) Ted Kennedy, 1998: "Nor can we rule out the possibility that Saddam would assault American forces with chemical or biological weapons."
Senator Al Gore (who?), December 16, 1998: "If you allow someone like Saddam Hussein to get nuclear weapons, ballistic missiles, chemical weapons, biological weapons, how many people is he going to kill with such weapons? He's already demonstrated a willingness to use these weapons. He poison-gassed his own people. He used poison gas and other weapons of mass destruction against his neighbors. This man has no compunction about killing lots and lots of people."
Thankfully-former President Bill Clinton, also in 1998: "What if [Saddam] fails to comply and we fail to act, or we take some ambiguous third route, which gives him yet more opportunities to develop this program of weapons of mass destruction? ... Well, he will conclude that the international community has lost its will. He will then conclude that he can go right on and do more to rebuild an arsenal of devastating destruction. And some day, some way, I guarantee you he'll use the arsenal."
UPDATE I: Glenn Reynolds has a superb, well researched (and uncharacteristically long) refutation here, while Marc Schulman notes more revisionism at the New York Times. More perspective here on Democratic presidents, murder rates, wars and the double standards of the left. If they didn't have the media deep in their pocket, this debate would have been over two years ago.
BACKDATE II: This post from last summer at USS Neverdock provides a neat compilation of the case against the mindless "Bush lied" meme.