April 20, 2007

WMD Bunkers Found Two Years Ago?

Here’s an article in the Spectator (the British version) suggesting that we’ve had credible information about Saddam’s WMD bunkers since 2003, and haven’t exploited that rather splashy information because we moved too slowly to prevent the Saddam-era Iraqis from selling the weapons to the Syrians – with the assistance, he claims, of the Russians. Thanks to some colossal incompetence, the only evidence of this was lost in 2005 and has only recently been re-discovered. It sounds a bit conspiracy-theory-ish at first glance. But the Spectator is as reasonable a source of commentary as any other large public affairs magazine. And this jibes with my general impression of our nation’s leaders – arrogant, but conscious of their own images, and not stupid. They stuck their necks pretty damn far out on the WMD theory as the selling point for the war in Iraq, and there must have been a good reason they did that.

On the one hand, it would be nice to think about how our intelligence didn’t fail us so incredibly badly back in 2002-2003 as critics of the administration would like the public to believe. But on the other hand, if true this is yet another instance of the arrogance of certainty leading to making unbelievable blunders – so if this report is to be credited, the Bushmen get acquitted of one failure of competence, only to be damned in the same instance of another.

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