May 24, 2004
STOCKPILES AND GOALPOSTS: My earlier post on articles about Bush’s failure to find “stockpiles” of WMD led to some emails from readers noting that the Administration did talk about stockpiles before the war. That’s true, and it’s also true that they haven’t found them. But unless you think that the Sarin shell, and the mustard gas find the week before, were both one-offs, I think they indicate the likelihood that such stockpiles did exist before the war, and may well still do so. (Read this post at Blaster’s and scroll up and down from it). It’s that indication that’s the key, and focusing on the failure to find “stockpiles” now is wilfully obtuse.
This post by David Hogberg, which I linked a while back, has more on the goalpost-moving subject.
UPDATE: Reader Daniel Aronstein points out that Security Council Resolution 1441 doesn’t talk about “stockpiles” but about “any” and “all” weapons (and programs and facilities for developing weapons) of mass destruction. Here’s a collection of the various resolutions. It’s worth reminding people — again — that the burden was on Saddam, found by 1441 to be in material breach, to prove his innocence, and that nobody thought he’d met that burden.