Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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December 24, 2003
By: Kevin Drum

WMD HUNT UPDATE....The Guardian reports on another "new" theory about why we haven't found any WMD in Iraq:

The theory, which is doing the rounds in the upper reaches of Whitehall, is the result of an attempt to find what one official source called a "logical reason" why no chemical and biological weapons had been found in Iraq.

According to the theory, Saddam and his senior advisers and commanders were told by lower-ranking Iraqi officers that his forces were equipped with usable chemical and biological weapons.

The officers did not want to tell their superiors that the weapons were either destroyed or no longer usable.

The trouble for Britain was, the theory goes, that MI6's informants were the senior officials close to Saddam - with the result that British intelligence was also hoodwinked.

I stopped keeping track of WMD theories several months ago, but I'm pretty sure there's nothing new about this one. In fact, it bears a strong family resemblance to #3 on this list from last May.

But whether it's old or new, I don't buy it anyway. In order for it to work, every junior officer with access to WMD would have had to play along, and that requires a level of coordination I find unlikely. What's more, every senior officer would have to have fallen for the lie and been too lazy to check it out. Again, that's unlikely.

I agree that the missing WMD is a genuine mystery, but after hearing a dozen wild theories over the past six months I've pretty much fallen back on Occam's Razor and decided that the simplest explanation is the most likely: the WMD was destroyed years ago and the exiles who told us it existed were lying to us because we encouraged them to.

And why was Saddam unwilling to flatly fess up to this? That's the real mystery....

Kevin Drum 8:21 AM Permalink | Trackbacks

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