Clapper on Iraq WMD

In his book Facts and Fears: Hard Truths from a Life in Intelligence James Clapper provides an excellent succinct rebuttal to the prevalent – and absurd – claim that Saddam Hussein pretended to have WMD programs when he really didn’t:

In the years that followed, I’ve heard many, including some in the Intelligence Community, theorize that Saddam Hussein had bluffed his way into a US invasion, that he feared Iran more than the United States, and that he wanted Iran and other neighbors to think he had chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons programs, to intimidate them and to prove to his own government and people that he was firmly in control, defiant to the world, and a force in the region. This theory holds that he purposely built facilities to look like WMD sites, and that he deliberately moved trucks on and off those sites prior to UN weapons inspections to create the illusion that he was hiding a covert weapons program. This was not, however, the case. The theory accords far too much credit to Hussein and doesn’t attribute the failure where it belongs—squarely on the shoulders of the administration members who were pushing a narrative of a rogue WMD program in Iraq and on the intelligence officers, including me, who were so eager to help that we found what wasn’t really there.

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