Rehabilitating Scott Ritter

Jacob Laksin is a senior writer for Front Page Magazine. He is co-author, with David Horowitz, of The New Leviathan (Crown Forum, 2012), and One-Party Classroom (Crown Forum, 2009). Email him at jlaksin@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter at @jlaksin.


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Yet the main reason for Ritter’s fall from media prominence was not his less-than-impressive record on intelligence matters, which his supporters on the left were happy to ignore. Rather it was Ritter’s exposure as a sexual predator. In 2001, Ritter was arrested in a child sex sting operation. No stranger to conspiracy theories, Ritter blamed his arrest on a campaign to silence his criticism of the Iraq war.  In 2010, Ritter was arrested a second time, this time for engaging in a sexually explicit online chat with an undercover police officer posing as a 15-year old girl. It’s a measure of Ritter’s twisted mind that he even came up with a self-justifying theory for his predations, suggesting that he knew he was talking with undercover police all along in the hopes of getting caught and getting help for his depression. As the Times helpfully points out, this does not square with the fact that he tried to flee the scene upon discovering that the minors he thought he was meeting turned out to be police.

It’s hard to see why a man who is prepared to make up a false identity in order to seek out underage children should be treated as a heroic truth teller. Yes, the failure to discover weapons of mass destruction in Iraq was a serious and damaging national security blunder, but there is no apparent reason why Ritter, with his contempt for inconvenient facts and his penchant for conspiracy theories, should be hailed for getting that right when he go so much else wrong.

Notwithstanding its attempt to rehabilitate the disgraced Ritter, the portrait that emerges in the Times is of a professional crank, a man so lost to his own delusions that he cannot distinguish fact from fiction. Ritter clearly remains driven, but his drive is not for truth but for vindication. It’s vindication that he does not deserve and it’s a shame that the Times, even if only in a small way, felt compelled to give it to him.

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  • kongMing

    Why do people forget about Saddam bribing the UN weapon inspectors? Is not an issue or is it done on purpose to fit the Iraq was a mistake debate?

  • kblink45

    Leftists whitewash criminal behavior if it suits their agenda. The left has always had a soft spot for pedophiles. Allen Ginsberg was a disgrace to humanity, and a darling of the left.

    • Questions

      Apparently, that soft spot doesn't extend to pedophiles within the Catholic Church.

  • Ken

    Not only is he a lying dirtbag, but a lying dirtbag pedophile!! Typical of the Left to try to whitewash one of their felonious own!!

  • Larry

    Saddam's intelligence agencies almost certainly knew about Ritter's pedophilia and were using it to blackmail him. Richard Butler, the head of the inspectors, and who was a left as they come, was absolutely convinced that Iraq had the weapons and programs.

    Almost certainly the stuff ended up in Syria.

    • aspacia

      Yes, and many Iraqi officers who defected to the US made this claim that the media ignored.

  • Judy

    Can leftist blogger Richard Silverstein be far behind?

  • mrbean

    "One way or the other, we are determined to deny Iraq the capacity to develop weapons of mass destruction and the missiles to deliver them. That is our bottom line."
    –President Bill Clinton, Feb. 4, 1998

    "If Saddam rejects peace and we have to use force, our purpose is clear. We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program."
    –President Bill Clinton, Feb. 17, 1998

    "He will use those weapons of mass destruction again, as he has ten times since 1983."
    –Sandy Berger, Clinton National Security Adviser, Feb, 18, 1998

    "[W]e urge you, after consulting with Congress, and consistent with the U.S. Constitution and laws, to take necessary actions (including, if appropriate, air and missile strikes on suspect Iraqi sites) to respond effectively to the threat posed by Iraq's refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction programs."
    Letter to President Clinton, signed by:
    – Democratic Senators Carl Levin, Tom Daschle, John Kerry, and others, Oct. 9, 1998

    • trickyblain

      Strange. Nothing promoting a full-scale invasion/occupation.

      Your point?

      • George Peyton

        Lost on you, obviously.

        • Amused

          Wrong , Clinton enforced no fly zones , and destroyed missle/ radar tracking stations as they were built . NO INVASION ,NO AMERICAN BOOTS ON THE GROUND ,No POWER VACUUM FOR AL QUEDA OR IRAN to take advantage of .
          FACTS obviously lost on you George .

  • stevefraser

    Thanks for the update to Ritter….BTW, I remember on the day of the Iraq invasion the NYT and the rest of the crazy Left were howling about the massive lose of life the US forces would suffer due to Sadam's WMD. Modern liberalism is a severe mental illness, combining a self-hating self destructiveness and a psychopathic mentality by which any lie or deception is excused by a delusional commitment to Marxist totalitarianism.

  • Sound&Fury

    And we should be surprised, knowing how the left has lionized Roman Polanski after raping a 13 yr old?

  • Onthewall

    Who cares about Ritter? Just remember what the Brits observed about the Bush administrations' decision making (from the Downing Street Memo): "But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy."

    Johnson fudged the Gulf of Tonkin incident. Nixon: "I am not a crook." Reagan: "I don't remember. I don't remember. I don't remember." (Irangate) Clinton: "I did not have sex with that woman."

    Presidents lie. Any adult knows that.

  • truebearing

    There was much speculation that Saddam moved his WMD's to Syria, another Baathist regime. Just today it came out that the state department is quietly warning Syria's neighbors about their WMDs, many of which could have come from Iraq.

    One has to wonder how motivated Obama is to dethrone Assad, especially if it led to revelations about Saddams WMDs.

    • W. C. Taqiyya

      The report used to justify State Department concerns about Syrian chemical weapons states that except for 'clear' evidence that Syria 'tried' to upgrade its ground to ground missiles, the rest of the report is based on 'speculation'. I urge everyone to read the report. As for Ritter, he never claimed that Iraq never had or didn't try to get W.M.D. He said they had snooped all over Iraq and found very little remaining components or programs. Ritter was proved correct on that point. That presidents lie to justify their actions is indisputable and Bush was no exception. As Onthewall mentioned above, the Brits knew Bush was shaping facts to suit his policy. Onthewall is also correct that Ritter doesn't matter. But the facts do matter. So, if Bush stretched the truth, what fables do you think Obama/Hillary won't spin? It's easy to accept lies that reinforce our suspicions, but it's prudent to examine the facts, or lack thereof, before we jump into another stupid war we will wind up losing.

  • WilliamJamesWard

    Sadam was sending truck caravans to Syria daily for over a year, what could Assad have been
    receiving, Bush pointed this out but was it thoroughly investigated. A few years go by and Israel
    bombs a nuclear plant in Syria, wonder where they who could not affort the materials got them,
    maybe from Sadam?…..The devil is gone but left behind no small amount of evil……….William

  • Amused

    Now , we're out of Iraq , and shouldn't spend not one more bloody day in Afghanistan . Ironically the MISSION WAS ACCOMPLISHED in Afghanistan , the Taliban were dispersed , finally Bin Laden has been killed , and we've given the Afghans the best chance they're ever going to get in throwing off the Taliban yoke . Todays actions in Afghanistan should prove to any doubters , that democracy is not a possibilty in Afghanistan , it never was .It is therefore another lie to state that we are there to establish any kind of democracy .All we are doing now is sacrificing our BRAVEST and our BEST to serve as sitting ducks in a shooting gallery . Our troops DESERVE BETTER . Let the bloody Afghans stand or fall .

  • gman213

    "Look boys and girls I've got a weapon of ass destruction in my pants"

  • Amused

    LOL….indeed ! And I see it's first victim . Take a bie gman

  • Amused

    That is "take a bow "

  • irateiconoclast

    Ritter's views on the dangers of Islamofascism are typical leftist revisionism; however, his personal sexual forays speak more to a culture of entrapment and synthesized "crimes" than anything of substance.

  • kafirman

    So the left can defeat freedom with lies and our only hope is to dig up dirt on leftists?

  • Fran Dutton

    The irony here is that the author of this article uses Intelligence committee documents, reports, etc to deny the validity of Scott Ritter's claims. As if anyone really believes that what's in the those documents resembles accuracy.