Meta-Blog

SEARCH QandO

Email:
Jon Henke
Bruce "McQ" McQuain
Dale Franks
Bryan Pick
Billy Hollis
Lance Paddock
MichaelW

BLOGROLL QandO

 
 
Recent Posts
The Ayers Resurrection Tour
Special Friends Get Special Breaks
One Hour
The Hope and Change Express - stalled in the slow lane
Michael Steele New RNC Chairman
Things that make you go "hmmmm"...
Oh yeah, that "rule of law" thing ...
Putting Dollar Signs in Front Of The AGW Hoax
Moving toward a 60 vote majority?
Do As I Say ....
 
 
QandO Newsroom

Newsroom Home Page

US News

US National News
Politics
Business
Science
Technology
Health
Entertainment
Sports
Opinion/Editorial

International News

Top World New
Iraq News
Mideast Conflict

Blogging

Blogpulse Daily Highlights
Daypop Top 40 Links

Regional

Regional News

Publications

News Publications

 
The pre-war consensus on WMD
Posted by: Jon Henke on Sunday, March 12, 2006

Andrew Sullivan writes...
I'm aware of one person who clearly stated before the war that he believed that Saddam had no WMDs. That was Scott Ritter. [...] ...I don't recall anyone saying flat out that there were no WMDs in Iraq. But I may have missed someone. I'll happily post such pre-war statements if you send them to me.
This seems like a good time to remind readers (and Sullivan) of Kevin Drum's previous examination of this question...
On Saturday I asked whether anyone besides Scott Ritter had publicly suggested that Iraq had no WMD back in September of 2002 (before the UN inspections began). My recollection was that back then everyone, even anti-war liberals, accepted the fact that Saddam had WMD stocks even if they disagreed about how important they were. [...] All I'm asking is a very narrow technical question: were there any serious analysts who publicly doubted the actual existence of WMD in Iraq?
The result: "So who stood up at the time and said the CIA was wrong, that Iraq didn't have WMD stocks and programs? Only one: Vladimir Putin, and even he qualified his doubts." Specifically, Putin said that Russia had no specific information supporting the existence of WMDs, but they did have "apprehensions that such weapons might exist in Iraq".

Hardly what one might call a resolute nay.

The near-universal pre-war consensus (among "serious analysts") on Iraqi WMDs does not, of course, mean that the Bush administration obscure contradictory information or negligently misuse intelligence, but it's always useful to recall this fact when confronted with ex post facto claims that "they could see [all along] that the WMD issue was invalid".
 
TrackBacks
Return to Main Blog Page
 
 

Previous Comments to this Post 

Comments
If you use the wayback machine, you get these fun little tidbits (from http://www.myelectionanalysis.com/?p=526):

5/26/02
The Bush Administration is backpedaling from plans to attack Iraq. No surprise. Bush was eager to keep the nation on a war footing, probably surmizing his high poll numbers depended on it. However, the recent 9-11 disclosures have brought the Bush administration’s competence into question. I believe that a few months of investigation leaks will further erode Bush’s war glow.
A cornered Saddam would have no incentive to hold back from using chemical, biological, or (possibly, but unlikely) nuclear weapons. And the target would be Israel. International opinion is nearly universally opposed to an attack, while Brittain’s PM Blair faced a revolt within his party over initial support. Brittain’s support was becoming increasingly unlikely. Thus, while the Bushies will insist Iraq is still a target, they will do so only to keep the pressure on Saddam.
8/7/02

And what of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction? Many nations harbor such weapons. Will the US mount its own Jihad against nations such as India, Pakistan, South Africa, Russia, Ukraine, Brazil and Argentina? Saddam has shown no inclination to make use of any such weapons he might have. However, an invasion seeking to topple his regime would clearly invite their use.
9/11/02

Iraq has weapons of mass destruction? Join the line. About a dozen nations have such weapons these days. Only the US has deigned to use them, and that was when it was the sole nuclear power. The threat of annihilation through retaliation has checked any subsequent use of such weapons.
Iraq will give weapons of mass destruction to terrorists? Would the secular Hussein give such weapons to religious fundamentalists? Doubtful. Terrorists are more likely to receive such weapons from Pakistan’s intelligence agency — which has deep ties to the Taliban and Al Queda.
9/22/02

Current plans seem to range from 50,000 to 250,000 invading troops. Of those, the vast majority are support troops, so say, 10,000 to 50,000 actually participate in a Baghdad assault. At 10 percent casualty rates, that could mean up to 5,000 US dead. And that’s assuming no use of WMD.
 
Written By: Sean
URL: http://www.myelectionanalysis.com
I really don’t understand why anyone would be talking about this now.

It’s not like it’s been a real surprise that basically everyone thought Iraq had gobs and gobs of WMDs.

...is it?
 
Written By: W
URL: http://
The near-universal pre-war consensus (among "serious analysts") on Iraqi WMDs does not, of course, mean that the Bush administration obscure contradictory information or negligently misuse intelligence, but it’s always useful to recall this fact when confronted with ex post facto claims that "they could see [all along] that the WMD issue was invalid".
Now,… ahem …, respectfully Jon,
How is this recollection useful when confronting “ex post facto” claims? You pretty much have to have your tail between your legs, don’t you?
,
“No … You were right because you were wrong!? No wait … I was wrong because you were…, no, … wait, … I was wrong because others were wrong, … no…, wait… …. … I’m hungry, … who’s hungry?”

At least Sullivan has the balls to admit he was wrong about Iraq.
This seems like a good time to remind readers (and Sullivan)…
So it’s a good time to remind Sullivan (and readers) that he has balls.
 
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://
How is this recollection useful when confronting “ex post facto” claims?
Maybe you should look up ex post facto to figure out the answer to your question.
 
Written By: Mark A. Flacy
URL: http://
Ex Post Facto:
Formulated, enacted, or operating retroactively. Used especially of a law.
Again. How is it useful?
Is it,
“We were right because we were wrong”
Or is it,
“You were wrong because we were wrong.”

I really want to know. How is this useful?

Oh, I know…

Ex Post Facto…, fancy talk for, “I don’t have any balls.”

That’s how it’s useful.
 
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://
How is this recollection useful when confronting “ex post facto” claims?
It’s a reminder that all "serious analysts" got the question of WMDs wrong. I did, too. I wrote nothing about support for the war.
At least Sullivan has the balls to admit he was wrong about Iraq.
No, he’s admitted he was wrong about certain aspects of the war, not the utility of the war in general. I’ve done the same, and I’ve made it crystal clear that I’m agnostic on the ultimate utility of the war.

Do you even read what I’ve written on this blog? This is not a point about which I’ve been unclear.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net
Well, Jon. Actually, I read your posts with great interest.
I wasn’t referring to you specifically. I realize that it may have been a blogging faux pas to vent about others on your post, and for that I apologize.

I can’t find the usefulness of those who defend the invasion by pointing out that, “I was wrong about WMD, but so were you … and so was Russia, and so was France, and so was Germany … and on, and on. Because they didn’t go in, and I didn’t want to either.
Despite the fact that I too, thanks to Powell, thought that Iraq may have had WMD.

I thought that giving diplomacy the time it deserved was the more cautious route. But of course, “smoking gun of a mushroom cloud” was more convincing to the American people.
Or was it,
“smoking gun of a ‘hey let’s play Johnny democracy seed’” I don’t think so.

Talk about ex post facto.

I don’t buy the premise that because a few blurbs about democracy were uttered out of all the hours and hours of Administration officials arguing the case for war on Sunday talk shows and the like translates to “spreading democracy” as the reason to invade Iraq.
I mean, the question of post-invasion was bound to come up. And what were they going to say, “After Saddam, we’ll set up a kleptocracy.”???

Although, they should have.

Cheers.
 
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://

 
Add Your Comment
  NOTICE: While we don't wish to censor your thoughts, we do blacklist certain terms of profanity or obscenity. This is not to muzzle you, but to ensure that the blog remains work-safe for our readers. If you wish to use profanity, simply insert asterisks (*) where the vowels usually go. Your meaning will still be clear, but our readers will be able to view the blog without worrying that content monitoring will get them in trouble when reading it.
Comments for this entry are closed.
Name:
Email:
URL:
HTML Tools:
Bold Italic Blockquote Hyperlink
Comment:
   
 
Vicious Capitalism

Divider

Buy Dale's Book!
Slackernomics by Dale Franks

Divider

Divider