January 19, 2004

Weapons of Mass Distraction

A few days ago there was a report that some Danish inspectors finally, at long last, found some illegal weapons in Iraq. True, they had been buried for more than a decade, but they seemed to contain chemical agents like mustard gas. It wasn't widely reported, seems to me, that a further analysis shows that there was 'No blister agent' in Iraq shells.

Not only that, it's clear that the fact that all the old weapons had been destroyed in 1991, and that the administration knew it. Their most solid information source was Hussein Kamel, Saddam's son-in-law, who gave the order to destroy it all and defected in 1995. According to Ray McGovern in a Miami Herald piece:

"Documentary corroboration that Kamel's order was carried out surfaced this month in a handwritten letter obtained by Barton Gelman of The Washington Post. The letter was written by Hossam Amin, director of the Iraqi office overseeing U.N. inspectors, five days after Kamel's defection. It confirms that Iraq had in fact destroyed its entire inventory of biological weapons during the summer of 1991, before U.N. inspectors even knew of their existence.

Does this mean that Kamel's testimony had been known in Washington and London more than seven years before Bush's address last January, and that during that entire period no evidence had come to light poking holes in the information he provided? Yes."


Such a sleazy President we have. I'm watching the caucus in Dubuque, Iowa live on C-SPAN and feeling cautiously optimistic that democracy will ultimately fix this mess.

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