Skip to comments.Bush may be sitting on Iraqi WMD evidence, FOX analyst says
Posted on 07/12/2003 11:27:50 AM PDT by yonif
The Bush administration may already have hard evidence of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction that it is not sharing with the public, said Lt.-Gen. (ret.) Thomas McInerney, a military commentator for Fox News.
"The administration is willing to take the heat for now," McInerney yesterday told The Jerusalem Post, "then release the information next August." Doing so would put the Democrats who have been critical of the US president's policy on Iraq at a distinct disadvange in the run-up to the presidential election in November 2004.
Along with TV military commentators Maj.-Gen. (ret.) Paul Vallely and Col. (ret.) Jack Jacobs, McInerney came to Israel on Tuesday for a six-day study mission. The program was organized by the Foreign Ministry, the IDF Spokesman's Office, and the America-Israel Friendship League.
On Wednesday, the three commentators met with Deputy Defense Minister Ze'ev Boim. They are also scheduled to meet top IDF brass and tour the separation fence the goverment is building along the West Bank.
When the evidence of WMDs finally sees light, McInerney predicted that a number of countries, including France and Germany, will finds themselves in an uncomfortable diplomatic position.
"We know that these WMDs traveled through Syria," he said. "We know that a lot of these scientists had French passports."
A year before the Bush Administration planned for war in Iraq, McInerney and fellow Fox News analyst Vallely correctly predicted that the invasion would be an air-centered, technologically networked "war of liberation" that would last less than 30 days.
Both were critical of other ex-military officers such as former Army general Wesley Clark, who is now running for the Democratic presidential nomination who, they say, let political opinions paint a dire picture of the war.
"The credibility of CNN went way down," said Vallely.
Journalists traveling with soldiers were not the problem. McInerney said that, when properly used, embedded reporters proved of great value to commentators back in TV news studios.
"The embeds viewed the war through a straw," said McInerney, "but if you gathered up three or four of those straws, you got a general picture of what was going on."
But if one fails to pool together accounts from embedded reporters, the result is stories of a slowdown in the advance on Baghdad and a shortage of ammunition, neither of which happened. McInerney, Vallely, and Jacobs believe that negative coverage of the occupation stems from liberal circles disappointed with the success of the war.
"You have to remember that there's still leftover irritation from the election," said Jacobs, a Medal of Honor recepient and commentator for NBC. "If George Bush came out in favor of worldwide democracy, they would be against it."
Despite Wednesday night's killing of two American soldiers, one near Tikrit and the other near Baghad, Vallely said the occupation "is not going badly."
He notes buses are running, and students have gone back to school. In addition, oil is flowing, and the electrical and water utilities are being restored.
Nevertheless, all three men contend that an Iraqi interim government should have been established before the invasion a position long-advanced by the US Defense Department.
"But the CIA and State Department argued that you first have to get in-country and identify the players," said McInerney.
That Iraqi resistance exists at all, said Jacobs, is due to the rapid collapse of Saddam Hussein's army during the war. Coalition forces simply did not have the opportunity to hammer all his troops. "We are victims of our own success," he said. Jacobs went on to chide the Bush Administration for showing "insufficient ruthlessness" in rooting out pro-Saddam partisans hiding in the "Sunni triangle" of Tikrit, Baghdad, and Fallujah. Private arms held by the population must be confiscated with greater alacrity.
"It is inconceviable that you have people at a funeral shooting their AK-47s in the air," he said.
Vallely warned that Iraq is just one campaign in a larger American war against terrorism. "The next campaign may be against North Korea, Iran, or Syria," he said.
Commenting on Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations, McInerney argued that the US-sponsored road map is a positive development but only as a first step.
"Hope isn't a strategy," the ex-USAF officer said. "You still have to go after the terrorists."
CNN had very little credit when the "war" started
Huh? When did Clark enter the race?
Perhaps they should have checked, rechecked and checked again before commutting American troops.
But I think President Bush better have a different response handy.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.