Monday :: Oct 10, 2005

Picking away at the Plame Affair

by Mary

Kudos are due to The Next Hurrah's emptywheel for her superb posts about the Plame grand jury and where and what Fitzgerald might be looking into next. Her post Sunday was extremely well-written and suspenseful, and invoked for me those troubling days after Bush had started his war because many of us knew that he had lied about the WMD, and felt that it was possible that the administration would plant WMD in Iraq if they could. Certainly within weeks of the invasion of Iraq, Rumsfeld worried publically that some might accuse the Americans of planting WMD in Iraq. Yet, even more frightening was the idea that they would use their "success" to create more excuses for invading other countries preemptively.

One thing I remember thinking was how little it seemed to matter to the Bush administration on whether they found WMD or not. After all, that excuse was only one that has been floated and the only one the warmongers felt could be agreed to by all as compelling (per Wolfowitz). Nevertheless, on April 17th, according to Time, the Bush administration was very worried that they hadn't found any of the weapons they expected.

However sanguine officials sound in public, in private the pressure is rising. The Pentagon dispatched an entire brigade -- 3,000 troops -- to the search and offered $200,000 bounties for any weapons of mass destruction (WMD) uncovered. Local officers were authorized to make payments of $2,500 on the spot. "The White House is screaming, 'Find me some WMD,'" says a State Department official, adding that the task is one of many suddenly facing the department. Members of the Administration must feel a new bond with Blix, since they are now the ones arguing that these things take time.

One of the bigger mysteries to me at that time was why they weren't more worried that they didn't find any WMD. Perhaps they really weren't aware that they had been made fools of by their pal Chalabi? Or had they convinced themselves that Saddam was the extreme danger they had posited that they were convinced they would find weapons when they went in? I still remember thinking that they didn't seem to be too concerned during those early days - as they had plenty of time to protect the oil ministry and leave open the Baghdad museum and al Qaqaa for looting. Obviously they had their priorities.

My advice for staying informed? Keep watching for the latest analysis by Jane and Reddhead at firedoglake, emptywheel at The Last Hurrah, and Murray Waas at his blog.

Mary :: 12:10 AM :: Comments (3) :: TrackBack (0) :: Digg It!