Dubious Duping

Maybe I’m just dense, but I don’t understand the point of the article in yesterday’s LA Times, in which one “senior U.S. intelligence official” reports that the entire intelligence community is looking into the possibility that “false information was put out there and got into legitimate channels and we were totally duped on it.” The information on Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction supposedly came from Saddam Hussein via double agents, pretending to be defectors and from legitimate defectors who were provided with access to phony information before they defected.

Why? Why would Saddam want the US to think he had bio and chem weapons? Why would he want to give the UN further reason to maintain sanctions on his regime? Why would he want to invite an attack in which he could not help but lose? I’m not a monomaniacal dictator, so I can’t think exactly the way he does, but from what I know of such tyrants, survival seems to be their main objective. How would threatening the rest of the world enhance his safety and longevity?

Not only is that dangerous, but it also doesn’t explain why, if he wanted us to believe in the existence of his WMD programs, some of the documents provided as evidence were such poor fakes. The Niger letters, for example, were such crude forgeries that the IAEA was able to determine their lack of authenticity in just a few hours.

In my view, the only ones who stood to benefit from the bogus evidence was Ahmad Chalabi’s Iraqi National Congress and the PNAC crowd in the Pentagon. That would make sense.