Left on Saddam: Conspiracy Theories, Wishful Thinking

While most leading Democrats managed to say statesmanlike and patriotic things about the capture of Iraqi tyrant Saddam Hussein, a few could not resist indulging in partisan wishful thinking and lunatic conspiracy theories.

Here are a few for the historical record.


The U.S. military could have captured Saddam Hussein “a long time ago if they wanted.. . . Yeah. Oh, yeah. There’s too much by happenstance for it to be just a coincidental thing. . . . I don’t know that it was definitely planned on this weekend, but I know they’ve been in contact with people all along who knew basically where he was. It was just a matter of time till they’d find him. It’s funny, when they’re having all this trouble, suddenly they have to roll out something.”

-Rep. Jim McDermott,
when asked if the capture of Saddam was timed to help Bush,
Seattle’s KIRO radio,
Dec. 15, 2003

“Nor, it seems, does Saturday’s capture address the urgent need to halt the spread of weapons of mass destruction and the risk that terrorists will acquire them. The capture of Saddam is a good thing, which I hope very much will keep our soldiers safer. But the capture of Saddam has not made America safer.”

-Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean
Dec. 15, 2003

Sen. John Kerry: Under the Bush Administration . . . we haven’t pursued peace in the Middle East.

Chris Wallace: Excuse me, sir, if I could just bring this back to the events of today, though. I understand that some of your basic criticisms may stand, but isn’t it in a realistic political sense going to be a much harder case to make to voters when you have that extraordinary mug shot of Saddam Hussein, the former brutal dictator, looking like he’s been dragged into a police line-up?

Kerry: Absolutely not, because I voted to hold Saddam Hussein accountable. I knew we had to hold him accountable. There’s never been a doubt about that. But I also know that if we had done this with a sufficient number of troops, if we had done this in a globalized way, if we had brought more people to the table, we might have caught Saddam Hussein sooner.

-“Fox News Sunday”
Dec. 14, 2003

Mort Kondracke: I was here at Fox News, Madeleine Albright, former [Clinton] secretary of State was in the Green Room getting made up for a different show. And she said do you suppose that the Bush Administration has Osama bin Laden hidden away somewhere and will bring him out before the election?

Mara Liasson: The October Surprise.

Kondracke: The October-she was-she was not smiling, you know.

Brite Hume: What did you say?

Kondracke: I said you can’t seriously believe that. And she said, well, she thought it was a possibility. I mean, you know, that is just unthinkable. That’s irrational. It’s-but they will believe anything about George Bush, the Democratic Party. And this is not some kid in sandals, you know, working in the Dean campaign. This is the former secretary of State.

-Fox News “Special Report”
Dec. 16, 2003

“Last night, in the make-up room at Fox news, I made a tongue-in-cheek comment to Mort Kondracke concerning Osama bin Laden. To my amazement, Mr. Kondracke immediately went on the air to repeat this comment, which was made to a person I thought was a friend and smart enough to know the difference between a serious statement and one that was not. My only regret is that the powder puffs were on Mort’s face and not in his ears.”

-Madeleine Albright
Dec. 17, 2003

“Kondracke said Albright ‘was not smiling’ when she said it . . . and makeup artists in the room backed up his observation.”

Dec. 17, 2003