It’s interesting how the CIA seems to operate. On the one hand, they totally missed the fall of Communism and Saddam’s WMD programs. They booted Cuba, the Soviet bomb, and Central America. Various agents leak their own agents’ names over time. This gets people killed. Former agents write books.
OTOH, if you look at what they have supposedly accomplished during that same time period, I’m pretty sure they have been directly responsible for every government leader in the world, including Chirac.
See, he was very close to Saddam back then. That’s good enough for me.
Well, things varied dramatically over the period; one doesn’t have to be a rocket scientist to see the Rumsfeld who came bearing gifts (of WMD cultures) in the 80’s represented a different CIA approach to Saddam than did Rumsfeld 20 years later.
Perhaps the still larger point still is that even if the CIA and Saddam had a ‘tempestuous’ relationship, there was hardly a time in his rule when Saddam wasn’t a tool of US policy, both domestic and international – for example, ye olde military-industrial complex needed him real bad as a bogey man once that Berlin Wall came down.
Clinton also loved him as a diversionary bombing tactic to divert away from Monica (Operation ‘Desert Fox’ comes to mind . . . If I’m recalling correctly) – loads died but what the hey – and when contriving the difficulty the UN Inspectors were experiencing on the ground before the ’97 pullout.
Saddam served presidents of all hues very well, and also corporations the military and Intelligence vested intersts. A great asset to those in power for decades!