Loose Canons

Not Missing: Moved

Saddam's WMD are missing only because we haven't looked for them in the right places.

By 6.13.05

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For those of us who are occasional targets of the Soros-funded propaganda machines, it's encouraging to discover a useful purpose that they can serve. The hyperlib machinery, and the reactions it commands, are as accurate a gauge as I can find to measure the import of the key points of the liberal dogma. As demonstrated by the reaction they manufactured to some comments I made on MSNBC last week, the volume of hate mail the organized hyperlibs generate is directly proportional to the importance they assign to an issue and the weakness of their position.

At issue was the so-called "Downing Street memo," a top-secret Brit document memorializing a meeting in July 2002. The document says that the decision to take military action against Saddam had already been made two months before we took the case of Iraq to the U.N. Security Council. It is as significant historically as Nick Nolte's DUI record, and far less accurate. After Ron Reagan pressed me to admit our casus belli was a tissue of lies, I told him that the fact we haven't found Saddam's WMD proved precisely nothing. That's so, I said, because while we fiddled and diddled in the U.N. for six months before military action began, Saddam almost certainly moved all his WMD and scrubbed away all the evidence of it.

When Reagan pressed me further, contending that none of the commissions investigating the missing WMD said they had been moved, I cited the report of Charles Duelfer's Iraq Survey Group, which spent many months searching for WMD in Iraq. That report, I said, showed the substantial body of evidence that a lot of people, money, and materials, possibly including WMD, were smuggled out of Iraq in the months before March 2003. The destination of these cargoes was Syria. I had touched a nerve: by the time I got home, the "Media Matters for America" blog had accused me of lying, and dozens of nearly identical e-mails (on the intellectual plane of, "liar, liar, pants on fire") were pouring in. I quickly stopped reading them and just hit "delete" when I saw them.

I hadn't merely touched a hyperlib nerve. I had challenged the basis for the hyperlibs' existence: to discredit George Bush and the war at any cost. But the problem, for them, is that I had stuck to the facts. Which are very uncomfortable things, if you're Soros or Howard Dean. Or any of their Michael Mooron drones. Having demonstrated that I can drive them into a fit of apoplectic rage with a 30-second comment on television, the scientific method requires a controlled, repeatable experiment to see how many can be driven to nervous breakdowns with a more elaborate exposition of the facts. In the interest of science, let us proceed.

WHAT I SAID ON MSNBC was, of course, just what the Duelfer's ISG report said, and what Duelfer has said personally and repeatedly in Congressional testimony. You can look it up. On November 17, 2004, Duelfer told the House International Relations Committee that a lot was moved by Saddam's people from Iraq into Syria and no one knows whether or not the WMD were among the shipments to Syria: "I can't confirm anything one way or the other. What we do know is that a lot of stuff was crossing the border before the war. Trucks, but you don't know what was in them. So that's -- you know, I would like to be able to state definitively one way or the other an answer to that. I'm not sure I'm going to be able to." On October 6, 2004, Duelfer told the Senate Armed Services Committee, "...But what I can tell you that I believe we know is a lot of materials left Iraq and went to Syria. There was certainly a lot of traffic across the border points. We've got a lot of data to support that, including people discussing it. But whether in fact in any of these trucks there was WMD-related materials, I cannot say."

Duelfer's report also said that Saddam's Iraqi Intelligence Service "operated a series of laboratories in the Baghdad area" (up to five in that area alone) and that one of them, a clandestine lab in the Baghdad Central Public Health Laboratory, was "emptied of all equipment and documents in December 2002," and that other labs were also found in the scrubbed-clean-of-evidence condition.

The only reasonable conclusion anyone can draw from the Duelfer report -- even if we ignore the other mountains of evidence about Saddam's WMD -- is that Saddam had WMD and in the six months we spent trying to convince Kofi, Dominique, and their pals to act, Saddam's regime moved the WMD, cleaned out the evidence, and did their best to conceal what they had done. That they did so with the active participation of Assad's Syria is also terribly clear.

It is a pity that the embittered hyperlibs can't accept facts or use them to assemble the logical, and inevitable, conclusions to which they lead. When any of them -- Soros, Moore, Dean, Franken, or any of them -- call a conservative a liar, it must create a rebuttable presumption that it is the lib who is falsifying. Not that they care.

Jed Babbin, a contributing editor of The American Spectator, was a deputy undersecretary of defense in the first Bush administration, and now often appears as a talking warhead on MSNBC.

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About the Author
Jed Babbin served as a Deputy Undersecretary of Defense under George H.W. Bush. He is the author of several bestselling books including Inside the Asylum and In the Words of Our Enemies. He is coauthor (with Herbert London) of the new book The BDS War Against Israel. You can follow him on Twitter@jedbabbin.