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Sunday, 3 July 2005
Memo for Morons
Now Playing: "Hi Hi Hi" by Paul McCartney and Wings
Be sure to read this brief look back by Daniel McKivergan at what we knew about Iraq's WMD programs before the war:

On March 18, 2003, the day before ground forces entered Iraq, the president confronted a broad range of concerns regarding Saddam's weapons programs, his connections to terrorist organizations, his history of aggressive behavior, his use of poison gas, and his failure to comply with the 1991 Gulf War cease-fire agreement and subsequent U.N. resolutions.

American intelligence and other foreign governments concluded at the time that Saddam possessed weapons of mass destruction. Senior Clinton administration officials stated that the regime possessed stockpiles. Saddam has "stored secret supplies of biological and chemical weapons throughout his country," declared former Vice President Al Gore on September 23, 2002. And even a month after the invasion Defense Secretary William
Cohen believed we would find weapons: "I am convinced that he has them. I saw evidence back in 1998 when we would see the inspectors being barred from gaining entry into a warehouse for three hours with trucks rolling up and then moving those trucks out. I am absolutely convinced that there are weapons. We will find them."

On top of this were the findings contained in detailed U.N. reports. For example, on March 6, 2003, the United Nations issued a report on Iraq's "Unresolved Disarmament Issues." It stated that the "long list" of "unaccounted for" WMD-related material catalogued in December of 1998--the month inspections ended in Iraq--and beyond were still "unaccounted for." The list included: up to 3.9 tons of VX nerve agent (though inspectors believed Iraq had enough VX precursors to produce 200 tons of the agent and suspected that VX had been "weaponized"); 6,526 aerial chemical bombs; 550 mustard gas shells; 2,062 tons of Mustard precursors; 15,000 chemical munitions; 8,445 liters of anthrax; growth media that could have produced "3,000 - 11,000 litres of botulinum toxin, 6,000 - 16,000 litres of anthrax, up to 5,600 litres of Clostridium perfringens, and a significant quantity of an unknown bacterial agent." Moreover, Iraq was obligated to account for this material by providing "verifiable evidence" that it had, in fact, destroyed its proscribed materials.
I don't know what happened to all of this stuff, except to guess that some of it is now in Syria. Maybe some of it is in the Bekaa. But we could only have learned about these weapons in one of two ways: by actively going and seizing them ---or by becoming passive victims of their use.

We have done the right thing in Iraq, even though a lot of fools do not know it.


Posted by Toby Petzold at 11:07 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink

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