Saturday, November 17, 2007

Latest Information on WMDs in Iraq

At FrontPage Magazine there is an article about WMDs in Iraq. The article is called "Shattering Conventional Wisdom about Saddam's WMDs" by John Loftus. This is an interim report as there are literally many shelf-miles of documents to be gone through and translated, but what has been learned so far shows that while the WMDs aren't all buried in the sand, there definitely were WMDs long after 1991--right up to just before we invaded Iraq, in fact.

The article isn't too long, and is well worth the time to read it. Here is the first paragraph:
Finally, there are some definitive answers to the mystery of the missing WMD. Civilian volunteers, mostly retired intelligence officers belonging to the non-partisan IntelligenceSummit.org, have been poring over the secret archives captured from Saddam Hussein. The inescapable conclusion is this: Saddam really did have WMD after all, but not in the way the Bush administration believed. A 9,000 word research paper with citations to each captured document has been posted online at LoftusReport.com. This document research has been supplemented with dozens of interviews.
The next two paragraphs provide something of a summary which is documented by the rest of the article and the research paper mentioned above:
The absolutists on either side of the WMD debate will be more than a bit chagrinned at these disclosures. The documents show a much more complex history than previously suspected. The "Bush lied, people died" chorus has insisted that Saddam had no WMD whatsoever after 1991 - and thus that WMD was no good reason for the war. The Neocon diehards insist that, as in Raiders of the Lost Ark, the treasure-trove is still out there somewhere, buried under the sand dunes of Iraq. Each side is more than a little bit wrong about Saddam's WMD, and each side is only a little bit right about what happened to it.

The gist of the new evidence is this: roughly one quarter of Saddam's WMD was destroyed under UN pressure during the early to mid 1990's. Saddam sold approximately another quarter of his weapons stockpile to his Arab neighbors during the mid to late 1990's. The Russians insisted on removing another quarter in the last few months before the war. The last remaining WMD, the contents of Saddam's nuclear weapons labs, were still inside Iraq on the day when the coalition forces arrived in 2003. His nuclear weapons equipment was hidden in enormous underwater warehouses beneath the Euphrates River. Saddam’s entire nuclear inventory was later stolen from these warehouses right out from under the Americans’ noses. The theft of the unguarded Iraqi nuclear stockpile is perhaps, the worst scandal of the war, suggesting a level of extreme incompetence and gross dereliction of duty that makes the Hurricane Katrina debacle look like a model of efficiency.
Here is what the last paragraph says:
Saddam’s nuclear documents compel any reasonable person to the conclusion that, more probably than not, there were in fact nuclear WMD sites, components, and programs hidden inside Iraq at the time the Coalition forces invaded. In view of these newly discovered documents, it can be concluded, more probably than not, that Saddam did have a nuclear weapons program in 2001-2002, and that it is reasonably certain that he would have continued his efforts towards making a nuclear bomb in 2003 had he not been stopped by the Coalition forces. Four years after the war began, we still do not have all the answers, but we have many of them. Ninety percent of the Saddam files have never been read, let alone translated. It is time to utterly reject the conventional wisdom that there were no WMD in Iraq and look to the best evidence: Saddam’s own files on WMD. The truth is what it is, the documents speak for themselves.
There is still much to learn, of course, but the information gathered so far is beginning to answer a lot of questions.

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