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January 03, 2007
Washington Post's Thomas Ricks Courageously Waits Four Years To Tell Us What He Thought About Iraq's WMD
Here's Thomas Ricks, telling us in a recent Time Magazine roundtable that he never believed Iraq had WMD:
TIME: On the eve of the war, which of you believed that we would go in and find no WMD?...Why did you feel that way, Tom?
RICKS: I thought that at most they would find some old mustard gas buried out in the '91 war that somebody had forgotten about. I remember asking the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs about a week before the invasion, "You don't know where the stuff is, do you?"
Here's Thomas Ricks before the war—not telling us what he believed, but instead writing down exactly what the U.S. government said. Note that Myers was the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs to whom Ricks addressed his "You don't know where the stuff is, do you?" question:
Myers Depicts War on Two Fronts
By Thomas E. Ricks
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, March 5, 2003
...One major early mission of U.S. forces would be to locate and secure Iraq's suspected arsenal of chemical and biological weapons, [General Richard] Myers said. The U.S. government expects to learn far more about those weapons programs once its forces invade Iraq. At that point, he said, the "giant shell game" played by the Iraqi government to conceal its weapons "would come to a halt," and instead "people would come forward and say, 'Here's where this is, here's where that is.' "
Audacious Mission, Awesome Risks
By Rick Atkinson and Thomas E. Ricks
Washington Post Foreign Service
Sunday, March 16, 2003
...Overhanging the entire operation is the prospect that Iraq could use chemical or biological weapons...
A major risk is that Iraqi units might try to lie low as the ground attack thrusts northward and then try to attack the vulnerable supply columns that follow...An even darker scenario would involve a key chokepoint, such as a major river crossing, being "smeared" by a persistent chemical weapon...
Special Operators have already been conducting missions inside Iraq...During a war they also are expected to help detect and target enemy formations, and prevent the use of chemical and biological weapons by watching over suspected sites...
A major mission of Special Operations will be leading the hunt for chemical and biological weapons. A major unknown is how Hussein will act if U.S. forces are closing in on him. In order to capture those weapons as quickly as possible, some U.S. troops may move into cities earlier than commanders might prefer
U.S. Airstrikes Open War on Iraq
By Rajiv Chandrasekaran and Thomas E. Ricks
Washington Post Foreign Service
Thursday, March 20, 2003
One Army commander put the odds of Iraq possessing chemical weapons at "80 to 90 percent," but there still is no consensus on whether those weapons are likely to be used, much less used effectively...
Now, here's Robert Fisk:
FISK: How do we journalists get it so wrong?Posted at January 3, 2007 10:33 AM | TrackBack
What's gone wrong in the American press? I ask myself this, partly because I have a lot of friends among the American journalists working in the Middle East. I enjoy having dinner with them. But the odd thing is that when I'm having dinner with them I learn quite a lot, they know quite a lot...but when I open the paper in the morning it's so boring I could fall asleep. The knowledge isn't there.