Where O Where are the WMDs?

Well, uh, the thing it is…

Saddam Hussein (news - web sites) may have possessed weapons of mass destruction and hid them, the chief U.S. weapons inspector says. Or the Iraqi dictator may have had the weapons and moved them outside the country just before the war. Or perhaps Saddam never had them at all, and just bluffed to appear strong.

“We have about five to six working hypotheses that we routinely — actually every Saturday afternoon — review as to how our data is fitting … We don’t actually have a favorite,” Kay told reporters.

Well, at least we didn’t go to war over this and get our soldiers killed…

Yeah, it would be funny if we didn’t have our people being killed over there and it wasn’t costing us hundreds of billions.

I guess that, maybe, it was just another Boosh lie? I could be wrong, of course.

In other news, Saddam Hussein also apparently never existed

At this point I wouldn’t be surprised.

Just so we understand what’s going on here, here is a site with some good before and after quotes on WMDs:

http://www.beltwaybandit.blogspot.com/2003_09_28_beltwaybandit_archive.html#106521338092055682

To me that’s pretty unequivocal on the issue of the adminsitrations credibility.

Dan

You mean the threat he posed never existed. Glad to see you’ve come around to right-thinking! See, there is always hope.

You mean the threat he posed never existed. Glad to see you’ve come around to right-thinking! See, there is always hope.[/quote]

Since it apparently flew right over your head, I think you should know Desslock was making a joke about us not being ble to find him either. Get it?

Read the Kay report in its entirety. And start discussion from there, much more to chew on.

You mean the threat he posed never existed. Glad to see you’ve come around to right-thinking! See, there is always hope.[/quote]

Since it apparently flew right over your head, I think you should know Desslock was making a joke about us not being ble to find him either. Get it?[/quote]

In other news, Brad Grenz humor also apparently never existed.

The list of quotes is just too good IMO to ignore. Here they are:

NUCLEAR WEAPONS

CLAIM: “Evidence indicates that Iraq is reconstituting its nuclear weapons program…Iraq could have a nuclear weapon in less than a year.” - President Bush, 10/7/02

CLAIM: “[Saddam] is actively pursuing nuclear weapons at this time.”- VP Cheney, 3/24/02

CLAIM: “We believe Saddam has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons.” - VP Cheney, 3/16/03 [NOTE - Cheney later said he mispoke and meant to say "nuclear weapon programs - even so… ]

CLAIM: “We do know that [Saddam] is actively pursuing a nuclear weapon.”- National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, 9/10/02

CLAIM: “Iraqis were actively trying to pursue a nuclear weapons program.” - National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, 7/11/03

THE KAY REPORT: “We have not uncovered evidence that Iraq undertook significant post-1998 steps to actually build nuclear weapons or produce fissile material.”

  • Bush Administration Weapons Inspector David Kay, 10/2/03

MOBILE BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS LAB

CLAIM: “We found the weapons of mass destruction. We found biological laboratories.”
-President Bush, on locating the mobile biological weapons labs, 5/29/03

CLAIM: “We know where the [WMD] are.” - Don Rumsfeld, 3/30/03

CLAIM: “Iraq has at least seven mobile factories for the production of biological agents - equipment mounted on trucks and rails to evade discovery.” –President Bush, 2/8/03

CLAIM: “I’m absolutely sure that there are weapons of mass destruction there and the evidence will be forthcoming. We’re just getting it now.” - Colin Powell, 5/4/03

THE KAY REPORT: “We have not yet been able to corroborate the existence of a mobile BW production effort. Technical limitations would prevent any of these processes from being ideally suited to these trailers.”

  • Bush Administration Weapons Inspector David Kay, 10/2/03

CHEMICAL AND BIOLOGICAL CAPABILITY

CLAIM: “There can be no doubt that Saddam Hussein has biological weapons and the capability to rapidly produce more, many more…Our conservative estimate is that Iraq today has a stockpile of between 100 and 500 tons of chemical weapons agent. That is enough agent to fill 16,000 battlefield rockets.” – Colin Powell, 2/5/03

CLAIM: “[Saddam has] amassed large, clandestine stockpiles of biological weapons, including Anthrax, botulism, toxins and possibly smallpox. He’s amassed large, clandestine stockpiles of chemical weapons, including VX, Sarin and mustard gas.” --Don Rumsfeld, 9/19/02

CLAIM: “Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction. There is no doubt that he is amassing them to use against our friends, against our allies, and against us.” –Vice President Cheney, 8/26/02

CLAIM: “The Iraqi regime possesses biological and chemical weapons…And according to the British government, the Iraqi regime could launch a biological or chemical attack in as little as 45 minutes.” –President Bush, 9/26/02

CLAIM: “Our intelligence officials estimate that Saddam Hussein had the materials to produce as much as 500 tons of sarin, mustard and VX nerve agent.” –President Bush, 1/28/03

CLAIM: “His regime has large, unaccounted-for stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons – including VX, sarin, cyclosarin and mustard gas; anthrax, botulism, and possibly smallpox – and he has an active program to acquire and develop nuclear weapons.” – Don Rumsfeld, 1/20/03

THE KAY REPORT: “Iraq did not have a large, ongoing, centrally controlled chemical weapons program after 1991… Iraq’s large-scale capability to develop, produce, and fill new CW munitions was reduced - if not entirely destroyed - during Operations Desert Storm and Desert Fox, 13 years of UN sanctions and UN inspections.”

  • Bush Administration Weapons Inspector David Kay, 10/2/03

I don’t believe any reasonable reading of these quotes, even using the most technical lawyer-like parsing of phrasing, is consistent with the actual findings in Iraq. The quotes continually say things like “Saddam has weapons”, “Saddams is actively pursuing weapons” etc. Also the administration likes to use firm decisive statements like “There is no doubt” or “There can be no doubt.” Well, it turns out that there IS plenty of doubt. We simply didnt find any evidence that Saddam actually did have stockpiles of these weapons - all the evidence thus far is that they were destroyed following 1991 and 1998. As for “active” pursuit of programs, sure Saddam wanted to have weapons but his active program basically consisted of a bunch of scientists hiding junk under their flowerbeds and waiting for the international attention to subside.

Bottom line: the administration repeatedly and forcefully said Saddam was an imminent threat to use WMDs or give them to terrorists. And the evidence is that although he was an evil bastard who wanted to be able to do that, he had no capability whatsoever to do it, and his programs were in a shambles, with no imminent potential to create weapons.

The actual justification for the war is moot now b/c we are already in Iraq. What’s NOT moot to me is that our Commander in Chief and his crew overstated a threat, took factual positions not supported by facts on issues of national security, and IMO overstated and manipulated the evidence to force the country into war. I have a problem with that. A big one. We need to do what’s right in Iraq and try to get a functioning government in place and stablize the region. But we also need to take the administration to task for misusing the public trust.

My solution: vote for Clark in 2004. Bush can join his father (and whipping boy Jimmy Carter) on the list of ignominious “one termers”.

Dan

I am with you on that one Dan - except on whether Clark is the man but Bush…he needs to be gone.

What I still find odd is that Bush is still saying he did the right thing and for the reasons that he originally gave (before the war). I’m not sure why he is trying to stick to that story.

On the radio I heard him admit that they have not yet found the WMDs, and yet there is clear evidence that Saddam was an immediate threat the U.S. What does that even mean? What exactly WAS the threat and what is this evidence? Was he talking bad about my momma?

Because to say otherwise would be to admit either 1) he was wrong or 2) he was feeding the American people a crock of shit. He’s not about to do either.

ditto,

then theres the dillema of what to do about the countries that actually are making nuclear weapons (Iran,N.Korea). And the hypocracy of dealing with them, but invading Iraq.

Jesus, I agree with bmulligan. That’s messed up.

Look what we found!

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A47562-2003Oct5.html

Kay’s discovery of one vial of a reference strain of botulinum toxin that an Iraqi scientist had stored in his refrigerator in 1993 at his government’s request was described by Bush on Friday as a piece of evidence that Iraq was prepared to have prohibited biological weapons.

An Iraqi scientist has kept a lethal strain of bacteria stored in his refrgerator for ten years!

“Honey, there’s no milk in that blue bottle in the fridge, did you forget to go shopping? Oooh, I’m not feeling good…”

Clearly the scientist’s refrigerator was part of a larger network of “terror” refrigerators spread across the mideast. As we speak, commando teams are targeting fridges in the area. :wink:

This guy says it better then I can

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A48562-2003Oct5.html

The Iraq Survey Group headed by David Kay has now made an interim report. Ironically, this group has inherited the obligation previously levied by the United Nations upon Saddam Hussein – namely, to credibly and verifiably detail Iraq’s program of weapons of mass destruction to a skeptical international audience.

The group has had far more access and resources than the U.N. inspectors under Hans Blix and it has been in Iraq longer. How is it faring and what does the interim report tell us? Particularly, does the absence of a major weapons discovery mean that U.N. inspections were working and the war was unnecessary?

Kay states that while no ready-to-use weapons have been found, Iraq is a big country and many depots and other locations are yet to be inspected. However, the Kay report does list evidence of continuing research and development (though not production) in each weapon category. It also describes activities and equipment that Iraq failed to declare to the United Nations and that were not discovered by the inspectors.

Future reports will have to show in verifiable detail the extent of these prohibited programs, but these findings will not greatly surprise experienced U.N. inspectors. Hussein had long differentiated between retaining weapons and sustaining the capability to produce weapons. Experience has also shown that Iraq tended to pursue whatever relevant research was allowed or was deemed undetectable.

The apparent absence of existing weapons stocks, therefore, does not mean Hussein did not pose a WMD threat. In fact, fragments of evidence in Kay’s report about ongoing biological weapons research suggest that Hussein may have had a quick “break-out” capacity to threaten his neighbors and, indeed, the United States with biological agents (possibly including infectious agents).

But clearly this is not the immediate threat many assumed before the war. Large stocks of chemical and biological munitions have not been found. The WMD threat appears to have been longer term. Assuming this finding does not change, it will be very important for the Iraq Survey Group to establish when all agents and weapons were eliminated. It will also be important to analyze why the picture Secretary of State Colin Powell presented to the Security Council in February was so far off the mark.

Future reports will also have to demonstrate what facts about the Iraq WMD program the U.N. teams missed and how Hussein’s regime acted to thwart the efforts of the United Nations. This latter issue is vital. Kay makes mention of the Iraqi concealment and deception as one reason why he has found so little. The first U.N. inspection team (UNSCOM) pursued a controversial program to investigate what we termed the Iraqi concealment mechanism. The goal was to show how the enormous resources of Iraq’s security and intelligence apparatus undermined the inspection teams. We accumulated evidence that presidential secretary Abed Hamid Mahmoud, now in U.S. custody, directed a government-wide effort to contain inspection activity. This included penetrating the U.N. inspection teams and even obtaining assistance from other prominent countries to fend off the inspectors. Conducting surprise inspections had become almost impossible.

The Iraq Survey Group should now have access to the records and participants of the former regime. Future reports must provide a clear description of the Iraqi system for containing inspector activity. This is necessary to inform judgments about the effectiveness of the U.N. inspections. The argument is made that if no weapons were found in Iraq, then maybe the U.N. inspection process was successfully containing Hussein and, therefore, the war was unnecessary.

This will be proven wrong if the Iraq Survey Group can show that Hussein could outlast and outwit the efforts of the Security Council to keep him from ever obtaining WMD. While the inspection system may have appeared to be successful at a given point, it was not sustainable and eventually the U.N. Security Council would lose focus. Kay’s group needs to document the strategy that Hussein’s regime was pursuing to counter and erode the U.N. disarmament measures.

The Bush administration appears committed to developing a full picture of the Iraqi weapons program, even if it turns out to be less than was forecast. This task in Iraq, like so many others, is made much more difficult because of early mistakes. Key sites were left unsecured and looters destroyed much evidence. Tons of documents were collected haphazardly, and now they have to be sorted out by experts and linguists – an extremely time-consuming process.

Finally, the Iraqis who are most knowledgeable have been living in fear of arrest by the Americans or death from various internal Iraqi threats. Most of the WMD program leaders have spent the summer in jail. The second-tier scientists and engineers fear the night when U.S. military surround their homes and take them away to face an unknown future. They do not find much incentive to cooperate.

Kay appears to be making necessary course corrections, and a full verifiable description of Hussein’s programs and policies should be forthcoming. It will have to be meticulous. There are many very knowledgeable people in the audience, including U.N. inspectors and former Iraqi officials, who will ultimately pass judgment on its veracity.