It sounded so scary:
Addressing the UN Security Council on February 5, Mr Powell said recent intelligence showed a missile brigade outside Baghdad was "dispersing rocket launchers and warheads containing biological warfare agent to various locations". Mr Bush was equally alarmist, describing satellite evidence showing that Saddam Hussein was reconstituting Iraq's nuclear weapons programs with his top nuclear scientists, his "nuclear mujahideen". Iraq's deadliest weapons could end up in the hands of terrorists.
"We cannot wait for final proof," Mr Bush said. "The smoking gun that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud."
Doubters were mercilessly mocked:
When Hans Blix, the chief UN weapons inspector, suggested Iraq's WMD program could be more fragmented and degraded, he was pilloried as naive or incompetent.
But that was then....
President George Bush's National Security Adviser, Condoleezza Rice, is now acknowledging that Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program is less clear-cut, and probably more difficult to establish, than the White House portrayed before the war....
According to Dr Rice, the weapons programs are "in bits and pieces" rather than assembled weapons. "You may find assembly lines, you may find pieces hidden here and there," she said. Ingredients or precursors, many non-lethal by themselves, could be embedded in dual-use facilities.
Oh -- and apparently we never found weapons because Saddam has been keeping up with innovations from the world of Western M.B.A.'s:
She had a new explanation too for Iraq's ability to launch these weapons that were not assembled. "Just-in-time assembly" and "just-in-time" inventory, as she put it.
Yeah ... he was making "just-in-time WMDs" ... that's the ticket....
That's from the Sydney Morning Herald; thanks to Thinking It Through, Cursor, and Rational Enquirer.)