• • •
"Mike and Jon, Jon and Mike—I've known them both for years, and, clearly, one of them is very funny. As for the other: truly one of the great hangers-on of our time."—Steve Bodow, head writer, The Daily Show
"Who can really judge what's funny? If humor is a subjective medium, then can there be something that is really and truly hilarious? Me. This book."—Daniel Handler, author, Adverbs, and personal representative of Lemony Snicket
"The good news: I thought Our Kampf was consistently hilarious. The bad news: I’m the guy who wrote Monkeybone."—Sam Hamm, screenwriter, Batman, Batman Returns, and Homecoming
October 11, 2004
Tony Blair And The Case Of The Magic Anthrax
There were many funny things about the lies in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq. But the funniest was the claim by Tony Blair that Iraq had produced not just regular anthrax... but MAGIC anthrax.
You see, when Saddam's son-in-law Hussein Kamel defected in 1995, he told UNSCOM that Iraq had produced large quantities of anthrax before the Gulf War in 1991. This anthrax was never found. Kamel told UNSCOM it had been secretly destroyed in 1991 after the war. (Of course, the US and UK covered up the fact Kamel had said this, but as we now know, he was telling the truth.)
The Kamel/anthrax situation presented a challenge for Tony Blair.
On the one hand, he wanted to say Saddam was still hiding this anthrax somewhere.
BUT... on the other hand, he wanted to claim that after Kamel defected, Kamel directed inspectors to where the anthrax was hidden. This never happened, of course (since Iraq had in fact destroyed it in four years earlier 1991). But claiming it HAD would make it seem Iraq could still be hiding weapons in 2003. After all, if they'd successfully hid them from inspections before, it was reasonable to think they could so again. This would also mean inspections weren't effective without high-level defectors.
Unfortunately, these two claims are irreconcilable. This anthrax couldn't both (1) have been found after Kamel's defection and (2) still be hidden somewhere in 2003.
Unless... unless it was MAGIC ANTHRAX.
Which apparently it was.
Tony Blair, February 25, 2003:
"Is it not reasonable that [Saddam] provides evidence that he has destroyed 8,500 litres of anthrax that he admitted possessing?"
Tony Blair, March 2, 2003:
"As I have said, the UN inspectors found no trace at all of Saddam's offensive biological weapons programme -- which, of course, he claimed didn't exist - until his lies were revealed by his own son-in-law. Only then did the inspectors find over 8,000 litres of concentrated anthrax..."
Thank god we invaded, so we could get to the bottom of Tony Blair and the Case of the Magic Anthrax.
P.S. Blair was also lying when he claimed "UN inspectors found no trace at all of Saddam's offensive biological weapons programme...until his lies were revealed by his own son-in-law." This was particularly brazen on his part, since it was directly contradicted by UNSCOM's own online chronology:
1 Jul 1995 As a result of UNSCOM's investigations and in the light of irrefutable evidence, Iraq admits for the first time the existence of an offensive biological weapons programme...Posted at October 11, 2004 05:26 PM | TrackBack
8 Aug 1995 General Hussein Kamel...leaves Iraq for Jordan.