More notes from
the annals of spin and war.
Last night I noted the part of the president's proposed use of force resolution which claimed there was a "the high risk that the current Iraqi regime will either employ those weapons to launch a surprise attack against the United States or its Armed Forces or provide them to international terrorists who would do so..."
Maybe the Iraqis would give WMD to terrorists. Maybe. But does anybody really think Saddam is going to launch a surprise attack against the United States?
It turns out that one White House correspondent also found that line questionable and asked an administration official about it. The administration official -- who was well-placed and in a position to know -- told the reporter that the resolution's original language was much more specific and made clear that the reference was to US interests in the Middle East or military installations in the region. However, late in the process of drafting the resolution that wording got swapped out in exchange for the current, more dramatic language.
The implication from the administration official seemed to be that of course everyone knows that Iraq isn't going to launch a surprise attack against the US but, you know, read between the lines, etc.
Isn't a charge like this -- that a foreign power is likely to launch a devastating surprise attack on the United States with weapons of mass destruction -- not the sort of thing you just toss off like a throwaway line?
But, of course, this is who we're dealing with.