The Null Device

Whitehouse: we lied

The Bush administration has admitted that Iraq probably had no weapons of mass destruction, and thus that the rationale for "pre-emptive self defense" was a complete lie. Though now they're saying that the fact that Iraq could have hypothetically developed WMDs justifies the invasion; which is basically a circuitous way of saying "we'll invade who we want to".

There are 10 comments on "Whitehouse: we lied":

Posted by: mitch http:// Tue May 6 09:58:51 2003

This article is by the same guy who gave us 'Bush planned Iraq invasion before taking power':

The story is absolutely vague about its source. First it's "senior officials" (plural), then it's "the senior US official" (singular). And in between we have Bush saying 'Saddam had the weapons and we'll find them'.

I must bring you up-to-date on the latest from the purveyor of the secret-anthrax-blackmail theory, incidentally. His take now is that the Russians have whisked Saddam and sons off to a villa in Belarus, or something of that nature, with the deal being that he gets luxurious life in exile if he never tells the sleepers where the weapons are stashed.

Posted by: mitch http:// Tue May 6 10:27:01 2003

This is the best description of the 'hunt for WMDs' that I've found, including a list of false positives to date:

But seed stock for biological weapons ought to be very easy to hide - anthrax spores, at least. You could put them in a minute container and bury them thirty meters underground. I don't think that would show up on any sort of remote scan, so to find them you'd need to find traces of the excavation, or you'd need intelligence (paperwork, defectors). Whatever the real story of Iraq's WMD programs is, I think it's inseparable from the story of the command-and-control structure that had the final say about their use.

Posted by: mitch http:// Tue May 6 10:55:32 2003

A more detailed account of the original anonymous comments:

This Neil Mackay guy (Sunday Herald journalist) must specialize in slanting his stories. In the Financial Times story, linked to above, the official says they would be "amazed" to find weapons-grade radioisotopes, and that most of the biochem stockpiles were probably destroyed. In the Sunday Herald, this becomes "officials" (plural) would be 'amazed' if WMDs (implicitly of any sort) were found in Iraq. For that matter, consider the progression of statements:

Headline: "US: 'Saddam had no weapons of mass destruction'"

First paragraph: "The Bush administration has admitted that Saddam Hussein *probably* [my emphasis] had no weapons of mass destruction."

Second paragraph: "Senior officials in the Bush administration have admitted that they would be 'amazed' [if WMDs show up]..."

So, we go from 'Bush admin admits, no WMDs' to 'Bush admin admits, probably no WMDs' to 'Someone in Bush admin admit

Posted by: mitch http:// Tue May 6 10:56:54 2003

... let's try that again.

We go from 'Bush admin admits, no WMDs' to 'Bush admin admits, probably no WMDs' to 'Someone in Bush admin admits, probably no WMDs, and the real story is 'Someone in Bush admin admits, probably diminished biochem stocks and no plutonium'.

Posted by: Alex Tue May 6 12:12:42 2003

You could always looking for anthrax spores in cowshit and soil. Where they're usually found.

I thought the whole point of the WMD scaremongering was that it was *weaponized* Anthrax they were looking for. Like the stuff that was mailed around in DC a little while ago ...

I think 'Weapons-of-mass-destruction' is a self-contained memetic nerve agent in and of itself ... just saying it out loud causes you to think about 'mass destruction' and how bad it is and how we have to find who has them and then take them AWAY from them so they don't get a chance to DESTROY US MASSIVELY with their WEAPONS of MASS DESTRUCTION ... What's a good counter-agent for this device I wonder ... sitting back and silently contemplating the memory of stock footage of the mushroom cloud of a nuclear detonation ... a true dubya - emm - dee ... if there ever was one ...

Posted by: Graham Tue May 6 13:03:58 2003

More like Weapons of Mass Distraction...

Posted by: acb Tue May 6 15:13:41 2003

Mitch: if one wants to believe that Saddam had WMDs, nothing could disprove that belief. They could have always been spirited out, or kept out of sight by an ever-grander conspiracy theory.

However, what it comes down to is the evidence at hand for WMDs (precious little), the public rationale of the war having been about WMDs, and the fact that we invaded a country and killed >2,000 civilians under false pretenses, in what (by Occam's Razor) appears to be an exercise in economic/geopolitical colonialism, motivated by a combination of greed for oil and the PNAC's well-documented desire for world domination.

Posted by: mitch http:// Thu May 8 01:17:53 2003

Salam Pax is back.

Posted by: mitch http:// Mon May 12 09:19:31 2003

Latest on the WMD hunt:

3 alleged mobile bio-labs found:

Main WMD task force returning to USA soon:

The Pentagon "Cabal" which made the case for Iraqi WMD/terror links:

FBI speculates that anthrax letters were assembled underwater (?!):,3604,953811,00.html

Posted by: Ben Laden Tue May 13 06:01:58 2003

I love how they use the words 'might' and 'may' so often when reporting these things. Things like 'The US found a truck which might have been used to carry chemicals' or 'the high school lab may have been used for experiments'. The sort of abuses one could make with these words should be obvious