diet coke for breakfast

Friday, February 06, 2004

Posted by Jake
Missed Signals On WMD? ( (via InstaPundit)

The Iraqi regime initially decided to deceive U.N. inspectors about some aspects of the nuclear and biological programs for two reasons, Jafar said. First, to obscure the extent to which they had violated treaties against developing such weapons and, second, to minimize the destruction of the facilities where they
had carried out the work.

First hints of the Iraqi bioweapons program were made to U.N. chief inspector Rolf Ekeus in 1995, because the Iraqis knew that defectors had spoken of the program, Jafar said. A full accounting of the bioweapons that had been destroyed four years before came later in 1995, after the defection to Jordan of Hussein's son-in-law Hussein Kamel. Remaining aspects of the nuclear program were also disclosed to U.N. inspectors after Kamel defected, Jafar said.

But U.S. and U.N. officials suspected the Iraqis were probably hiding other violations. The mistrust was amplified by Hussein's antagonism toward the U.N. inspectors, whom he regarded as spies who might threaten his personal security, Jafar said.


Jafar's story reinforces one theme of the unfolding Iraqi WMD saga: Even for intelligence analysts and U.N. experts, facts could not be disentangled from expectations. The will to believe that Hussein had WMD was far stronger than the evidence that he didn't.

I agree with Glenn Reynolds. Far more people would have died leaving Saddam in power.

But we have to ask ourselves: why did people in three administrations believe that Saddam had WMD? This would assert that it was because he was not trustworthy (which is true) and because we knew he had it before (which is also true).

It may sound like nitpicking, but I think it is important to know the truth. It is also important as a buttress against the argument that the Bush administration lied or distorted the facts.


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