Monday, February 14, 2011

You Go to War Based on the Myths You Want

"What Rummy didn’t know could fill his book." But what he did know was that there was no evidence of any current WMD programs in Iraq.

Read The New York Times, Simply the Worst, which quotes a report marked 'SECRET' from "Major Gen. Glen Shaffer, then the director for intelligence for the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the secretary of defense, responding to Rummy’s request to know the 'unknowns' about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction" and dated Sept. 9, 2002 (just as the Bush administration started its P.R. campaign leading to the March 2003 Iraq invasion). The report stated:

"'We range from 0% to about 75% knowledge on various aspects of their program. . .'

'Our assessments rely heavily on analytic assumptions and judgment rather than hard evidence, the evidentiary base is particularly sparse for Iraqi nuclear programs.'

It added: 'We don’t know with any precision how much we don’t know.' And continued: 'We do not know if they have purchased, or attempted to purchase, a nuclear weapon. We do not know with confidence the location of any nuclear weapon-related facilities. Our knowledge of the Iraqi nuclear weapons program is based largely — perhaps 90% — on analysis of imprecise intelligence.'

On biological weapons: 'We cannot confirm the identity of any Iraqi facilities that produce, test, fill, or store biological weapons,' the report said, adding: 'We believe Iraq has 7 mobile BW agent production plants but cannot locate them ... our knowledge of how and where they are produced is probably up to 90% incomplete.'

On chemical weapons: 'We cannot confirm the identity of any Iraqi sites that produce final chemical agent.' And on ballistic missile programs they had 'little missile-specific data.'"

In other words, there was no evidence Iraq had any nuclear, biological or chemical weapons program!