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Balanced Fare: We Report, You Deride

Sunday, August 31, 2003

Crazy Like A Fox

From the LA Times:

...U.S. and allied intelligence agencies have launched a major effort to determine if they were victims of bogus Iraqi defectors who planted disinformation to mislead the West before the war.

...Hussein's motives for such a deliberate disinformation scheme may have been to bluff his enemies abroad, from Washington to Tehran, by sending false signals of his military might. Experts also say the dictator's defiance of the West, and its fear of his purported weapons of mass destruction, boosted his prestige at home and was a critical part of his power base in the Arab world.

Hussein also may have gambled that the failure of United Nations weapons inspectors to find specific evidence identified by bogus defectors ultimately would force the Security Council to lift sanctions imposed after the 1991 Persian Gulf War. U.S. officials now believe Hussein hoped to then covertly reconstitute his weapons programs.

Well, the scheme was evidently not as carefully calibrated as Saddam might have hoped, since we invaded anyway. So, was Saddam just crazy? Who knows? My candidate for "crazy like a fox" is Jeff Hauser, who aired the "he was bluffing" theory back in early June. Yesterday's wild leap is today's CW.

MORE: I have never before heard of the Power and Interest News Report, but this is on topic.

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