Walter Pincus, of the Washington Post asks, "Do the 20-year-old Iraqi chemical munitions found by U.S. and coalition forces support the prewar contention that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, and justify the invasion of Iraq?"
Let me answer that.
When two political hacks desperate to keep their seats, Sen. Rick Santorum and Peter Hoekstra, 'broke' this story, I assumed that it was dead as soon as it started. The Dept. of Defense told FOX News' Jim Angle that a bunch of stale chemical shells were "not the WMDs for which this country went to war."
Now, this bullshit is moving to the House Armed Services committee. According to the Post, "Committee Chairman Duncan Hunter, R-Alpine (San Diego County), contended that an April report by the U.S. Army's National Ground Intelligence Center is clear evidence of Hussein's weapons of mass destruction."
Here's the thing; as I've said over and over and over, a Weapon of Mass Destruction has to actually cause mass destruction. These can't - they're too stale. Even the top officials in the administration tell congress this is horseshit. On thursday, Reuters reported on a dust up between Hoekstra and US Intelligence Chief John Negroponte.
The chairman of the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee accused U.S. intelligence chief John Negroponte's office on Thursday of downplaying the significance of chemical weapons finds in Iraq.
Rep. Peter Hoekstra, a Michigan Republican, said in a letter to Negroponte that intelligence officials at a June 21 press briefing organized by his office misled journalists about the significance of 500 munitions containing mustard and sarin nerve agents discovered since May 2004.
Intelligence officials at the briefing told journalists the weapons predated the 1991 Gulf War, were too degraded to be used as originally intended and posed no threat to U.S. forces deployed in the region during the run-up to the 2003 invasion.
"I am very disappointed by the inaccurate, incomplete, and occasionally misleading comments made by the briefers," Hoekstra said in the letter, a copy of which was released by his office.
"Because this call was organized by your office, I assume that you authorized and were familiar with its content. I would appreciate an explanation and correction of these inaccurate and misleading assertions," he told the national intelligence director.
What a tool - he gets all pissy because Negroponte won't play along with his campaign of distortion.
But a broader point is that this is just the latest spin put on a war in search for a reason. First, the idea was to get rid of non-existent WMD. Then, it was because of non-existent iraqi ties to terrorism. Then, it was to bring democracy to Iraq.
And, now that the public has soured on the war and thinks a democratic Iraq isn't worth the cost - and even doubting whether there will ever be a democratic Iraq - they go back to WMD again.
The problem here is that claiming to discover a legitimate reason to invade Iraq after the fact is illogical. Again, the DoD said that these dead shells were "not the WMDs for which this country went to war." In fact, to go to war over this stuff would be ridiculous - as ridiculous as going to war for no reason at all. For those few slow boats that still don't get what the problem with calling these WMD is; they don't work!
Of course, this is all about approval ratings and elections. At this point, democrats enjoy a 16 point lead going into the midterms. Rick Santorum's opponent, Bob Casey, has an 18 point lead. Hoekstra's seat seems to be safe for now, but his Chairmanship of the Intelligence Committee is not.
So that's what this is all about - election year lies.