The Associated Press reported yesterday that Dick Cheney had begun spinning the Duelfer report. That's the report that concludes that there were no W.M.D. in Iraq at the time of the U.S. invasion and that, in fact, Iraq was weaker than during first war in1991. Oddly, Cheney cites the oil-for-food program as one reason for the war saying that it was corrupt and that Saddam Hussein was paying off nations in order to get U.N. sanctions dropped. According to Cheney, once the sanctions were dropped, Saddam would restart his W.M.D. program. One problem with Cheney's theory is that the U.S. has a permanent seat on the U.N. security council and, thus, would have been able to veto the lifting of sanctions. Here are some quotes from the report:
"Vice President Dick Cheney asserted on Thursday that a finding by the chief U.S. weapons inspector in Iraq that Saddam Hussein's government produced no weapons of mass destruction after 1991 justifies rather than undermines President Bush's decision to go to war.
"Cheney's comments reflect a GOP strategy to use portions of the report, including abuses of the oil-for-food program, to try to move discussion away from the central conclusions on the absence of weapons of mass destruction.
"Although the report says Saddam's weapons program had deteriorated since the 1991 Gulf War and did not pose a threat to the world in 2003, it also says Saddam's main goal was the removal of international sanctions.
" 'As soon as the sanctions were lifted he had every intention of going back' to his weapons program, Cheney said.
"The vice president said the report concluded that the United Nations' oil-for-food program 'was totally corrupted by Saddam Hussein. There were suggestions employees of the United Nations were part of the scheme as well.' "