I heard him this morning on C-SPAN with Brian Lamb. It’s very interesting that he was perhaps the only one before the war who consistently stated that Iraq didn’t pose an imminent threat to the US and that they didn’t have weapons of mass destruction. Before the war, and prior to hearing him say it in another interview, it didn’t even occur to me that biological and chemical weapons have a “shelf life”. They can expire, like over-the-counter drugs. The man suffered all manner of abuse and harassment, allegations of being “un-American” and a traitor to his country.
Now that David Kay’s report has stated that they’ve found no weapons, and likely never will, Scott Ritter has been completely vindicated. Though their motives may not have been the best, one could say that the French were right as well.
Especially interesting in the Brian Lamb interview was Ritter’s response to a caller who suggested the idea of impeachment. He said the right things about having all the facts, and due process. In addition, he laid out a pretty strong case that Dick Cheney might be guilty of fraud, if he knew some statements he made prior the war to a VFW gathering regarding an Iraqi defector were false.
I especially appreciated the way Ritter placed blame at the feet of Congress for giving the president a free hand to go to war. I’ve always believed that Congress abdicated its responsibility in doing so.
The other valid point he made was that the United States needs to be a fully active member of the UN in order to prevent Iraq from descending fully into chaos. To him, bringing the UN into Iraq did not mean the US completely exiting Iraq.
Overall, a number of the points Ritter made about the war sounded like things Howard Dean has said on the election trail, most importantly that the US isn’t safer as a result of the war in Iraq. Interestingly enough, despite being a self-described “moderate conservative”, Ritter said he was going to devote all of his efforts to getting Bush defeated, despite voting for him in 2000. Hearing more from Ritter in the press about Iraq would be a good thing, especially as the election gets closer.