Crackpot Watch

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"Crackpot Watch"

It’s hard in many ways to express exactly how deeply crackpottery has bored into America’s discourse over national security. Take, for example, Frank Gaffney’s Center for Security Policy. The good news is that most of the stuff they publish isn’t nearly as crazy as the column calling for the nuclear destruction of Iraq followed by Bush installing himself as a military dictator. That said, a good deal of it isn’t that much less unhinged. Caroline Glick, for example, wrote yesterday not merely that she disagrees with Mohammed ElBarredei’s approach to non-proliferation policy, but that he has deliberately “used his power to facilitate the proliferation of nuclear energy for military purposes.” Her key piece of evidence for this claim was a breathtaking bit of up-is-downism:

Take Iraq for example. Right up to the US-British invasion of Iraq in March 2003, ElBaradei consistently maintained that he either couldn’t tell if Iraq was or was not pursuing nuclear weapons, or that he could see no evidence that Saddam Hussein was pursuing nuclear weapons. Indeed, just before the war, in an effort to scuttle US-British efforts to convince the UN Security Council to pass a new resolution approving the use of force against Saddam Hussein’s regime, ElBaradei reported to the Security Council that Iraq had abandoned its nuclear weapons program.

Needless to say, the reason ElBarredei shifted over time from “it’s uncertain” to “there’s no evidence” to “there’s no program” is that there was no program, as became clear the more the IAEA learned about the situation in Iraq. This appeared not on some random person’s website, but in a daily newspaper, The Jerusalem Post, written by the senior fellow for Middle East affairs of a think tank that boasts an endorsement from the Vice President of the United States.

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