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Saudi Arabia

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Guns to Navarone (and everywhere else).

Paging Yuri Orlov: By way of Dangerous Meta, a new Congressional study finds the US atop the leaderboard in terms of selling weaponry to the developing world. “Pakistan, India and Saudi Arabia were the top buyers…The study makes clear also that the United States has signed weapons-sales agreements with nations whose records on democracy and human rights are subject to official criticism.

Revisionist History.

Once again, it seems, the Bush administration is falsifying records to cover up their shadiness. This time, the Pentagon deleted key remarks made by Rumsfeld to Bob Woodward on the certainty of the Iraq war. (Regarding an invasion of Iraq, Rummy told the Saudis in Jan. 2003, two months before operations commenced, that they could “take that to the bank.”) Given the other times the Bushies have been caught doing this, their withholding of Reagan and Bush Sr. papers, and the general moral turpitude of this administration, one has to wonder how snarled up the historical record is at this point.

Dropping the Other Shoe.

In a strange moment of candor, Wolfowitz tells Vanity Fair that the WMD argument for overthrowing Saddam was chosen “for bureaucratic reasons,” since “it was the one reason everyone could agree on.” (He also lends credence to the argument advanced in this Fred Kaplan article that removing troops from Saudi Arabia was one of the central purposes of the Iraq war.) Meanwhile, in the same AP story, the head of US Marines in Iraq says of the WMDs, “they’re simply not there.” Looks like the Bushies have some explaining to do…If they follow the usual pattern, I suspect they’ll answer any tough question with a flurry of 9/11-esque horror stories.

Unspeakable Truths.

Slate‘s Fred Kaplan makes a case for what’s not being said about Iraq and N. Korea. Interesting stuff…I hadn’t thought about the Saudi Arabia angle, but it makes sense.

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