I searched Google for “microbiologist rod barton” after reading a piece in the Japan Times about him, only to find that the majority of sites carrying the story were outside the US. Little surprise, I suppose.

Anyway, the gist of the story is this:

An Australian scientist involved in the search for WMD claims US spy chiefs censored his report to suggest the lethal weapons existed.

Rod Barton, a microbiologist who worked for Australian intelligence for more than 20 years, also said Washington and London wanted elements inserted in the Iraq Survey Group’s (ISG) report “to make it sexier”.

Basically, this non-US intelligence operative was instructed to research the WMD threat in Iraq prior to our invasion of that country and report on his findings. When his findings concluded no real threat existed, the Iraq Survey Group (ISG), now headed by Bush-appointee Charles Duelfer, told him to remove some bits to make it more ambiguous and add others to imply a threat.

He complained, of course, but his report was censored anyway and ultimately submitted with all fixes and revisions intact, providing another link in the long chain of fabrications and outright lies used to justify the war in Iraq, which, just in case you weren’t paying attention, has cost US taxpayers over 300 billion dollars and stands to cost a whole lot more.

Come to think of it, I thought Republicans were supposed to be the fiscally conservative half of our little binary “democracy.” Small government, run like a business, that sort of thing. Certainly a far cry from the “tax and spend” Democrats we all know and love to hate, eh?

Frankly, I much prefer the “borrow and spend the country into the biggest debt in recorded history” model of the current administration. I mean, as long as we ensure our safety and lower taxes through a delicate mix of disinformation, torture, law-breaking, corruption and unbridled military spending, I’m pretty happy with the status quo. You?