As the debate here grows increasingly shrill with denunciations of "Bush the Evil" and apparently attempts to re-fight the 2004 election results - this time based on the premise that the people who voted for Bush were too stupid to vote for the "right person", I caught something in the original memo that supposedly spawned this thread.
I noticed the date on that memo -
From: Matthew Rycroft
Date: 23 July 2002
2002. Bush was fooling everyone back then according to Erasmussimo
's suspect reading of the word "fix". And not everyone was fooled, right?
This is simply repeating the urban myth. If you can come up with evidence for a country believing that Saddam had WMD, then I'll accept your claims. But the simple assertion does not command immediate credibility, because the single best source of evidence, the Blix investigation, found no evidence of WMD. None, zero, nada. Yes, they also reported that there were still question marks due to Iraqi refusals to cooperate. But the undeniable fact is that the only investigation that had any real substance came up empty-handed. Are you claiming that the entire world refused to believe the results of the Blix investigation?
There is quite a time period between the date on this memo, the one that Erasmussimo
claims proves Bush was deceiving the American people and Blix's final report. However, there were other Blix reports to the UN in the meantime, following this "smoking gun" memo. Including this one
From that report, dated 27Jan2003, we get the following.....
Iraq has declared that it only produced VX on a pilot scale, just a few tonnes and that the quality was poor and the product unstable. Consequently, it was said, that the agent was never weaponised. Iraq said that the small quantity of agent remaining after the Gulf War was unilaterally destroyed in the summer of 1991.
UNMOVIC, however, has information that conflicts with this account. There are indications that Iraq had worked on the problem of purity and stabilization and that more had been achieved than has been declared. Indeed, even one of the documents provided by Iraq indicates that the purity of the agent, at least in laboratory production, was higher than declared.
There are also indications that the agent was weaponised. In addition, there are questions to be answered concerning the fate of the VX precursor chemicals, which Iraq states were lost during bombing in the Gulf War or were unilaterally destroyed by Iraq.
and Biological Weapons....
Iraq has declared that it produced about 8,500 litres of this biological warfare agent, which it states it unilaterally destroyed in the summer of 1991. Iraq has provided little evidence for this production and no convincing evidence for its destruction.
There are strong indications that Iraq produced more anthrax than it declared, and that at least some of this was retained after the declared destruction date. It might still exist. Either it should be found and be destroyed under UNMOVIC supervision or else convincing evidence should be produced to show that it was, indeed, destroyed in 1991.
In the letter of 24 January to the President of the Council, Iraq’s Foreign Minister stated that “all imported quantities of growth media were declared”. This is not evidence. I note that the quantity of media involved would suffice to produce, for example, about 5,000 litres of concentrated anthrax.
Sure sounds to me that Blix thought at least on this date, well after the memo referenced was written that Iraq could very well have WMD stockpiles. Bush deceive him too? Bush make up the stuff in his report?
Maybe so, or perhaps I dangled a participle somewhere there...
But, I do have to wonder how Bush fooled all these Senators
back in 1998....
Carl Levin, Joe Lieberman, Frank R. Lautenberg, Dick Lugar, Kit Bond, Jon Kyl, Chris Dodd, John McCain, Kay Bailey Hutchison, Alfonse D'Amato, Bob Kerrey, Pete V. Domenici, Dianne Feinstein, Barbara A. Mikulski.
Thomas Daschle, John Breaux, Tim Johnson, Daniel K. Inouye, Arlen Specter, James Inhofe, Strom Thurmond, Mary L. Landrieu, Wendell Ford, John F. Kerry, Chuck Grassley, Jesse Helms, Rick Santorum.
At that time they signed a letter that said, in part, the following....
Mr. LEVIN. Mr. President, today, along with Senators McCain, Lieberman, Hutchison and twenty-three other Senators, I am sending a letter to the President to express our concern over Iraq's actions and urging the President `after consulting with Congress, and consistent with the U.S. Constitution and laws, to take necessary actions (including, if appropriate, air and missile strikes on suspect Iraqi sites) to respond effectively to the threat posed by Iraq's refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction programs.'
One must wonder how then Governor Bush manipulated the evidence back then. Heck, he even fooled President Clinton!
"The community of nations may see more and more of the very kind of threat Iraq poses now: a rogue state with weapons of mass destruction, ready to use them or provide them to terrorists. If we fail to respond today, Saddam and all those who would follow in his footsteps will be emboldened tomorrow." -- Bill Clinton in 1998
How'd he do that? The fact is he didn't. There were a whole lot of people who thought Saddam had WMD and that wasn't because they were deceived by President Bush.