“Saddam Testimony Vindicates Iraq Invasion” by Jack Kinsella

Up until 2003, the general consensus among Western intelligence agencies was that Saddam surrounded himself with ‘yes-men’ who told him what he wanted to hear and misled him into believing he had stockpiles of non-existent weapons.

We reported on October 7, 2004: “they got the situation exactly backwards. It was Saddam who kept his generals in the dark. Saddam was actually micro-managing Iraq’s weapons policies and kept even his most loyal aides from gaining a clear picture of what was going on — and, more important, not going on — with the program. . .”

“Saddam was convinced that the UN sanctions – which stopped him acquiring weapons – were on the brink of collapse and he bankrolled several foreign activists who were campaigning for their abolition.

He personally approved every [Oil-For-Food voucher]. Saddam focussed on Russia, France and China – three of the five UN Security Council members with the power to veto war. Politicians, journalists and diplomats were all given lavish gifts and oil-for-food vouchers. . . .

Russia, France and China — all permanent members of the U.N. Security Council — were the top three countries in which individuals, companies or entities received the lucrative vouchers. ”

What I want you to pay attention to, almost as much as the content, is the publication date — October 7, 2004. The information itself came from the Iraq Survey Group, headed by Charles Duelfer, who reported the ISG’s findings to the Congress.

Why is that important? Because for the past four years, the politicians, media pundits, political activists and bloggers on the Left have built their worldview around the mantra, “Bush Lied, People Died.”

In the process, they’ve managed to convince a lion’s share of the American public, and the majority of the global public, that the President of the United States knew in advance of the March 2003 invasion of Iraq that Saddam did NOT have WMD and invaded anyway to seize control of Iraqi oil.

This week, CBS “60 Minutes” — perhaps recognizing that it can do the Bush administration no more damage — let the cat of the bag officially, so to speak, running an interview with George Piro, the FBI interrogator who spent nearly seven months questioning Saddam Hussein after his capture.

Piro gained Saddam’s confidence by convincing him he was a high-ranking official of the Bush administration who answered directly to President Bush. Piro became Saddam’s new best friend by ‘smuggling’ him treats like writing materials, snacks and extra toiletries.

That, and the fact that Piro is of Arab descent and spoke perfect Arabic, eventually convinced Saddam to open up to his interrogator.

Saddam told Piro that he was running a bluff because he was certain the US would not invade. Saddam expected something more along the lines of the 1998 four-day aerial attack dubbed “Operation Desert Fox”.

Piro told 60 Minutes’ Scott Pelley, “He survived that one and he was willing to accept that type of attack.”

According to Piro, Saddam wanted Iran to believe he had nuclear weapons because he feared an Iranian attack. If he admitted to the West that he didn’t, the US and its allies might stand down, but he was convinced that Iran would seize the moment and launch their own invasion.

Evidently, Saddam was less worried about his chances with the Americans than he was with the Iranians. Saddam fooled Western intelligence because he convinced even his top generals that Iraq had both a stockpile of WMD and an ongoing nuclear program.

Saddam knew that Western intelligence had compromised his military high command and that they were feeding the West information, so he constructed this elaborate ruse to maintain the fiction.

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 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 Pelley.

I told you earlier to pay attention to that particular OL’s publication date — not to pat myself on the back — the Duelfer Report wasn’t exactly a secret — but to make the following point.

For almost four years, the Left has been constructing an edifice upon which to run this November — “Bush Lied, People Died.” I’ve amused myself during the Democratic presidential debates by listening to the various candidates compete for the title of “Most Anti-American”.

(John Edwards) “I was against the war from the beginning.” (Barak Obama) “Oh, yeah? I’ve been against the war since BEFORE the beginning.”

But my favorite is Hillary Clinton’s slogan, “It’s time we had a leader in the Oval Office that will tell the truth to the American people.”

In 2003, it was at least possible to argue that Bush knew something nobody else did — because nobody actually knew anything to the contrary. The ISG’s Duelfer Report plugged that loophole in 2004.

The effort to paint President Bush as a war-mongering liar, a global thief intent on swiping oil from a defeated Iraq, and a loose cannon on the deck of Good Ship America by America’s own elected officials, was a carefully crafted, deliberate lie — a transparent one, but a lie, nonetheless.

I knew (and therefore, so did you) that it was a lie in 2004 — while the Democrats were still calling the Bush coalition “a coalition of the bribed, coerced and extorted.”

And if I knew, then you can bet your bottom dollar that the Democrats knew it, too. (I don’t get regular briefings from the Senate Intelligence Committee — they do)

Still, this is how Jay Rockefeller, [D-W. Va] and co-chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee characterized it in 2004:

“Despite the efforts to focus on Saddam’s desires and intentions, the bottom line is Iraq did not have either weapon stockpiles or active production capabilities at the time of the war. In short, we invaded a country, thousands of people have died, and Iraq never posed a grave or growing danger.”

Rockefeller knew the truth in 2004. And it IS the truth. Saddam had little reason to lie to Piro about how he fooled the West — or why.

Duelfer told the Senate Intelligence Committee in 2004: “The Iranian threat was very, very, palpable to him [Saddam], and he didn’t want to be second to Iran, and he felt he had to deter them. So he wanted to create the impression that he had more than he did.”

That is exactly what Saddam told Piro.

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