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Monday, March 20, 2006

Smears from Kos and ThinkProgress

Kos diarist mcjoan on the Iraq war's third anniversary:

And on May 29, 2003, [President Bush brought us] WMD. Then on March 24, 2004, made a joke out of those WMD it turned out we hadn't found.

Here's what the President said:

Q But, still, those countries who didn't support the Iraqi Freedom operation use the same argument, weapons of mass destruction haven't been found. So what argument will you use now to justify this war?

THE PRESIDENT: We found the weapons of mass destruction. We found biological laboratories. You remember when Colin Powell stood up in front of the world, and he said, Iraq has got laboratories, mobile labs to build biological weapons. They're illegal. They're against the United Nations resolutions, and we've so far discovered two. And we'll find more weapons as time goes on. But for those who say we haven't found the banned manufacturing devices or banned weapons, they're wrong, we found them.

And here's what the CIA stands by today: that the trailers we found in Iraq were, indeed, mobile biological warfare agent production plants. Interestingly, this document is dated 28 May 2003, the day before the Bush Q&A mcjoan references.

Is she ignorant of this? She words those two sentences very carefully to be read either way. But the implication is obvious.

mcjoan also says:

(Hat tip to Think Progress for the excellent three-year timeline.)

Here's how that time-line starts:

MARCH 30, 2003: Donald Rumsfeld: We know where the WMD are

We know where [the weapons of mass destruction] are. They’re in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat. [ABC This Week, 3/30/03]

But here's Rumsfeld's full quote (emphasis mine):

MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Finally, weapons of mass destruction. Key goal of the military campaign is finding those weapons of mass destruction. None have been found yet. There was a raid on the Answar Al-Islam Camp up in the north last night. A lot of people expected to find ricin there. None was found. How big of a problem is that? And is it curious to you that given how much control U.S. and coalition forces now have in the country, they haven't found any weapons of mass destruction?

SEC. RUMSFELD: Not at all. If you think -- let me take that, both pieces -- the area in the south and the west and the north that coalition forces control is substantial. It happens not to be the area where weapons of mass destruction were dispersed. We know where they are. They're in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat.

Second, the [audio glitch] facilities, there are dozens of them, it's a large geographic area. ... The idea, from your question, that you can attack that place and exploit it and find out what's there in fifteen minutes.

I would also add, we saw from the air that there were dozens of trucks that went into that facility after the existence of it became public in the press and they moved things out. They dispersed them and took them away. So there may be nothing left. I don't know that. But it's way too soon to know. The exploitation is just starting.

ThinkProgress selectively quotes Rumsfeld to get the smugness they're after.


(Please keep in mind that each commenter's opinions are only his/her own.)

And that isn't an intelligence failure? I may be going out on a limb here, but, perhaps, if such photos hadn't been made public, said WMDs in question might have been confiscated. Then we "where are the WMDs?" Democrats wouldn't have been screaming quite as loudly, now would we?

I don't recall where, exactly, but I believe somewhere on your or my blog we have already discussed that the two mobile labratories captured aren't even close to the amount of chemicals and WMDs we were told were over there. Yes, they could've been relocated and, thanks to our astute intelligence agencies here in America, we'll never be able to prove that, now will we?

Scott: I don't dispute anything you say here. There were intelligence failures (which we're still trying to sort out). We did discuss mobile labs here.

You're absolutely right that two mobile weapons labs don't equate to all the WMD stockpiles the world thought Saddam had.

I'm just saying that mcjoan implies that Bush falsely claimed that we found WMD, but the quote she uses doesn't support that.

And ThinkProgress manipulated Rumsfeld's quote to make him look more smug about it than he really was.

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