The WMD Hunt

THE WMD HUNT….Today we get a new theory about the missing WMD. First is from AP:

A close aide to Saddam Hussein says the Iraqi dictator did in fact get rid of his weapons of mass destruction but deliberately kept the world guessing about it in an effort to divide the international community and stave off a U.S. invasion.

The strategy, which turned out to be a serious miscalculation….

Um, yeah, I guess it did.

According to the aide, by the mid-1990s “it was common knowledge among the leadership” that Iraq had destroyed its chemical stocks and discontinued development of biological and nuclear weapons.

But Saddam remained convinced that an ambiguous stance about the status of Iraq’s weapons programs would deter an American attack.

“He repeatedly told me: ‘These foreigners, they only respect strength, they must be made to believe we are strong,'” the aide said.

And then, using very similar language, we have the New York Times:

There is a bold and entirely plausible theory that may account for the mystery over Iraq’s missing weapons of mass destruction.

Saddam Hussein, the theory holds, ordered the destruction of his weapon stocks well before the war to deprive the United States of a rationale to attack his regime and to hasten the eventual lifting of the United Nations sanctions. But the Iraqi dictator retained the scientists and technical capacity to resume the production of chemical and biological weapons and eventually develop nuclear arms.

This is obviously the theory of the day, and administration sources managed to get it published in two different mainstream outlets. Apparently we really have given up on finding WMD, and the ground is being prepared for a climbdown.

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