A point I brushed on in a recent post about WMD’s and Iraq, what if the Bushies had planted WMD’s in Iraq and declared them to be Saddam’s? The plan wouldn’t even need to come from the Whitehouse itself (though I’m still surprised that Cheney hadn’t loaned some from his personal stock (he could always have gotten them back afterwards). It could have come from some creepy CIA guy or elsewhere. Who knows. Maybe it’s because nobody felt comfortable asking the others if they were planning to do it, and they kept assuming that someone else was working on it behind the scenes. After all, one important thing about conspiracies is that you tell as few people as absolutely necessary.
But just think about how differently things would have played-out, had they successfully planted WMD’s in Iraq. Would you be nearly as smug now about the properness of the Iraq war, had they found a bunch of anthrax or something? What if the anthrax had been a good match for the stuff that was used in the big scare after 9/11? Sure, that would be some evidence that it was a batch of our own stuff planted there, but the wingnuts wouldn’t listen to any of that and would be entirely insufferable about the whole thing. And the more anyone touched upon the idea that we placed it there, the more they’d throw the Conspiracy label at us and insist that it showed our own fringy freakiness.
Or say some clandestine CIA guys bought a few suitcase nukes from the Russian mafia and planted them deep in one of Saddam’s palaces. Rather than this being way kooky, I’m honestly surprised it didn’t happen. The fact that it didn’t happen is somewhat comforting, in that it would seem that these things aren’t as easily done as I had been led to believe. I guess Hollywood has lied to me again. But again, perhaps they all had assumed that someone else was working on it, and now it’s just too late to do anything about it.
But maybe not. Wouldn’t it change the whole equation if a whole bunch of anthrax turned-up, or the suitcase nuke? Sure, knowing what we know now (and which scientists we nabbed and “persuaded” to tell us everything they knew and more), it’s fairly unlikely that it could be legitimate. But that wouldn’t stop the wingnuts from touting it from every mountaintop as proof of their rightness.
And the media would stampede over anyone who tried to detract from the best story to hit them in years. And it would have served as an entire justification of everything that’s happened in Iraq after the war. Hell, Bush would have been more likely to completely abandon Iraq, had WMD’s given him the justification he needed for invasion. That’s one of the weird things about this war. They didn’t need to be right about everything. All they needed was to be right about something. Either the WMD’s had to turn-up, or democracy would need to flourish. It just never occurred to any of them that they’d so clearly miss the mark on both accounts. Even now, they’re loath to consider the possibility.
And another possible reason for why the Bushies never did this could be that they really did believe all their hype about huge stockpiles of WMD’s. Sure, they knew that we didn’t have the intel to justify these claims, but they thought the invasion would surely bring the justification they were looking for. So perhaps they didn’t think to plant anything because they really did believe that it was all there. And I find that to be the scariest proposition of all. As with everything the Bush Administration does, I’d much rather believe them to be evil liars than to believe that they’re as wholly incompetent as they appear. Because the one worse thing than evil leaders with excessive powers, are incompetent leaders with excessive powers who want to be evil.
But the most likely scenario is that anyone who was important enough to want this done and could have taken the initiative to get it done would have had much too much to lose by engaging in such risky plans, while anyone who would have been willing to take the risk would have been waiting for the orders to do so. Where are the G. Gordon Liddy’s of today? So they were all stuck having to rely on reality to bring them their WMD justification, and as usual, reality really let them down bigtime. These guys really only excel when they get to make shit up, and sending in phony WMD’s was much too reality-based for them. Why, if these damn pansies were around in Nixon’s time, I betcha they would have waited for the Democrats to bug their own phones.
And whatever it was, I’m confident Cheney has privately cursed-out everyone in the government and intel community for not taking care of this. Surely he’s too cowardly to attempt to influence anyone to take this initiative. But it’s quite doubtful that he hasn’t seriously wished they had.
But that really is the problem we have with Cheney: His butt can’t cash the checks his mouth writes. And were he able to do so, we’d probably all be better off. Rather than desperately struggling to con any little drop of power from the presidency, he could be off in the real world being evil in his own private company. Even his evil stint at Halliburton was due entirely to his government contacts and ability to bullshit. He could never create an empire like that on his own. He had to rent somebody else’s. Simply pathetic.