For Outgoing Senator Santorum Top Ten

For Outgoing Senator Santorum:
Top Ten Ways We Know Saddam Did not Have WMD

“There are many Senators whom I hold in a certain respect and would not think of declining to meet socially, if I believed it was the will of God. We have lately sent a United States Senator to the penitentiary, but I am quite well aware that of those who have escaped this promotion there are several who are in some regards guiltless of crime–not guiltless of all crimes, for that cannot be said of any United States Senator, I think, but guiltless of some kinds of crime.
– Mark Twain in Eruption

In the fantasy world of the Hard Right, Senator Rick Santorum and Michigan Representative Pete Hoekstra attempted to make it look like some old pre-1991 shells lying around Iraq with degraded chemicals in them were the dreaded “weapons of mass destruction” that the Bush administration went to war over.

AP bothered to actually ask the Department of Defense about this, which might be expected to know something on the subject:

‘ But a defense official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the weapons were not considered likely to be dangerous because of their age. Also, Democrats said a lengthy 2005 report from the top U.S. weapons inspector contemplated that such munitions would be found. ‘

As Think Progress noted (link above), Alan Colmes let the Sanatarium know the bad news for his little smoke and mirrors routine on cable television:

‘ COMBS: Congressman, Senator, it’s Alan Colmes. Senator, the Iraq Survey Group — let me go to the Duelfer Report — says that Iraq did not have the weapons our intelligence believed were there. And Jim Angle reported this for Fox News quotes a defense official who says these were pre-1991 weapons that could not have been fired as designed because they already been degraded. And the official went on to say these are not the WMD’s this country and the rest of the world believed Iraq had and not the WMD’s for which this country went to war. So the chest beating at this Republicans are doing tonight thinking this is a justification is not confirmed by the defense department.

SANTORUM: I’d like to know who that is. The fact of the matter is, I’ll wait and see what the actual Defense Department formally says or more important what the administration formally says. ‘

Quite apart from who said what, here are the Top Ten Ways We know Saddam Didn’t Have WMD:

1. The authors of Cobra II show that before the 2003 Iraq War, Saddam called his top generals together and let them know that he did not in fact have any WMD any more. They were allegedly shaken and disturbed.

2. The Saddam regime faced certain destruction in March-April 2003, but no Iraqi military unit deployed any WMD to save themselves.

3. All searches of all tagged facilities in post-war Iraq found that the weapons programs had all been closed down by the mid-1990s.

4. On September 30, 2004, the U.S. Iraq Survey Group Final Report concluded, “ISG has not found evidence that Saddam Husayn (sic) possessed WMD stocks in 2003, but the available evidence from its investigation—including detainee interviews and document exploitation—leaves open the possibility that some weapons existed in Iraq although not of a militarily significant capability.” Let me put that in bold for Mssrs. Santorum and Hoekstra: not of a militarily significant capability.

5. What most people mean by weapons of mass destruction is nukes. Iraq did not have a nuclear weapons program after the United Nations weapons inspectors dismantled it in the early 1990s.

6. Remember those “mobile biological weapons labs”? When Irv Lewis Libby, now in custody, realized that UN inspectors were finding no evidence for biological weapons labs, he made up this silly idea of mobile labs. Biological weapons labs need a clean room. Where would you put that on a winnebago? And, would you really want your germ lab to hit a pothole? In reality? The trailers were for the production of hydrogen to fill artillery balloons, just as the Iraqis had said.

7. Chief inspector David Kay has already admitted that “We were almost all wrong”! Kay staked his professional reputation on there being WMD in Iraq, and he actually chased it on the ground for months and months. If he could have found any shred to uphold his basic human dignity, he would have. He couldn’t.

8. Not only has the Department of Defense admitted it, so has the CIA.

9. Chemical weapons are battlefield weapons, not weapons of mass destruction:

“National Public Radio (NPR)
SHOW: Talk of the Nation 1500-1600 PM
May 8, 2006 Monday
LENGTH: 5971 words
HEADLINE: A History of Chemical Weapons
ANCHORS: NEAL CONAN
BODY:
NEAL CONAN, host . . .
Mr. TUCKER: Yeah, I think it’s important to distinguish between tactical weapons and strategic weapons. Chemical weapons were really designed for battlefield use. They–very large quantities are required to cover these–the size of a city. So they are not really contemplated as strategic weapons the way nuclear weapons would be used against entire cities. So perhaps there is some distinction there. Whether chemical weapons should be called weapons of mass destruction is somewhat debatable. They are really more tactical or battlefield weapons. . . ‘
Mr. JONATHAN TUCKER (Author, War of Nerves; Senior Fellow, Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Monterey Institute)”

10. Powell and Rice admitted as much in spring of 2001!:

Powell: “but for the purpose of keeping in check Saddam Hussein’s ambitions toward developing weapons of mass destruction. We should constantly be reviewing our policies, constantly be looking at those sanctions to make sure that they are directed toward that purpose. That purpose is every bit as important now as it was ten years ago when we began it. And frankly they have worked. He has not developed any significant capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction. He is unable to project conventional power against his neighbors. So in effect, our policies have strengthened the security of the neighbors of Iraq…”

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