Saturday, January 15, 2005

No Weapons

Sometimes, an utter weariness washes over the entire staff of Boring Diatribe, rendering us incapable of even muttering "I told you so," when, once again, facts remind everyone that they're immutable. The irreducible fact in question is that highly sophisticated technologies, including weapons, require manufacturing facilitiies, raw materials, supporting infrastructure and vast expertise to bring them in to existence and maintain them once made. Other than the lingering expertise, it was painfully obvious to anyone with two neurons to rub together that Iraq, crushed into immobility and impotence by a decade of economic and political sanctions, was gradually sliding into a state of military readiness best characterized as "boards with nails". Military hardware left over from Iraq's bellicose heyday was disintegrating from lack of spare parts and the knowledge to use them, and Iraq's Maximum Leader was too enraptured by the false, glowing reports peddled to him by sycophantic underlings to understand that his scientists were spending more time figuring out how to stay alive than how to slaughter the enemy.

So, more than two years after witnesses to verbal Diatribes will attest that I said, "There's an inadequate industrial base to support the production of weapons of mass destruction. There are no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq," a conclusion I came to, I'll remind everyone, at a cost in money and lives of exactly zero, merely by applying the commonly ignored strengths of Common Sense, the Washington Post makes it "official":
Search for Banned Arms In Iraq Ended Last Month
Critical September Report to Be Final Word

By Dafna Linzer
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, January 12, 2005; Page A01

The hunt for biological, chemical and nuclear weapons in Iraq has come to an end nearly two years after President Bush ordered U.S. troops to disarm Saddam Hussein. The top CIA weapons hunter is home, and analysts are back at Langley.

In interviews, officials who served with the Iraq Survey Group (ISG) said the violence in Iraq, coupled with a lack of new information, led them to fold up the effort shortly before Christmas.

President Bush, Vice President Cheney and other top administration officials asserted before the U.S. invasion in March 2003 that Iraq was reconstituting its nuclear weapons program, had chemical and biological weapons, and maintained links to al Qaeda affiliates to whom it might give such weapons to use against the United States.

Bush has expressed disappointment that no weapons or weapons programs were found, but the White House has been reluctant to call off the hunt, holding out the possibility that weapons were moved out of Iraq before the war or are well hidden somewhere inside the country. But the intelligence official said that possibility is very small.

Duelfer is back in Washington, finishing some addenda to his September report before it is reprinted.

"There's no particular news in them, just some odds and ends," the intelligence official said. The Government Printing Office will publish it in book form, the official said.

The CIA declined to authorize any official involved in the weapons search to speak on the record for this story. The intelligence official offered an authoritative account of the status of the hunt on the condition of anonymity. The agency did confirm that Duelfer is wrapping up his work and will not be replaced in Baghdad.

The ISG, established to search for weapons but now enmeshed in counterinsurgency work, remains under Pentagon command and is being led by Marine Corps Brig. Gen. Joseph McMenamin.

Intelligence officials said there is little left for the ISG to investigate because Duelfer's last report answered as many outstanding questions as possible. The ISG has interviewed every person it could find connected to programs that ended more than 10 years ago, and every suspected site within Iraq has been fully searched, or stripped bare by insurgents and thieves, according to several people involved in the weapons hunt.

Satellite photos show that entire facilities have been dismantled, possibly by scrap dealers who sold off parts and equipment to buyers around the world.

"The September 30 report is really pretty much the picture," the intelligence official said.

"We've talked to so many people that someone would have said something. We received nothing that contradicts the picture we've put forward. It's possible there is a supply someplace, but what is much more likely is that [as time goes by] we will find a greater substantiation of the picture that we've already put forward."

Congress allotted hundreds of millions of dollars for the weapons hunt, and there has been no public accounting of the money. A spokesman for the Pentagon's Defense Intelligence Agency said the entire budget and the expenditures would remain classified.
Two years, one hundred thousand lives, $200 billion and counting, and all to produce a report of what I was sure of all along. I'm really looking forward to four more years of George Jr. working out his Oedipal conflicts with Poppy while using the rest of the world to wipe up the blood and pay the bills.


Blogger amangler said...

1. Yeah, but he had rape rooms. RAPE ROOMS!
2. Plus, he had the INTENT to think about the possibility of one day getting some kind of weapon to perhaps attack us/Israel.
3. But what if he DID have WMDs? Huh? What then, Mr. Liberal?
4. Did I mention the RAPE ROOMS?
5. He may not have had WMDs, but he was almost certainly planning an attack on Social Security.

So there.

8:16 PM  
Blogger Reductio said...

Sadly, thanks to Bush, even regarding the rape rooms and torture, the US no longer holds the moral high ground in Iraq.

It pains me that evil is ascendant in my country.

11:58 PM  

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