Over the last few days, David Kay has sown a considerable amount of confusion by giving piecemeal, not particularly consistent interviews to a number of news outlets. So far, of course, the administration’s opponents have seized on Kay’s comments to Reuters, the New York Times and others as evidence that “Bush Lied!” about Iraq’s WMDs.
This morning, on the Today Show, Kay gave a much more pro-administration account than in past interviews. (At least, the published portions of those interviews; one problem with Kay’s approach has been that he has no control over what quotes are released by Reuters and other anti-American news sources.)
Newsmax has quotes from the Today interview; I didn’t see the show, and can only assume that they’re accurate:
In an interview with NBC’s “Today Show,” Kay told host Matt Lauer that the U.S. decision to attack was “absolutely prudent.”
“In fact,” said Kay, “I think at the end of the inspection process, we’ll paint a picture of Iraq that was far more dangerous than even we thought it was before the war.”
Kay described Iraq’s government as “a system collapsing. It was a country that had the capability in weapons of mass destruction areas, and … terrorists, like ants to honey, were going after it.”
Meanwhile, Saddam Hussein “was putting more money into his nuclear program, he was pushing ahead his long-range missile program as hard as he could,” Kay said. Although Baghdad wasn’t successful, Kay said Iraq “had the intent to acquire these weapons,” adding that Saddam had “invested huge amounts of money” to do so.
The chief weapons hunter also debunked the notion that the White House pressured U.S. intelligence to exaggerate the Iraq threat. “The tendency to say, well, it must have been pressure from the White House is absolutely wrong,” he told “Today.”
It’s way too late, of course, to undo the damage caused by the headlines that accompanied Kay’s initial interviews.