Whither the WMD?

One often-heard explanation for why no WMD have been found is that “we were all wrong,” followed by a list of other countries that purportedly agreed with the assessment of some parts of the US intelligence community on the dire nature of the Saddam threat. (The other countries generally make the list by virtue of deceptive dating of statements or intentional conflation of all WMD, including chemical weapons like mustard gas, with nuclear WMD.)

David Kay, former chief US weapons inspector, popularized this line of defense when he told Congress in January, “We were almost all wrong … It turns out that we were all wrong.” By which he did not mean “we were almost completely wrong,” but rather “almost everyone was wrong.”

Upon inspection, this claim is simply all wrong and all who believe it are wrong: many authoritive people (e.g., Colin Powell) and agencies (e.g., IAEA) said, before the war, that Iraq either lacked WMD or that whatever WMD it had were not a threat. In a lengthy and important post, Slacktivist has the definitive dissection and evisceration of the “all were wrong” sophistry.