One of the cherished, oft-repeated mantras of the left over the last two years of post-war Iraq* has been that Bush took us to war for nefarious reasons — Halliburton! Halliburton! No Blood for Oil! — and that he lied about Saddam’s WMDs — Bush Lied! People Died! I’ve had countless arguments with left-leaning folks about this and have given up trying to instill even a wood splinter-sized sliver of common sense into them. Talking to my dog is more more productive and, quite frankly, more satisfying.
One of the salient facts in the whole WMD mess that has always bothered me is that just about every intelligence agency in the world had an analysis that Saddam had them. Now I can see one or two getting facts wrong, where group-think can take hold in any of those agencies. What I can’t wrap my brain around is that ALL of them got it wrong. Even Mossad. Mossad, Israel’s principal foreign intelligence agency is not inefficient. They have protected Israel against a cadre of concerted, determined, murderous enemies for over a half-century. If they get stuff wrong, Israel ceases to exist. So I take their word fairly seriously when they say Saddam had WMDs. But it just wasn’t Mossad that said this: CIA, MI5, the French and Germans, the Russians, even the freakin’ UN said it! More recenttly, news came out that maybe our Russian “allies” helped Saddam move the WMDs into safe territory across the border in Syria, another gem of a nation. No matter, though; none of this fits the left’s template so it is, of course, filtered out.
In today’s FrontPage Magazine there’s an interview with a former US Federal agent who, having been there at the start of the war, claims to have directed several teams to sites where Saddam was hiding some of these weapons. Here is a short excerpt:
Iraqis from backgrounds such as Iraqi Police officers, Doctors, Engineers, Iraqi Govt. officials, farmers, tribesmen, etc. identified sites that contained WMDs. They explained in detail why WMDs were in these areas and asked the U.S. to remove the WMDs. Much of the WMDs had been buried in rivers (within concrete bunkers), and in the sewage pipe system. There were signs of chemical activity in the area (missile imprints, gas masks, decontamination kits, atropine needles, etc.) The Iraqis and my team had no doubt WMDs were hidden in these areas.
The Agents and I knew we had found what we had been looking for. We immediately wrote our reports, which included all the source names, their credibility, their contact information, grid coordinates of the sites, and photographs. The reports were then sent to the U.S. Weapons Inspectors (in northern Iraq). This was mid April 2003. We were initially told by the Inspectors that their team was not organized at this point to conduct exploitations of sites. The sites we had identified would require an extensive amount of excavation. The actual ISG was not formed until a couple of months after the war. Not only did ISG not have the people and proper equipment, they advised Iraq was still a combat zone and very dangerous. ISG members further told us that WMD searches were being concentrated in northern Iraq, and not southern Iraq.
This was the first and largest mistake by ISG. During my intelligence gathering the Iraqis had told us that Saddam concentrated on hiding the WMDs in the southern region because the history of prior UN Weapons Inspections had always concentrated in searches of northern faculties. Searches in southern Iraq had primarily been helicopter flyovers. I have respect for every U.S. member of ISG who served in Iraq, but as an organization, the management was poor. They were not organized nor prepared for this type operation. I compare them to FEMA during Hurricane Katrina. Good people, but poor management. Poor management results in disaster and failure.
Read the article and judge for yourself. I didn’t need convincing that Saddam was a danger. I’m glad we took him out.
(May we finish what Iran started in 1979, please?)
*The “Iraq War” was over in less than a month and we won. Yes, we won the war. You know how I know that? The guy that was running the country we beat is in custody and on trial for war crimes. (That was pretty easy to figure out, wasn’t it?) What we have in Iraq today is analogous to a post-1945 Germany where armed bands of ex-SS soldiers and sympathizers would have terrorized the country. We are not in a war. Reading a little history could clear that confusion up for the libs, but unfortunately most history books aren’t written with big letters in crayon…