I’ve just been watching Chuck Schumer tell Imus that “90%” of the intelligence indicated that Saddam Hussein had no WMD, while “10%” suggested that he did – and that Cheney et al. decided to go with the 10%.
If that were true, how would it have been possible to get the entire UN Security Council to vote for Resolution 1441 — which gave Saddam one last chance to disclose where his WMD were, and to destroy his WMD in a manner verifiable to weapons inspectors?
Perhaps Imus sincerely doesn’t know that every major intelligence service in the world – including the British and the French — believed Saddam had retained his WMD. Perhaps he doesn’t know that the Duelfer Commission concluded that whatever Saddam did with his stockpiles (it’s still a mystery), he retained both the ability and intent to recreate WMD as soon as he thought the coast was clear.
But it is not conceivable that Schumer has missed that information.
Also, he must know that there was no intelligence at all – as far as I’m aware – that said that Saddam didn’t have WMD. Rather, there were those CIA and State analysts who were unconvinced that the intel on Saddam’s retention of WMD was conclusive. They were right: It was not conclusive. We didn’t have conclusive intel one way or the other. We had sketchy intel, based on satellite photos and almost no reliable human intelligence.
So a decision had to be made: Act against a potential threat (with more than a dozen additional reasons to carry out the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998) or cross our fingers and hope for the best – the prevailing U.S. policy toward terrorist threats pre-9.11.