Category Archive 'Missing Iraqi WMD'
06 Jul 2016

“Forget It, Jake, It’s Clintontown.”

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ClintonsGetAwayWithIt

Rod Dreher seems to need a double Bourbon.

It is somehow comforting to find that one’s pitch-black cynicism is vindicated. I did not believe that official Washington would indict Hillary Clinton, not in a presidential election year, and not when she’s the only thing standing between Donald Trump and the White House.

The thought of four more years of those people, the Clintons, in the White House, with all their sleaziness, their drama, their sense of entitlement — it’s sick-making. What a country. What a year.

Hillary Clinton is the democrat party’s best chance of keeping its grip on the presidency for another four years. Did anyone really think that Mr. Comey was going to seek her indictment?

This is the same James Comey, who initiated the Plamegame investigation that tarnished the Bush Administration, convicted Vice Presidential Chief of Staff Scooter Libby of perjury and obstruction of justice and got him sentenced to 30 months in prison, a $250,000 fine, two years of supervised release, and 400 hours of community service. George W. Bush magnanimously commuted the prison time, but Libby lost his license to practice law and his reputation.

Valerie Plame, of course, really had used her CIA position to arrange for her hubbie Joe Wilson to be selected to go to Niger in 2002 to inquire about attempts to purchase yellowcake uranium for nuclear bomb-making by Saddam Hussein. Wilson came home and wrote an editorial in the Times in July, attacking the Bush Administration, and concluding that “it was highly doubtful that any such transaction had ever taken place.” in 2008, 550 tons of non-existent yellowcake uranium was sold by the new Iraqi government, acting under US supervision, to Canada’s Cameco Corporation.

Madame Wilson’s identity and CIA employment in the Directorate of Analysis was actually disclosed by Deputy Secretary of State (Colin Powell associate and Bush Foreign Policy opponent) Richard Armitage. That Armitage was the leaker was known to Plamegame prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald (appointed by Comey) in 2003, but that did not prevent him from proceeding with four years of unnecessary witch-hunting or from convicting Libby in 2007.

And, so we see how Justice operates in the United States in the 21st Century. They’ll investigate and hunt you down and convict you of something, whatever the facts, whatever it takes, if you are a Conservative Republican whom they do not like. But if your last name is Clinton, whatever you do will fall outside the scope of prosecutorial discretion.

16 Feb 2015

Times Reporting on More Non-Existent Iraqi WMDS

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BorakSarin
At least 400 non-existent Borak rockets loaded with Sarin nerve gas were secretly purchased and destroyed by the CIA in 2005 and 2006, despite Saddam Hussein’s regime, as we all know, having been merely pretending to possess undeclared WMDs as a bluff.

New York Times:

The Central Intelligence Agency, working with American troops during the occupation of Iraq, repeatedly purchased nerve-agent rockets from a secretive Iraqi seller, part of a previously undisclosed effort to ensure that old chemical weapons remaining in Iraq did not fall into the hands of terrorists or militant groups, according to current and former American officials.

The extraordinary arms purchase plan, known as Operation Avarice, began in 2005 and continued into 2006, and the American military deemed it a nonproliferation success. It led to the United States’ acquiring and destroying at least 400 Borak rockets, one of the internationally condemned chemical weapons that Saddam Hussein’s Baathist government manufactured in the 1980s but that were not accounted for by United Nations inspections mandated after the 1991 Persian Gulf war.

The effort was run out of the C.I.A. station in Baghdad in collaboration with the Army’s 203rd Military Intelligence Battalion and teams of chemical-defense and explosive ordnance disposal troops, officials and veterans of the units said. Many rockets were in poor condition and some were empty or held a nonlethal liquid, the officials said. But others contained the nerve agent sarin, which analysis showed to be purer than the intelligence community had expected given the age of the stock.

The buying of nerve-agent rockets from an Iraqi seller in 2006 was the most significant recovery of chemical weapons until that point in the Iraq War.

A New York Times investigation published in October found that the military had recovered thousands of old chemical warheads and shells in Iraq and that Americans and Iraqis had been wounded by them, but the government kept much of this information secret, from the public and troops alike.

15 Oct 2014

NY Times Finds Missing Iraq WMDs

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BushLied

The New York Times admits that, not only were there WMDs in Iraq, American and coalition forces were exposed to them on multiple occasions.

From 2004 to 2011, American and American-trained Iraqi troops repeatedly encountered, and on at least six occasions were wounded by, chemical weapons remaining from years earlier in Saddam Hussein’s rule.

In all, American troops secretly reported finding roughly 5,000 chemical warheads, shells or aviation bombs, according to interviews with dozens of participants, Iraqi and American officials, and heavily redacted intelligence documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.

WMDmap

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And there are reports that ISIS is using chemical weapons from Saddam Hussein’s former stockpiles against its Kurdish opponents.

15 Sep 2013

WMDs Again On the Move

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The Jerusalem Post is passing along a Lebanese news report with a strange element of déjà vu.

Lebanese daily says 20 trucks crossed into Iraq last week, bearing equipment and material used for manufacturing chemical weapons.

Syria has moved 20 trucks worth of equipment and material used for the manufacturing of chemical weapons into neighboring Iraq, the Lebanese daily Al-Mustaqbal reported on Sunday.

The government in Baghdad has denied allegations that it is helping the Syrian government conceal chemical stockpiles.

The report came just a day after the United States and Russia struck a deal stipulating that Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime would destroy its chemical arsenal to avert an American military assault.

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Wikipedia describes Saddam Hussein’s pre-US Invasion evacuation of WMDs to Syria as a “conjecture.”

John Loftus, director of The Intelligence Summit, said in the November 16, 2007 issue of FrontPage Magazine that many documents from Iraq point to WMD being transferred to other countries such as Syria: “As stated in more detail in my full report, the British, Ukrainian and American secret services all believed that the Russians had organized a last minute evacuation of CW and BW stockpiles from Baghdad to Syria.” His researchers allegedly found a document ordering the concealment of nuclear weapons equipment in storage facilities under the Euphrates River a few weeks before the invasion.

Former Iraqi general Georges Sada claimed that in late 2002, Saddam had ordered all of his stockpiles to be moved to Syria. He appeared on Fox News’ Hannity & Colmes in January 2006 to discuss his book, Saddam’s Secrets: How an Iraqi General Defied and Survived Saddam Hussein. Anticipating the arrival of weapon inspectors on November 1, Sada said Saddam took advantage of the June 4 Zeyzoun Dam disaster in Syria by forming an “air bridge”, loading them onto cargo aircraft and flying them out of the country.

    They were moved by air and by ground, 56 sorties by jumbo, 747, and 27 were moved, after they were converted to cargo aircraft, they were moved to Syria.

In January 2004, Nizar Nayuf, a Syrian journalist who moved to Western Europe, said in a letter to the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf that he knows the three sites where Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction are kept inside Syria. According to Nayuf’s witness, described as a senior source inside Syrian military intelligence he had known for two years, Iraq’s WMD are in tunnels dug under the town of al-Baida near the city of Hama in northern Syria, in the village of Tal Snan, north of the town of Salamija, where there is a big Syrian air force camp, and in the city of Sjinsjar on the Syrian border with the Lebanon, south of Homs city. Nayouf also wrote that the transfer of Iraqi WMD to Syria was organized by the commanders of Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi Republican Guard, including General Shalish, with the help of Assef Shawkat, Bashar Assad’s cousin. Shoakat is the CEO of Bhaha, an import/export company owned by the Assad family. U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice responded to this accusation by saying “I don’t think we are at the point that we can make a judgment on this issue. There hasn’t been any hard evidence that such a thing happened. But obviously we’re going to follow up every lead, and it would be a serious problem if that, in fact, did happen.”

A similar claim was made by Lieutenant General Moshe Ya’alon, a former Israeli officer who served as chief of staff of the Israel Defense Forces from July 2002 to June 2005. In April 2004, he was quoted as saying that “perhaps they transferred them to another country, such as Syria.” General Ya’alon told the New York Sun more firmly in December 2005 that “He [Saddam] transferred the chemical agents from Iraq to Syria.” The Fall 2005 Middle East Quarterly also reported Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon as having said in a December, 2002 appearance on Israel’s Channel 2, “…chemical and biological weapons which Saddam is endeavoring to conceal have been moved from Iraq to Syria.”

In February 2006, Ali Ibrahim al-Tikriti, a former Iraqi general who defected shortly before the Gulf War in 1991, gave an interview to Ryan Mauro, author of Death to America: The Unreported Battle of Iraq and founder of WorldThreats. In the interview, al-Tikriti, who was once known as the “Butcher of Basra”, told Mauro:

    I know Saddam’s weapons are in Syria due to certain military deals that were made going as far back as the late 1980s that dealt with the event that either capitals were threatened with being overrun by an enemy nation. Not to mention I have discussed this in-depth with various contacts of mine who have confirmed what I already knew. At this point Saddam knew that the United States were eventually going to come for his weapons and the United States wasn’t going to just let this go like they did in the original Gulf War. He knew that he had lied for this many years and wanted to maintain legitimacy with the pan Arab nationalists. He also has wanted since he took power to embarrass the West and this was the perfect opportunity to do so. After Saddam denied he had such weapons why would he use them or leave them readily available to be found? That would only legitimize President Bush, whom he has a personal grudge against. What we are witnessing now is many who opposed the war to begin with are rallying around Saddam saying we overthrew a sovereign leader based on a lie about WMD. This is exactly what Saddam wanted and predicted.

Al-Tikriti’s interview was featured prominently on conservative web sites such as FrontPageMag and WorldNetDaily, but did not receive main stream press attention. Salon magazine editor Alex Koppelman doubts both Sada’s and al-Tikriti’s story, arguing that Syria’s decision to side with the coalition against Iraq in 1990 would have nullified any previous military deals.

The Iraq Survey Group was told that Saddam Hussein periodically removed guards from the Syrian border and replaced them with his intelligence agents who then supervised the movement of banned materials between Syria and Iraq, according to two unnamed defense sources that spoke with The Washington Times. They reported heavy traffic in large trucks on the border before the United States invasion. Earlier, in a telephone interview with The Daily Telegraph, the former head of the Iraqi Survey Group, David Kay, said: “[W]e know from some of the interrogations of former Iraqi officials that a lot of material went to Syria before the war, including some components of Saddam’s WMD program. Precisely what went to Syria, and what has happened to it, is a major issue that needs to be resolved.” Satellite imagery also picked up activity on the Iraq-Syria border before and during the invasion. James R. Clapper, who headed the National Imagery and Mapping Agency in 2003, has said U.S. intelligence tracked a large number of vehicles, mostly civilian trucks, moving from Iraq into Syria. Clapper suggested the trucks may have contained materiel related to Iraq’s WMD programs.

ISG formed a special working group to investigate and consider these claims. Charles Duelfer, head of inspectorate at time of publication, summarized the group’s conclusion: “Based on the evidence available at present, ISG judged that it was unlikely that an official transfer of WMD material from Iraq to Syria took place. However, ISG was unable to rule out unofficial movement of limited WMD-related materials.”

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23 Oct 2010

Wikileaks Leak Offers WMD News

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Danger Room:

By late 2003, even the Bush White House’s staunchest defenders were starting to give up on the idea that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

But for years afterward, WikiLeaks’ newly-released Iraq war documents reveal, U.S. troops continued to find chemical weapons labs, encounter insurgent specialists in toxins, and uncover weapons of mass destruction.

An initial glance at the WikiLeaks war logs doesn’t reveal evidence of some massive WMD program by the Saddam Hussein regime — the Bush administration’s most (in)famous rationale for invading Iraq. But chemical weapons, especially, did not vanish from the Iraqi battlefield. Remnants of Saddam’s toxic arsenal, largely destroyed after the Gulf War, remained. Jihadists, insurgents and foreign (possibly Iranian) agitators turned to these stockpiles during the Iraq conflict — and may have brewed up their own deadly agents. …

A small group — mostly of the political right — has long maintained that there was more evidence of a major and modern WMD program than the American people were lead to believe. A few Congressmen and Senators gravitated to the idea, but it was largely dismissed as conspiratorial hooey.

The WMD diehards will likely find some comfort in these newly-WikiLeaked documents. Skeptics will note that these relatively small WMD stockpiles were hardly the kind of grave danger that the Bush administration presented in the run-up to the war.

But the more salient issue may be how insurgents and Islamic extremists (possibly with the help of Iran) attempted to use these lethal and exotic arms. As Spencer noted earlier, a January 2006 war log claims that “neuroparalytic” chemical weapons were smuggled in from Iran.

That same month, then “chemical weapons specialists” were apprehended in Balad. These “foreigners” were there specifically “to support the chemical weapons operations.” The following month, an intelligence report refers to a “chemical weapons expert” that “provided assistance with the gas weapons.” What happened to that specialist, the WikiLeaked document doesn’t say.

Read the whole thing.

18 Jan 2009

The Left’s Foreign Policy Ambush

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Richard Perle evaluates the Bush record in foreign policy (to the limited degree that Bush was allowed by the federal bureaucracy to have a say in the matter) and attacks the left’s false narrative of the reasons for bringing about regime change in Iraq.

[T]he salient issue was not whether Saddam had stockpiles of WMD but whether he could produce them and place them in the hands of terrorists. The administration’s appalling inability to explain that this is what it was thinking and doing allowed the unearthing of stockpiles to become the test of whether it had correctly assessed the risk that Saddam might provide WMD to terrorists. When none were found, the administration appeared to have failed the test even though considerable evidence of Saddam’s capability to produce WMD was found in postwar inspections by the Iraq Survey Group chaired by Charles Duelfer.

I am not alone in having been asked, “If you knew that Saddam did not have WMD, would you still have supported invading Iraq?” But what appears to some to be a “gotcha” question actually misses the point. The decision to remove Saddam stands or falls on one’s judgment at the time the decision was made, and with the information then available, about how to manage the risk that he would facilitate a catastrophic attack on the United States. To say the decision to remove him was mistaken because stockpiles of WMD were never found is akin to saying that it was a mistake to buy fire insurance last year because your house didn’t burn down or health insurance because you didn’t become ill. No one would take seriously the question, “Would you have bought Enron stock if you had known it would go down?” and no one should take seriously the facile conclusion that invading Iraq was mistaken because we now know Saddam did not possess stockpiles of WMD.

Bush might have decided differently: that the safer course was to leave Saddam in place and hope he would not cause or enable the use of WMD against the United States. How would we now assess his presidency if, say, Iraqi anthrax had later been used to kill thousands of Americans? He would have been accused—rightly in my view—of having taken a foolish risk by not acting against a regime we had good reason to consider extremely dangerous. (And no one would be so stupid as to ask: Would you have left Saddam in place if you had known he was going to supply anthrax to terrorists?)

Read the whole thing.

14 Oct 2008

Nuclear Proliferation and the Left

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James Lewis, at American Thinker, explains how the domestic and international left are responsible for Iran and North Korea becoming nuclear powers.

The single most suicidal action by the Left has been its years of assault on President George W. Bush after the overthrow of Saddam. It has often been pointed out that every intelligence agency in the world believed that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction before the invasion of Iraq. UN inspectors like David Kay repeatedly said so. Democrats and European socialists alike repeated warned about the danger of Saddam’s weapons programs, knowing full well that his first nuclear reactor was destroyed by an Israeli air raid as long ago as 1981. Al Gore, Bill Clinton, and even the UN’s El Baradei pointed out the danger.

As we now know, Saddam has had 500 metric tons of yellowcake uranium in storage since 1992. But George W. Bush was assaulted by the Left, in the person of Valerie Plame, Joe Wilson and the New York Times editorial page, allegedly because Bush peddled the lie that Saddam wanted to obtain yellowcake uranium. But there was no lie; the whole phony brouhaha was a PR assault to destroy the credibility of the Bush administration. The end result was to make us helpless in the face of more nuclear proliferation. To slake its lust for power the Left was more than willing to sabotage our safety.

Did Saddam pose a plausible threat of nuclear weaponization? Of course he did. Did he pose an actual threat? That is, did he actually possess WMD’s ready to mount on missiles in a matter of hours, to shoot off at his enemies? Today’s conventional wisdom is that he did not. But that is pure post-hockery.

George W. Bush has been crucified for five long years in the media, by the feckless, hysterical and cowardly Europeans, by the United Nations, and of course by the Democratic Party, because he took the only sane action possible in the face of the apparent WMD threat from Saddam. Because presidents don’t have the luxury of Monday morning quarterbacking. They cannot wait for metaphysical certainty about threats to national survival and international peace. There is no such thing as metaphysical certainty in these matters; presidents must act on incomplete intelligence, knowing full well that their domestic enemies will try to destroy them for trying to save the peace.

But that is water under the bridge by now. What’s not past, but rather a clear and present threat to civilization are the consequences of the unbelievable recklessness of the International Left — including the Democrats, the Europeans, the UN, and the former communist powers. Because of their screaming opposition to the Bush administration’s rational actions against Saddam, we are now rendered helpless against two even more dangerous challenges. With Saddam there was genuine doubt about his nuclear program; the notion that he had a viable program was just the safest guess to make in the face of his policy of deliberate ambiguity. In the case of Ahmadinejad and Kim Jong Il there’s no guessing any more. They have nukes and missiles, or will have within a year.

The entire anti-proliferation effort has therefore been sabotaged and probably ruined by the Left. For what reason? There can be only one rational reason: A lust for power, even at the expense of national and international safety and peace. But the Left has irrational reasons as well, including an unfathomable hatred for adulthood in the face of mortal danger. Like the Cold War, this is a battle between the adolescent rage of the Left and the realistic adult decision-making of the mainstream — a mainstream which is now tenuously maintained only by conservatives in the West.

06 Jul 2008

550 Tons of Uranium From Non-Existent Nuclear Program Arrives in Canada

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550 metric tons of yellowcake uranium, capable of being enriched for use in nuclear power plants or bombs, arrived in Montreal on Saturday following a secret airlift and sea voyage. The uranium came from Saddam Hussein’s nuclear program, and was sold to Canada’s Cameco Corporation by the government of Iraq in a deal worth tens of millions of dollars. US and Iraqi security forces took considerable care to prevent the material falling into the hands of jihadist forces or insurgent factions.

Newsday.com

Canadian Press

09 Jun 2008

The Left’s Big Lie: “Bush Lied”

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Fred Hiatt, the Washington Post’s editorial page editor, points out what should be obvious.

Search the Internet for “Bush Lied” products, and you will find sites that offer more than a thousand designs. The basic “Bush Lied, People Died” bumper sticker is only the beginning.

Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.), chairman of the Select Committee on Intelligence, set out to provide the official foundation for what has become not only a thriving business but, more important, an article of faith among millions of Americans. And in releasing a committee report Thursday, he claimed to have accomplished his mission, though he did not use the L-word.

“In making the case for war, the administration repeatedly presented intelligence as fact when it was unsubstantiated, contradicted or even nonexistent,” he said.

There’s no question that the administration, and particularly Vice President Cheney, spoke with too much certainty at times and failed to anticipate or prepare the American people for the enormous undertaking in Iraq.

But dive into Rockefeller’s report, in search of where exactly President Bush lied about what his intelligence agencies were telling him about the threat posed by Saddam Hussein, and you may be surprised by what you find.

On Iraq’s nuclear weapons program? The president’s statements “were generally substantiated by intelligence community estimates.”

On biological weapons, production capability and those infamous mobile laboratories? The president’s statements “were substantiated by intelligence information.”

On chemical weapons, then? “Substantiated by intelligence information.”

On weapons of mass destruction overall (a separate section of the intelligence committee report)? “Generally substantiated by intelligence information.” Delivery vehicles such as ballistic missiles? “Generally substantiated by available intelligence.” Unmanned aerial vehicles that could be used to deliver WMDs? “Generally substantiated by intelligence information.”

As you read through the report, you begin to think maybe you’ve mistakenly picked up the minority dissent. But, no, this is the Rockefeller indictment. So, you think, the smoking gun must appear in the section on Bush’s claims about Saddam Hussein’s alleged ties to terrorism.

But statements regarding Iraq’s support for terrorist groups other than al-Qaeda “were substantiated by intelligence information.” Statements that Iraq provided safe haven for Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and other terrorists with ties to al-Qaeda “were substantiated by the intelligence assessments,” and statements regarding Iraq’s contacts with al-Qaeda “were substantiated by intelligence information.” The report is left to complain about “implications” and statements that “left the impression” that those contacts led to substantive Iraqi cooperation.

In the report’s final section, the committee takes issue with Bush’s statements about Saddam Hussein’s intentions and what the future might have held. But was that really a question of misrepresenting intelligence, or was it a question of judgment that politicians are expected to make?

After all, it was not Bush, but Rockefeller, who said in October 2002: “There has been some debate over how ‘imminent’ a threat Iraq poses. I do believe Iraq poses an imminent threat. I also believe after September 11, that question is increasingly outdated. . . . To insist on further evidence could put some of our fellow Americans at risk. Can we afford to take that chance? I do not think we can.”

The American left has re-written the history it just lived through in order to justify its current selfish and opportunistic opposition to the foreign policy and national defense efforts of an elected administration, which it refuses to regard as legitimate because of the failure of its leaders to subscribe to the same ideology which from the left’s viewpoint is indistinguishable from religious dogma.

12 Nov 2007

EU Bioterrorism Expert Claims Harassment by Western Intelligence Forces

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Jill Dekker

Daily Mail:

An EU expert on biological warfare has told how she fears ending up ‘dead in the woods’ like scientist Dr David Kelly after an alleged campaign of intimidation by members of MI6 and the CIA.

Jill Dekker, a bio-defence expert based in Brussels, has reported a string of sinister incidents – including the parking of a hearse outside her house – after making a speech critical of British and American policy in the Middle East.

Her claims are included in a new book by Liberal Democrat MP Norman Baker which argues that Dr Kelly was murdered to silence his criticism of the grounds for going to war in Iraq. …

She was placed under the protection of the Belgian government after reporting a series of sinister incidents earlier this year. …

Dr Dekker says the ‘intimidation’ against her started in March, as she was flying to Florida to give a speech on Syria’s weapons programme to an intelligence summit. She says she was subjected to a ‘heavy-handed’ interrogation by a man she suspects of being a British intelligence operative.

She believes the speech made her powerful enemies because she argued that billions of dollars spent by the US government to develop a smallpox vaccine has been wasted because scientists – including British experts – have used a different viral strain to the one she believes is being developed in Damascus.

If this is true, it means governments would have no way of protecting the public against the use of the virus by terrorists or rogue states.

She also believes that Iraq did have a biological weapons capacity which was all shipped to Syria before the outbreak of war.

She argues this was known, but was concealed from the public because the real purpose of the war was not to target weapons of mass destruction but to topple Saddam Hussein and gain a strategic foothold in the region.

When she returned to her home in Belgium after the speech she said she was subjected to an overt campaign of surveillance and harassment, including being continuously followed on foot and having cars parked outside her house with the headlights on.

On one occasion, she says she found a hearse parked outside her house with the drivers ‘staring straight ahead.’ When she approached, it sped off and she pursued it, taking photographs as evidence. …

Last night, Mr Baker said he believed Dr Dekker could have made enemies by exposing a fallacy at the heart of military action against Iraq.

“If the war was really about WMD, then to be consistent we should also invade Syria,” he said.

“Otherwise, it suggests that it was more about giving Saddam a bloody nose.”

All this sounds a great deal like the usual leftwing Hollywood meme of the innocent person of integrity targeted by the sinister representatives of corrupt government trying to cover something up, but her contention that Saddam’s WMD were shipped to Syria is probably perfectly true, and I certainly agree that the Bush Administration’s failure to invade Syria as well in pursuit of those WMD is very puzzling.

This post falls into the “making a note of it… just for the record” category.

15 Sep 2007

What Was the Target of Israel’s Strike on Syria?

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The Telegraph 9/12:

A US official has confirmed that Israeli warplanes carried out an air strike “deep inside” Syria, escalating tensions between the two countries.

The target of the strike last Thursday (Sept. 6) remained unclear but Israeli media reported that a shipment of Iranian arms crossing Syria for use by the Iranian-backed Hezbollah militia in Lebanon was attacked.

Syria first reported the incident on the day, saying its air defences had engaged five Israeli planes, but did not say what their target was. Israel remained uncharacteristically silent, pointedly refusing to deny that its warplanes were involved in an operation. The closest it came to acknowledging the affair happened was when it made an undertaking to Turkey to investigate how an Israeli long-range fuel tank was dropped on Turkish territory near the Syrian border.

Another theory gaining ground yesterday was that Israel was deliberately attacking the Russian-made Pantsyr air defence system recently bought by Damascus. The sale includes provision for the Pantsyr system to be shipped on to Iran and it is possible the Israeli attack was co-ordinated with America to probe the effectiveness of the system. It is believed that Iran would use the Pantsyr system to defend its nuclear facilities.

Syria has sought to keep the incident in the public arena, saying yesterday that it had complained formally to the United Nations, accusing Israel of unjustified aggression.

New York Times 9/12:

One Bush administration official said Israel had recently carried out reconnaissance flights over Syria, taking pictures of possible nuclear installations that Israeli officials believed might have been supplied with material from North Korea. The administration official said Israeli officials believed that North Korea might be unloading some of its nuclear material on Syria.

“The Israelis think North Korea is selling to Iran and Syria what little they have left,” the official said. He said it was unclear whether the Israeli strike had produced any evidence that might validate that belief.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were discussing a military action by another government.

The link to North Korea seems to have confirmed by this response (Haaretz 9/12).

North Korea lashed out Tuesday at Israel for invading Syrian airspace last Thursday, its official news agency said.

“This is a very dangerous provocation little short of wantonly violating the sovereignty of Syria and seriously harassing the regional peace and security,” a spokesman for the DPRK Foreign Ministry was quoted as saying by the Korean Central News Agency.

“The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea strongly denounces the above-said intrusion and extends full support and solidarity to the Syrian people in their just cause to defend the national security and the regional peace,” he added.

Solomon collects some useful links.

And Spook86 discusses several possibilities, including the rumored nuclear facilities.

Further US confirmation appeared Friday.

AP 9/14:

A senior U.S. nuclear official said Friday that North Koreans were in Syria and that Damascus may have had contacts with “secret suppliers” to obtain nuclear equipment.

Andrew Semmel, acting deputy assistant secretary of state for nuclear nonproliferation policy, did not identify the suppliers, but said North Koreans were in the country and that he could not exclude that the network run by the disgraced Pakistan nuclear scientist A.Q. Khan may have been involved.

No one is currently mentioning any rumors of Syrian possession of surviving remnants of Saddam Hussein’s nuclear program, despite the well-known accounts of truck convoys departing over the Syrian border at the time of the 2003 US invasion.

06 Sep 2007

“Saddam Had No WMD!”

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Ex-Clintonite Sidney Blumenthal tells us in Salon that George W. Bush knew all along that poor old Saddam had no WMD. Naji Sabri, Saddam’s foreign minister said so, and presumably Baghdad Bob offered precisely the same assurances. Evidently, George Tenet mentioned Sabri’s information once at a White house briefing. Everybody had a good laugh, and went on to more serious matters.

Sidney’s sources include Pouting Spook Tyler Drumheller and two other unnamed VIPS affiliates.

All this is simply old anti-Bush propaganda in a new hit piece.

03 Jul 2007

Don’t Be So Sure

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Rachel Neuwirth advises, at American Thinker, Don’t Be So Sure There Were No WMD in Iraq.

Before America went to war to topple Saddam Hussein’s regime it was widely believed that he possessed weapons of mass destruction. Today it is widely believed that there were no WMD in Iraq before the war. People of both political parties, the major media, and the intellectual community all appear in strong agreement on that point. Some even charge that the Bush Administration deliberately, and knowingly, misled the nation with false information as a pretext to justify going to war.

The Bush Administration is quietly acknowledging that they made a mistake, albeit not intentional. That admission seems to be the final confirmation that there were no WMD in Iraq. In police work when the accused confesses to making a mistake, it is then assumed that the accusation is true and people consider it to be ‘case closed’.

This widespread belief of no WMD in Iraq is seriously damaging our ability to deal with a growing nuclear threat from Iran. There are those who opposed our toppling mass murderer Saddam Hussein both in 1991 and again in 2003, even after he defied multiple U.N. resolutions and was generally believed to have WMD. Now the ‘peace at any price’ crowd is exploiting the widespread belief of ‘no WMD’ to undermine our war in Iraq. If we fail in Iraq it greatly weakens our ability to deal with Iran, which will become greatly emboldened and infinitely more dangerous as it eventually goes nuclear.

01 May 2007

Tenet Discounts Saddam as Nuclear Threat

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Lorie Bird at Wizbang reports that during his interview on 60 Minutes, George Tenet continued his attacks on the Bush Administration for ignoring the Intelligence Community and launching an unnecessary invasion of Iraq.

Dick Cheney and the Neocons were wrong, Tenet asserted. Wiser heads in the Intelligence Community had more correctly estimated that Saddam wouldn’t have nuclear weapons (he could make available to terrorists) until 2007 to 2009!

SCOTT PELLEY, CBS’ “60 MINUTES”: January ’03, the President, again: “imagine those 19 hijackers this time armed by Saddam’s Hussein,” is that what you’re telling the President?

GEORGE TENNET: No.

[narrating voice]

The Vice President up the anty, claiming Saddam had nuclear weapons when the CIA was saying he didn’t.

PELLEY: What’s happening here?

TENNET: I don’t know what’s happening here. The intelligence community’s judgement is he will not have nuclear weapons until the year 2007, 2009.

PELLEY: That’s not what the Vice President is saying.

TENNET: Well I can’t explain it.

video link

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