With sleazy hypocrisy practically oozing from his pores, presidential wannabe John Kerry last week sought political gain by exploiting the memories of dead American patriots, saying, ?They were wrong and soldiers lost their lives because they were wrong.?
What Kerry apparently didn?t explain during his interview with the New York Times was about what exactly Bush and Cheney were wrong, or what would have happened differently for soldiers not to have ?lost their lives.?
Perhaps Kerry was assuming people would know what he meant, since he timed the remarks to the release of the bipartisan Senate committee report that was highly critical of the CIA?s pre-war intelligence gathering.
Conveniently ignored was that the senator based his vote to authorize the war largely on Saddam?s past history and his ties to terrorists?intelligence that, contrary to pack mentality thinking, has not appreciably changed since the war. But even if Kerry had based his position on Iraq?s weapons of mass destruction, his vote would still be justified today.
Rather than rehashing the decision to go to war with 20/20 hindsight?something that is only possible, in many instances, because we went to war and subsequently obtained new information?we should first review what we knew then.
The WMD case against Saddam, as of early 2003, was so substantial that it?s hard to know where to start. The most revealing piece of evidence may be whatever it was Saddam refused to reveal to the United Nations weapons inspectors on the eve of the war.
If Saddam had nothing to hide, after all, why would he stonewall the very people who had the best shot to win him a new lease on life? Not only was this obvious to any objective observer, but the former head of the Iraq Survey Group, David Kay?a man whose credibility no war critic attacks?determined that Saddam?s minions had duped the weapons inspectors.
Also in the final days before the war, there were large, unidentified shipments heading into Syria. Kay, for his part, does not believe that they contained WMDs, but he admits that they easily could have. WMDs don?t need to be physically big in order to be tremendously lethal, and an entire ?stockpile? could have been carted into Syria in these shipments.
One reason to suspect the shipments contained WMDs is that Saddam maintained active WMD programs. Kay confirmed that the CIA was right on this count, although Kay?s multitude of interviews with scientists and other key figures led him to believe that, for a variety of reasons, the programs were not successfully developing chemical and biological agents.
Joel Mowbray, who got his start with Townhall.com, is an award-winning investigative journalist, nationally-syndicated columnist and author of Dangerous Diplomacy: How the State Department Threatens America's Security.
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