For those of you lying back in your recliner with your feet up, thinking that all the weirdness of ’07 had already unspooled and you had a couple of weeks to relax and let your blood pressure fall from tropospheric levels, I have news that will compel you to crank your footrest down to its upright perpendicular position, poised to jump from your chair and ram your head full speed into the opposite wall. Repeatedly.

Remember Iran’s nuclear weapons program? Apparently, it doesn’t exist. You know. The nuclear weapons program the president said the CIA told him that Iran not only had but was going to use to destabilize the Middle East. Yeah. That one. Turns out they don’t have it. Turns out the CIA was wrong. Again. Who knew? But the funny part is, here’s the funny part: because even when we did know that they didn’t have a nuclear weapons program, we still kept talking about it. As if they did. We even talked about the irresponsible people running Iran and how they were in danger of precipitating WORLD WAR III by continuing their dastardly pursuit of a nuclear weapons program, which we knew, at the time, that they were not pursuing. Well, not so much we, as he. And you know he who.

Our new National Intelligence Estimate reports Iran halted its clandestine nuclear weapons program back in 2003. But our intelligence community (and I use the term so loosely you should take precautions it doesn’t slip through your fingers like pureed oysters left in the rain) waited to tell the president that Iran’s nuclear weapons program was halted even though they had evidence that it was, because they did not want to make the same mistake they made when they told him that Saddam Hussein might have weapons of mass destruction about five years ago. Which he didn’t. Which they also had evidence of, but the president didn’t want to hear that and instead talked about Iraq’s WMDs till the cows came home and were industrially milked and produced cheese curds of shock and awe. So instead of making the same mistake, they went out of their way to make an entirely different mistake.

They finally got around to telling the president about it in August. The whole Iran not having the nuclear weapons program part. And then when our president called Iran’s president a liar for insisting his country did not have a nuclear weapons program, which our president continued to insist they did, even though he knew they did not, they said nothing. You still with me here? Although, having been played as complete patsies in the Iraqi weapons debacle, may have something to do with why we are finding out about all this now, complete with maps and dates and a big red “YOU ARE HERE” dot right where the double yellow presidency and incompetence lines converge.

Now the president is walking around telling everyone he was provided with faulty intelligence. Yeah, well, DNA is a bitch. The upshot of all this: Iraq — no weapons of mass destruction. Iran — no nuclear weapons program. Throw in the fact that since our Mideast misadventure began, we’ve misplaced 190,000 of our own rifles and weapons somewhere, who knows where, in Iraq, and I’m thinking maybe we should outsource our weapons location intelligence gathering because it doesn’t seem to be what you’d call our specialty.

Will Durst is a comic, writer, actor and talk show host.

© 2007 Will Durst, distributed by the Cagle Cartoons Inc. syndicate. E-mail him at [email protected] Check out willandwillie.com for the latest podcast.

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