So why did so many people in so many governments believe that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction?
Saddam Hussein allowed the world to believe he had weapons of mass destruction to deter rival Iran and did not think the United States would stage a major invasion, according to an FBI interrogator who questioned the Iraqi leader after his capture.
And that statement is from FoxNews, which got it from the Associated Press, which got it from CBS' 60 Minutes. No right-wing conspiracy here, certainly not with the inclusion of those last two sources.
The Associated Press spoke to a close aide of Saddam's in August 2003, who said that Saddam did not expect a U.S. invasion and deliberately kept the world guessing about his weapons program, although he already had gotten rid of it.
Saddam publicly denied having unconventional weapons before the U.S. invasion, but prevented U.N. inspectors from working in the country from 1998 until 2002 and when they finally returned in November 2002, they often complained that Iraq wasn't fully cooperating.
The Duelfer Report acknowledges that the program had been halted, but that Saddam was ready to reinstate it as soon as sanctions were lifted.
Piro (the interrogator) added that Saddam had the intention of restarting an Iraqi weapons program at the time, and had engineers available for chemical, biological and nuclear weapons.
The war was legal, just, and right. Despite his faults as Chief Executive, President Bush was clearly the right man in the right job at the right time. For that I am exceedingly thankful.
Update, 1/27/08: Kerplunk has more details, and I like the title of his post: Saddam lied, people died.