(Washington, D.C.)—The upcoming Saddam Hussein trial could mean big problems for the U.S., warns a former senior White House and congressional aide.
Despite the “assumption” that “Saddam Hussein’s upcoming trial will validate the Iraq War,” warns Robert Weiner, a former Clinton White House public affairs aide and spokesman for the House Government Operations Committee, “Watch out. The trial, on the world’s biggest stage—starting as soon as next month—could easily backfire and go haywire from the U.S. government point of view.”
“The trial may allow the former Iraqi dictator to publicize some obscure but extremely sordid aspects of the U.S. relationship with him and make a very public defense against the validity of the constantly changing reasons for the current Iraq War,” Robert Weiner, former spokesman for the House Government Operations Committee, asserted in a column featured in today’s Boston Globe.
Weiner, now president of Robert Weiner Associates, an issues strategy think tank, was joined by Alexis Leventhal, a research analyst for Robert Weiner Associates, in writing the op-ed, “Saddam’s Secrets.”
The authors assert, “Saddam was a horrible tyrant who led a regime that killed hundreds of thousands of his own people with chemical weapons. However, he could point out that U.S. interests were protected when he was in power and remind the world of U.S. and European support and arms to Iraq during the Iran/Iraq conflict. Even more embarrassing to the U.S., he could bring out that the CIA used and paid him beginning as early as 1959.”
Weiner and Leventhal agree with DOD testimony to Congress June 23, foreshadowing the trial, that Hussein conducted “tyranny for three decades.”
However, Weiner and Leventhal point out that “the charges against him, including killing huge numbers of Kurds, possessing and constructing weapons of mass destruction, and invading Kuwait, make it clear that these actions were from fifteen or more years ago—before the first Gulf War, fought and resolved.”
“Did he have any significant link to al Qaeda? No, says the 9-11 Commission.”
“Did he have current WMD’s? No, says everyone now.”
They continue that it will sadly be “embarrassing to the U.S.” that “his lawyers will point out that as requested, Saddam submitted a report – some 12,000 pages -- to the United Nations stating he had destroyed all WMD’s. We did not want to believe him, but the report turned out to be true. He’ll then point to Secretary of State Colin Powell’s absolute statement to the U.N. showing WMD locations which turned out to be vacuum factory trucks.”
The authors stress that “the Trial will spotlight that we had nothing new for the new War in Iraq -- little to explain it other than rationalizations after initial reasons evaporated.”
(Source: Robert Weiner Associates 301-283-0821 or 202-329-1700)