Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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February 2, 2003
By: Kevin Drum

SADDAM'S SECRET WEAPONS....Via Instapundit comes this story in Australia's Herald Sun, which says that Saddam Hussein's chief bodyguard has fled to Israel and is providing information about the whereabouts of Saddam's weapons facilities, including:

AN underground chemical weapons facility at the southern end of the Jadray Peninsula in Baghdad;

A SCUD assembly area near Ramadi. The missiles come from North Korea;

TWO underground bunkers in Iraq's Western Desert. These contain biological weapons.

The source for this story is embittered former weapons inspector William Tierney, so I'm taking it with a grain of salt. The Herald Sun says:

Tierney, who has high-level contacts in Washington that go to the White House, said the information we publish today on Mahmoud's revelations "checks out, absolutely checks out".

This kind of bragadoccio doesn't exactly fill me with confidence. What's more, aside from the fact that Tierney is unreliable and the Herald Sun is not really my idea of a serious source, this simply doesn't make sense. Why would Saddam's bodyguard flee to Israel, of all places? And why would the Israelis leak this information? And why would Tierney then repeat it before inspectors had a chance to visit these sites? It does nothing except give the Iraqis plenty of warning that they'd better move all this stuff posthaste.

This strikes me as bogus, but you never know. Maybe tomorrow morning Hans Blix's men will conduct a lightning raid on the Jadray Peninsula and discover a swimming pool full of anthrax. We'll see.

Kevin Drum 2:16 PM Permalink | Trackbacks

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