Alan Colmes Suggested Iraq's WMD "Destroyed By Bill Clinton"

On this evening's (December 1, 2005) edition of Fox News' Hannity and Colmes, Alan Colmes misleadingly suggested that many or all of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction were "destroyed by Bill Clinton."

COLMES: ... And Bill Clinton and his pinpoint bombing in the Iraqi facilities in 1998 destroyed many of those weapons that President Bush and Cheney said were there. GEN. TOMMY FRANKS (guest): I also want to point out, there was little doubt in David Kay's mind that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction. I think we all know that he had used weapons of mass destruction on his own people. COLMES: But they were destroyed by Bill Clinton.

Colmes did initially say "many" of Iraq's WMD were destroyed (a problematic claim in its own right), but his response to Gen. Franks clearly implied that Clinton's 1998 strikes eliminated Saddam's WMD. Unfortunately, Colmes echoes a common deceptive talking point. The whole truth? David Kay has stated that he believes that the 1998 Desert Fox strikes simply played a contributing role in dismantling Saddam's chemical weapons. ("Information found to date suggests that Iraq's large-scale capability to develop, produce, and fill new CW munitions was reduced -- if not entirely destroyed -- during Operations Desert Storm and Desert Fox, 13 years of UN sanctions and UN inspections." [link to Kay text]) Biological weapons and nuclear weapons are an entirely different matter. In Kay's 2003 speech, he mentions no such destruction of these weapons as the result of Desert Fox. (In fact, "We have discovered dozens of WMD-related program activities and significant amounts of equipment that Iraq concealed from the United Nations during the inspections that began in late 2002.")By the way, here is what Bill Tierney, an UNSCOM inspector in Iraq from 1996-1998, said in a recent, eye-opening interview in FrontPageMag about Operation Desert Fox (emphasis mine):

"Operation Desert Fox was a perfect example of the uselessness of strike operations. Iraqis have told me that the WMD destruction and movement started just after Operation Desert Fox, since after all, who would be so stupid as to start a bombing campaign and just stop."... It was only after Saddam realized that President Clinton lacked the nerve for anything more than a temper-tantrum demonstration that he knew the doors were wide open for him to continue his weapons program. We didn’t break his will, we didn’t destroy his weapons making capability (The Iraqis simply moved most of the precision machinery out prior to the strikes, then rebuilt the buildings), but we did kill some Iraqi bystanders, just so President Clinton could say 'something must be done, so I did something'."
Dave Pierre
Dave Pierre is a contributing writer to NewsBusters and the creator of TheMediaReport.com.