Dispersed to the Wind

A Washington Post article about the 75th Exploitation Task Force — the main US weapons search team — preparing to go home after finding not a damn thing. They seem a little upset about the difference between what they were told they would find and what they actually did:

McPhee, an artillery brigade commander from Oklahoma who was assigned to the task force five months ago, reflected on the weapons hunt as the sun set outside his improvised sleeping quarters, a cot and mosquito net set down in the wreckage of a marble palace annex. He smoked a cigar, but without the peace of mind he said the evening ritual usually brings.

“My unit has not found chemical weapons,” he said. “That’s a fact. And I’m 47 years old, having a birthday in one of Saddam Hussein’s palaces on a lake in the middle of Baghdad. It’s surreal. The whole thing is surreal.

“Am I convinced that what we did in this fight was viable? I tell you from the bottom of my heart: We stopped Saddam Hussein in his WMD programs,” he said, using the abbreviation for weapons of mass destruction. “Do I know where they are? I wish I did . . . but we will find them. Or not. I don’t know. I’m being honest here.”

Later in the conversation, he flung the unfinished cigar into the lake with somewhat more force than required.

“I don’t think we’ll find anything,” said Army Capt. Tom Baird, one of two deputy operations officers under McPhee. “What I see is a lot of stuff destroyed.” The Defense Intelligence Agency officer, describing a “sort of a lull period” in the search, said that whatever may have been at the target sites is now “dispersed to the wind.”

Isn’t that a pretty image? If there ever were any deadly nerve agents or maybe a nice genetically modified virus, they’ve all wafted away on a gentle desert breeze, along with all the looted nukular waste. Looking on the bright side, maybe it was all just a massive lie. Hopefully.

In totally unrelated news, the current crop of colonial overlords are being tagged out (marking the first time I remember seeing Barbara Bodine prominently mentioned in the news) which has nothing to do with the diplomatic skill and nation building expertise being exercised by our occupying forces in the newly free Baghdad, as described in this NY Times story with further wafting imagery:

“Unless we do something in the near future, it is likely to blow up in our face,” one official said.

Today, black smoke billowed over Baghdad’s skyline as looters set fire to the city’s former telephone communications center, apparently as a distraction for others who tried to steal cars nearby.

Update: Daily Kos comes to a similar conclusion