Friday, June 27, 2003

Attention Must Be Paid

Yeah, yeah, and what else isn't news.

Gene Lyons tell us in his latest column, which the Smirking Chimp has kindly posted on his site for us.

Others have asked why General Clark's mention, on MTP, of having been urged to come to the appropriate conclusion about the "Saddam has WMD" intelligence by someone in the Bush administration, didn't get more attention, by Tim Russert at the time, and by anyone else since.

Lyons notices something else that's gone unnoticed:

After acknowledging that banned weapons may yet materialize in Iraq, although nothing resembling the "imminent threat that many feared," Clark reminded Russert of something the pundit - fixated like everybody in Washington on Bill Clinton's zipper at the time - had probably forgotten. "We struck [Iraq] very hard in December of '98," Clark said. "Did everything we knew, all of his [Saddam's] facilities. I think it was an effective set of strikes. Tony Zinni commanded that, called Operation Desert Fox, and I think that set them back a long ways. But we never believed that that was the end of the problem."

Back then, Republicans charged that Clinton bombed suspected Iraqi WMD sites to distract the public from his Oval Office sex antics, as if THAT were possible. But it's beginning to look as if economic sanctions, UNSCOM inspectors and cruise missiles may have done the job.

But you can bet we'll probably never come near to knowing, unless you think that hand-picked team of new inspectors are going to spend much time trying to figure out if some of the missing WMD and the associated infrastructure got taken out by anything associated with the Clinton administration.