Sunday | June 15, 2003
They will find no WMD in Iraq
After weeks of pressure to explain what it knew about the alleged weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in Iraq before launching the war there, the Bush Administration has placed the issue in CIA Director George Tenet's lap. Administration officials have been subtly pointing the finger in his direction, saying all their knowledge of Iraq's weapons programs came from Tenet's agency. That apparently didn't apply to a British intelligence report, cited by President Bush in his State of the Union speech, that claimed Iraq had tried to purchase uranium from an unnamed nation later identified as Niger. The report has since been discredited, having been based on forged documents. The CIA had, in fact, looked into the report in February 2002 and found it dubious. At first the White House claimed that the CIA, if it had had any reservations about the intelligence, had not communicated them. Then, after other U.S. officials revealed that the CIA had sent a cable to the White House in March 2002 that cast doubt on the Niger report, Bush aides insisted the warning was too vague to raise red flags.
Now Bush has put Tenet in the hot seat, placing him in charge of the hunt for the wmd. Tenet announced last week that he was bringing in former U.N. weapons inspector David Kay as his adviser in the search. Sources tell Time that Kay will be in overall charge of the operation of 1,300 soldiers and civilians, which was previously overseen by the Pentagon, and will report directly to Tenet
Given the prominance that the WMD hunt has played in Bush Administration dogma, the shifting of repsonsibility from the DOD to the CIA means there will be no active WMD program found in Iraq. Rumsfeld is shifting responsivbility away from his Team B aides at DOD and dumping the mess in Tenet and Kay's lap. Neither man is particularly respected or liked by Rumsfeld and this political move clearly indicates he's trying to distance himself and the military from the issue.
If Tenet were smart, he would resign and go after Rumsfeld, Cheney and Bush. They clearly expect him to fail, blame him for the failure and then install a puppet who does things their way. This is a naked political move by Rumsfeld and Cheney to cover themselves and place the blame on the CIA, an organization mistrusted by both left and right.
If there was the slightest chance that a usable WMD stockpile would be found, is there any chance Rumsfeld would let George Tenet take the credit for finding it.
He may get lucky, he may find the WMD, but this kind of move indicates that DOD wants to get rid of the issue and let it blow up for Tenet, which is unlikely.
I may be wrong, we may find usable stockpiles of WMD. Pamela Anderson may go back to being a brunette and dress modestly in public. I wouldn't bet much on either.
Steve GilliardPosted June 15, 2003 05:26 PM | Comments (175)