Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Saddam's military leaders were shocked to learn they had no WMD

Saddam takes the "Trust No One" X-Files motto to the next level... (via House of Wheels)

NYTimes - Ever vigilant about coups and fearful of revolt, Mr. Hussein was deeply distrustful of his own commanders and soldiers, the documents show.

He made crucial decisions himself, relied on his sons for military counsel and imposed security measures that had the effect of hobbling his forces. He did that in several ways:

- The Iraqi dictator was so secretive and kept information so compartmentalized that his top military leaders were stunned when he told them three months before the war that he had no weapons of mass destruction, and they were demoralized because they had counted on hidden stocks of poison gas or germ weapons for the nation's defense.

- He put a general widely viewed as an incompetent drunkard in charge of the Special Republican Guard, entrusted to protect the capital, primarily because he was considered loyal.

- Mr. Hussein micromanaged the war, not allowing commanders to move troops without permission from Baghdad and blocking communications among military leaders.

Can you say paranoid? But all things considered he wasn't the most popular guy in Baghdad (even though he somehow managed to win "elections" with 100% of the vote), so paranoia was in order. But did you catch the bolded bit? He didn't have WMD, but everyone thought he did.

Very interesting indeed.