Is it peculiarly tragic or perhaps not-so-peculiarly tragic that Christopher Hitchens ends up an apologist for, among others, Karl Rove, latter-day practitioner of the peculiarly Southern version of smash-and-trash politics honed by his mentor Lee Atwater and other such worthies? I'm not sure if Tom Watson or Orestes Brownson is the best precursor for the arc. But let me focus in on one of his points in his piece today in Slate carrying water as noted above.
Here he claims among other things that Iraq really was interested in getting its hands on Nigerien uranium.
That's based on? Well, the British Butler Report of course, notwithstanding the fact that the Butler Report doesn't exactly say that or the fact that the Butler Report itself can be shown without great difficulty to be intentionally misleading about the British reliance on those same forgeries to come up with their claim about an Iraq-Niger connection.
He even throws in the spoon-fed bit of disinformation that appeared in the Financial Times back in June 2004. This was the story about the shadowy gang of central African uranium smugglers who'd conspired to sell uranium to more or less every rogue state in the world.
But why mess with preliminaries? The Iraq Survey Group more or less owned Iraq for more than a year, had access to all the evidence leading up the war, all the evidence in Iraq, all the scientists arrested by the US military, everything we've learned since the war. And, as Ivo Daalder pointed out a few days back, the ISG concluded that Saddam's regime had not sought uranium either at home or abroad since 1991, period.
What else is there to say?