I’ve mentioned this before, but I think it’s worth mentioning again. I think this tale illustrates a very important point about Rick Santorum. Data and information do not penetrate his cranium.
Let’s go back to the dark days. We invaded Iraq on March 20, 2003. One of the premier reasons for going to war was that Iraq harbored weapons of mass destruction. We all remember Colin Powell in front of the UN General assembly laying out the case against Saddam Hussein. According to the Bush administration, Iraq had tons of weapons of mass destruction. This included chemical, biological and nuclear weapons.
Many people have discussed the frantic and futile search for weapons of mass destruction in 2003. Thomas Ricks has done one of the best jobs at documenting the search in his book, Fiasco. The fact that President Bush and Vice President Cheney personally got involved in the search is critically important. Judith Miller, New York Times reporter and cheerleader for the war, went to Iraq to personally “show” the military where to look. Yet, there were no weapons of mass destruction found. By late 2003 and early 2004, it was clear that there were no weapons of mass destruction to be found in Iraq. By September 2004, the Iraq survey group announced that they did not find any evidence that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction at the time of our invasion in 2003. More study and more handwringing by the Bush administration revealed even more evidence that there were no weapons of mass destruction at the time of our invasion. Yet, in June of 2006, then Senator Rick Santorum decided that he had found something that nobody else had found, chemical weapons in Iraq. He called a press conference to announce his findings.
Congressman Hoekstra and I are here today to say that we have found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, chemical weapons. It’s a document that was developed by our intelligence community which for the last two and a half months I have been pursuing. And thanks to the help of the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, was ultimately — he was able to get it in his hands, and I was able to look for, and look at.
This is an incredibly — in my mind — significant finding. The idea that, as my colleagues have repeatedly said in this debate on the other side of the aisle, that there are no weapons of mass destruction is, in fact, false.
We have found over 500 weapons of mass destruction. And in fact have found that there are additional weapons of mass — chemical weapons, still in the country, that need to be recovered.
He was on Hannity and Colmes later on that evening waving his victory flag.
Rick Santorum found nothing. The Iraqi survey group had mentioned “a small number of old, abandoned chemical munitions” were discovered after the invasion. For some reason that wasn’t good enough for Rick. He needed more. He KNEW he was right. He was wrong. He showed none of the judgment that one would expect from a Senator. It is clearly not the judgment that we would expect of the president. I find it amazing that people actually sit down and listen to Rick Santorum. When somebody goes that far out of their way to be wrong, it is somewhat mind-boggling. If this were the first incidence of Rick Santorum being way out a limb, you could forgive him, but it is not. Back in 1999, after the invasion of Kosovo, the Clinton Administration was celebrating the victory of NATO forces over Slobodan Milosevic. It was Rick Santorum who called a press conference and stated that he “rejected any notion of a NATO victory.” He knew better. Now, we are beginning to see a pattern. Somehow, some way, Rick Santorum gets this crazy notion in his head and no amount of data is going to change his mind. Rick Santorum is dangerous.