Tuesday, October 12, 2004

CYBERCAST NEWS SERVICE returns to the documents found in Baghdad which allegedly prove Saddam's efforts to get WMD, and his links to al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden. They've just published the documents they referred to one week ago (I have no post of this in English, but I wrote about it in the Spanish edition of Barcepundit). Although the images file format is not ideal, over at Hispalibertas they're doing almost a forensic analysis (link in Spanish); Manel says the documents do appear to be at least credible. Honestly, a verdict is out of my reach; unlike Manel, I can't speak, nor read, a word in Arabic.

In any case, the question is how these documents relate to what the Duelfer reports stated. Obviously, they still might be bogus and then the story would die. But we definitely can't rule out the possibility that they're legit and then, why weren't they used by the US administration to counter the political damage caused by the fact that there were no evidence found of stockpiles in Iraq? If the documents are true, why didn't Duelfer mention them in his report?

The most obvious explanation is that the documents were found by someone who thought that if he followed the regular procedure ('putting' them in the established intel circuit so that they could be translated and analyzed by the personnel doing that task), the issue wouldn't probably surface before the presidential election. There's a huge backlog of millions of documents which have already been found but which must be analyzed yet, something that on the other hand has led quite a few people to claim that Duelfer maybe jumped too fast with his conclusions; after all, you can't rule anything 100% out until each and every one of these documents are fully translated, and this won't happen at least in several months.

An almost as obvious explanation is that whoever found the documents feared that giving them to the Duelfer guys, that is, the CIA, might mean that the documents just might be, in the most charitable possibility, put at the bottom of the pile everytime they reached the top part of it when the previous one had been translated. It's notorious the almost open hostility by Langley's old guard towards a White House that, for the first time in history, doesn't let them cut the cake in everything. To top it all off, a White House that has let them appear as responsible for the intelligence fiasco regarding Iraq. The same hostily against the Bush administration would also explain why the documents have appeared not in a top-notch news organization; after what happened with the Swiftvets and Rathergate, it's quite likely that also on this issue the mainstream media would have tried to cover this up till the election so as not to damage 'their' candidate, Kerry. So the fact that they surfaced on a non-MSM might just be a kind of guerrilla tactic; by short-circuiting the established media the issue could grow up -with the help of the pajama-clad bloggers, of course!- until the big guys simply couldn't look the other way any longer (go, pajamahdeens, go!).

A more macchiavelan theory was put by Manel in his previous post when he first wrote about this last week: after all, the best way to make something that would justify the White House's decisions with the public opinion appear credible is that White House is not who maked the evidence surface. So, is that one of the evil Karl Rove's perverse tricks?

It's still early to know if the documents are real or not, and if they are what's the explanation why they appeared just now and where they did; we'll have to follow this closely for any new development. As of now, I'm more and more confident they are good, since none other than the respected scholar Walid Phares, who has seen them with his own eyes, thinks they are.