Archive - Apr 25, 2007

SIMPly Unbelievable

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Memo to Dave Gaubatz: YOU ARE WRONG.

I will admit, the last two columns carried with it a certain ulterior motive. Especially yesterday's, in which I documented how Dave Gaubatz and his organization, SANE, are stupid, crazy, and crazy-ass stupid. Now, pointing these things out, and describing the taxonomy of SIMPs to which they belong, was useful all on its own. But it was also a necessary precursor to today's column.

It's important to establish, and keep in mind, that Dave Gaubatz is a crazy paranoid moron who wants to tag and track American Muslims like they were migratory birds in turbans. That the president of SANE longs for the days of white, Christian privilege. And that SANE's mission statement makes no goddamn sense. By keeping all these things in mind, you'll have the proper reaction when you hear that Dave Gaubatz knows where Saddam's WMDs are.

I can tell you're not done laughing yet. That's good. That's the way things should be. I'll wait.

According to an article in the UK's Spectator magazine, Gaubatz says that he found bunkers built under the Euphrates river that Iraqis told him were full of chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons materials. He didn't actually see the weapons, because they were buried under concrete. He told the Iraq Study Group to dig them up, but they didn't. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"They explained in detail why WMDs were in these areas and asked the US to remove them. Much of this material had been buried in the concrete bunkers and in the sewage pipe system. There were also missile imprints in the area and signs of chemical activity — gas masks, decontamination kits, atropine needles. The Iraqis and my team had no doubt at all that WMDs were hidden there." - Gaubatz.

To believe his story up to this point, you have to believe two things - first, the old, discredited saw that possession of defenses against chemical weapons is equivalent to proof of possession of chemical weapons. We all know Saddam had atropine. That doesn't mean he was developing an intercontinental ballistic syringe to inject New York City with it.

And secondly, you have to believe that the Bush administration, the "Iraq Study Group"*, and the US military were so incompetent that, when presented with direct claims that the evidence that would justify the invasion and win the world over was over there behind a few feet of concrete, would say "screw that" and never actually bother to look. Which, I'll admit, is more plausible in retrospect. You'd expect even these bozos to look for proof of their own pet theory, but then, you'd also expect them to make up that proof if they didn't find it, and they didn't do that either.

In any event, Gaubatz claims, Iraqis and Syrians went in, dug up all the WMDs with help from the Russians, and carried them away to Syria. And what's worse, all sixty of his reports on these weapons have mysteriously vanished. So there's no way to even tell when he started pretending this happened.

And the coverup, according to the article's author (Melanie Phillips, who has a bit of the crazy SIMP vibe around her as well), is the product of Republicans ashamed of their failure to secure the materials and Democrats who don't want to admit Saddam had WMDs after all. It's the most compelling argument of the whole deal, which admittedly isn't saying much. It's a reasonable motive, to be sure, but everyone in the administration and Congress agreeing on something? In 2007? Because of common ass-covering self-interest? It boggles the mind.

According to Phillips, Gaubatz's theory did gain some traction last year with a couple of congressmen, Peter Dykstra and Kurt Weldon. You may recall that Peter Dykstra was the fucking genius who thought we could find evidence of Iraqi WMDs if we just let right-wing bloggers look over 40,000 Arabic-language documents on the Internet. So if HE buys into this conspiracy theory, that actually makes it even LESS credible.

And speaking of right-wing bloggers, it's telling that even they seem a bit hesitant to fully embrace Gaubatz's "The black helicopters ate my homework" tale. They're all happy to link to it essentially uncritically, of course. Let their readers make up their own minds if the flattering article (by an ideological cohort about a crazy person (saying things they'd love to believe) is credible or not.

And hey, it's not like people read stuff like this, accept it uncritically, and tell their friends about it. You kn ow, so that between laps at the NASCAR, you'd never ever overhear "Oh, yeah, they found the WMDs. Them Syrians got 'em. Gonna nuke us any day now. Buddy of mine saw it on the news." Just one more tiny fish nibbling away at the fabric of reality. No reason not to point at it without checking to see if maybe the guy making the claims has a lot of other very disturbing irons in his fire.

Sure, we all know we're not supposed to listen to crazy people. But it's OK to listen to someone as long as we don't find out they're crazy. YAY INTERNET!

*That's what Melanie Phillips calls it. As far as I know, the ISG is James Baker's "Hey George, you're fucked" commission established in 2006, and would not have actually been in Iraq, as a group, studying anything in 2003 or 2004, much less getting reports from Gaubatz. Maybe she means the Provisional Authority? Or maybe they're just making shit up.