It was a little jarring to hear Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) insist that Saddam Hussein “had weapons of mass destruction,” and may have moved the stockpiles “over into Syria.” I immediately double-checked the date, and sure enough, the comments came yesterday.
To clarify, those making remarks like these in August 2003 were foolish. For anyone, least of all an elected member of Congress, to repeat such things out loud in August 2013 suggests Louie Gohmert may, in fact, be made of wood.
Alas, he’s not alone.
Rep. Lee Terry (R-Neb.) said on Thursday that he is against military intervention in Syria, even though his “gut feeling” is that the Syrian government now possesses chemical weapons that came from fallen Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.
Terry, who has served in the House since 1999, supported the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003. In an interview on Thursday with Omaha radio host Tom Becka, Terry said Syria was a completely different situation.
“The theory then and the evidence was that Iraq was an enemy of the United States and had direct plans in either support of al Qaeda and/or with other weapons that we found out weren’t there – which I still think they were moved to Syria,” said Terry. “And it wouldn’t surprise me if some of the chemical weapons that have been used by Syria actually came from Iraq.”
The Nebraska Republican added, “[W]e all we know that Iraq had … chemical and biological weapons and then they weren’t there.”
You’ve got to be kidding me.
It’s painful to realize that there are still members of Congress who are confused about the basics, even now, a decade later.
But in case Reps. Terry and Gohmert see this, let’s spell it out: Iraq’s WMD stockpiles didn’t exist. There’s no reason to believe the weapons were moved to Syria since, once again, they didn’t exist.