While the Bush administration focuses on the elimination of the terrorist threat in Iraq, the Saddam-was-no-threat left has remained obsessed with the pre-war months, not only harping on the failures of Western intelligence, but more importantly, advancing a hardened historical narrative. They would have the world believe the Bush administration was not only wrong about the existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, but also lied intentionally and went to war for some unstated cynical reason -- oil, enriching war profiteers, avenging Daddy Bush.
To a large degree, they are succeeding with their revisionist history lesson, and the proof is in the pudding of the polls. Not only does a majority declare that the war wasn't worth the cost to our troops and our treasury, but a majority believes George W. Bush is not honest or trustworthy. When the USA Today-Gallup poll asked if the words "honest" and "trustworthy" applied to Bush in February of 2001, 64 percent said he was honest, while 29 percent said the words did not apply. By April of 2006, the numbers were 41 percent honest, 56 percent dishonest. It's an easy guess that a lot of that turnaround is our failure to find Saddam's weapons of mass destruction.
So it was surprising to Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., and Rep. Peter Hoekstra, R-Mich., who were investigating whispers that weapons of mass destruction have actually been found by American troops in Iraq, to learn the rumors were true. After badgering administration officials for several months, the government gave the legislators a declassified memo stating that some 500 weapons of mass destruction have been found by coalition forces in Iraq, mostly sarin and mustard-gas agents, some of which "remain hazardous and potentially lethal."
But when the legislators released this information, some Bush administration officials poor-mouthed the findings, noting that these old WMDs were hardly evidence of an ongoing post-Gulf War WMD program by Saddam, the fearful scenario that dominated the pre-war debate. Others, like Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, emphatically declared that this was hard evidence. Regardless, this memo packs an important rhetorical punch. How many hundreds of times have our major media told us there were "no weapons of mass destruction" found? And how many thousands of times have leftists jumped off that springboard to an elaborate Bush-lied-people-died jeremiad?
This discovery should be a crucial, corrective turning point to the stuck-in-2003, pre-war obsessives. The hardened historical narrative needs to be amended. There were WMDs in Iraq that could have been used against our troops or acquired by terrorists.
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