Welcome to the second, less frequently-posted decade of RevMod.

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Friday, February 28, 2003

Now, that's spin.

Hussien Kamel was Saddam Hussien's son-in-law, and head of Iraqi biological, nuclear, chemical, and missile weapons programs before he defected in 1995. Revelations he made to investigators at the time have become the main piece of evidence in most American "proofs" of Iraqi WMD. Kamel's interview was mentioned as evidence by Colin Powell during his speech to the UN.

But what did Hussien Kamel tell investigators? The transcripts have recently come public, and he said that all of those weapons had been destroyed to hide them from inspection teams, but that Iraq kept the recipes.

Let me say again: ALL of those weapons were destroyed. So, when Iraq says "we can't reveal what we don't have", they might be telling the truth. And even if Iraq has rebuilt some of those weapons since this interview, it proves a different point: Iraq will destroy its WMD under threat of inspection. Under. Threat. Of. Inspection! (I find myself italicising here, because I can't find the words. This is a document that the American government has had the entire time. The State Department knew what it said. And the American government has lied to the faces of their citizens, in order to argue for war. This government is lying about the reasons to kill thousands of Iraqi people, and no one will talk about it. Meanwhile, Clinton will go down in history as the guy who lied about a blowjob.)

On to the spin portion of this discussion: a quick scan of Daypop finds almost no mention of this on the weblogs. And the few who mention Kamel tend to go along these lines. We may not have a smoking gun, but we have a smoking defector.

And the original Newsweek story is similar. Before his death, a high-ranking defector said Iraq had not abandoned its WMD ambitions I don't, sincerely don't, understand why that's the spin of this story, and why the anti-war media outlets and bloggers have left this story sit. Most of the American claims of Iraqi non-compliance do not claim that Iraq has built new weapons since the removal of inspectors in 1998. They claim that those inspectors were unable to find weapons that Iraq held throughout. Tony Blair said today: "He has to say what has happened, for example, to the 8,500 litres of anthrax, the 360 tonnes of chemical warfare agent, the 3,000 tonnes of precursor chemicals, the 30,000 special munitions, all of which the inspectors found were unaccounted for in Iraq when they were forced to leave a few years ago." Except, Kamel seems to have confirmed that none of that was left when the inspectors left (and were not, I cannot reiterate enough, "forced to leave" by Iraq).

What about this line: "The stocks had been destroyed to hide the programs from the U.N. inspectors." So, now we're going to nitpick about the why of the destruction of the WMD? I don't think it's a good idea to bomb Iraq for thoughtcrime.

This exhausts me. Arguments are never countered, questions are never addressed, and the war machine rolls on.

Update: my daypop search was more successful with correct spelling, and there are a few anti-war bloggers and news sources who are talking about this after all. Alternet is on it, for instance, and they sound a damn bit more coherent than my ranting self. Do the daypop search yourself if you're looking for more... the results lean pro-war, but there's a few dissenters in there as well.

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