Duelfer Report Finds No WMD Threat
There’s really no good way for the White House to spin this, except to ignore the vast majority of the Duelfer report that completely and finally blows away the case that the Bush Administration made for war based on alleged imminent WMD threats, and to pivot instead to the irrelevant sideshow that Saddam had business deals with our allies that undermined the sanctions. The Mighty Wurlitzer will play up this angle in the coming days, as if Saddam’s activities to weaken the impact of the sanctions were cause enough for a war.
Duelfer yesterday basically said that there was no chemical weapons program, no biological weapons program, and no nuclear weapons program of any significance maintained by Saddam for the better part of the last decade, and certainly any programs that were in existence posed no imminent or gathering threat to the US in March 2003. Duelfer said there were no attempts by Iraq to purchase yellowcake from Niger, and that Iraq appeared to be telling the truth in what it told the UN about its weapon stocks in late 2002 and early 2003. And Duelfer said that the chance of still finding any WMDs in Iraq is less than 5%.
But we will be hearing a lot from the GOP about "intent", about how Saddam tried to undermine the sanctions by doing business with our allies (in other words, just like Dick Cheney did with Saddam and Iran while at Halliburton), and about how the country is safer with Saddam in jail.
And none of it justifies a war.
What we are seeing is just another flip-flop from the Moral Clarity gang. What started off as a campaign to get Saddam to comply with UN resolutions evolved into a policy of regime change through covert means. Then at the time they took office, the Bush gang ratcheted the policy up a notch to regime change using any justification possible. Even though both Condi and Colin said that Saddam had been bottled up pretty well by the years of sanctions (both look to be prophets now), they were overrun by the war cabal who saw the WMD angle as the way to sell the war. Then when 9/11 came, it became all too convenient for the war cabal to link terrorism to their illusory case that Saddam was a WMD menace.
So the country and the world were told that Saddam needed to comply with the UN sanctions to verify to the world that he wasn’t a WMD threat who could threaten directly his neighbors or the US through alleged terrorist links. Bush got his war resolution, and then without waiting for the IAEA inspectors to finish their work four weeks later, Bush certified to Congress that he needed to rush into war based on an alleged WMD threat that the New York Times has verified his administration knew was bogus at the time they were pitching it to the world. When the WMDs never materialized, we were told that they were being hidden, that they had been moved to Syria, or that they had been given to terrorists. But we were also told that it didn’t matter, because the rationale for war then changed to liberating the Islamic world and stopping a haven for terrorists. Then when the CIA confirmed that there weren’t ongoing ties between Saddam and Al Qaeda, the certification that Bush gave Congress was undermined further.
Now we have the final nail, in which Bush’s handpicked man verifies that Saddam has had no significant work done on his WMD program since 1991, and has in fact told the truth to the UN about the status of his program in December 2002. But now, the Mighty Wurlitzer will pivot and say that the war was justified because Saddam was dealing with our allies to undermine the sanctions and would eventually use any weakening of the sanctions to ramp up his WMD program.
Unfortunately for over a thousand dead US soldiers, and thousands of dead Iraqis and thousands more maimed Iraqis and Americans, none of this justifies a war, especially when there is evidence that the Bush Administration knew their scam would be exposed for the con job it was in the end.