Friday, June 27, 2003

Is the planting of evidence of wmds a possibility?  

In this Truthout interview, a retired CIA analyist notes the possibility of the U.S. planting evidence of wmds in Iraq, given that we have refused to allow the U.N. back into Iraq to continue looking for wmds. He is also focusing on the connection between Vice- President Cheney and the forged Nigerian document used to promote the presence of wmds in Iraq:

McG: My primary attention is on the forgery of the Niger documents that supposedly proved Iraq was developing a nuclear program. It seems to me that you can have endless arguments about the correct interpretation of this or that piece of intelligence, or intelligence analysis, but a forgery is a forgery. It’s demonstrable that senior officials of this government, including the Vice President, knew that it was a forgery in March of last year. It was used anyway to deceive our Congressmen and Senators into voting for an unprovoked war. That seems to me to be something that needs to be borne in mind, that needs to be held up for everyone to see. If an informed public, and by extension an informed Congress, is the necessary bedrock for democracy, then we’ve got a split bedrock that is in bad need of repair.

I have done a good bit of research here, and one of the conclusions I have come to is that Vice President Cheney was not only interested in “helping out” with the analysis, let us say, that CIA was producing on Iraq. He was interested also in fashioning evidence that he could use as proof that, as he said, “The Iraqis had reconstituted their nuclear program,” which demonstrably they had not.

What I’m saying is that this needs to be investigated. We know that it was Dick Cheney who sent the former US ambassador to Niger to investigate. We know he was told in early March of last year that the documents were forgeries. And yet these same documents were used in that application. That is something that needs to be uncovered. We need to pursue why the Vice President allowed that to happen. To have global reporters like Walter Pincus quoting senior administration officials that Vice President Cheney was not told by CIA about the findings of this former US ambassador strains credulity well beyond the breaking point. Cheney commissioned this trip, and when the fellow came back, he said, “Don’t tell me, I don’t want to know what happened.” That’s just ridiculous.

Cheney knew, and Cheney was way out in front of everybody, starting on the 26th of August, talking about Iraq seeking nuclear weapons. As recently as the 16th of March, three days before the war, he was again at it. This time he said Iraq has reconstituted its nuclear weapons program. It hadn’t. It demonstrably hadn’t. There has been nothing like that uncovered in Iraq. As the first President Bush said about the invasion of Kuwait, this cannot stand.

One other thing I’d like to note is the anomaly that President Bush has succeeded Saddam Hussein in the role of preventing UN inspectors from coming into Iraq. He has not even been asked why.

There is no conceivable reason why the United States of America should not be imploring Hans Blix and the rest of his folks to come right in. They have the expertise, they’ve been there, they’ve done that. They have millions of dollars available through the UN. They have people who know the weaponry, how they are procured and produced. They know personally the scientists, they’ve interviewed them before. What possible reason could the United States of America have to say no thanks, we’ll use our own GI’s to do this. Don’t come in here. That needs to be brought out. For the UN to be waiting with those inspectors at the ready, there has got to be some reason why the United States won’t let them back in.

The more sinister interpretation is that the US wants to be able to plant weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Now, most people will say, “Come on, McGovern. How are you going to get a SCUD in there without everyone seeing it?” It doesn’t have to be a SCUD. It can be the kind of little vile vial that Colin Powell held up on the 5th of February. You put a couple of those in a GI’s pocket, and you swear him to secrecy, and you have him go bury them out in the desert. You discover it ten days later, and President Bush, with more credibility than he could with those trailers will say, “Ha! We’ve found the weapons of mass destruction.”

I think that’s a possibility, a real possibility. I think that, since it is a real possibility, the Democrats’ sheepishness on this, their reluctance to get out on a limb and say there are no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, may be more explainable. But they should come around anyway.