Report: U.S.-Israeli study of airstrike on Syrian nuke facility will show Saddam transferred WMD

posted at 10:08 pm on April 7, 2008 by Allahpundit

Rumors of the discovery of the holy grail of Iraq hawks surface once again. I am … how you say? Ah, yes: Skeptical.

An upcoming joint US-Israel report on the September 6 IAF strike on a Syrian facility will claim that former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein transferred weapons of mass destruction to the country, Channel 2 stated Monday.

Furthermore, according to a report leaked to the TV channel, Syria has arrested 10 intelligence officials following the assassination of Hizbullah terror chief Imad Mughniyeh.

Is the suggestion that the facility bombed by the IAF was itself housing Saddam’s WMD, or that whatever it was that was inside the building — ballistic missiles, a nuclear reactor, a nuclear weapons factory — was built on the back of transferred technology? (The Syrian structure does date to 2003.) If the former, there’s a problem: It’s North Korea, not Iraq, that’s supposedly responsible for supplying Assad, an allegation most recently repeated just a few days ago in a Japanese paper that claimed to have inside information about Ehud Olmert’s conversation with Japan’s prime minister on the subject. If the latter, there’s another problem: The boxy Syrian structure resembled one of North Korea’s gas-graphite reactors, one of the reasons analysts thought it was a nuke facility. If it was actually just a warehouse, that’s a mighty unfortunate coincidence for Assad. Still, it’s worth re-reading the 2004 NYT op-ed by Mahdi Obeidi, former chief of Saddam’s centrifuge program, about what Iraq had and didn’t have and how quickly they could have put Humpty Dumpty back together if they needed to:

Iraqi scientists had the knowledge and the designs needed to jumpstart the program if necessary. And there is no question that we could have done so very quickly… Had Saddam Hussein ordered it and the world looked the other way, we might have shaved months if not years off our previous efforts.

As I say, I’m skeptical (and have been for awhile) but it’s worth flagging on a slow news night while we wait for the report.


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Comment pages: 1 2

Apologies if my earlier comments are double-posted.

This debate saddens me. We know Hussein had WMD. We FOUND WMD in Iraq. What, was it the wrong kind or of the improper amount? Why is this still debated when the question is well settled.
We know also that convoys of tractor trailers etc. moved out of Iraq before the American armed forces deployed in 2003. I remember media reports telling of the Hussein wife and daughters removing themselves to safety in a large convoy of trucks shortly before the invasion. It wasn’t Mrs. Hussein’s collection of shoes that filled those trucks. Hers was only one of a number of convoys that exited Iraq in the run-up to the war. And we know, too, that the Russkies facilitated the movement of the dangerous cargoes.
Listen, the evidence is in on WMD in Iraq. Only God knows why the Bush administration chose not to make use of the millions of elucidating Iraqi documents that we found when we went in. Reports are that the Bushies are still using BabbleFish(?) to translate the trove at a desultory pace. (One more reason that I can’t vote Republican (or Democrat) in this current election cycle. I won’t encourage the bastards by voting out of fear.)

thegreatbeast on April 8, 2008 at 4:28 PM

(One more reason that I can’t vote Republican (or Democrat) in this current election cycle. I won’t encourage the bastards by voting out of fear.)

I guess that makes you smarter than all of us.

mymanpotsandpans on April 8, 2008 at 4:50 PM

Saddam had WMD’s? How can that be when everyone knows the left’s refrain, “Bush lied, People died”?

TooTall on April 8, 2008 at 6:35 PM

Maybe not — a lot of very reputable people say Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction but– there was certainly something in those trucks.

cf on April 8, 2008 at 6:50 PM

This may be a question already asked and answered but …please indulge…
Were the photos for the convoys ever leaked?

jerrytbg on April 8, 2008 at 8:27 PM

of not for….oops

jerrytbg on April 8, 2008 at 8:30 PM

(One more reason that I can’t vote Republican (or Democrat) in this current election cycle. I won’t encourage the bastards by voting out of fear.)

As we learn more about Barry O, you’ll be very afraid.

Mojave Mark on April 9, 2008 at 12:34 AM

We FOUND WMD in Iraq. What, was it the wrong kind or of the improper amount?

thegreatbeast on April 8, 2008 at 4:28 PM

Thank you for expressing my point more eloquently. We’ve found WMD in Iraq. Just not, as I said before, nice shiny new ICBMs with nuclear tipped warheads on launching pads.

Trucks, schmucks. We found WMD. Like we even had to find them. This is another premise of the Left that we accept (like “something needs to be DONE about health care!”). Isn’t the fact that Saddam wanted WMD enough? If it isn’t, why isn’t it? He used them before, on his own people. He paid suicide killers’ families.

Not sure what would have to be done or shown to convince, uhm, skeptics.

misterpeasea on April 9, 2008 at 1:03 AM

At this point, what difference does it make if the WMD are in Syria or a shell game concocted by Saddam? Saddam is gone. Iraq needs to be fixed. That’s the long and the short of it.

Krydor on April 9, 2008 at 11:29 AM

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