Thursday, April 12, 2007

Congressman Souder Continues Misinformation Campaign About Iraq WMDs

Craig, from Reverent and Free, recently blogged about a local newspaper interview with Indiana congressman Mark Souder where he continues to spread lies, misinformation and half-truths about the Iraq war. I cannot believe he continues to get away with this nonsense. Let's look at a list of quotes from the interview:

1. Souder says:
Originally, Souder said, there was a 60 percent chance Iraq had developed weapons of mass destruction.

I actually remember him saying something similar during the 2006 congressional debates and couldn't believe that Hayhurst didn't flat-out disintegrate him afterwords. Last time I checked nobody said "there's a 60% chance Iraq has WMDs" before the war.

Cheney said:

Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction. There is no doubt he is amassing them to use against our friends, against our allies, and against us.

Powell said:
"My colleagues, every statement I make today is backed up by sources, solid sources. These are not assertions. What we are giving you are facts and conclusions based on solid intelligence."

Ari Fleischer (press secretary) said:
"We know for a fact that there are weapons there."

Need I continue? I must have missed the speech where Souder stood up and said that there was only a 60% chance and that Cheney, Powell, et al were wrong.

2. Souder says:
Now we know they were developing weapons to hit 12 targets in the U.S. We've seen the maps with targets."

There is absolutely NO EVIDENCE of this whatsoever. The US sent 1400 people (Iraq Survey Group) to search for any and all evidence related to Saddam's weapons programs at a cost of approximately $1 Billion and what did they conclude?

Saddam Husayn ended the nuclear program in 1991 following the Gulf war. ISG found no evidence to suggest concerted efforts to restart the program.

I guess Souder forgot to read the report.

3. Souder says:
New intelligence indicates the Iraqis had the capability to launch missiles loaded with chemicals and biological "back packs."

No it doesn't. Again, if Souder would've read the report that we spent $1 Billion on he would see that it says:

ISG uncovered Iraqi plans or designs for three long-range ballistic missiles with ranges from 400 to 1,000 km and for a 1,000-km-range cruise missile, although none of these systems progressed to production and only one reportedly passed the design phase.

4. Souder says:
"They had sarin gas," Souder said. "If they would have hit here, it wouldn't be a couple of hundred people dead, like in Japan (on a Tokyo subway in 1995), but tens of thousands."

This is the most egregious example yet and can only be described as fear-mongering. He knows full well that the sarin shell found was a relic. Of course if he doesn't know then once again he should've read the ISG report:

While a small number of old, abandoned chemical munitions have been discovered, ISG judges that Iraq unilaterally destroyed its undeclared chemical weapons stockpile in 1991. There are no credible indications that Baghdad resumed production of chemical munitions thereafter, a policy ISG attributes to Baghdad’s desire to see sanctions lifted, or rendered ineffectual, or its fear of force against it should WMD be discovered.

The people of this district can no longer give Mark Souder a pass. As Craig points out, he is either incompetent or a liar - either way he must go. The next Democratic candidate to face him (run Dr Tom run!) must call him to task on these distortions...

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