Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Remember the trailers

This has become so commonplace that it's almost tiresome, but it's essential to make it public when each one of these revelations comes out.

Remember the trailers? Those trailers captured in Iraq that Bush presented as concrete proof that Iraq had chemical and biological weapons? What he said was:
On May 29, 2003, 50 days after the fall of Baghdad, President Bush proclaimed a fresh victory for his administration in Iraq: Two small trailers captured by U.S. and Kurdish troops had turned out to be long-sought mobile "biological laboratories." He declared, "We have found the weapons of mass destruction."

This announcement was followed by disputes as to the actual uses of these trailers.

Today we learn in the Post that at the time Bush made his statement the military had already analyzed those trailers and determined that they had nothing to do with chemical or biological weapons, and were "almost certainly intended" for manufacturing hydrogen for weather balloons. "Meanwhile, for nearly a year, administration and intelligence officials continued to publicly assert that the trailers were weapons factories."

The typical response of the Administration to these revelations is that we need to be looking forward, and it doesn't help anything to go over the past, so I'll look forward with this: Since we now have incontrovertible evidence on yet another aspect of the rationale for war, how can we believe them the next time they tell us we need to go to war?

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