Human Events Blog

Remember Scott Ritter?

Does the name “Scott Ritter” sound familiar?  It should.  He used to get a lot of media attention. 

Ritter was the chief United Nations weapons inspector in Iraq during the Nineties.  He became a darling of the press and Democrat Party when he began criticizing President Bush’s invasion of Iraq in the strongest possible terms.  On the eve of war, he predicted the United States would “leave Iraq with its tail between its legs, defeated.”  Our defeat was “inevitable” because we did not “have the military means to take over Baghdad.”

Once the U.S. military made Ritter eat those words, he transitioned smoothly into a full-time apologist for the Iraqi terrorist insurgency, which he described as a “genuine grassroots national liberation movement.”  He declared that history will eventually “depict as legitimate the efforts of the Iraqi resistance to destabilize and defeat the American occupation forces and their imposed Iraqi collaborationist government.” 

Ritter maintained that the entire disarmament effort directed at Iraq, including both pre-war sanctions and the war itself, were a massive “fraud” and “conspiracy” begun by the first President Bush to get rid of Iraq’s rightful ruler, Saddam Hussein.  He described the search for weapons of mass destruction in post-war Iraq as “a public joke.”  The British intelligence that figured so prominently in the run-up to the war was not merely mistaken, but an “abysmal abuse of power that occurred when Blair’s government lied to Parliament, and the electorate, about the threat posed by Iraq’s WMD.” 

He was an early and reliable hysteric about the imminent Bush attack on peace-loving Iran.  He even wrote a book on the subject, Target Iran: The Truth About the White House’s Plans for Regime Change.  “There’s no doubt in my mind that the United States is planning right now, as we speak, a military strike against Iran,” he said in April 2008.  “We take a look at the military buildup, we take a look at the rhetoric, we take a look at the diplomatic posturing, and I would say that it’s a virtual guarantee that there will be a limited aerial strike against Iran in the not-so-distant future.” 

As a fervent Bush critic with a military background, United Nations credentials, and (best of all) some history as a Republican, Ritter was extremely useful to the anti-war Left, which absolutely lionized him.  “Few people were as right about the Iraq War as Scott Ritter was,” declared liberal writer Glenn Greenwald, adding that it was “difficult to imagine someone with greater credentials and credibility who ought to have been listened to on those issues.”  At the Daily Kos, they called him “one of the few who called bulls**t on Bushco’s claims of WMDs in Iraq… A former Marine and former Republican, he’s not exactly a partisan player, he seems to be a guy who just doesn’t like being lied to.”

And then, suddenly, Scott Ritter disappeared.  The Left stopped talking about him.  The legacy media stopped running his articles.  His media perch as the pre-eminent Bush critic crumbled to dust overnight. 

Why?  Because Scott Ritter is a convicted pedophile.

His offenses caught up with him in a Pennsylvania court on Friday, where a jury found him guilty on six counts of unlawful contact with a minor.  He was taken down in an online sting operation, when he used a webcam to show himself having inappropriate contact with his own naked body to someone he thought was a 15-year-old girl.  His sentencing will take place next month.

It’s a big story in the foreign press, but the U.S. media has been very subdued in reporting Ritter’s conviction.  Like Cindy Sheehan, John Edwards, and other hard-Left superheroes, he stopped being interesting when he stopped being useful.  

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