January 03, 2004


Scott Ritter -- former UNSCOM weapons inspector, Burger King romeo, and Iraq switcheroo specialist -- is now peddling dubious intelligence about dubious intelligence used to lure Britain into war against Saddam:

AMY GOODMAN: Scott Ritter, why didn't you say this before the invasion?

SCOTT RITTER: Look, Amy -- I'm sitting on a wealth of data. You could interview me for a year, and I would come up with something new and dramatic every time you talked to me. Why didn't I pick that particular piece of data? Which piece of data do you want me to pick out of my seven-year experiences of weapons inspector which was very detailed and involved, multifaceted operations around world?

It takes Ritter until eight months after major operations have ceased in Iraq before he gets around to what he now claims is important data that he knew about all along. And he wonders why people point and laugh. In another section of the interview, Each-Way Scott continues his feud with ex-UNSCOM chairman Richard Butler:

I have been very accurate about everything I have said in regards to weapons of mass destruction. I stand by everything that I have ever said. And, you know, I think it's Richard Butler that is the one that the media should start looking at askance whenever he opens his mouth about his investment in the disarmament effort. Because clearly, he is part of the problem. He is somebody who, you know, didn't run a very effective ship when he was the Executive Chairman. He is somebody who stated with absolute certainty that these weapons existed. I have never said that.

Well, he may never have said it. But he sure has written it. Here’s Ritter in his 1999 book, Endgame - Solving the Iraq Problem Once and For All, a copy of which I have in front of me:

I have grown convinced that there has been a total breakdown in the willingness of the international community to disarm Iraq of its weapons of mass destruction. Saddam Hussein is well on the road to getting his sanctions lifted and keeping his weapons in the bargain. A resurgent Iraq, reinvigorated economically and politically by standing up successfully to the United States and the United Nations, will be a very dangerous Iraq -- one that sooner or later will have to be confronted by American military might.

Posted by Tim Blair at January 3, 2004 10:49 AM

"Which piece of data do you want me to pick out of my seven-year experiences of weapons inspector which was very detailed and involved, multifaceted operations around world?"

First off, start with the "known knowns" which he will of course refute with his superior data.
Next, pick out a "known unknown" which he will demonstrate that he alone knew all along.
Then, choose an "unknown known" which he for sure knew but he wasn't going to tell anyone.
And finally, the "unknown unknown" which nobody could possibly know but he's got the "data" anyway.

Posted by: Observer at January 3, 2004 at 11:18 AM

Ritter asks, "Why did the British Government say these weapons existed before the war?" Guess they read "Endgame".

(BTW, I predicted this incident in your "Prediction Time" post. I didn't actually type it out, since I'm sitting on a wealth of predictions and didn't want to leave a huge comment. At the end of 2004 I think I'll have a good track record at predictions.)

Posted by: scott h. at January 3, 2004 at 11:36 AM


Posted by: Donnah at January 3, 2004 at 11:40 AM

Mmmmmmmmm now let me get this straight.

1. Caught up in Police sting involving underage girls and released.

2. Again caught in Police sting involving underage girls, and this time charged.

3. First says Sadam has WMD

4. Later says Sadam has no WMD

I wonder what photos the Baath Party showed him during his last stint in Iraq, for him to change his tune.

Posted by: Jon at January 3, 2004 at 11:46 AM

I too have always wondered if Ritter wasn't dancing to Saddam's tune due to him being a dirty pedo.

Hopefully we'll one day see something 'new and dramatic' in the form of photographs of Ritter with his dick somewhere it has no business being... obviously not literally, I don't want to see the actual damn photos, good lord people.

Posted by: Amos at January 3, 2004 at 12:03 PM

This man is clearly insane. One thing i can't forget about the documentary i saw about the inspections in Iraq, when he was there, was how hawkish the man was. At the end of the documentary (circa 1998) he was praticaly ready to invade Iraq by himself.

Posted by: madne0 at January 3, 2004 at 12:04 PM

Nice get, Tim. Hopefully this is the final nail in Ritter's "expertise" coffin.

Posted by: slatts at January 3, 2004 at 12:16 PM

Here's a review by Daniel Pipes :

"Ritter finally offers his own ideas for "solving the Iraq problem - once and for all," as his subtitle puts it. He sketches out two alternatives to the present policy of containment, one military and the other diplomatic. The military option revives the "Road to Baghdad" plan of 1991: send 250,000 American soldiers to the Persian Gulf, overthrow the Saddam regime, and rebuild Iraq in our image (such as was done in Germany or Japan). Ritter foresees no military difficulties ahead (indeed, he expects American soldiers will spend "more time processing prisoners than fighting the forces of Saddam")."

Holy cow.

Then Pipes reveals something even more fascinating:

"He says it's not feasible because U.S. [Clinton's] policy has so badly undermined the moral and legal cause against Iraq that the conflict has irretrievably eroded into a mere "squabble" between the two countries-and that's not enough to sustain the American populace in war. Even if it were enough, the "current U.S. policy of trying to overthrow Saddam is misguided," because Saddam is a symptom of underlying problems, not their cause. Most surprising of all is this utterly un-Marine-like sentence:"

"While doing business with Saddam is certainly not an attractive idea, when contrasted with the unspeakable horrors of war, or the mindless and morally corrupt policy of indefinite economic sanctions, it does present a lesser evil. "


"And so, with some regret but no doubts, Ritter concludes that a "bold diplomatic initiative, no matter how distasteful," is the only way to go."

"These are, to put it mildly, astonishing statements. War with Saddam is worse than his continued rule? Economic sanctions are more horrible than his getting nukes?"

Wow. He was erratic even in the book you quoted from, Tim.

"Although this policy of capitulation would be regrettable coming from anyone, it is especially unfortunate coming from a person who reports from first-hand experience that "Iraq had lied [to UNSCOM] on every level." After experiencing the reality that "Iraq would go through the motions of disarmament, but not disarm," he now asks for more promises of WMD disarmament? Ritter wants the United States to train the Iraqi military in return for utterly meaningless assurances about recognizing Kuwait? Having learned that Iraq's "anti-terrorist school" was actually a school for terrorists, he wants the U.S. government now to pay for Iraqi economic development? In contrast to this, the much-reviled Clinton policy on Iraq looks positively brilliant."

Posted by: Bleeding heart conservative- Brian at January 3, 2004 at 01:13 PM

I love how belligerent Ritter gets during interviews. "Q: Hey, Bush is a real jerk and you're totally right, how frustrating is it to be in your position?"
"Ritter: Hey, screw off, I'm just fighting against the lies, jerk, I didn't molest any 17 year old girl I met on the internet!"

You can actually feel the veins popping as you read any interviews he does.

Posted by: Matt from Vegas at January 3, 2004 at 04:46 PM

can we all refrain from verbally linking Ritter's pederasty and his "veins popping?" the guy makes me sick enough as it is!

Posted by: dan truly at January 3, 2004 at 05:25 PM

" It takes Ritter until eight months after major operations have ceased in Iraq before he gets around to what he now claims is important data that he knew about all along. And he wonders why people point and laugh. "

May I respectfully ask to be added to the list of people who point and laugh at Mr Ritter?

Posted by: Lloyd at January 3, 2004 at 05:27 PM

Ritter has most definitely said that WMDs existed in Iraq.

WILLIAM SCOTT RITTER, JR.: Iraq still has prescribed weapons capability. There needs to be a careful distinction here. Iraq today is challenging the special commission to come up with a weapon and say where is the weapon in Iraq, and yet part of their efforts to conceal their capabilities, I believe, have been to disassemble weapons into various components and to hide these components throughout Iraq. I think the danger right now is that without effective inspections, without effective monitoring, Iraq can in a very short period of time measure the months, reconstitute chemical biological weapons, long-range ballistic missiles to deliver these weapons, and even certain aspects of their nuclear weaponization program.
Posted by: Sean O'Hara at January 3, 2004 at 05:56 PM

Ritter has always said, and will always say, anything anyone will pay him to say. During the inspections, he kept saying there were more weapons to be found, so he could keep his fat UN inspector's paycheck. Then, once his job evaporated after Saddam threw the lot of them out, he found out that he could still get money by condemning every action the US presidential administration takes. Thus, during the Clinton years, he was the uber-hawk; when Bush was elected, he reinvented himself as a dove as pure as the driven snow. Now that his only claim to fame has been dragged from a spider hole, he needs a new schtick, and has found it in saying "I told you so!" for any journalist credulous enough to ignore the fact that Ritter has made blanket statements to cover every possible outcome in Iraq, including space aliens and divine intervention (the seven years of "information" he is actually drawing upon).

To Mr. Ritter, it's all about the benjamins.

Posted by: Tatterdemalian at January 3, 2004 at 08:28 PM

You know, people say conservatives have no sense of humour. Y'all are hilarious. Seriously! :D


Posted by: Darwin at January 3, 2004 at 10:06 PM

Would I seem crazier than Ritter or darwin if I suggest perhaps Ritter went along with Uday on some of those schoolgirl-raping expeditions, and that's why he's tap-dancing so furiously now? I mean, let's wait for the tapes to show up...

Posted by: ushie at January 4, 2004 at 03:04 AM

I believe ushie has the right idea. He must have incriminated himself in some horrible way to so desparately deny the obvious, as he does now.

Posted by: pbird at January 5, 2004 at 03:12 AM