Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Pinocchio's Plight

One of the myriad problems with hyping, manipulating, distorting and fabricating intelligence in order to bolster your case for war is that in the future, your credibility will be badly damaged - possibly beyond repair. Practically speaking, it is a near-sighted and counterproductive exercise. A strategic blunder of sizable dimensions. Consider, for example, this not altogether insignificant contention by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld:

"Weapons clearly, unambiguously from Iran have been found in Iraq," he told a Pentagon briefing. "It's a big border. It's notably unhelpful for the Iranians to allow weapons of those types to cross the border." He did not provide further specifics.
-Pentagon Briefing, August 9, 2005

Rumsfeld's dilemma, and to a larger extent, the dilemma facing the United States' foreign policy apparatus writ large:

"We said [Iraq] had a nuclear program. That was never any debate."
-Donald Rumsfeld, July 13, 2003

"He has at this moment stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons."
-Donald Rumsfeld, Sept 18, 2002

Secretary Rumsfeld was even more specific, claiming that the Iraqis were 'moving them to different locations as often as every 12 to 24 hours and placing them in residential neighborhoods.' He also made this statement: 'We know where they are. They’re in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south, and north somewhat.'" [emphasis added throughout]
More on tattered credibility here.

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