Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Blast From The Past

Ah...the heady days after Baghdad fell: good times, good times. The unstoppable and mighty US war machine had moved swiftly across the desert sands, encountering varying degrees of resistance, into Baghdad, which fell amongst swirling rose petals and proferred candies. Not too long thereafter, the victors found the indisputable proof of why the invasion was necessary: weapons of mass destruction. Or did they? Not according to a lengthy article in today's Washington Post.

On May 29, 2003, 50 days after the fall of Baghdad, President Bush proclaimed a fresh victory for his administration in Iraq: Two small trailers captured by U.S. and Kurdish troops had turned out to be long-sought mobile "biological laboratories." He declared, "We have found the weapons of mass destruction."

The claim, repeated by top administration officials for months afterward, was hailed at the time as a vindication of the decision to go to war. But even as Bush spoke, U.S. intelligence officials possessed powerful evidence that it was not true.

A secret fact-finding mission to Iraq -- not made public until now -- had already concluded that the trailers had nothing to do with biological weapons. Leaders of the Pentagon-sponsored mission transmitted their unanimous findings to Washington in a field report on May 27, 2003, two days before the president's statement.

The three-page field report and a 122-page final report three weeks later were stamped "secret" and shelved. Meanwhile, for nearly a year, administration and intelligence officials continued to publicly assert that the trailers were weapons factories.

The authors of the reports were nine U.S. and British civilian experts -- scientists and engineers with extensive experience in all the technical fields involved in making bioweapons -- who were dispatched to Baghdad by the Defense Intelligence Agency for an analysis of the trailers. Their actions and findings were described to a Washington Post reporter in interviews with six government officials and weapons experts who participated in the mission or had direct knowledge of it.

None would consent to being identified by name because of fear that their jobs would be jeopardized.
[Emphasis added]

Once again we've been provided with evidence that this regime continued to lie about the need for war even after the invasion had taken place. The Emperor in Chief had been advised several days before he made his speech crowing about the discovery of WMDs that those trailers were evidence only of Iraq's capabilities with weather balloons.

Just as importantly, nearly three years later, the government officials and weapons experts involved will not speak for attribution "because of fear that their jobs would be jeopardized." That is what our government has come to.

And we should believe the Emperor when he tells us no military action in Iran is contemplated at this time?

I keep waiting for the regime to run out of bridges to sell.


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