Brink Lindsey of the conservative US Cato Institute has made an important point in the introduction to his blogentry justifying the looming US invasion of Iraq.
He says that only very few of us have access to classified information. Quite true. But this point begs another important question. Does that really matter?
If the services have information available proving the US governments claim that Saddam is building nuclear WMD and ready to use them against Israel, the US or Europe – and that this justifies to go in and get him – why wouldn’t they publish it in order to make that point once and for all?
I can see only two reasons for the lack of such information. The first one is obvious. They don’t have any proof for their claim. The second is a bit trickier. I hope I am not going too far down the line of conspiracy theory here – but if the alleged current Iraqi threat is a consequence of secret western aid of the 1980s (and possibly later…) then weapon experts could likely point that out with the obvious political ramifications.
In that case, it is quite clear that access to this classified information could provide an improved basis to make an informed decision about attacking Iraq.
However, hoping that we won’t have to attribute another war to the secret services secret policy games around the globe, I would still bet on the first alternative. Classified information is probably unlikely to be really helpful in this context.
There is a case for ousting Saddam – but to make it, you can rely on published information on petrol economics, ethnic conflicts, and the survival struggle of all those weak autocratic regimes in the Middle East. Maybe I’ll try to put something together later on.
So far you might check the rest of Lindsey’s opinon on www.brinklindsey.com.