In the National Review, Jim Lacey has come up with a very creative reason that we haven’t found any WMD in Iraq — it turns out Saddam Hussein only thought he had the weapons, see? But in fact, all his henchmen we’re lying to him, and he was just too dumb to know that he didn’t have any weapons for reals. Cause he’s so dumb.

Lacey suggests that the weapons scientists only pretended to work for the last ten years, and that every time Saddam would come poking around asking about the anthrax, everybody would look busy, use lots of big words, and point a piece of random machinery. As Lacey describes it, “what are the chances that the uneducated dictator could tell a centrifuge from a cow-milking machine?”

Ha ha! Boy he’s dumb, huh? But apparently this clever ploy worked so well, that it also managed to fool the entire focused attention of American and British intelligence.

A truly awe inspiring theory.

Following this logic game a little further, it would mean that the reason we went to war was actually just some weapons scientists pretending to be busy. (Woopsie! Oh well… At least we brought them democracy.)

Also, if Saddam were so stupid that he believed he had a weapons program that he didn’t really have, then America and Britain would have to be cosmicly idiotic to fall for the same gag. It would mean that most powerful and technologically advanced defense intelligence apparatus in human history was also unable to identify a cow-milking machine. Feel safer now?

It would also mean that the United Nations weapons inspectors were smarter than Saddam, America, and Britain put together, since they were able to see through the ruse of the slacker scientists.

But the thing that’s most confusing about this bizzaro-world story is why pro-war commentators would care enough to make up even more random excuses to cover the fact that America lied. I guess the most optimistic answer to that is that the growing pile of proven falsehoods is becoming so embarrassing that some people feel compelled to try out a lame Saturday Night Live sketch as a justification for war.

Another possibility is that the National Review is just trying to mess with people. The evidence of a threat to America, the thousands of deaths, the looming civil war in our new colony… hey, just joshin’ around! Just like those scientists were joshin’ that stoopid Saddam!

[“Ingenious, methinks” quoth Andrew Sullivan. But where is the accountability?]