Friday, October 29, 2004

By now you know the story: among the relics of Saddam's old nuclear weapons program were bunkers containing tons of high explosive. While the inspectors were in, before the invasion, the stuff was still there; they checked. Afterwards, it vanished.

And you know the excuses coming out of Dubya's crew. Saddam somehow carted it all away, in what would have been a massive convoy, in the few days between the departure of the inspectors and the invasion. And this somehow escaped our attention, even though the area was under intense U.S. aerial and satellite surveillance. Because American troops were at the bunker at the invasion, and they didn't find any weapons. Even though they hadn't been ordered to look.

And a lot of my readers probably already know they're all wet. Video shot by an embedded reporter with those troops shows them breaking open bunkers with explosives inside, and also shows IAEA seals, still intact. Which is not to impugn the troops at all -- they obviously weren't trained to deal properly with these bunkers. And that's half the scandal. But the less interesting half.

The more interesting half of this scandal is how nakedly it reveals the character of this administration. These sites should have been guarded. They weren't. The troops who were there had other orders, and followed them; the blame is squarely on the guys who gave the orders. But faced with an obvious blunder, their first and only response is to try to find someplace, anyplace, to shift the blame. To Saddam. To al Qaeda. Even to their critics. They've actually suggested that anyone who criticizes them for this blunder must be slagging the troops. Because they cannot conceive, they cannot wrap their minds around the concept that any blame for a mistake like this could ever be attached to them.

And liberal enablers like Nick Kristof let them get away with it. Bush wants to think he's a good president. And if the facts don't support that, he just makes up stories that conflict with the facts. What Bush wants to believe is a "higher truth", and if he chooses to express his higher truth with lies, well, that's fine with Kristof

More: Dean Esmay and others are making a great deal of pictures of trucks near some of the bunkers in the days before the war. Pity the bunkers in question weren't the ones that were sealed.

Note: I've corrected this post; the video shows IAEA seals still intact, but does not show them being broken. Oops.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm just catching up with your post on sunday, but when i read that kristof column, i fired off an email to him on just that point of enabling and what's wrong with him?

not that it will make any difference; people like kristof have certain merits (he's been good on genocide) but basically, they are so desperate to remain on georgetown invite lists that they spout piffle on an extraordinarly frequent basis.

7:55 PM  

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