February 15, 2006


Secret Saddam WMD Tapes Subject of ABC Nightline Special (Sherrie Gossett, 2/15/06, Cybercast News Service)

Secret audiotapes of Saddam Hussein discussing ways to attack America with weapons of mass destruction will be the subject of an ABC "Nightline" program Wednesday night, a former federal prosecutor told Cybercast News Service.

The tapes are being called the "smoking gun" of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in Iraq. The New York Sun reported that the tapes have been authenticated and currently are being reviewed by the U.S. House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

The panel's chairman, Rep. Peter Hoekstra (R-Mich.), declined to give the Sun details of the content or context of the recordings, saying only that they were provided to his committee by former federal prosecutor John Loftus.

Loftus has been tight-lipped about the tapes, telling the Sun only that he received them from a "former American military intelligence analyst." However, on Wednesday he told Cybercast News Service, "Saddam's tapes confirm he had active CW [chemical weapons] and BW [biological weapons] programs that were hidden from the UN."

On Tuesday night, Loftus told Cybercast News Service that ABC's "Nightline" would air an "extensive report" on the tapes Wednesday night. Loftus also described an ABC News "teaser," which reportedly contains audio of Saddam Hussein discussing ways to attack America with WMD. "Nightline will have a lot more," said Loftus.

The tapes are scheduled to be revealed to the public Saturday morning at the opening session of The Intelligence Summit, a conference which brings together intelligence professionals from around the world.

Before the show begins tonight, let's try to guess the ways in which Nightline will turn this into a "Bush Lied" expose.

Posted by Matt Murphy at February 15, 2006 9:08 PM

normally fox would get this kind of treat, so maybe they are testing abc a bit. if anything, abc should counter-program against the tired old bush lied meme, and go for the bush is vindicated meme. they won't of course, but that would be the smart move.

my guess: "see ? saddam was just a braggart and bush fell for it, like a rube"

Posted by: toe at February 15, 2006 10:47 PM

According to Peter Hoekstra, House Intelligence Committee chair, there are 35,000 boxes of unexamined evidence from Iraq. Sitting somewhere.

No word from leading Democrats (or most Republicans, for that matter) on the 'right to know'. But you can be sure that if this stuff were in English, highlighted in color to reflect priority, the media still wouldn't want to report it, and most in Congress wouldn't want to release it to the public.

We all knew it was just a matter of time before the trail on the WMDs was found. The left made its bet on the UN before the war even started, and most Democrats initially hedged theirs by voting for the war. By the fall of 2003, they were back-tracking (as Howard Dean became a national figure). Now they have embraced the myth completely, forgetting all of their public statements from 1998 - 2002.

It was a sucker's bet.

Nightline will probably say that Saddam's talk was just a ruse to maintain his postition in the Arab world, and to intimidate Bill Clinton. But, who knows? - in 30 minutes (from when I write this), they may just start the collection process.

Posted by: jim hamlen at February 15, 2006 11:07 PM


That's was my hunch, too. They'll say: Saddam's so out of it he didn't know he lacked WMDs, just like George W. Bush.

Over to you, Jack Murtha.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at February 15, 2006 11:09 PM

How about this:
Sadam was an unfortunate victim of circumstances. He knew there would be a terror attack on U.S. soil (don't ask how), and feared he would be blamed (don't ask why).

Posted by: jd watson [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 15, 2006 11:10 PM

The pre-show report certainly doesn't sound like there's a "smoking gun."

Posted by: nobrainer at February 15, 2006 11:12 PM

This crap is just pathetic propaganda.

Posted by: Bartelson at February 15, 2006 11:16 PM

Yea, but you've gotta admit, Karl Rove is danm good to have gotten Saddam to make this tape while Bush was still only governor of Texas.

Posted by: John` at February 15, 2006 11:38 PM

As long as the tapes about wmd programs are all 1995 or earlier, there's nothing here we didn't already know.

Posted by: David Cohen at February 15, 2006 11:38 PM

1.)Saddam reportedly muses on how easily Washington could be attacked with bio-agents, but then adds that the Iraqi government would never do it (No, that's what his al Qaeda pals were for.) See; Saddam is a man of peace!

2.) We obtained these tapes without a warrant. Impeach Now!

3.) We forced Saddam to make these tapes after his capture. Rove held him on a leash and Dick Cheney threatened him with a shotgun until he complied.

4.) These recordings were made on audio tape. And tape is made from petro-chemicals. And petro-chemicals are made from...the Oiiiillllll!

5.) There's a 15-min. gap where Harriet Miers "inadvertantly" depressed the erase pedal.

6.) I question the timing. Just when our greatest living statesman, Al Gore, goes to Saudi Arabia to apologize for Sept. 11, the White House leaks these tapes.

Posted by: Noel at February 15, 2006 11:49 PM

Only ABC brass could lead off nightline Wednesday with the "uproar in Washington" over Dick Cheney.

Then comes Saddam himself and Tariq.

But, this news episode does seem like a test of ABC's willingness to become a serious news provider.

Posted by: John J. Coupal at February 16, 2006 12:10 AM

"Terror” is a term that rightly arouses strong emotions and deep concerns. [Long, repetitive, boring quote from Noam Chomsky snipped. In sum: the US causes terror, the US is thus a terrorist state, the war on terror is thus hypocritical and our enemies are only reacting rationally to our own previous actions. The US government is Satan, and Ronald Reagan is its prophet. dgc]

Posted by: Noam Chomsky at February 16, 2006 1:35 AM

Prof. Chomsky:

Thank you for that long analysis, although I admit to not having read it, as I already know in advance what your position will be on any subject even tangentially concerning America.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at February 16, 2006 1:59 AM

"The constructive ways have to begin with an honest look in the mirror"

Why yes, yes it does Noam (and kb)

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at February 16, 2006 2:16 AM

Y'know, I started out my previous essay by saying that facts matter, and that clarity matters.

I've been thinking about that... is that really true? Maybe I was too hasty when I wrote that.

But no, facts are facts, and truth is truth. In the interests of clarity, I guess that I should say that my previous post kind of got away from me, I didn't intend to write such a long and rambling post...

I've been meaning to pick up a book on effective communication, I have a feeling that with proper editing and a lot of practice at writing with an engaging style, I really could produce something of worth, something that would make people take notice.
But really, that's not very relevant, (so I guess that it fits in with nearly everything else I've ever written, LOL), and anyway I'm getting kind of hungry - I was thinking turkey on whole wheat with tomato, fresh spinach leaves, and basil, maybe some soup...

Ach, I'm drifting again.

What I really wanted to say, that I forgot to in my previous post, is that I support the troops, I really really do, even if Bush is evil and won't send me a personally autographed head shot of himself.

Oh, and if I were in prison, I'd really like to be Chow Yun-Fat's "girlfriend".
(Not that I spend much time thinking about that, maybe only twenty or thirty minutes a day).

Well, either him or Ioan Gruffudd, it's hard to choose.

Posted by: Noam Chomsky at February 16, 2006 3:19 AM

Doesn't everyone just **love** cut-and-paste trolls.

Posted by: jd watson [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 16, 2006 4:44 AM

This is the new online dramatization of Bram Stoker's "Chomsky," in which an ancient vampire from Massachusetts goes about on the Web by night, sucking the bandwidth out of innocent bloggers.

Posted by: Mike Morley at February 16, 2006 6:49 AM

How to spin it against Bush?

Bush knew that Saddam has a WMD program and was planning to target the US, and he attacked Afghanistan first. He ignored the threat of WMDs. Shocking! Irresponsible! The neocons were so blinded by a thirst for revenge for 9/11 that they ignored the more pressing threat...because of the delays, those WMDs made it out to Syria. Perhaps even Iran! And our troops are so quagmired in Iraq that they can't do anything about it now.

Posted by: Keith R at February 16, 2006 6:52 AM

Matt, you took the words right out of my mouth.

Posted by: Mikey at February 16, 2006 8:00 AM

these leftists do like to run on. crack heads all.

Posted by: toe at February 16, 2006 10:18 AM

Matt, you are a delightful addition to our resident experts.

Posted by: erp at February 16, 2006 10:45 AM

Erp, you're great too. Thanks.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at February 17, 2006 12:11 AM

I did read Prof. Chomsky's dissertation, but I was surprised he didn't mention Adnan Khashoggi.

Posted by: ratbert at February 17, 2006 1:02 AM


"Dissertation" is definitely the right word.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at February 17, 2006 4:29 AM

so how did abc do ? anyone actually watch the show ?

Posted by: toe at February 17, 2006 2:59 PM


Not a whole lot that we didn't already know, which is to say an awful lot the media chooses not to emphasize.

(At one point, though, one of Saddam's aides told him to just give the word and they'll ratchet up WMD and chemical-weapons production. Hard to believe people think this guy wasn't a threat.)

Posted by: Matt Murphy at February 17, 2006 4:35 PM

mm: thanks for the update

Posted by: toe at February 17, 2006 9:52 PM