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Still Looking for that Smoking Gun in Iraq | The Nation

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Capital Games

 Washington: a city of denials, spin, and political calculations. The Nation's former DC editor David Corn spent 2002-2007 blogging on the policies, personalities and lies that spew out of the nation's capital. The complete archive appears below. Corn is now the DC editor at Mother Jones.

Still Looking for that Smoking Gun in Iraq

Doesn't the Republican chairman of the House intelligence committee read? In a Washington Post article by Walter Pincus in Friday's edition, Representative Peter Hoekstra, who has succeeded in pushing the Bush administration to start releasing some of the 2 million documents captured in Iraq, said,

Whether Saddam Hussein destroyed Iraq's weapons of mass destruction or hid or transferred them, the most important thing is that we discover the truth of what was happening in the country prior to the war.

Conservatives and war-backers have been howling for the release of all these documents because they believe--or hope--that they will contain a smoking-gun memo showing that Saddam had oodles of WMDs or was buddy-buddy with bin Laden. But so far, no soap. At least not from the first nine documents posted by the military. One actually shows that Iraqi intelligence in August 2002 was looking for Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in Iraq. This suggests Zarqawi was not given office space in Baghdad by Saddam, which is what some war supporters practically have claimed.

Back to Hoekstra. He's suggesting that that wily ol' Saddam destroyed his WMDs or sent them to Syria minutes before the US invaded. But if Hoekstra had bothered to read either the report from David Kay or the one from Charles Duelfer--the two pro-war fellows who headed the postwar search for WMDs--he would know that both concluded there were no significant amounts of WMDs in Iraq before the war and that Iraq's WMDs program were moribund. So there was nothing to hide or destroy. But let's wish Hoekstra well as he looks at each and every one of the two million documents for killer evidence to support the discredited prewar case for war.

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