How do we know the defector isn’t lying about lying? Maybe he was a double agent for Al Queda or maybe the terrorists got to him and bribed him or threatened to kill his family if he didn’t lie. It seems more plausible then someone betraying their country.
Here’s my question — Yes, he was lying, and I think what he is saying now is the truth. Why didn’t any of the intelligence services using his statements as evidence in 2001, 2002 and 2003 consider this possibility? What is more interesting to me than the fact that he lied is that so many important people were willing to believe him without engaging in critical thinking.
Even if Saddam had WMD, (and up until recently, I though he did but hid them in Syria before we went marching in), that still wasn’t a good enough reason to topple him.
The root of all these problems are white liberal (and also neo-liberal and neo-conservative) fixation on “nuclear proliferation.”
Personally, I think the more countries that nuke up, the less likely it is that any one country will use one against another. Even though I think Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is nuttier than a fruitcake, I don’t think his state of mental health is so borked that he doesn’t grok MAD. Saddam definitely did grok MAD.
I’d say the important people believed him because it didn’t really matter to them whether he was telling the truth or not. Bush wanted war with Iraq, and WMD were as good an excuse as any for it. Had there been no WMD story, he would have found another.
You make a good point, too. After both India and Pakistan nuked up in 1998 or 1999, the Clinton administration, the Blair government and a bunch of activists and media nabobs were predicting disaster and nuclear war.
So far, there has been none. And there will be none, because both India and Pakistan know that if they hit, they’ll be equally hit back.