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Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Now and Then
Recently, Bushies have been blaming some of the chaos in Iraq on prisoners that Saddam released last fall (that is, when they're not trying to claim that the US "liberators" emptied the prisons). This is certainly in keeping with their generally policy of blaming everything everywhere on previous administrations, but it might be helpful to recall the Bushies reaction to the prisoners being released when it happened:

QUESTION: After all these years, the Iraqis not only released all their political prisoners, but also shipped back several truckloads of documents that had been stolen from Kuwait. After all this time, to do two of those things in the course of two or three days, what do you make of this?

MR. FLEISCHER: Well, as Secretary Powell said, the release of the prisoners appears to be a political ploy. But it's hard to know what to make of all of this. Saddam Hussein does not often act in a way that is clear or that is rational or even that is open and conclusive. That's why I indicated earlier that nobody knows how many prisoners have really been released. Nobody knows how many he had.
-- White House Press Briefing, 10/21/02

"Do you really think, if these people are dangerous to the regime, that they're going to be allowed out and stay out? Or are they going to be back in jail in about three days' time?" Powell asked. -- AFP, 10/21/02

So last fall, these people were neither numerous nor dangerous, and now they're the reason the Bushies can't control the country.