In an article today at Commentary online, senior neoconservative writer Michael Rubin attempts to perpetuate the lie that the US was given false intelligence about Saddam Hussein’s WMDs. Rubin writes:
The narrative of “Bush lied, people died,” is nonsense of course. The problem was that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein bluffed his own generals and aides. When Americans tapped into their phone calls, they heard Saddam’s lieutenants discussing such weapons as if they had them, and when American spies debriefed their Iraqi counterparts, there was no sign of deception because many of the defectors believed the information they conveyed.
Ignored here is the intelligence of the one defector that really knew all about Saddam’s WMDs – because he helped build them up and then later destroyed them after the end of the First Gulf War.
In August 1995 Hussein Kamel, Saddam’s son-in-law and Minister of Military Industries, defected to Jordan. There he was debriefed by UNSCOM. At his debriefing Kamel told his interrogators all about Saddam’s WMDs. In the run up to the war against Iraq in 2003, the US and their main allies, Tony Blair and John Howard, relied on this information to build their case for war. However, while the list of WMDs that Saddam had was revealed, what the public were not told was that Kamel, in the same debriefing, had had also said that all of these weapons had been destroyed and that he had personally overseen their destruction. The transcript of that debriefing can be found here.
Rubin then goes on to write:
Nevertheless, critics of the Iraq war are absolutely correct to say that the fact that the intelligence turned out to be wrong undercut American credibility on the world stage. The next time some future Colin Powell goes before the United Nations to reveal a case for war or for anything else utilizing American intelligence, conspiracy theorists will have a field day.
The fact is; the intelligence did not ‘turn out to be wrong’ but, rather, it was abused and twisted by Bush, Blair and Howard in order to support their push for war. Bush, Blair and Howard were all familiar with Kamel’s debriefing, indeed, Howard referred to it directly in his speech to parliament on 4 February 2003. Ignored by all three leaders was the part of the same debriefing document in which Kamel had said that all of the stockpiles of WMDs had been destroyed.
The next time America or any other Western nation tries to go war based on so-called ‘intelligence’ it won’t be just ‘conspiracy theorists’ that will have a field day; it’ll be people who are armed with the facts about how world leaders are prepared to use deceit and lies in order to destroy other people’s countries.
Why would anyone want to believe anything a neoconservative says ever again?