Cheney’s Compulsive Obsession with Iraq WMDs & Syrian Nukes


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Even after all of this time and President Bush’s own abandonment of the WMD theme, Vice President Richard Cheney is still convinced that there are hidden WMDs in the Middle East that bear Saddam Hussein’s product mark. A source reported to me yesterday that in the last two weeks, Cheney held forth at a meeting on Iraq WMDs and insisted that they were real and still out there.
Cheney believes that Syria has them — and has been watching closely intelligence streams from a secret “black SIGINT base” that the US has placed in the mountains near the intersection of the Syrian, Turkish, and Iraqi borders.
Cheney’s minions are pushing Congress to sponge up Israeli intelligence assessments about purported Syria-North Korea cooperation on a now destroyed, alleged nuclear site. There are many who doubt Israel’s assessments in the U.S. intelligence community. A consensus has built that North Korea and Syria were cooperating on some machine tool operation to retrofit increasingly sophisticated short range missiles with new capacity, perhaps air burst capacity that could potentially deliver biological or chemical agents.
One of the real puzzles that few seem to have the answer to is exactly why Syria would want a Yongbyon-style nuclear reactor and reprocessing facility even if it could have one. As reported on TWN yesterday, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has stated to Western visitors that “his engineers are so incompetent that if they tried to build a nuclear facility it would become another Chernobyl.”
Whether al-Assad is being truthful or not, I suspect there is some grit in his statement that ought not to be casually shrugged off. Nuclear mishaps in one’s own neighborhood aren’t trivial.
Furthermore, the more dangerous application of a Yongbyon-like facility would plutonium, which can’t be hidden from easy detection. Uranium is tougher to track, but also requires levels of work and capacity-building that the Syrians could never hope to hide. At least for the time being, I’m with Seymour Hersh on the Syria nuke debate.
Nonetheless, there is an effort underway via North Korea nuclear discussions to ferret out what if anything the North Koreans were up to with Syria — particularly on the nuclear front. Arms Control Wonk has a very useful slice up of the North Korea gambit at the moment.
While I think it’s important to sort out the North Korea-Syria dance, I still find it amusing and alarming that Cheney’s frame of reference on Iraq is a mad quest for nonexistent WMDs.
— Steve Clemons


11 comments on “Cheney’s Compulsive Obsession with Iraq WMDs & Syrian Nukes

  1. Syed Qamar Afzal Rizvi says:

    Given the fact that retrospectively a US intelligence report on Iraq’s WMDs has lost its credibility, the new ideological posture of Mr Cheney regarding his continuous obsession with Iraq’s WMDs, thereby involving its linkage to the Syrian nukes, seems a hypothetical matter whose shrouded truth may yet give the US intelligence authorities another emerging trail to confront with.


  2. bob h says:

    Given the example of Osirak in 1981, why would the Syrians even bother with an undefended nuclear reactor placed out in the open? This whole story is b.s.


  3. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Cheney should stick with what he does best – shooting people in
    the face and………”
    Actually, he screwed that up too. I have it on good authority that he was aiming for the guy’s butt.


  4. jon says:

    Cheney’s just pitching a little red meat to the 28% of the country
    that will believe anything, so long as it’s wrapped in an American
    He’s been pretty much wrong about everything else so far.
    Almost best of all (because it’s an awfully big pinata) this feint
    could torpedo the resolution of agreements with North Korea to
    wind down their nuclear program and proliferation efforts.
    Cheney should stick with what he does best – shooting people in
    the face and shredding documents.


  5. JohnH says:

    How sad that the 25th Amendment doesn’t cover replacement of the Vice President due to disability. It could have been a much swifter removal than impeachment. And it would be totally appropriate today–Cheney’s a lunatic.


  6. TonyForesta says:

    Word John B. Cheney is a pathological liar and a potential war criminal. We’ve had total access to all of Iraq for seven years, including Saddam, and all the top military and intelligence assets under Saddams control. Cheney also continues to brute the fictions of al Quaida/Saddam links, and mobiles biological weapons labs (with canvas sides). All of these false claims have been thoroughly investigated, debunked, and rebuked. For the VP to continue pimping this Iraq WMD babel after seven years, is a clear and apparent testament to how bitter, elitist, and wildy out of touch this pathological liar truly is.
    Further, the Syrian allegations if they are true, prove that while the fascists in the Bush government and the pentagons Bush contaminated intel cabals, and the shadow government of private military and intelligence companies FAILED to discover the dirty dealing between NK and Syria, or unearth whatever the facility was that Israel destroyed, and Syria quickly bulldozed in September 2007.


  7. John B. says:

    Cheney, hmmmm…it sure would be nice if someone could tie him up with some court proceedings perhaps along the lines of authorizing torture against the US law and the Geneva conventions or for some of the other crimes he has committed while part of the unitary executive, you know like maybe the ILPA act or something. That way he might not be as free to plan other illegal and nefarious deeds that don’t put out country in the best light and doesn’t represent the will and the authority of the American citizenship…
    On another note, it looks like you have attracted some of that wonderful 6 figure wingnut base to howl about the injustice of it all Steve. You know, all those foreigners that muck every thing up. Good luck with that.
    You have been on a roll today. Great blog. Thank you.


  8. easy e says:

    No surprise when you consider his one-dimensional imperial view of the world: War-U.S. Hegemony-No Diplomacy-Military Victory-War Profiteering-More War.
    Cheney on the Road:
    “….duffel bag stuffed with nonfiction books about military campaigns and political affairs…”
    “Inside the C-17…he was reading Rick Atkinson’s THE DAY OF BATTLE, about the U.S. Army’s campaign to capture Sicily and mainland Italy during World War II. He also was reading a collection of essays about that war and a book about the Revolutionary War…”


  9. FedUp says:

    As a resident of the City of Angels (Los Angeles to all you gringos ūüėČ I am frankly pissed-off about ILLEGAL immigration.
    This city is a nightmare and *our* mayor, Tony Villar, AKA Antonio Villaraigos (an unmitigated thug, who’s planning to be the first Hispanic U.S. President, with the help of Hitlery Clinton) just told the Feds that it can’t round-up illegals here.
    I’m all for defying the Feds when they do things like start endless wars for Israel, or destroy the Bill of Rights.
    BUT, unfettered ILLEGAL immigration is killing the border states and Mexico, this while Mexico herself is cracking down on illegals from her southern border.
    Let’s start with repealing NAFTA and move-on. But I say that for every illegal or anchor child that U.S. tax-payers have to fund, CHARGE MEXICO.
    Mexico sits on a sea of oil, while we have nothing backing our dollar. Mexicans need to stay in their own country and fight against their own oligarchs.
    And many have, as witnessed by the reaction to Calderon’s election, when millions marched on Mexico City in protest. And in Oaxaca, where there was a massive uprising against the Mexican government.
    Illegal immigration is the one issue where the Bush corporate thugs and the CLUELESS lefties get together, the latter not seeming to be able to add well enough to realize that driving down wages destroys the working class. And the middle class in places like Los Angeles.
    One of the things that I found most ironic about the recent Washington Post article about poverty in Mexico, was that many of the Mexicans dependent on remmitances from U.S. (Mexico’s second largest source of income) said that one of the reasons their relatives couldn’t sent money was because they’d lost their houses in the sub-prime collapse.
    Why did they buy houses they couldn’t afford to begin with???
    My friends and I, many making at least six figures, have not bought because we are responsible people.
    Why should we pay for the collapse of the California housing market because people, some of whom are illegal, didn’t think before they bought?


  10. Steve Clemons says:

    citizen — i’m working on a piece on Hillary, Iran and nukes. but since you are so riled up about it, why don’t you launch a blog and draft your own thoughts. I’d love to offer comments on what you choose to write about — and what you don’t.
    have a great day.


  11. citizen says:

    why do you continue to crow about cheney? you tossed your principled analysis into the abyss with your silence regarding clintons nuke chest thumping…did you lend her your bolton outfit from halloween?
    How is clinton different from cheney? doesnt he advocate nuking iran? hasnt he used fear and twisted half truths to mislead in the pursuit of power?
    Please cover your head as your glass house comes down around you….


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