Thursday, March 20, 2003

It seems likely that Saddam Hussein is still alive, in spite of the Bush administration's publicly-expressed doubts. In fact, the administration may not actually have any doubts at all; indeed, for all we know, they may never have had any reliable information about the Iraqi leader's location in the first place. As it turns out, merely claiming to have successfully targeted the top Iraqi leadership is useful regardless of those leaders' reaction. If they respond by going into hiding, then their survival is cast into doubt, and the credibility of their command is thus reduced. On the other hand, if they make a deliberate show of being alive and well, they risk exposing information about their whereabouts that may be used to track and target them in the future.

One could even say, in retrospect, that if the alleged intelligence information that led to the cruise missile strike had never existed, it would have behooved the CIA to have invented it.

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