Well, a lot of people are talking about the latest news about the Iraq invasion. It seems that one of the key intelligence sources — an Iraqi defector who worked with German intelligence and code-named “Curveball” — has admitted that he lied when he definitively said that Saddam had mobile chemical and biological weapons laboratories, and factories set up to produce them.
My response? Shrug.
First up, some folks are focusing on his German-assigned code name as an indicator that the Germans didn’t trust him from the outset. I dismiss that one; it’s long been known that intelligence agencies use random, meaningless code names (unless they want to make it public) to avoid just these sorts of implications from getting out. So I give the name “curveball” as a coincidence.
Far more important, though, I live in an alternate universe.
In my universe, things unfolded a little bit differently. First up, no official in the Bush administration ever stated definitively stated that Saddam had WMDs. They stated — truthfully — that under the terms of the 1991 cease-fire from the first Gulf War, he had to surrender and destroy all WMD stocks, research material, and foreswear any future developments. Further, the burden of proof was on him; we didn’t have to prove he had them, he had to prove he didn’t.
Next, in my universe, the WMD issue was not the whole justification for the invasion. It was not even the main one. It was one of 23 justifications, as passed by Congress (with the votes of such worthies as Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, and John Kerry, among others).
Also in my universe, no one in the Bush administration ever tried to tie Saddam to 9/11. Yes, they cited connections between Saddam and Al Qaeda, but they proved those pretty conclusively. Al Qaeda was just one of the numerous Islamist terrorist groups that Saddam supported.
As I said, that’s how things played out in my universe. How do I tell my universe apart from the universe constructed by the left?