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Friday | October 03, 2003

Hans Blix Weighs in a Little Late

By Meteor Blades

Memo to Hans Blix: Too late, dude.You’re going to have to speak up a lot faster if you expect to beat Dubyanocchio to the punch when it comes to spinning. The President’s handlers have more experience at this than a Maytag in a brothel. They’ll even wake him up from his nap to get the jump on the news cycle:

Hans Blix warned the US-led experts hunting for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq yesterday to beware the dangers of "spin" when presenting their findings to their political masters anxious to justify the invasion of Iraq.

"We don't want another epidemic of spin," the former chief UN weapons inspector told The Independent, as President George Bush seized on the interim report to justify his decision to go to war.

David Kay, the American- appointed head of the search teams, said in his interim report that in the first three months of his work no weapons of mass destruction were found in Iraq, undermining a plank in the pro-war case.

Mr Bush said: "The report states that Saddam Hussein's regime had a clandestine network of biological laboratories, a live strain of deadly agent botulinum, sophisticated concealment efforts, and advanced design work on prohibited longer range missiles."

But Mr Blix pointed out that none of this constituted the "serious and current threat" used by the British Government to justify war. Although Mr Blix did not accuse Tony Blair of lying, he said the Government "should have exercised more critical judgement".

He said: "There was not a serious or imminent threat. They could have carried on with the policy of containment."

Meanwhile, thanks to Atrios, we learn that David Kay himself is not spinning, but performing backflips. According to Newsday:

The CIA's man leading the hunt for suspected Iraqi weapons showed off a pair of trailers for news cameras this summer, and argued that the two metal flatbeds were designed for making biological weapons.

But faced with mounting challenges to that theory, David Kay is now conceding he could have been wrong and says he doesn't know whether Iraq ever had a mobile weapons program, as top Bush administration officials claim.

According to senior military officers involved in Kay's hunt, experts have been re-examining the trailers for several weeks. Until now, they were the only discovery the administration has cited as evidence of an illicit Iraqi weapons program.

In six months of searches, no biological, chemical or nuclear weapons have been found to bolster the administration's central case for going to war: to disarm Saddam Hussein of suspected weapons of mass destruction.

"On the basis of technical analysis on the two (trailers) that we have, it is not going to be possible to reach a determination," Kay told reporters Friday.

It was a different-sounding Kay from the one who confidently showed off the trailers to NBC Nightly News in its July 15 broadcast.

At the time, Kay told NBC: "I've already seen enough to convince me."

The original tip on the trailers was provided by a defector working with Ahmad Chalabi, the head of the Iraqi National Congress and now a member of the U.S.-appointed Governing Council in Iraq.

Heads Up: For the folks who STILL don’t believe that Valerie Plame was anything more than a desk jockey for the CIA, Calpundit has an excellent, prodigiously linked and annotated timeline of the key open-source evidence, starting with Novak’s first column.

Posted October 03, 2003 07:40 PM | Comments (56)


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