Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Frank Gaffney... not so "hot"

I try to go for more than a day without quoting Glenn Greenwald, but he just makes it so darned hard. So, this time, I'll link to someone else linking to him. Glenn called foul on Frank Gaffney using the fake Lincoln quote and then Glenn got to confront Gaffney on Faux with host Alan Colmes. It was quite a spectacle as Crooks & Liars has "the tapes" to prove. Here's what Terry Welch thought of it:
On Alan Colmes' show yesterday, Frank Gaffney and Glenn Greenwald debated about Gaffney's column, which used a made-up Lincoln quote to imply that speaking out against the war was a treasonous hanging offense. You should follow the link and listen to the whole thing, because Gaffney simply could not seem to make, or at least support, a single logical point.

[...]

Update: Not only whiny, but a blatant liar
GAFFNEY: The Iraq Survye Group...found, contrary to what Jeff keeps saying, uh, what Glenn keeps saying, that there was a hot production line for chemical and biological agents in Iraq, there were plans to ramp it up when sanctions were lifted (which was immminent) and to place the products of those lines in aerosol cans and perfume sprayers for shipment to the U.S.
Um...
The 1991 Persian Gulf War and subsequent U.N. inspections destroyed Iraq's illicit weapons capability and, for the most part, Saddam Hussein did not try to rebuild it, according to an extensive report by the chief U.S. weapons inspector in Iraq that contradicts nearly every prewar assertion made by top administration officials about Iraq.

Charles A. Duelfer, whom the Bush administration chose to complete the U.S. investigation of Iraq's weapons programs, said Hussein's ability to produce nuclear weapons had "progressively decayed" since 1991. Inspectors, he said, found no evidence of "concerted efforts to restart the program."

The findings were similar on biological and chemical weapons. While Hussein had long dreamed of developing an arsenal of biological agents, his stockpiles had been destroyed and research stopped years before the United States led the invasion of Iraq in March 2003. Duelfer said Hussein hoped someday to resume a chemical weapons effort after U.N. sanctions ended, but had no stocks and had not researched making the weapons for a dozen years.
But even that is speculation, as Duelfer had to admit (PDF link).
Over time, and with the infusion of funding and resources following acceptance of the Oil for Food program, Iraq effectively shortened the time that would be required to reestablish CW production capacity. Some of this was a natural collateral benefit of developing an indigenous chemical production infrastructure. By 2003, Iraq would have been able to produce mustard agent in a period of months and nerve agent in less than a year or two We have not come across explicit guidance from Saddam on this point, yet it was an inherent consequence of his decision to develop a domestic chemical production capacity.
Update: "Hot production line?" Here's what Gaffney said in November:
For the record, I remain convinced that the liberation of Iraq was a necessary and laudable measure to prevent a megalomaniac from handing off to terrorists weapons of mass destruction for the purpose of attacking us and our allies. Contrary to popular belief, the U.S. government has proof that Saddam Hussein had precisely such plans ready to implement. In fact, such evidence was actually documented in the Iraq Survey Group’s final report released last year with much obscuring fanfare about the absence of recovered WMDs.
To the eternal sorrow of Mrs. Gaffney, Frank uses "hot" in exactly the opposite manner the term is used by the rest of America.
As Glenn described it after the fact:

On several occasions, he lost control of himself, even using profanities. Aside from the entertainment value that provides, it illustrates an important point. Gaffney is a professional right-wing extremist. He has been in the Reagan administration, on every television and radio show for years, and is very well-funded by numerous neoconservative funding sources. The fact that he became so shrill and defensive and even frightened reveals that neocons know that America is turning against them and beginning to realize the destruction they have wrought and the culpability they possess for what they have done to our country.

That is why they are so eager to equate criticism of them with treason and to stifle debate. They have not only lost the debate over Iraq and general Middle East militarism, but their continuous extremism and deceit is being exposed, and they fear being held accountable. It is only natural that they want to render criticism of their war and their conduct impermissible.

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