Daily Kos
Political analysis and other daily rants on the state of the nation

Saturday | August 09, 2003

Defense engineers dispute trailer claims

Iraqi scientists, under interrogation, said so. The Brits said so. The State Department's intelligence arm said so.

Now, we learn, Pentagon engineering experts are also saying so:

Engineering experts from the Defense Intelligence Agency have come to believe that the most likely use for two mysterious trailers found in Iraq was to produce hydrogen for weather balloons rather than to make biological weapons, government officials say.
So let's thing about this for a second. The DIA/CIA issued a joint report back on June 2nd saying the trailers were bioweapons facilities. However, we now know that a "a majority of the Defense Intelligence Agency's engineering team had come to disagree with the central finding of the white paper: that the trailers were used for making biological weapons."

So who the hell wrote the report? And why was the author dismissive of the agency's own experts? Actually, it was worse than that:

The Defense Intelligence Agency's engineering teams had not concluded their work in Iraq at the time the white paper was drafted, and so their views were not taken into account at that time, the government officials said [...]

Another government official from a different agency said the issue of the trailers had prompted deep divisions within the Defense Intelligence Agency. The official said members of the engineering team had been angry that the agency issued the joint white paper with the C.I.A. before their own work was completed.

In other words, the DIA/CIA report was released without 1) letting the agency's engineering experts finish their investigation, and 2) without getting their input for the report.

So if it wasn't the engineers who determined the report's conclusions, who did?

We already know the answer. Ideology has consistently trumped reality. The truth is a nuisance, to be swept aside. And when the facts don't fit the agenda, why, a little lie or three will do quite nicely, thank you.

I'm looking right at Condi, Donald, Cheney, and Bush.

But this shouldn't come as a surprise, as even that CIA/DIA report, which Bush cited as absolution for his unecessary war, hedged its bets:

Some of the features of the trailer—a gas-collection system and the presence of caustic—are consistent with both bioproduction and hydrogen production. The plant's design possibly could be used to produce hydrogen using a chemical reaction, but it would be inefficient. The capacity of this trailer is larger than the typical units for hydrogen production for weather balloons.
I wrote about this back in late March, but it has added salience today.

The entire argument was:

  1. the trailers could be hydrogen production facilities, but if they are, they are too inefficient; therefore
  2. they must be bioweapon facilities.
The argument was ridiculous then, and now we see why. The report was ideology, not reality.

Posted August 09, 2003 01:22 PM


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