Thursday, January 24, 2008

Sounds About Right to Me

Saddam still wouldn't admit he had no weapons of mass destruction, even when it was obvious there would be military action against him because of the perception he did. Because, says [FBI agent George] Piro, "For him, it was critical that he was seen as still the strong, defiant Saddam. He thought that [faking having the weapons] would prevent the Iranians from reinvading Iraq," he tells [60 Minutes correspondent Scott] Pelley.

He also intended and had the wherewithal to restart the weapons program. "Saddam] still had the engineers. The folks that he needed to reconstitute his program are still there," says Piro. "He wanted to pursue all of WMD ... to reconstitute his entire WMD program." This included chemical, biological and nuclear weapons, Piro says.

That according to the man who interrogated him after his capture. Saddam was caught in the trap of his own bluff. Had it been another time, America likely would have let him stay at the table, bluffing. Of course, sounding about right to me doesn't have to count for very much.

How precious that Saddam, who was hinted to be one of the plotters behind 9-11, seemed to in fact be the only world leader who didn't understand how it had changed all the rules in the America game, at least for a time.

Saddam Hussein initially didn't think the U.S. would invade Iraq to destroy weapons of mass destruction, so he kept the fact that he had none a secret to prevent an Iranian invasion he believed could happen.

... "He told me he initially miscalculated ... President Bush’s intentions. He thought the United States would retaliate with the same type of attack as we did in 1998 ... a four-day aerial attack," says Piro. "He survived that one and he was willing to accept that type of attack."

The part about Saddam's intention all along being to revive his WMD program, and about how he clung to every component of it that he could in anticipation of that day, is hardly new and hardly worth commenting upon, except that it will astonish a great many people who will profess not to believe a word of it.