So Much for the “Bush Lied” Delusions
Usually, these are the folks who think Bush is stupid. But here they are positing that Bush was brilliant, that he read the intelligence better than the CIA or Congressional Democrats (some of whom were on the Intelligence Committee and had virtually the same access that Bush did) or Bill Clinton or British intelligence . . . and on and on.
The reality, of course, is that the entire world was fooled, but not by Bush.
From CBS News:
(CBS) Saddam Hussein initially didn’t think the U.S. would invade Iraq to destroy weapons of mass destruction, so he kept the fact that he had none a secret to prevent an Iranian invasion he believed could happen. The Iraqi dictator revealed this thinking to George Piro, the FBI agent assigned to interrogate him after his capture.Saddam, of course, had a history of misjudging presidents named Bush. Perhaps, in 1990, when he invaded Kuwait, it could be seen as a reasonable gamble that the U.S. would no nothing. But Saddam refused to back down even when Bush had a half-million troops in the region poised to invade.
Piro, in his first television interview, relays this and other revelations to 60 Minutes correspondent Scott Pelley this Sunday, Jan. 27, at 7 p.m. ET/PT.
Piro spent almost seven months debriefing Saddam in a plan based on winning his confidence by convincing him that Piro was an important envoy who answered to President Bush. This and being Saddam’s sole provider of items like writing materials and toiletries made the toppled Iraqi president open up to Piro, a Lebanese-American and one of the few FBI agents who spoke Arabic.
“He told me he initially miscalculated... President Bush’s intentions. He thought the United States would retaliate with the same type of attack as we did in 1998 . . . a four-day aerial attack,” says Piro. “He survived that one and he was willing to accept that type of attack.” “He didn’t believe the U.S. would invade?” asks Pelley, “No, not initially,” answers Piro.
Once the invasion was certain, says Piro, Saddam asked his generals if they could hold the invaders for two weeks. “And at that point, it would go into what he called the secret war,” Piro tells Pelley. But Piro isn’t convinced that the insurgency was Saddam’s plan. “Well, he would like to take credit for the insurgency,” says Piro.
Saddam still wouldn’t admit he had no weapons of mass destruction, even when it was obvious there would be military action against him because of the perception he did. Because, says Piro, “For him, it was critical that he was seen as still the strong, defiant Saddam. He thought that [faking having the weapons] would prevent the Iranians from reinvading Iraq,” he tells Pelley.
He also intended and had the wherewithal to restart the weapons program. “Saddam still had the engineers. The folks that he needed to reconstitute his program are still there,” says Piro. “He wanted to pursue all of WMD…to reconstitute his entire WMD program.” This included chemical, biological and nuclear weapons, Piro says.
You don’t just back down and say “never mind” after you have done that, and Bush didn’t. Of course, Saddam might have believed, in 2002/2003 as in 1990/1991 that any willingness to back down or give in would undermine his hold on power.
If so, that kind of thinking cost him his life.