Friday, January 30, 2004
Krugman's memory hole: Do you remember when U.N. chief weapons inspector Hans Blix reported to the U.N. that Saddam Hussein had no weapons of mass destruction and that he had complied with U.N. resolution 1441? No. Well New York Times columnist Paul Krugman does.
Surely even supporters of the Iraq war must be dismayed by the administration's reaction to David Kay's recent statements. Iraq, he now admits, didn't have W.M.D., or even active programs to produce such weapons. Those much-ridiculed U.N. inspectors were right. (But Hans Blix appears to have gone down the memory hole. On Tuesday Mr. Bush declared that the war was justified — under U.N. Resolution 1441, no less — because Saddam "did not let us in.")
Maybe Krugman is referring to Scott Ritter? That's the only explanation I can come up with -- after all even Saddam apparently believed he had the weapons -- because he'd ordered his scientists to make them.
True, Mr. Kay still claims that this was a pure intelligence failure. I don't buy it: the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace has issued a damning report on how the threat from Iraq was hyped, and former officials warned of politicized intelligence during the war buildup.
The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace has issued a "damning report." Hmmm....does it include this information?
An August 2002 report from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace said Iraq "almost certainly does have large numbers of chemical weapons and some biological weapons."
Krugman also touches on the Hutton report.
(Yes, the Hutton report gave Tony Blair a clean bill of health, but many people — including a majority of the British public, according to polls — regard that report as a whitewash.)
So, the "enlightened" British public thinks the report is a whitewash -- and that's evidence that it is? So, if I remember correctly a majority of the American public believes (incorrectly) that Saddam Hussein was definitively linked to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, then it must be true. Unless public opinion polls are only valid when they agree with Krugman.
These people politicize everything, from military planning to scientific assessments. If you're with them, you pay no penalty for being wrong. If you don't tell them what they want to hear, you're an enemy, and being right is no excuse.
I've said before, I think CIA director George Tenet should go, but Krugman's not interested in Tenet, he's got bigger fish to fry. But it's interesting that the smear machine hasn't been cranked up against David Kay. After all, he didn't tell the Bush administration what it wanted to hear.
On the other hand, maybe Krugman is wrong -- I'm just saying it's a possibility.