October 01, 2003
As the previously ballyhooed "Autumn Surprise" regarding Saddam's weapons programmes, forthcoming from David Kay, has in fact turned up, well, nothing, the Bush Administration is trying to revive the shuck-'n'-jive postulate.
The SNJP works like this: having "put in place a double-deception program aimed at convincing the world and his own people that he was more of a threat than he actually was," sneaky Saddam was "bluffing, pretending he had distributed them to his most loyal commanders to deter the United States from invading." Saddam, we are told "may have misled the world" and "is thought to have...made ambiguous statements about his WMD programme as an elaborate bluff that backfired." [Emphasis added.]
There's only one problem with the SNJP: Saddam forgot to pull off the "double" half of his dastardly "deception". When in the fuck did he ever imply that he was in possession of Weapons of Mass Destruction? Never, that's when. "May have" and "thought to have" isn't really going to cut it.
Unless, you know, the entire world missed the "double-deception" when Saddam, during his Dan Rather interview, said something like, "Well, you see, I don't have any WMD on me, because I distributed them to my most loyal commanders [nudge nudge, wink wink, snigger snigger]." Following which, Saddam, having failed to notice the world's failure to notice his "slip" of the tongue, and having failed to notice that his "double-deception" had not succeeded in "deterring" the United States (indeed, having suffered hallucinations to the effect that the massive military force surrounding his country had turned around and gone back home), popped open a bottle of champagne to celebrate his wisdom and cunning.
In point of fact, Saddam repeatedly, consistently, and unambiguously denied having retained a WMD programme. As it turns out, these claims were more less corroborated by the pre-war inspections, by UNSCOM's pre-"Desert Fox" activities, and by high-level defectors.
While we now know he was "mostly telling the truth", it was certainly within the realm of possibility (or at least, conceivability) that he could have been lying.
If he did have the weapons, and assuming his "aim" was to prevent an attack by snookering the world into believing that he didn't have the weapons, lying would have been a logical course of action.
But if his "aim" was to deter an attack by duping the world into believing that he did indeed possess, say, weapons in the quantities suggested by Colin Powell on February 5, why the fuck would he need to pull a "double-deception" when he could simply sign off on Powell's testimony?
The postulate becomes even more bizarre when we learn that it apparently derives from "pre-war Iraqi communications collected by U.S. intelligence agencies indicating that Iraqi commanders...were given the authority to launch weapons of mass destruction against U.S. troops as they advanced north from Kuwait."
So in order for Saddam's "double-deception" to work, he has to know either that his group of "most loyal commanders" has been infiltrated, or, if he's given this authority through radio communications, that U.S. intelligence will be able to intercept and decode the communications. And he has to trust that, once armed with this "knowledge", the United States will share it with the world, and the world will accept that the United States' intelligence (the same intelligence that failed to prevent September 11, and that made such a botch-job of the February 5 presentation, remember) is competent to obtain such information, and that George Bush is telling the truth in the first place.
All this rigamarole in order to convince the world that he has the weapons!
Furthermore, given that Bush and Blair were accusing him all along of lying -- that is to say, accusing him of actually retaining a weapons programme -- and were planning to invade anyway, where in the fuck would Saddam get the idea that pulling a "double-deception" (or, assuming his logical facilities were intact, a "single-deception") would deter an attack?
Are we really expected to swallow this garbage?
Posted by Eddie Tews at October 1, 2003 08:20 PM