Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Fred Thompson Revisits Wonderland

Today, Presidential candidate and famous person Fred Thompson is taking heat for claiming that Sadaam Hussein possessed WMDs at the time of the US invasion in 2003. Here's another place reporting the gaffe. And another. This is what he said:

"Saddam Hussein, today, had we not gone in, would be sitting on this [powder] keg and be in control of the whole thing," Thompson predicted. "He would have been the new dictator of that entire region in my estimation. He is–was–a dangerous irrational man who, by this time, would have been well on his way to having the nuclear capability himself...

We can't forget the fact that although at a particular point in time we never found any WMD down there, he clearly had had WMD. He clearly had had the beginnings of a nuclear program..."

According to the Des Moines Register, Thompson later corrected himself by saying he had been referring to Hussein's weapons capabilities during the 1980s.

Of course this defense will work wonders, nobody bothered to shove this in his face about the origination of those 1980s-era weapons. (That the United States facilitated the acquisition of those weapons)

Nor has anyone pointed out that this was not the first time that Thompson has claimed that Hussein possessed WMDs in 2003. Those comments, reported by CNN, were documented here, at We Could Be Famous. But of course, the reality is that we're not, (yet!) and the gaffe went unnoticed. Thus, when Thompson repeated the gaffe and later backtracked with a lame justification, the previous and more damning statement from last month was not revisited.

Again, I will provide that passage directly, from September 8th:

Asked if the United States should have waited to go to war in Iraq until bin Laden was caught or al Qaeda was further weakened, Thompson said, “It's not an either/or situation; sometimes you don't have a choice. Saddam Hussein was on the cusp as having defeated the United Nations and the free world and the United States. He had certainly had weapons of mass destruction and had the capability of reviving his nuclear program..."

This quote from almost a month ago invalidates Thompson's correction in the Des Moines Register. Why does Thompson continue to insist that Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction? Why does he continue to insist that Hussein posed an imminent threat to national security? This guy says things that even the Bush administration deception machine has deleted.

Why does the press still let him walk?


Lionel McClure said...

In a little less than 14 hours Cole Hamels will be pitching for the Phillies. In October. Playoffs baby. Playoffs.

Christian R. Conrad said...

In fairness, it must be pointed out that from all transcripts he said Saddam "had had" WMDs, so the explanation about referring to the eighties is not so much a "correction" as a *clarification*.

Because, if you say "in 2003 Saddam HAD HAD WMDs", then that really means "at that point in 2003, Saddam HAD already at some earlier point (like in the 80's) HAD some WMDs". See how there are exactly two "HAD"s (in capitals to make 'em easy to find and count) in each version?