January 26th, 2004

cat quilt painting

nagging questions

Back during the run-up to the 2003 Iraq war (Star Wars the Prequel, Part 2: The Phantom Menace), the pop-star of the hour, Donny Rumsfeld, got in front of his groupies and told us of yet another nasty thing the evil Saddam was up to, to wit:
We know from recent intelligence that he has ordered uniforms that are virtually identical to those of U.S. and British forces for his Fedayeen Saddam troops, who would theoretically wear them while committing atrocities against innocent Iraqis. His regime may be planning to use weapons of mass destruction against its own citizens, and then blame coalition forces.

And later in the same news conference, a q&a:
Could you tell us, number one, the source of that, and how you get such intelligence information? How are these charges credible if you don't say how you're getting them?

Rumsfeld: I suppose it would be clearly not in our interest to describe the sources and methods of intelligence gathering. It would dry up intelligence. So we're not going to do it. Whether or not you consider them credible is your choice. In the event ground truth is gleaned at some point in the future, you'll find they were accurate.

Only the thing is, we haven't found that. Forget weapons of mass destruction. Where are these uniforms? Have any been confiscated from the hiding-places of the Fedayeen who have been captured? Did any of these predicted events occur? Have there been US sanctions against the companies that "we know" sold those uniforms to the evil dictator? So many questions. And the most important one: Why are these questions so completely unimportant that no one in the media is asking them? Do we just assume that it was an honest mistake? Was it an intelligence failure? Was it (as is most likely) intentional misinformation? Perhaps it was a pre-emptive strike meant to inoculate the US military against accusations, with or without basis in fact, of atrocities? Who even cares?
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