Funny, didn't the Bush League tell us the search for Saddam's weapons of mass destruction was just beginning? The President himself said on board the Abraham Lincoln that there were "hundreds of sites" yet to be investigated, and even Dubya wouldn't dare lie to the world while standing on the deck of a vessel named for Honest Abe, would he? Then on May 7, a Rumsfeld underling said only 70 of about 600 sites had been searched.
Yet the Washington Post reported Sunday that sources inside the 75th Exploitation task Force, the guts of the US weapns search team, say they're packing it in next month. They haven't found anything, and they don't expect to find anything. "Why are we doing any planned targets?" one officer asks. "Answer me that. We know they're empty."
The hunt will continue under a new Iraq Survey Group, which the Bush administration has said is a larger team. But the organizers are drawing down their weapons staffs for lack of work, and adding expertise for other missions.
Interviews and documents describing the transition from Task Force 75 to the new group show that site survey teams, the advance scouts of the arms search, will reduce from six to two their complement of experts in missile technology and biological, chemical and nuclear weapons. A little-known nuclear special operations group from the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, called the Direct Support Team, has already sent home a third of its original complement, and plans to cut the remaining team by half.
This has to be especially disappointing for the Bush League and their apologists because not only was their forged "proof" that Saddam possessed WMDs crucial in getting Congressional and international support for the invasion, it was essential to the thin veneer of legitimacy that supposedly distinguished the campaign from what it appears now to have been all along: a war of naked aggression.