I have been trying to go to bed for an hour, but something about this NYT Iraq nuke story was just nagging at me and I figured if I didn’t blog it now I would never be able to get to sleep.
When President Bush made his case for the Iraq invasion, he gave many reasons, but the major one was WMD. The two things that stuck in my mind from those speeches he and Colin Powell and others made at that time were the references to Saddam’s torture techniques, particularly the “rape rooms”, and the point made by Colin Powell about how easy it would be for Saddam to pass off deadly anthrax or other chemical or bio weapons, to terrorists. I don’t remember the numbers, but I do recall being shocked at the estimates of how many people could be killed by just one small briefcase full of one of the deadly chemical or bio weapons. Remember that the deadly anthrax mail attacks followed shortly after September 11, so it was still pretty fresh in most people’s minds.
Chris Matthews, on the other hand, has repeated over and over and over and over and over and over (get the point?) again that what sold the American people on this war was Dick Cheney and the “mushroom cloud” reference. It may be a product of his generation that the nuclear reference is the one that stood out to him, or it might just be his almost obsessive disdain for Dick Cheney. He has beat Cheney over the head for years now with the “fact” that we discovered that Iraq had no nuclear program and there was no nuclear threat presented by Saddam Hussein. I can’t help but wonder, now that the New York Times has supported Dick Cheney’s pre-war argument, if Chris Matthews will admit that he owes Cheney an apology.
Okay, I don’t really wonder. The guy is a broken record on this subject and won’t admit anything. I have seen him interview Stephen Hayes and others presenting evidence of WMD and terrorist ties in Iraq, only to have Matthews end the segment with some statement about there being no evidence of WMD or terrorist ties in Iraq. I could pull up some of the Matthews quotes about Cheney’s statements on the nuclear threat from Iraq, or I could just pull up one and then put little “ditto” marks after it about a thousand times for the same effect. Instead I will just go on to bed so I can wake up in time to see that apology. Rip Van Winkle would probably awaken before that one comes through though.
Update: The morning network “news” shows I saw barely mentioned this story, and the ones that did didn’t mention the reference to Saddam being so close to having a nuke. Instead, what GMA spent an extended opening segment on was the resignation of some preacher I have never heard of and how all the evangelicals are either voting Democrat this time around or staying home. Have. To. Stay. On. Message. Can’t. Let. News. Divert. Attention. From. Democrat. Talking. Points. Same old, same old on the networks. It is up to the new media, once again, to get the story out there. Here are a few bloggers doing an excellent job spreading that message:
Captain Ed who has been posting the translated Iraqi documents for months.
Jim Geraghty uses the headline all the old media should be using, but will never even come close to, and even utters the word “yellowcake.”
Doug Ross Journal — breaks it down with pictures and makes it easy for anyone, even a network news anchor, to understand.
Betsy Newmark has a good roundup of commentary.
Jim Hoft, predictably, has an excellent post featuring some of those Iraqi documents being discussed.
Update II: Hilarious! Dan at Riehl World View has found an Iraqi document sent from John Kerry to Saddam. This is “spit take” funny.
Update III: The Anchoress is brilliant, as usual. ” Ohhhhhh crap! And freaking bloggers!”