Does Mueller’s Greenlighting of False WMD Intel Compromise His Investigation of Trump?
WILOTI (What I Learned on the Internet) — Annals of False Equivalency
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Bad actions by bad actors have taken center stage, with the President of the United States in the center of a three-ring circus. Impeach the Don the headlines scream and only the most shellshocked, disheartened, vindictive, self serving, or impervious would disagree. And yet Trump’s ratings remain as steadfast as the Qanon belief that 9–11 was a pizza delivery job and the faithful’s covenant that coal belching will reverse global warming.
One point made by an acquaintance on Facebook that I found hard to immediately refute was the grave lack of judgement, if not fatal character flaw, in what Brandon DeGraff has called Mueller’s “frivolous lie” on Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq.
The top-ranked Medium article on the subject (ouch) explains that Mueller’s green lighting of faked intelligence led to protracted military quagmire and was but a precursor to Mueller’s Wikileaks-verified involvement in Russia and the Uranium One deal.
All good so far (wish I knew more about Uranium One) but then comes this awkward construction: “How can he be trusted now when he made such a frivolous lie that swept this nation into perpetual wars after wars? Is Mueller the next distraction from yet another plot? Yes, my research has shown that it’s in the emails.”
I’ll let you draw your own conclusions, but my take is the writer either has a tin ear or is part of the tinfoil hat crowd.
Let’s skip the also highly ranked Wonkette article “Uh Oh, Has Robert Mueller Been a Naughty Boy?” altogether. Well-researched or not, I have no idea of the quantities of rage juice that must be ingested to come up with lines like “Keep barebacking that chicken, Sean Hannity, some day you’ll get an egg.”
Wonkette-approved Politico’s March, 2018, take on what was then a hot-button controversy suggests that it was President Donald Trump’s lashing out at Mueller personally, on Twitter, that stirred up the crazy-eyed faithful. The trolls and seekers of the easily Rick-rolled went into “political campaign-style opposition research” mode. Within a matter of hours, the highly partisan Drudge Report had stories about Mueller bungling the FBIs anthrax investigation, as well as covering up of the FBI’s 1980s dealings with Mafia informant Whitey Bulger. This went onto Sean Hannity’s Fox News show like clockwork, for maximum exposure.
At the least, there appears to have been a Tweet-down attempt to defame Mueller. That said, there is one aspect of the allegation that makes me feel uncomfortable. This has to do with the question of whether Mueller lied or falsely presented documents that led to the green lighting of what any simple observer could see Bush was itching to do after 9–11 — invade Iraq and Afghanistan.
The major question is the level of Mueller’s participation in the famous misdeclaration that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction (WMD), which gave the green light for a unleashing of military whuppass/(whoops?).
Focused on domestic threats, the FBI is not traditionally known for its statecraft. However, let’s start with a March, 2018, Russia Today (RT) article, which if not unbiased is at least not pulling any punches about where it comes from. “Reminder: Liberal hero Robert Mueller lied about Iraq’s non-existent WMDs” reminds us that the “liberal love affair with Mueller is a rather recent phenomenon.” So far so good, there was a recent New York Times editorial on the nature of politics and the expediency driven Democrat alliances with those such as Flake and Sessions who would otherwise be well outside the collective safe space.
The incident that has raised a red flag involved Mueller testifying before the Bush administration as FBI Director. His February 11, 2003, testimony supported the evidence recently presented by Secretary of State Colin Powell, that Baghdad had failed to disarm WMD and was “willfully attempting to evade and deceive the international community.” A particular concern was that Saddam Hussein might supply terrorist networks with a variety of weapons of a biological, chemical, and radiological nature.
The RT article goes on to tick off Mueller’s problematic investigation of the 2001 anthrax mailings, resulting in six years of wrongful incarceration, and his oversight of an FBI gone wild, in which “thousands” of people in the United States — particularly those of Arabic origin — were “rounded up” as part of the bureau’s post-9/11 “anti-terrorism” efforts.
This is not an opinion without some basis in truth, though problematic in that it comes at a time when Mueller’s investigation is one of the major checks on Trump’s ambitions to extend his fiat when it comes to rounding up and deporting a much broader swathe of people.
The next source is CNN which has up a transcript of Mueller’s February, 2003, testimony before the Senate Select Intelligence Committee just prior to the US entering Iraq. Mueller describes Iraq as one of the seven state sponsors of terrorism that are active in the US and support organizations that have targeted US citizens.
After a brief shoutout to CIA Director George Tenet and Secretary of State Colin Powell on the evidence presented on WMD last week, Mueller goes on to focus on the details of how the FBI has reorganized, reshuffled, recalibrated, and expanded its efforts against terrorism within domestic borders. His focus is what is being done domestically to prevent another 9–11 from occurring––as might be expected from an FBI director. He concludes with the statement: “To successfully continue to address all of these threats, the FBI is committed to remaining flexible enough to adapt our mission and our resources to stay one step ahead of our enemies.”
There are certainly many questions regarding FBI overreach in the wake of 9–11 attacks to be answered. With regards to Mueller’s investigation, did his early 2003 testimony influence the September 24th, 2002, approval by Congress of a resolution that allowed President George W. Bush to start war with Iraq? That’s an intelligence test, if not a trick question.
Let’s look at a March 31, 2003, Annals of National Security article by Seymour M. Hersh in the New Yorker, “Who Lied to Whom?” According to Hersh, the September, 2002, advocacy of preemptive war was primarily orchestrated by George Tenet and centered on the reported interception of a high-strength aluminum tube shipment that was to be used for centrifuges that create “yellow cake” uranium. Depending on the processing method, this could be used for fueling nuclear reactors or enriching nuclear weapons.
In addition there was a Tony Blair-provided dossier that laid out evidence that Iraq had attempted to acquire significant amounts of uranium from an unnamed African country. Colin Powell stepped in and provided evidence that this uranium came from Niger and this created support among Democrats for a congressional mandate allowing the President to invade Iraq and Afghanistan.
By March 7, 2003, a month after Mueller’s testimony, it became clear that this evidence had been faked and was essentially used as a prop by the Bush government to gain authorization for military activities that would otherwise have been difficult to get through the still powerful Democrats. Robert Mueller is only mentioned at the end of the article, with Senate Intelligence Committee senior Democrat Senator Jay Rockefeller requesting that Mueller, in his capacity as FBI director, investigate the forged WMD documents.
On the face of it, without plumbing the depths of Robert Mueller’s life, let’s chalk this “controversy” up to the Annals of False Equivalency.
•The Damon Arvid blog Endurancewriter