Thursday, September 23, 2004

How Can You Be So Certain Bush Lied About WMDs?

A listener to my new CD "Why Conservative Christians Are Re-evaluating George W. Bush: The Surprising Insights More & More Christians Are Having (and no, they're not deciding to 'Vote Democrat'!)" thought he might've caught me in an error - a contradiction. I had questioned the President's ability to tell the truth about, amongst other things, Weapons of Mass Destruction.

Before the new war in Iraq, I led the team that put together TruthAboutWar.org. The site has been frozen (with the exception of flash/intro page) since the war re-started in March, 2003. Our first claim, for which our sanity was questioned, was that Hussein had no WMDs. The listener asks a reasonable question...

"You said on your CD that we had given Hussein WMD's, and we know that he used some of them against the Kurds, et al. Why, then, so sure he did not have any? The possibility is not ridiculous."

Here's my response.

You make a great point. The CD is long, so I had to limit my remarks. There are several things I wish I could've elaborated on. Your objection is one of them...

Yes, we knew Hussein had WMD's. But he no longer had them by the time we attacked.

WMD's can be divided into three very rough categories: Long-range assault missiles, nuclear weapons, and chemical weapons capable of killing a mass of people.

First, for the nuclear weapons... I make it clear in the CD and at TruthAboutWar.org, why Hussein could not have had nuclear weapons.

Second, for the chemical - the weapons used against the Kurds. Chemical weapons are not very efficient. They break down quickly and easily. They can blow-back on the people who use them. They must be stored a certain way - attention must be paid to temperature and other environmental concerns. They're a lot like the food in your refrigerator. At some point, they'll go bad.

Further, the stories of Hussein's "gassings" of the Kurds were told in a way that was designed to mislead as well. The Bush administration/establishment media story about this incident is always told as if Hussein marched into the Kurdish region and began random gassing of the people he ruled. At the website TruthAboutWar.org, we point to a War College study that indicated that the Kurds were caught in a cross-fire between Iran and Iraq, and the Iranian gasses were almost certainly to blame.

Third, the United States has been attacking Hussein for several years from the air. Most Americans wouldn't hear anything about this until news would leak out that he had fired on one of our planes. People would get upset, without asking the obvious questions like, "Why are we flying over Iraq?" or "How would we feel if Iraq was flying bombers and fighters over our country?" This was a logical deduction. If Hussein had long range missiles, why wasn't he shooting down our planes or hitting the ships and bases we were launching from? Why didn't he score political points with his Middle Eastern brothers and hit Israel?

The answer is obvious. He didn't have them.

There were two additional reasons not to trust the government. We also lay these out in detail at TruthAboutWar.org, so I won't completely rehash these.

But simply put, the first of those two reasons was Scott Ritter, the chief weapons inspector for the U.S., a decorated Marine who took his job quite seriously, so seriously that he resigned from his position because the Clinton administration and the U.N. were putting handcuffs on his work, did an abrupt about-face. Some said he was a hypocritical opportunist. That didn't stop him. Then there was even a frame-up put in place to silence him. That made him quieter and gave the media permission to dismiss him. He was a lonely voice who took a lot of vicious heat - mostly from so-called conservatives.

But he had been on the ground. He knew the situation. He pointed out that the job was done and predicted no weapons would be found. David Kaye returned from Iraq in the Spring, saying the odds were very, very low they'd find any - the weapons inspection regime had worked so well. Colin Powell just admitted a couple of weeks ago, we won't find any.

Search the web. There are quotes from Powell, Rice, Cheney, and Rumsfeld, as late as April 2003, saying we'll find those weapons. Rumsfeld even said we knew within a few miles where these weapons were. It's a cop-out to say that Bush didn't lie. Between TruthAboutWar.org and my new Bush CD I give evidence so sufficient, you could go to court with it. But his case looks much worse when you add in the things his administration - the people he's responsible for and who answer to him - did to, charitably, create a misleading impression.

The second of those two reasons was the pattern. It turns out that the Bush administration lied about several things when it attacked Iraq the first time. The pre-Desert Storm propaganda war included fake stories about... satellite pictures showing Hussein massing troops on the border of Saudi Arabia, baby's pulled from incubators and left to die while the incubators were wheeled out of a Kuwaiti hospital, and more. You can check out this link to TruthAboutWar.org for the details.
Because War is the Health of the State, our default position should always be to be very skeptical about what our government has to say. You might give another human being the benefit of the doubt. But you should never give it to a politician. Power matters more than humanity to nearly all those attracted to public office.

There's how I knew. And now, you know.

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