Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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March 31, 2004
By: Kevin Drum

YET MORE SELECTIVE RELEASE....David Kay's replacement, Charles Duelfer, testified in front of Congress yesterday about the ongoing search for Iraqi WMD. The declassified portion of his testimony is here, and it prompted a flurry of news reports like this one:

U.S. weapons hunters in Iraq have found more evidence that ousted President Saddam Hussein's regime had civilian factories able to quickly produce biological and chemical weapons, the CIA's top weapons inspector told senators Tuesday. But searchers still have not found any weapons.

....In a closed session with the Senate Armed Services Committee, Duelfer said the Iraq Survey Group has found new evidence that Iraqi scientists flight-tested long-range ballistic missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles.

And the survey group has new information indicating the regime engaged in ongoing research to produce chemical or biological weapons on short notice, using civilian, or dual-use, facilities.

Hmmm, maybe Kay jumped the gun? Sounds like Duelfer still thinks he might end up finding something.

Not quite. Carl Levin was one of the senators who heard the entire testimony, not just the parts the CIA released:

The public statement, in a number of instances, contains material that, when compared to the contents of the underlying classified status report from Mr. Duelfer that was submitted to the Armed Services Committee for the hearing this morning, includes material that suggests that Iraq had an active weapons of mass destruction (WMD) program while leaving out information that would lead one to doubt that it did.

....Mr. Duelfers public statement is written to express the authors suspicions as to Iraqs activities relating to possible weapons of mass destruction programs or activities while leaving out information in the classified report which points away from his suspicions.

The chutzpah is really amazing, isn't it? They just keep doing the same thing over and over and over no matter how many times they get caught. It's really pathological.

Kevin Drum 3:24 PM Permalink | Trackbacks

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