WASHINGTON, Oct. 6 — Iraq had essentially destroyed its illicit weapons capability within months after the Persian Gulf War ended in 1991, and its capacity to produce such weapons had eroded even further by the time of the American invasion in 2003, the top American inspector in Iraq said in a report made public today.
The report, by Charles A. Duelfer, said the last Iraqi factory capable of producing militarily significant quantities of unconventional weapons was destroyed in 1996. The findings amounted to the starkest portrayal yet of a vast gap between the Bush administration’s prewar assertions about Iraqi weapons and what a 15-month post invasion inquiry by American investigators concluded were the facts on the ground.
At the time of the American invasion, Mr. Duelfer concluded, Iraq had not possessed military-scale stockpiles of illicit weapons for a dozen years and was not actively seeking to produce them.
The proceeding snippet from this news item in the NYT* on the latest report to Congress which concludes that Iraq didn’t have any of the Weapons of Mass Destruction the Bush administration claimed it had as a justification for going to war, comes as absolutely no surprise to me. What does surprise me is the fact that it doesn’t appear that it will have any impact on the candidate’s rankings in the minds of the voting populace. Nor does it appear that a single one of the Pro-War bloggers—who joined the President in hyping this justification and telling the rest of us that there would be endless rounds of told-you-so’s once we got over there and found tons of WMDs laying around Saddam’s private palaces like so much cord wood—has offered so much as a “I’m sorry, we were wrong” entry about it. A year and a half ago on March 19, 2003 I laid out my stance on Bush’s war. Then I asked whether or not we’d found any WMDs as time went on; first a short time after the invasion got underway and then at two months and again at three and a half months after major combat operations came to an end. Looking over the various Pro-War bloggers I don’t think I’ve seen one yet that has even addressed this latest report, let alone ponied up an admission that they were wrong about the WMDs. Hell, the folks at The Command Post were still trying to claim that WMDs have been found as recently as this past July.
Needless to say, Bush didn’t waste any time trying to deflate this report even before it was released:
“After Sept. 11, America had to assess every potential threat in a new light,” Mr. Bush said while campaigning in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. “Our nation awakened to an even greater danger: the prospect that terrorists who killed thousands with hijacked airplanes would kill many more with weapons of mass murder.”
“We had to take a hard look at every place where terrorists might get those weapons, and one regime stood out,” Mr. Bush said. “The dictatorship of Saddam Hussein.”
Of course he doesn’t bother to explain why that regime stood out which is a particularly good question in light of the fact that there’s not a whole helluva lot in the way of WMDs Saddam could have provided even if he had wanted to.
But most of all I really want the guy who show up here on SEB calling himself The Pissed Off American who so confidently assured us back in March of 2003 that WMDs would be found to give me that big fat ass kissing he owes me for being so very, very wrong.
News item found via Scott’s blog.
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