Re: Naming Names


It's still too early to be certain about this. Returning to my Tony Blair defense, I just can't imagine that Blair is still defending the supposed WMD evidence if he doesn't believe in it.

Is this part of my post-colonial hangover, that I can imagine Bush having "spun" flimsy evidence into a case for war, but not Tony?

If the government lied to us in this way, I would put that right up there with treason. I might still have agreed with war w/o the WMD evidence. But I think it should be a capital crime to lie systematically and purposely to the American people in order to send our troops into combat.

What is the maximum penalty we could see if this were ever documented?

(Not jumping the gun -- just curious.)


Posted by: Magik Johnson | Link to this comment | 06- 9-03 12:19 AM
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From the Post article:

Thielmann said he had presumed Iraq had supplies of chemical and probably biological weapons. He particularly expected U.S. forces to find caches of mustard agent or other chemical weapons left over from Saddam's old stockpiles.

"We appear to have been wrong," he said. "I've been genuinely surprised at that."

A) We still have the, "if Saddam didn't have 'em, why did he stubbornly refuse to cooperate with the inspectors and thereby avert invasion" theory; B) even the witness for the prosecution believed they had WMD.

The African uranium scandal seems to be of a different sort. Haste, incompetence, but less nearly treasonable than the deliberate and systematic distortion we fear.

I agree that this issue continues to heat up, but it's not yet to a boil. Let's all we have to do is watch it...

Posted by: | Link to this comment | 06- 9-03 12:31 AM
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This really is a mystery. I also believe Saddam had the weapons, and, call me credulous, but I don't think people were lying. That's why I've been trying to get away from the unlikely "they knew he didn't but said he did" to the still important "they exaggerated intelligence to make their case." And it's important to keep in mind that the latter charge is plenty grave.

As for what could happen, I think the Clinton impeachment gave us a pretty good clue that there's nothing like settled law here. The House can cook up whatever charges it wants. I'll go out on a limb and say it won't ever be called a "capital" offense in the Congress, but a worst case lying scenario could certainly lead to impeachment and removal from office. But that's basically a political calculation, and so far, not many people care even about a little lying.

Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 06- 9-03 9:04 AM
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