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ę AoSHQ Podcast: Guests, Mollie Hemingway and Nathan Wurtzel | Main | Overnight Open Thread (17 Oct 2014) Ľ
October 17, 2014

Bizarre: Insiders Claim That Man Most Responsible for Administration Silence About the Discovery of Saddam Hussein's Chemical Weapons Stockpiles Was... Karl Rove?

You'll have to explain this logic to me.

Then you'll have to explain it to me five or six more times, because this makes no sense.

Eli Lake:

Thereís one man, some Republicans say, who kept the public from learning about the chemical shells littered around the Iraqi battlefield. He was Bush's most important political adviser.

Starting in 2004, some members of the George W. Bush administration and Republican lawmakers began to find evidence of discarded chemical weapons in Iraq. But when the information was brought up with the White House, senior adviser Karl Rove told them to 'let these sleeping dogs lie.'

The issue of Iraq's WMD remnant was suddenly thrust back into the fore this week, with a blockbuster New York Times report accusing the Bush administration of covering up American troops' chemically-induced wounds.

To people familiar with the issue, both inside that administration and without, the blame for the cover up falls on one particular set of shoulders: Roveís.


One might think a politically vulnerable Bush White House wouldíve seized on Santorumís discovery. After all, Bush and his subordinates famously accused Iraq of having active weapons of mass destruction programs.

But at least in 2005 and 2006 the Bush White House wasnít interested. "We don't want to look back," [then-senator Rick] Santorum recalled Rove as saying (though Santorum stressed he was not quoting verbatim conversations he had more than eight years ago). "I will say that the gist of the comments from the presidentís senior people was 'we donít want to look back, we want to look forward.'"

Others remember Rove telling them something similar.

This was (is) a source of tremendous frustration. As American troops secured Iraqi territory after Baghdad fell, there were actually reports in the media of troops discovering mustard gas and other chemical weapons.

But for some reason the Bush Administration never discussed this.

The Democrats then denied it had happened, and the Bush Administration continued refusing to note that chemical weapons were in fact discovered by US troops, and this wasn't even a secret, given that AP ran stories about the caches.

I have no explanation for this, other than some highly speculative conjecture that maybe Bush struck a deal with some other party (like, who knows, Russia) that he'd keep that other party's complicity quiet in exchange for something else.

Anyone have any better conjecture?

We need some explanation. When Obama doesn't tell you the Obamacare rate increases, we know the explanation: He's hiding that information because it would hurt him. Not exactly rocket science.

But when someone covers up a fact that helps him, then one scratches his head to speculate a reason for such a bizarre deception against one's own interest.

Flashback: This old 2004 post from the site (do not comment on old posts! the system will ban you as a spammer!) notes UN Weapon Inspector Charles Duelfer finding 35 mustard gas and sarin shells at the time of the post, and he wasn't done yet.

By the way, the Administration didn't really "cover this up" as the Times claims. They just didn't talk about it.

For example, in May 2004, the media itself reported that US troops had been exposed to mustard gas in Iraq. (Note the links no longer work; but that link had gone to the Yahoo News Site, which usually just publishes AP stories.)

This transcript of a Hardball episode features Chris Matthews and Tony Blankley discussing the discovery of sarin shells.

digg this
posted by Ace at 06:05 PM

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