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Friday, October 03, 2003

Surprise! No WMD's!
David Kay finally gave a report to Congress on his search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. He found NO WEAPONS (hint to David--check the US armories for cluster bombs, depleted uranium, napalm, etc.). This was the lead story for a while last night on the CNN web site, but now it's just a minor headline, having been overshadowed by the Gropinator. CNN seems to be attempting to go along with Kay in downplaying what should be the main point here, which is that THERE WERE NO WEAPONS and Bush and his minions were lying up a storm.

The New York Times gives a more appropriate spin:

The preliminary report delivered on Thursday by the chief arms inspector in Iraq forces the Bush administration to come face to face with this reality: that Saddam Hussein's armory appears to have been stuffed with precursors, potential weapons and bluffs, but that nothing found so far backs up administration claims that Mr. Hussein posed an imminent threat to the world.

In public, President Bush says that is not the issue. What should make a difference to Americans, and to the world, he says, is that Mr. Hussein is gone and Iraq is free. "One thing is for certain," Mr. Bush argued last month at a fund-raiser, using a line he repeats often these days. "Terrorist groups will not ever be able to get weapons of mass destruction in Iraq because Saddam Hussein is no more."

But in private, Mr. Bush's political aides concede that it does matter, and it may matter more as the politics of running for president collide with the realities of containing the chaos in occupied Iraq.

Of course, the Times persists in hypocrisy:

In retrospect, warning signs were evident well before the war began.

The Times knew this, but they continued to publish the lies of reporter Judith Miller which helped convince the public that Iraq did possess weapons.

The Washington Post similarly spins the story as bad news for Bush, including these quotes from Senators:

"I'm not pleased by what I heard today," said Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, who has been supportive of the administration and the CIA. Roberts said he believes some of the raw intelligence did not support the administration's prewar statements about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction and called some of the claims "sloppy."

"There's enough . . . to make me believe our intelligence was badly flawed," Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said as she exited the three-hour meeting.

(BTW, that "D" after Feinstein's name is clearly a mistake. She voted for the Iraq war, and expressed no doubt in her reasoning: "I could not escape the fact that Hussein possesses and manufactures biological and chemical weapons, has used those chemical weapons, and, unless stopped, will most certainly use them again." And Hillary Clinton was just as bad: "The only way to change this is for Saddam Hussein to disarm, and I don't think he will. We are in a very difficult position right now. I'd love to agree with you, but I can't.")

In any case, a very interesting development. While I'm sure most people reading this have believed for quite a while that there were no significant WMD's in Iraq, Kay's report now seems to give the go ahead for congress and the press to say so.