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WMD: Moving at the speed of government (Running Updates)

Pesky details courtesy of Captain’s Quarters:

I think that we have known of a handful of recovered chemical-weapons shells, but not 500. That number has more significance. An artillery company could have laid down a very effective attack on an enemy position, quickly killing or disabling them in a manner outlawed for decades. Of course, that had been the entire point of the UN Security Council resolutions — to strip Saddam of that capability — and he obviously retained it, and lied about it.

Link to DNI memo at Captain Ed’s here.

The good captain and others have raised the question: “why now?” It would be foolish to discount politics, but a casual glance at the memo and accompanying fax suggests to me that the NGIC assessment was only recently completed (“recent” being a relative term but if I had to guess within the last three months, give or take). Author(s) were probably done earlier, but there is editing, coordination, more editing, more coordination, agenda-fitting alterations, etc. It’s very complicated. ;-)

500 shells isn’t why we went into Iraq, though it is a nice appetizer. Throw in the currently translated DOCEX cachet and more left to come, unanswered questions from people who were on the ground, (and a little insider knowledge) and you begin to wonder just how many indications one needs to call that quacking, webbed-footed, feathered creature walking down the sidewalk a duck . . .

Related posts at The Corner here and here.

PS: Way to go Col. C. Long way from HI, eh?

Update I: Listening to Sen. Santorum on the radio talking about how he had to hunt this thing down and pester NGIC and DNI to declass for over two months (so my estimate wasn’t that far off). WTF IMI. And people thought I was nuts when I said no one in the IC cared why we went to war after we went to war. He’s not even on an intel committee! Hello, oversight!!!

Update II: Additional input from Powerline.

Update III: Spook86 at In From the Cold includes some important background and confirms my suspicions about timeline, agendas, etc.

Update IV: Pointing to the Dulfer report as “evidence” that the disclosure yesterday isn’t all that is kind of a weak defense of your position, but if certain quarters want to go that route that’s fine. There are a lot of IC agencies that would love to fill their open billets with that kind of brainpower.

See, when you find large stores of WMD after the “comprehensive” report is issued (from 2003-till recently) it doesn’t prove the discoveries false, it suggests that – as Fezzik says to Vizzini in The Princess Bride– “comprehensive” doesn’t mean what you think it means.

We can do this (clap, clap) if we try (clap, clap) we can do this, if we try v-i-c-t-o-r-y

Update V: They are very smart fellows at the Strategy Page, but I don’t particularly buy the arguments posed here because there are so many ways to address them. Regardless, they deserve your attention.

Michael Tanji

Michael Tanji

Michael Tanji spent nearly 20 years in the US intelligence community. Trained in both SIGINT and HUMINT disciplines he has worked at the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, and the National Reconnaissance Office. At various points in his career he served as an expert in information warfare, computer network operations, computer forensics, and indications and warning. A veteran of the US Army, Michael has served in both strategic and tactical assignments in the Pacific Theater, the Balkans, and the Middle East.