THE LATEST WMD EXCUSE….I am slowly detecting a new meme developing in the great WMD debate. The latest from the Wurlitzer is that no, there was no real evidence of WMD after all, but Saddam used to have WMD so we figured he still had it.

Donald Rumsfeld kicked things off yesterday with this:

“The coalition did not act in Iraq because we had discovered dramatic new evidence of Iraq’s pursuit” of weapons of mass destruction, Rumsfeld told the Senate Armed Services Committee. “We acted because we saw the evidence in a dramatic new light — through the prism of our experience on 9-11.”

Over at NRO James Robbins continues the meme, telling us that maybe Saddam didn’t try to buy uranium from Niger anytime recently, but he sure did it back in the 1980s:

Saddam was a major buyer of African uranium in the years before the Gulf War; based on recent discoveries we know he retained a capability to reconstitute his nuclear program when the opportunity presented itself; and it would be reasonable to assume that he would seek replacement uranium for the hundreds of tons destroyed in earlier rounds of inspections. That is not intelligence so much as inference, but if one accepts the model, it is easy to see how someone might be overly eager to accept supporting evidence from a foreign intelligence service.

Tony Blair makes a similar claim here. And Glenn Reynolds links approvingly to Right Wing News, which tells us that Saddam had WMD programs back in 1998 and that pretty much everyone agreed that he must therefore still have had them in 2003. So why pick only on President Bush?

Glenn himself, on the other hand, takes a much more direct approach to the whole thing:

I probably should take these more seriously, just because the mainstream media are pretending to. But it’s the same bogus crap from the same desperate people, who — as Randy Barnett notes here — want to blur the line between “mistakes” and “lies” in a way that they certainly never did during the Clinton Administration.

It’s partisan backstabbing, pure and simple, and it doesn’t deserve to be taken seriously.

Hmmm, all the probative evidence has gone missing ? all of it ? and the fact patterns increasingly indicate that the administration knew that its testimony was, um, something less than the whole truth. You’d think a law professor might indeed think that deserved to be taken seriously.

Given this latest batch of explanations, it looks like we’re being told that we went to war based not on any particular evidence, but rather on the simpleminded inference that because Saddam was a bad guy who built WMD five years ago, then he must have been building WMD last March too. For chrissake, folks, a five year old child could do better than that. The administration’s story must really be on the verge of crumbling if this is what they’re reduced to.

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