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April 22, 2006

This I Believe

So apparently this retired CIA guy Tyler Drumheller is going to be on 60 Minutes tomorrow, and will accuse the Bush administration of ignoring intelligence that Iraq had nothing:

"[The source] told us that there were no active weapons of mass destruction programs," says Drumheller. "The [White House] group that was dealing with preparation for the Iraq war came back and said they were no longer interested. And we said 'Well, what about the intel?' And they said 'Well, this isn't about intel anymore. This is about regime change.' "

Yes, maybe. But after years of exciting back and forth inside my head, I've come to believe much of the Bush administration truly DID believe Iraq had some kind of banned weapons.

At least, the stupider ones did. The smarter ones likely thought: well, Saddam may not have anything now, but Iraq has so much natural wealth they'll have something eventually. (Wolfowitz: "...the country floats on a sea of oil.") So we'd better use the opportunity presented by 9/11 to take care of business.

That doesn't mean they didn't consciously lie. It's just they thought they were framing a guilty man. It didn't matter what they said, because after the invasion they'd capture Saddam and prove his mustache was made of anthrax.

Moreover, I think they almost had to believe this, at least the ones who're not supervillains. That's standard human psychology. They knew they hated Saddam, but couldn't face the real reason for their hate, which is that he was interfering with a desire of theirs that's completely insane—i.e., the wish to run the world. So they had to search for something that would justify their emotions, and WMD really fit the bill.

I don't say this to defend them; just the opposite. It wouldn't be a defense of Saddam to say: But in 1990 he really did believe Kuwaitis were dogs who wanted to turn Iraqi women into "10-dinar whores"! Nor would it be a defense of Hitler to say he truly did believe Jews were verminous subhumans scheming incessantly to destroy the master race. (Indeed, I'm sure Saddam and Hitler did believe those things. See human psychology, above.)

Anyway, I look forward to watching 60 Minutes. But I doubt it will change my mind.

Posted at April 22, 2006 07:41 PM | TrackBack

The "insane desire" ALL of the key 'players' in this 'drama' had in common Jon, was NOT the desire to "run the world" (somebody has to do it) but rather the "desire" to act with impunity, to run amok--to ACT upon their 'desires' WITHOUT REGARD for facts, law OR consequences. That's NOT "standard human psychology" but it is THEIR problem.

The fact that these people felt 'free' to act in that way is OUR problem...

Posted by: Mike at April 22, 2006 11:24 PM

The TRUE CRIME is the Administration did not continue to pursue OSAMA BIN LADEN. He is left alive to continue command of Al Qaida, which has expanded due to the attack on Iraq. No matter what the faulty reasoning, CRIMINAL, GREED AND/OR STUPIDITY, it show a lack of committment or ability to lead us. OSAMA IS STILL OUT THERE AND HE STILL WANTS TO KILL US.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at April 23, 2006 12:53 PM

I'm sorry if my earlier post sounded personal in any way, I just wanted to preserve the famous Jack Nicholson line.

Also, I don't have any truck with a thesis at the second link, i.e. any notion of an "inside job". My take on these theories can be best illustrated by an incident: I live near Dallas and went to Dealey Plaza on Nov. 22, 2003, 40th anniversary of JFK's assassination and a Saturday, just for the amusement sure to be provided by hordes of conspiracy buffs and wasn't disappointed (some came from as far away as Germany & Nova Scotia).

Speaking of Dallas, how come it's still substituted for Gomorrah in Jon's latest post when in reality it's a somewhat prim corporate town?

Posted by: sk at April 23, 2006 03:40 PM

They knew they were twisting the intelligence to match their dreams of having that war. They knew they were not truthful. They are not incompentent liers; they are very compentent and dangerous liers.

Posted by: Silverbird at April 24, 2006 04:01 PM

I actually find bin Laden pathetic nowadays. If he still had the capacity to do a major attack, don't you think it would have happened at some point in the last five years? Not that they did this on purpose, but in retrospect, maybe it's better to have an impotent bin Laden running around making wild threats on video tapes, rather than a dead and therefore martyred bin Laden.

Posted by: Adam Kotsko at April 24, 2006 04:16 PM

No, OSAMA WANTS TO DO IT AGAIN. There is no good in having him loose. He's just slow. Ask anyone in homeland security, ue're under constant threat from Al Qaida. OSAMA should be hunted down, if possible, captured and brought to trial in New York, Albany, New York.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at April 24, 2006 06:16 PM

I'm quite clear about what bin Laden wants, but a lot of people want a lot of things.

Posted by: Adam Kotsko at April 24, 2006 09:37 PM

Supervillain? Bullshit, if only we HAD supervillains the world would be better off...can you imagine Ernst Stavro Blofeld or Auric Goldfinger ever attempting to believe that his plans would be morally justified? Hell no, them dudes got style and elan to spare.

Posted by: En Ming Hee at April 24, 2006 11:08 PM

Yes, a lot people want a lot of things. Osama has the money and the alility to satisfy his wants. He failed to destroy the Twin Towers in 1993, second try he succeded in 2001---8 yrs. Only been 4 since 911. Never underestimate yourself or over estimate your enemy, you fit RIGHT in with this Administration.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at April 24, 2006 11:36 PM