Your Lying Eyes

Dedicated to uncovering the truth that stands naked before your lying eyes.

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02 April 2008

Why Weren't Any WMD Fabricated?

There were a number of justifications put forward for the Iraq war: Saddam's brutality, his continual violations of the various "no-fly zones," his supposed hobnobbing with terrorists, the alleged plot to assassinate Bush 41, his unsavory efforts to undermine the "Oil-for-food" program.

But the only one that in any way truly justified the invasion was his continued stockpiling of Weapons of Mass Destruction. I don't know of any evidence to back this up, but I'm pretty sure that even today if a cache of chemical weapons were found in some bunker somewhere in Iraq, a solid majority of Americans would feel the war justified. But a very sizable minority would also no doubt believe it to be planted evidence.

Which leads to the question: Why didn't the Bush administration fabricate a find of chemical weapons? They were certainly desperate in the months after the invasion to find the WMD they were so sure were there. Finding any such stockpiles would have silenced most of the administration's critics - or at least greatly neutralized their effectiveness. So why not just plant some somewhere and have some naive troop of soldiers stumble on them while looking for insurgents?

The Bushies have been accused of many things far worse than planting WMD after the fact - including being behind 9/11, or purposely allowing it to happen, which is about as bad a thing as a government can possibly be accused of, so it's hard to argue that they'd be reluctant to face such fraud accusations. So what the hell - why not give it a shot?

Let's assume that morality - any sense of wrong and right - are not at play here - i.e., let's assume for purposes of this discussion that right and wrong are irrelevant. Then why wouldn't the administration have planted WMD in Iraq?

Basically, I don't think that fits their m.o. - it's not how they operate. They're much more about bending the truth, disinformation and propaganda. Seizing on bits and snippets in intelligence reports and blowing them out of proportion (Niger yellowcake; aluminum rods); using any past behavior as 100% determinant of present or future behavior (Saddam lied before; therefore it is impossible that anything he says can be the truth); and complete confidence in optimistic scenarios based on very little evidence (tax cuts, wars, immigrants and trade deficits all eventually pay for themselves in the end).

Bush, I believe, is very much into self-justification; he likes to have a plausible narrative to convince himself that he's made the right decision, which is easy since he insulates himself from facts so effectively. In the case of Iraq, there are any number of such rationales that he doesn't need to falsify evidence. But he probably could have justified it to himself nevertheless - after all, everyone believed the WMD was there - he certainly believed it - hell, it probably was there and somehow they got it to Syria or whatever - so what's the harm in simulating what it would have been like if the WMD - that we all know was there anyway - were actually found?

Planting evidence in Iraq would have taken a good deal of the kind of hard work Bush is very disinclined to do. Or anyone in his administration, for that matter, judging from the amount of planning and due-diligence that was done prior to the invasion (a fair assessment would be that it amounted to the grand sum of zero). Special operatives - and the right kind of very loyal operatives - would have had to be identified, a careful plan put in place, plausible deniability, blind hand-offs, all that tedious, difficult conspiracy stuff - just ain't worth it. A lot easier just to blame it on Tenet and move on - otherwise, the doubting, the re-thinking, the stress of planning - it could lead a man to drink!


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