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Wed Jan 29, 2020, 06:11 PM

The Day I Realized I Would Never Find Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq

I rolled west from Baghdad in a convoy of soft-side Humvees. It was a morning in late June 2003, and I had traded a bottle of whiskey for the use of an American military police detachment as protection for a daylong mission to Abu Ghraib prison. As an intelligence officer for the Department of Energy assigned to the Iraq Survey Group ó the American-led team searching for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq ó I was scheduled to interview an Iraqi prisoner who had been captured weeks before, on suspicion of transporting stolen nuclear material. I couldnít know it that morning, but the interview would entirely change my perspective on Americaís involvement in Iraq, and set me on a decades-long course of struggling with the false narratives used to persuade us to march into that conflict and other ones.

I gripped my pistol tightly as we moved along in the doorless vehicles, occasionally pointing it in the direction of anything that came near the convoy. I had borrowed the weapon ó no more than a party favor in that bacchanal of R.P.G.s and gold-plated Kalashnikovs ó from a fellow intelligence officer, who asked me to return it with all of its bullets.

As we approached the outskirts of the prison, the road narrowed, and we drove through a frenetic marketplace. During Saddam Husseinís long rule, families of Abu Ghraib prisoners had made the area their home, and many stayed there after Hussein had released his prisoners in the lead-up to the war. As our oversize vehicles stalled traffic and disrupted local business, men cursed us and spat on the ground. A butcher stared me in the eyes and hacked deeply into a hanging goat carcass. Children came within an armís length, demanding handouts and laughing mockingly.

Finding the entryway to the prison was a relief ó until an American service member explained that a convoy had been struck just outside the facility by a roadside bomb the day before, severing one soldierís spine. A young guard manning an M60 machine gun waved us in while keeping his weapon aimed in our direction. I hardly felt safer than I did outside ó the place was under a constant threat of attack.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/29/magazine/iraq-weapons-mass-destruction.html

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Reply The Day I Realized I Would Never Find Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq (Original post)
JonLP24 Jan 2020 OP
democrank Jan 2020 #1
Ferrets are Cool Jan 2020 #2

Response to JonLP24 (Original post)

Wed Jan 29, 2020, 06:47 PM

1. Recommended

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Response to JonLP24 (Original post)

Wed Jan 29, 2020, 07:33 PM

2. I read every word of this riveting story

I was struck by this line. "To this day, Iím chastened by the memory of my experience at Abu Ghraib, and Iím haunted by the unknown fate of my interviewee."

jr and cheney haven't lost one moment of sleep over the 1 million children, women and men they caused to be killed in this unjustified war. All they care about is the $$ they made from it and jr being allowed to strut around like some kind of returning hero.
The entire chapter is an ugly stain on the whole of America.

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