Glenn Greenwald (yeah, him again) had an interesting column on Tuesday, talking about an evidently common theme in the media, of saying that no one could have known that Iraq would turn out the way it did. This sort of article is apparently very common now that our "combat" troops have pulled out of Iraq.
I have to say I think it should not have been a mystery that a) Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11, b) that Iraq would have no weapons of mass destruction and c) that our "benign neglect", dismantling of the Iraqi army and our lack of a plan for Iraq post-invasion resulting in a disastrously long and painful occupation. In point of fact, much the same can be said about Afghanistan: I remember reading that the Taliban government tried desperately to find a way to hand over Osama bin Laden (remember him?) from September 12th until they were invaded and deposed. They offered bin Laden, but with conditions (such as that they wouldn't be invaded). Now I don't remember/didn't research the details, so there be things I am missing (but I am inclined to believe otherwise).
Getting back to Iraq, I remember hearing interviews on NPR (particularly Fresh Air), with Scott Ritter back in the late 1990's. Greenwald makes a point of mentioning Ritter in an update to his post. Ritter was convinced and convincing back in the 1990's that the various high tech methods used by the UN weapons inspectors had found all the WMD's that Iraq had, before Saddam Hussein had kicked them out, in 1998 I think. I believe at that point the UN and the US tightened the sanctions on Iraq that were already in place (or at least kept them as tight).
And it is not like I have some special access, so that I knew things about the UN weapons inspection program that the media wouldn't have access to, rather the opposite. Yet nobody could have known.
My tiny bit of research showed me something I hadn't seen before. Apparently Scott Ritter has a thing for underage girls. He was apparently noticed in April 2001 and then arrested in June 2001 for trying to contact and meet girls over the internet. The charges were dropped and the records sealed in exchange for his staying out of trouble for an unspecified period of time. The records were later leaked to the press in what Ritter says was a political effort to silence him. Unfortunately, the same thing happened with a cop posing as a fifteen year old girl in November of 2009. At least Ritter didn't go for someone younger, which I hope makes him only a scumbag, not a full on pedophile. And I still trust his judgment on WMD's.