Saddam's Confessions - Given Saddam Hussein's central place in the American Consciousness over the last couple decades and particularly in recent years, I found 60 minutes' interview with FBI interrogator George Piro pretty fascinating.
As the verdict of Butler Report into the intelligence used to justify the war in Iraq, draws near in Britain, a senior intelligence source reveals that MI6 took the "rare step" of withdrawing the intelligence assessment that underpinned the claim that Saddam had continued to produce WMD (an admission that such information was fundamentally unreliable), however Blair did not tell the public "that the evidence of WMD was crumbling beneath him". [Watch the Panorama programme in question here for 7 days from 11-7-2004] The Dossier that Lord Hutton declared was not sexed-up (leading to senior BBC resignations), Dr Brian Jones (former head of the nuclear, chemical and biological branch of the Ministry of Defence's Defence Intelligence Staff) says was sexed-up, and details exactly how.
If Saddam Hussein were to use chemical/biological weapons in an Iraq conflict, how safe would soldiers in the field be? The Department of the Defense says "no problem", but some of the men on the ground seem to believe otherwise. The gear the soldiers will use to protect themselves and their water supply appears to be old, prone to failure while the training received in the usage of these tools looks inadequate. It could be the return of "Gulf War Syndrome" (PDF).
'The guy who tried to kill my dad.' Setting aside partisan bickering, this description of Saddam Hussein by George W. Bush today sent my mind reeling. Is this in reference to something published in the past that is just escaping my mind? The Reuters version of the story adds that it is reference to "an Iraqi plot to kill former President George Bush after the 1991 Gulf War." Anyone have a link to that older story?
Who the heck cares if Saddam Hussein gets a nuke? Not Pat Buchanan, who provocatively suggests we have little to fear from an Iraq armed with a nuclear weapon. Pat's isolationism and fundamentalism are obvious, so let's examine the specifics of his argument instead: "Stalin acquired nuclear weapons in 1949, but did not blackmail us out of Berlin. Mao acquired nuclear weapons in 1964, but did not blackmail us out of Taiwan...[F]or him to threaten us with it would invite annihilation...Why would Saddam, who sleeps in a different bed every night to stay alive, risk the utter destruction of himself, his family, his dynasty, his monuments, his legacy?"
Molly Ivins wraps it up nicely and ties a bow on top. When Dick Cheney was CEO of the oilfield supply firm Halliburton, the company did $23.8 million in business with Saddam Hussein, the evildoer "prepared to share his weapons of mass destruction with terrorists."
Does invading Iraq require more than declaring Saddam Hussein "evil"? The New York Times reports public opposition from people not easily labeled Brie-sucking scared-of-war libyerals -- people like Henry "Bombs Away" Kissinger and Brent Scowcroft. Meanwhile, hawks argue that not attacking after all Bush's rhetoric would "produce such a collapse of confidence in the president that it would set back the war on terrorism." [registration required]
Middle East war predictions "..what we are witnessing looks like joint preparations by the Palestinian Authority, Syria, its Lebanese client, Iraq, and Iran, for war on a regional scale, against both Israel and U.S. interests. I fear we may face a major, sudden, external assault on Israel, meant to precede U.S. action against the Saddam Hussein regime in Iraq, and indeed prevent the U.S. from going there by enmiring it in the defence of Israel. [From The Ottowa Citizen, lead link in today's Wall Street Journal Best of the Web]