Too good to be true

According to this NYT report, an Iraqi scientist has reported to the US that
(a) The Iraqis successfully concealed weapons from the UN but destroyed them just before the war
(b) The Iraqis transferred weapons to Syria
(c) The entire operation was linked to Al Qaeda
(d) He had taken the trouble to bury some samples (not chemical weapons, but precursors)
(e) Jacques Chirac regularly visited the site

OK, I made (e) up. But, in the absence of any actual weapons, items (a) to (d) are so close to today’s wishlist for testimony from a defecting scientist, it’s hard not to see this as someone trying too hard to please. As the NYT report, which has apparently been closely vetted by the US military, notes,

But he has given the Americans information about other unconventional weapons activities, they said, as well as information about Iraqi weapons cooperation with Syria, and with terrorist groups, including Al Qaeda. It was not clear how the scientist knew of such a connection. (Emphasis added)

On a related topic, I haven’t had much good to say about Donald Rumsfeld, but his prompt repudiation of a report that the Pentagon expects to establish permanent bases in Iraq was a piece of good sense. I had meant to post on this report under the heading “I really hope this isn’t true”, and for once my hopes appear to have been realised. As Rumsfeld said, it’s not as though the US is short of bases as it is.