Thursday, February 17, 2011

Clapper a "Broken Clock" on Iraq WMD?

Maybe I'm Dumb, but I'm right on Saddam's WMD!

DNI Czar James Clapper has garnered a lot of derision on his unenlightened view on the Muslim Brotherhood. In a Senate briefing recently, both he and DCI Leon Panetta hardly distinguished themselves in testifying on Egypt.

However, the old adage about a broken clock being right twice a day might apply to the feckless, hapless retired General, who also wrongfooted himself last December when he turned out to be clueless that the British had broken up another terrorist bombing attempt a day after it happened.

The famous urban legend that Saddam didn't have weapons of mass destruction might be where Clapper was right---he says the Russians had helped the Iraqis truck out their WMD before the war began and that the remaining evidence was turned into rubble when the facilities for WMD were totally destroyed during Operation Cobra II.
On Iraq, Gen. Clapper said in an interview with The Washington Times in 2004 that “I think probably in the few months running up prior to the onset of combat that … there was probably an intensive effort to disperse into private homes, move documentation and materials out of the country. I think there are any number of things that they would have done.” The comments came amid the debate over Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction programs, which some U.S. officials had said were moved out of Iraq prior to the invasion of Iraq with the assistance of Russian military intelligence forces.

The Iraq Survey Group, the U.S. panel formed to find the weapons of mass destruction President George W. Bush had said Saddam Hussein was concealing, turned up no stockpiles of chemical, biological or nuclear weapons.

Whether or not Iraq moved some elements of its weapons programs to Syria before the war remains a matter of dispute.

Theodre Kattouf, the U.S. ambassador in Damascus in 2002 and 2003, said in 2006 that he did not believe Iraq sent material to Syria in the run up to the war.

John A. Shaw, a senior Pentagon technology security official during the Bush administration, however, said he believed that some Iraqi weapons and materials were covertly shipped out of Iraqi factories with the help of the Russians. Satellite images released in 2004 by the Pentagon also showed Russian vehicles loading goods at Iraqi factories, but the nature of their cargo has not been determined.

Mr. Shaw has said Gen. Clapper was present at a meeting of East European intelligence officials who disclosed the Russian role in moving the Iraqi material out of the country.

David Kay, the first head of the ISG, said in 2004 that he believed there were small numbers of weapons sent to Syria before the war.

The director of the ISG after Mr. Kay, Charles Duelfer, said in his preamble to the September 30, 2004 report that his “ability to gather information was in most ways more limited than was that of United Nations inspectors,” noting that many laboratories and arsenals were reduced to rubble from the war and were then subsequently looted.

Senior Israeli military officers have said their country snapped line of sight photographs of convoys leaving Iraq for Syria before the war that may have carried sensitive technology.

UPDATE: A commenter noted in exhaustive detail the long list of both captured materials and equipment to produce weapons-grade WMD that WAS found in Iraq.

Ex-Ambassador's lying testimony about yellowcake and other media deceptions notwithstanding, the basic problem was GWB's timidity about trumpeting the large dossier of FACTS that WMD had existed, that Saddam had them carted off to Syria [despite what localitis-infected Amb. Kattoug asserted], and Karl Rove could only bleat in response to the commenter:
Unfortunately, what we found didn’t match what the media (or most Americans) would accept, which were stockpiles of weapons that could have been deployed against coalition forces in March 2003

So as with Katrina, GWB allowed himself to be a punching bag for the MSM in hopes that historians would exonerate him later. I am getting his autobiography to read his side of his poorly-argued case. I knew Kattouf and Jack Shaw in my USG days, and both might be simply taking sides.

Unfortunately for GWB, he sometimes neglected to take his own side. He may have been a great cheerleader at Yale, but he was hardly a national leader when his side was begging for leadership and guidance. A busted flush.

No comments :