Friday :: Jan 23, 2004

David Kay Leaves Iraq WMD Search - Sees No Sign Of Iraqi WMD Production Since '91


by Steve

This should put the final nail in the Cheney/Rice/Rummy/Wolfie Lie-a-thon on WMDs.

David Kay resigned formally today as head of the Iraq Survey Group, after being hand-selected by the White House for the task and reporting directly to George Tenet. On his way out, Kay said he saw no evidence of large-scale Iraqi WMD production since the Gulf War. No equivocation.

How did we go from last year's SOTU lies and the ramp-up leading to the war, to the hand-picked guy now undercutting the entire "imminent threat" argument?

In an interview with Reuters news agency after his resignation was announced, Mr Kay said he did not believe there had been large-scale production of chemical or biological weapons in Iraq since the end of the first Gulf War in 1991.

"I don't think they existed," Mr Kay said.

"What everyone was talking about is stockpiles produced after the end of the last Gulf War and I don't think there was a large-scale production programme in the 90s."

Game. Set. Match.

Yes, the Bush defenders will say so what? Saddam's gone and the world is a better place, yada yada yada. They'll say that he could have had WMDs and could have used them, but if it now turns out he didn't, then it was simply an intelligence disaster, so you can't blame Bush.

Except that Bush never based his war decision on the intelligence from the now discredited community. He based it on cherry-picked intelligence from questionable sources and ideological soulmates who also ignored the intelligence community. So if the professional intelligence community got it so wrong, what does that make the claims by the amateurs who actually made policy? What does this do to the imminent threat rationale upon which Bush sold his case?

When an administration has introduced and adheres to a policy of pre-emption as its foreign and national security policy, and it has now been shown that both the professional and amateur ideological intelligence communities are both nothing more than Romper Room, then what basis in the future can there be for any credibility in such a policy? Are we supposed to send sons and daughters into harm's way based on hunches and "instincts" and the "moral clarity" of those who have already proven to be cranks?

The White House and the GOP want to focus the blame on the intelligence community and walk away from the traffic accident. But what they fail to acknowledge, and the Democrats fail to see and capitalize on to this point, is the bigger fact. The cherry-picked intelligence, the distortions, and now the formally discredited professional intelligence that led to this war has claimed a much bigger victim.

The central underpinning for a policy of preemption are the claims of real and imminent threats that require such action. Claims of such threats need to be validated to the extent possible by an intelligence community that has now been trashed, which was at least as credible if not more so than the scare stories peddled by the cranks in the White House. In destroying the credibility of the professional intelligence community by using doctored and cherry-picked information to make a political case for war, the Bush White House has in fact undercut its whole new national security strategy.

Steve :: 10:02 PM :: Comments (9) :: Digg It!