A Mind That Suits What doesn't kill me, makes me laugh... usually.

Friday, October 03, 2003 :::
The "Kay Report" on Weapons of Mass Destruction makes one thing very clear: the opponents of the war were full of nonsense.

However, it is not the easy breeze that some conservative commentators are trying to make of it. Thousands of words no doubt have been spilled about it already, and more will come, but it comes down to one thing:

Our "research" teams have uncovered "a clandestine network of laboratories and safehouses within the Iraqi Intelligence Service that contained equipment subject to UN monitoring and suitable for continuing CBW (Chemical and Biological Weapons) research."

This was strictly hidden from the UN inspections teams, who missed most or all of it, and was in violation of every UN resolution. Saddam in fact had a very well developed program.

Exactly in the state that Scott Ritter said it was. It is easy enough to parody Ritter as someone who went over to the other side because Saddam had something on him, but in fact he only went so far. He admitted, as the bombs started falling, that Saddam had only gotten rid of his chemical and biological weapons, not the capability to restart the program and build new ones.

And indeed, the entire report is laced with words like "planned" and "research."

This is not what the President said we were going after, and this is why the conservative commentators are underestimating the impact of the report.

Interestingly, Saddam did not respond to the threat of war by hiding things. He responded to the threat of war by pushing his scientists to build ballistic missiles with ever larger ranges. The image of Hitler in his bunker going over models of future building projects as the Allies advanced springs to mind.

However, once the bombs came, he moved quickly to destroy the evidence. While there may have been some active research with active strains, most of it appears to have been research with innocuous plants that are biologically similar. But we won't know conclusively, because he destroyed so much of the evidence so quickly.

And his operatives have been busy since then. The report even recounts one instance when inspectors arrived to find a smoldering pile of ashes. Whole rooms of files have been selectively rifled and the evidence destroyed. Specific hard drives have been wrecked.

Which is why we should have had a bigger army.

And why we should have a bigger army there now.

And why we should go slow with Iraqification. Remember those workers at Guantanamo--three of them now have been arrested. If well trained agents are in place to seize the opportunities when they arise, there is little we can do.

The report is depressing reading. (It is available here. ) Depressing that such a man was allowed to stay in power for so long. Depressing that he was prepared to do such harm. And depressing that the Administration, which was right to go in, went in so precipitously, and with such bad planning.

That said, George W. Bush is blessed by one thing: he will be running against a Democrat. As the economy is looking up, and as events are forcing the Administration to--however grudginly--abandon Liberation Lite in favor of doing it right, he should win, but it will be a fight. And this writer will be glad if he does.

::: posted by A Mind That Suits at 5:46 PM



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