Sunday, 26 October 2003

WMD: Where's My Dope?

All but the True Believers now agree that Iraq has had no cognizable weapons of mass destruction (WMD) program for some time. Indeed, it seems likely that Saddam Hussein abandoned his nuclear ordnance program in 1991, immediately following the Gulf War — just like he said he did. Barton Gellman reports in today's Washington Post:

According to records made available to The Washington Post and interviews with arms investigators from the United States, Britain and Australia, it did not require a comprehensive survey to find the central assertions of the Bush administration's prewar nuclear case to be insubstantial or untrue. Although Hussein did not relinquish his nuclear ambitions or technical records, investigators said, it is now clear he had no active program to build a weapon, produce its key materials or obtain the technology he needed for either.

Among the closely held internal judgments of the Iraq Survey Group…are that Iraq's nuclear weapons scientists did no significant arms-related work after 1991, that facilities with suspicious new construction proved benign, and that equipment of potential use to a nuclear program remained under seal or in civilian industrial use.

Is anyone surprised that White House "officials interviewed for this report defended the integrity of the government's prewar intelligence and public statements" but that "[n]one agreed to be interviewed on the record?"

Posted at 9:31:02 AM | Permalink

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Topics: Politics, Skeptical Inquiry
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