A Nation at War

Jeff Koopersmith

Up, Up and Away!
Mobile Weapons Labs? Nope... balloon filling machines!
By Jeff Koopersmith

June 13, 2003 -- NEW YORK (apj.us) -- One wonders what's up at the New York Times these days. It has not seen fit to report a story today that should be splashed as a front page headline.

Sunday, the London Observer reported that George W. Bush's only in-hand prize -- two so-called "mobile weapons labs" which supposedly were, or could be, or might be, or damn well have been used to create germ warfare weapons of mass destruction -- are nothing of the sort .

They are not, it seems, mobile germ warfare labs at all, but merely trucks used to produce hydrogen to fill artillery balloons, according to a British scientist and bio-weapons expert.

Underscoring this conclusion is an official British investigatory team which concluded that the two trailers found in northern Iraq are not mobile germ warfare labs, as is yet claimed repeatedly and proudly by President Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair of England. The Observer writes:

Instead, a British scientist and biological weapons expert, who has examined the trailers in Iraq, told The Observer last week: 'They are not mobile germ warfare laboratories. You could not use them for making biological weapons. They do not even look like them. They are exactly what the Iraqis said they were -- facilities for the production of hydrogen gas to fill balloons.

Both Bush and Blair have been using these mobile labs in defense of the war against Saddam Hussein -- and to silence condemnation of their failure to produce the hundreds of tons of weapons of mass destruction upon which justification of the war against Iraq was predicated by British and American officials.

Karl Rove, now safely tucked away in a Texas lair planning the re-election of George W. Bush, must indeed be in a near state of shock. This story has "legs."

Later this week, two of British Prime Minister Tony Blair's cabinet ministers, Robin Cook and Clare Short -- who resigned over the Iraq war -- will give evidence to the Foreign Affairs Select Committee of the British House of Commons about British intelligence manipulation.

Tony Blair and his mouthpiece Alastair Campbell are planning to beg to be excused from testifying at the House of Commons hearings, and may have to be forced to do so. Blair will instead sacrifice his Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw, who is expected to give evidence a week after Cook and Short testify - this, I imagine, to give Blair time to conjure up a remarkable rebuttal or time for the "coalition of the willing" to plant some real weapons on or near Iraqi soil.

To: The Editors
From: Steve at AOL
Date: 6/17/03

Let's every one send a balloon to the White House -- to make fun of them AND make a point!

Meanwhile, in Washington, the Republican-led House of Representatives and Senate have refused to investigate at all, and are instead holding closed-door "hearings" to decide what to cover up next.

Despite this valiant effort, watch for Republican congressional leaders to abandon the White House -- first slowly, and then in a tidal wave once the British testimony begins to unfold.

As a pitiful addendum to this ridiculous drama, it turns out the Iraqi army's original artillery balloons system was sold to it by the British firm, Marconi Command & Control.

Could it be more humiliating?

JEFF KOOPERSMITH is a political consultant, opinion research authority, policy analyst, and self-described "renegade lobbyist."

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