WMD in Iraq a rather nuanced issue

posted at 7:01 pm on July 12, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

One of the greatest debates over the Iraq War of 2003 was the issue of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs, including chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons) supposedly hidden and manufactured by Saddam Hussein after his defeat in the 1991 Gulf War. Hussein only cooperated fitfully with the disclosure and destruction efforts required under the 1991 cease-fire that ended offensive operations in Iraq, and Western nations became convinced by the late 1990s that he was rebuilding his stockpiles.  That was just one of the sixteen justifications presented by the Bush administration in late 2002 for ending the cease fire and eliminating Hussein, but the one that drew the most support.

After the Western coalition deposed Hussein in the first weeks of the war, they began looking for the WMDs. Most assume that none were found, but a 2010 article from Wired based on Wikileaks documents reminded us that the truth was more nuanced (via Instapundit):

By late 2003, even the Bush White House’s staunchest defenders were starting to give up on the idea that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

But WikiLeaks’ newly-released Iraq war documents reveal that for years afterward, U.S. troops continued to find chemical weapons labs, encounter insurgent specialists in toxins and uncover weapons of mass destruction.

An initial glance at the WikiLeaks war logs doesn’t reveal evidence of some massiveWMD program by the Saddam Hussein regime — the Bush administration’s most (in)famous rationale for invading Iraq. But chemical weapons, especially, did not vanish from the Iraqi battlefield. Remnants of Saddam’s toxic arsenal, largely destroyed after the Gulf War, remained. Jihadists, insurgents and foreign (possibly Iranian) agitators turned to these stockpiles during the Iraq conflict — and may have brewed up their own deadly agents. …

But even late in the war, WMDs were still being unearthed. In the summer of 2008, according to one WikiLeaked report, American troops found at least 10 rounds that tested positive for chemical agents. “These rounds were most likely left over from the [Saddam]-era regime. Based on location, these rounds may be an AQI [Al Qaeda in Iraq] cache. However, the rounds were all total disrepair and did not appear to have been moved for a long time.”

Why mention this now? For the past couple of weeks, reports about ISIS capturing WMD in Iraq have been cited as vindication for the 2002 argument. That started in mid-June when ISIS captured Al Muthanna and a large cache of chemical weapons, and picked up steam last week on Twitter. The danger of these weapons falling into terrorist hands is real, but perhaps even more so to the terrorists themselves. The Washington Post offered a straightforward explanation, complete with CIA assessment of the risks:

According to the CIA, the facility about 36 miles northwest of Baghdad was bombed extensively during the Persian Gulf War in 1991, ending its ability to produce chemical weapons. U.N. weapons inspectors subsequently destroyed equipment and stockpiles there, most of the complex was razed by the Iraqis, and the remainder was extensively looted, the agency said in a 2007 report.

However, the CIA report said: “Stockpiles of chemical munitions are still stored there. The most dangerous ones have been declared to the UN and are sealed in bunkers. Although declared, the bunkers contents have yet to be confirmed. These areas of the compound pose a hazard to civilians and potential blackmarketers.” Among the chemical agents once produced at Al Muthanna were mustard gas, sarin and VX, it said.

It’s bad stuff, all right, but none of it was the suspected WMD that prompted the fears later on. The complex at Al Muthanna was an UNSCOM containment facility where Hussein’s confiscated weapons came for destruction or permanent storage. Those that could not be safely destroyed, mainly because the weapons became too unstable to handle safely, got sealed in the bunkers. The CIA has a very handy and informative history of the Al Muthanna site:

Al Muthanna State Establishment Post-Gulf War
From 1992 to 1994, UNSCOM’s Chemical Destruction Group (CDG) oversaw destruction operations. A portion of the facility was transformed into a CW agent destruction facility. An incinerator was constructed in the summer of 1992 for the destruction of mustard agent at the munitions filling location. Chemical munitions stored throughout Iraq were to be gathered and destroyed at Al Muthanna. See Figure 6 for the location (note image was taken after incinerator was dismantled).

  • Between 1992 and 1994 the facility was the primary collection and destruction site for all declared CW agents, precursor chemicals, and chemical production equipment.
  • Between 1992 and 1994 and again in 1996, the CDG oversaw destruction of 30,000 pieces of ordnance, 480,000 liters of chemical agents, and more than 2 million liters of chemical precursors. Eventually, most of the facilities at the complex the Iraqi’s destroyed and sold for scrap.
  • Equipment that survived Desert Storm was tagged by UN or destroyed, but the UN was never able to verify that all equipment purchased for MSE was tagged or destroyed.
  • Two Cruciform Bunkers were sealed containing munitions too dangerous for destruction.
  • Bunkers, damaged by coalition bombing, collapsed, concealing unaccounted CW equipment and munitions in the debris. Over the next ten years some of the facilities were razed by the Iraqis. Precise accountability of equipment and munitions is unverifiable, because the National Monitoring Directorate and UNSCOM did not always oversee excavation.

UN Criteria for CW Destruction
During the UNSCOM-supervised destruction processes, a CW facility was technically considered destroyed under three different criteria:

  • Equipment was permanently disabled by the Iraqis, then examined and documented by UN.
  • Equipment would be tagged, dismantled, and reused by the Iraqis for other legitimate commercial use while being documented and monitored by UN.
  • Facilities destroyed from coalition strikes were deemed unusable for CW development.
  • Note: UN did not verify reusability of some of the equipment concealed within rubble of destroyed facilities. The CW process that once occurred within a bombed facility was regarded as inoperable, but utility of equipment reusability sometimes remained unverifiable.

The Iraqis razed and removed all existing structures for the biological/toxicological lab, mustard research lab, and Sarin production facility. In addition to complete removal of the facilities, complete foundations were excavated and removed. These actions were undertaken after the National Monitoring Directorate was displaced in Iraq and completed without international scrutiny.

There’s much more, but that gives a good look at the main point. The weapons at Al Muthanna were declared and surrendered years before the claims in the late 1990s and early 2000s that Saddam Hussein was either hiding more WMD or making new weapons. The UNSCOM facility destroyed or secured the weapons either found or surrendered in the years after the Gulf War. The intelligence from Western agencies about renewed WMD operations did not involve Al Muthanna at all. The UN had those weapons secured until the 2003 invasion, and then after that we did, and then the Iraqi army. Until now, of course.

That’s a bad development, especially for the people in the area if ISIS decides to crack those seals. It’s a reminder of how dangerous Saddam Hussein was, although the chemical-weapon massacre at Halabja made that plain enough anyway. But these were not the weapons that we suspected Saddam hid or built anew; we were already well aware of them, and Saddam had complied with the terms of the cease fire on these weapons, at least. That’s not to say that Saddam didn’t have newer or better hidden WMDs prior to 2003, but these don’t settle that argument one war or another.

Nor does the more recent story about uranium in Mosul:

Militants in Iraq have taken hold of nuclear materials at university science facilities near the northern city of Mosul, the Iraqi government has said in a letter to the United Nations.

But two U.S. officials told CNN on Wednesday that the small amounts of uranium aren’t enriched or weapons-grade, prompting only minimal concern.

The letter from Iraq’s U.N. ambassador about the uranium compounds asks for help “to stave off the threat of their use by terrorists in Iraq or abroad” as the country struggles with a deadly insurgency.

In the letter, obtained Wednesday by CNN, Iraqi Ambassador Mohamed Ali Alhakim said that “terrorist groups have seized control” of nearly 40 kilograms (90 pounds) of uranium compounds at science departments at the University of Mosul after the sites “came out of control of the state.”

This, however, is unenriched and unrefined uranium, pretty much what can be pulled out of the ground, and not even pure. Ninety pounds of uranium sounds like a lot, but it takes tons of unenriched uranium to be refined into weapons-grade uranium — not to mention a sophisticated cascade of highly specialized centrifuges.  It took Iran decades to develop that capability, even while well out of the reach of a hostile military, and even then they needed help from AQ Khan. Unenriched uranium can be effectively used as a terror weapon, but most of the actual damage would come from the blast and the panic that would follow.

We’ll probably never settle the question of what happened to the purported WMD in the 2002 argument — whether it existed at all, and if so what happened to it, and why Saddam Hussein didn’t just cooperate fully with the UNSCOM team if he had nothing to hide. The developments of the past few weeks, though, have nothing to do with that debate for the history books.


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We’ll probably never settle the question of what happened to the purported WMD in the 2002 argument

Huh? Have you looked over there in Syria?

ButterflyDragon on July 13, 2014 at 7:15 AM

I was puzzled as to why the Bush administration didn’t bring out all this stuff whenever it was found…the idea of an imminent threat from Saddam was, I think, overblown, but he did indeed have WMD.

Of course, when those tons of yellow cake uranium were found, it turned out that (surprisingly) every Bush-hating Lib had a degree in nuclear physics and they would categorically deny that that stuff was good for anything involving weapons.

Dr. ZhivBlago on July 13, 2014 at 7:31 AM

One of the greatest debates over the Iraq War of 2003 was the issue of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs, including chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons) supposedly hidden and manufactured by Saddam Hussein after his defeat in the 1991 Gulf War. Hussein only cooperated fitfully with the disclosure and destruction efforts required under the 1991 cease-fire that ended offensive operations in Iraq, and Western nations became convinced by the late 1990s that he was rebuilding his stockpiles.

Saddam had WMDs and used them on his own people and Iran.

Saddam was uncooperative in demonstrating he had destroyed all of his WMDs.

Saddam claims to have destroyed some of his own WMDs without UN supervision, but he had insufficient evidence to convince inspectors this was true.

Saddam wanted others to think he was hiding some WMDs from UN inspectors. He was successful. Among those he managed to deceive… the UN Security Council, both Clintons, John F’n Kerry, many Dem Senators, and all of the intelligence organizations in the world.

Post March, 2003 studies conclude that even if he did not have large quantities of WMDs at the time of the invasion Saddam had every intention of reacquiring WMDs as soon as he could once out from under UN supervision.

Some spotty evidence of WMDs were found after the 2003 invasion.

Saddam had ties to and was supporting Muslim terrorists.

WMDs were only one of many reasons why Saddam was toppled. Among the others were…

– Defiance of UN Security council resolutions for over a decade.

– Continually firing at aircraft enforcing No Fly Zones

– An attempt to assassinate a former US President

– The continuing cost of maintaining forces in the region to contain him.

– The destabilizing affect of having US forces stationed in Saudi Arabia to contain him — this is one of the reasons al Qaeda gave for declaring war on the US and for 9/11.

– Saddam was starving his own people while keeping himself and his political thugs living in luxury under UN sanctions. The alleged deaths of a million Iraqi babies under UN sanctions can be attributed to him

– And so on and so forth…

One can argue about whether or not we should have toppled Saddam based on one’s philosophy and views about what the US’s role in the world should be, but by any historical standard we had more than sufficient justification for essentially continuing the war that was started by Saddam in 1990. A war that was ended only with a cease-fire and a temporary truce.

It’s too bad the wrong decisions were made in 1991. Saddam would have been toppled by his own people if we had destroyed the Republican Guard, as was planned and which was one of the two objectives of the war. GHWB and Powell batched an opportunity to get rid of Saddam due to am infatuation with a ’100 Hour War’ and misplaced humanitarian sentiment over the fate of Iraqis fleeing Kuwait with their plunder. Commanders on the ground were stunned when told to stop and let Republican Guard forces go.

Of course, this is all far too complicated for the attention span of a US electorate afflicted with a pandemic of AADD and self inflicted ignorance.

farsighted on July 13, 2014 at 7:40 AM

I get so tired of this. Gwb early on refused to let his people defend the false accusations made by the Left that there were no WMDs in Iraq. He felt it took away from the reality that we were already there. So it didn’t matter.

The Left refuse to accept that WMDs were found by apparently setting a high threshold; like saying it had to be a battery of shiny new scuds tipped with nukes before it counted.

That shows their ignorance. WMDs are anything from nukes to infected people walking around a target city. (Think ISIS sending Ebola infected jihadies across the now open southern border). Terror attacks don’t just mean a city evaporating in a nuclear blast. It can be an outbreak or anthrax or a dirty bomb. It would not take much. Just imagine a dirty bomb, with just enough uranium to move the Geiger counter, set off in Manhattan. It wouldn’t matter if the levels were too low by government standards, New Yorkers would refuse to inhabit that area. (We all saw how Dowd reacted to the anthrax scare and how poorly everyone reacted to Sandy.) That part of the city would become a ghost town.

Lastly, Saddam was interviewed by an FBI agent handler after his capture. In the interviews Saddam admiited he planted the false story about stockpiles of WMDs as a mean to dissuade invasion. We got Intel from sources who believed him. And this is not even going into the scientists who came to our military and gave up items they were told to hide by Saddam just before we invaded like anthrax spores in their refrigerator at their homes.

So, enough with the self flagellation. Right now, because of Obama, we may very well experience what GWB was trying to avoid. Do you think ISIS cares if the weapons are unstable? They will kill a hundred of their own to get one here to kill ten thousand of us.

archer52 on July 13, 2014 at 7:48 AM

What is not overlooked but ignored…Bush was not the only one convinced of WMD.

Most every leader, every intelligence organization in the world was convinced, including the Russian’s, Italian’s, Saudi’s, Egyptians, etc.

All of congress was convinced, the world was convinced and when the world, including supporters on both sides, conclude, than one can only assume it was accurate…and I think it was.

Who had a better intelligence than the Saudi’s? Israeli’s? Russian’s?

They all knew and were convinced, Bush was one of a hundred that saw the evidence, knew the history, talked with the other leaders…it was the right move to go in and take him out. The problem is we fiddled around too long, and delayed the inevitable.

right2bright on July 13, 2014 at 7:53 AM

There were 2 groups surprised by the lack of WMD’s in Iraq, one was the world intelligence community, the second was the Iraqi generals. I have a theory that Saddam Hussein wanted people to believe he had huge stockpiles of these weapons and a nuclear program because he knew, if Iran decided they wanted to avenge the war they lost, they could probably win a second round if no chemical weapons were involved. This was to hold on to power and it worked, until the rumors became so prevalent that we feared he might allow them to fall into the hands of some al Qaeda agents and be used for terrorism in the United States or in Europe.

The fact is, the reason there were so many people who believed there were huge amounts of WMD’s in Iraq was Saddam Hussein was a very good liar.

bflat879 on July 13, 2014 at 7:58 AM

The fixation on the issue of WMDs was largely a Media contrivance.
The decision to enter the second Gulf War had many legitimate justifications as pointed out above. The war was going swimmingly with most politicians and the population at large supporting it until the Media and Democrats decided that Bush was guaranteed re-election and power because of its success. From that point forward, there was a massive effort to discredit Bush and the war. The primary and conflated focus became the issue of WMDs, but the intent was solely to weaken Bush and the Republicans.

When are people going to wake up to the fact that those who control the Leftist Media are the true enemies of this country? Think of any issue that is contrary to the health and well being of this country. You will see that the Leftist Media avidly supports and propagandizes on behalf of that issue.

It is they who are at war with the United States, and are they winning.

justltl on July 13, 2014 at 9:12 AM

The only word we have on the uranium is US officials. We’ve been lied to so much by the Obama administration that I would be very skeptical of these pronouncements. I don’t think this is raw ore or yellow cake. The Iraqis say uranium compounds. That sounds like Uranium Hexaflouride or Uranium Tetraflouride. So 90 pounds is more than you think it is. And aren’t those exactly the compounds used in centrifuges? What would the Iranians trade IS for this stuff?

Esaus Message on July 13, 2014 at 9:18 AM

Sun Tzu would be astonished and duly impressed by the tactics and successes of the Left vis a vis their greatest weapon, the Media.

justltl on July 13, 2014 at 9:20 AM

Really?? Using Frau Pantsuit as a yardstick for perspicacity?

Pathetic the way the duped will defend those who duped them…

JohnGalt23 on July 13, 2014 at 6:51 AM

You’re one of those doing the duping. You admit they were there. You comment about the extent. Yet you find the need to qualify just one narrow point in the history of their use to assert, it wasn’t as much as we thought and somehow, that means something important to you.

Saddam Hussein had WMDs. He used WMDs. It wasn’t even the chief point for going to war with him and yet they were there.

You’re welcome.

hawkdriver on July 13, 2014 at 9:26 AM

Sun Tzu would be astonished and duly impressed by the tactics and successes of the Left vis a vis their greatest weapon, the Media.

justltl on July 13, 2014 at 9:20 AM

And not just a few isolationist Libertarians.

hawkdriver on July 13, 2014 at 9:27 AM

Michelle Obama doesn’t know much, for a college graduate, and neither does her husband. So of course she didn’t know that Adams was born in the USA.

Mariadee on July 13, 2014 at 9:38 AM

Valeria Plame must feel nuanced.
I saw her movie.

FlaMurph on July 13, 2014 at 10:19 AM

When are people going to wake up to the fact that those who control the Leftist Media are the true enemies of this country? Think of any issue that is contrary to the health and well being of this country. You will see that the Leftist Media avidly supports and propagandizes on behalf of that issue.

It is they who are at war with the United States, and are they winning.

justltl on July 13, 2014 at 9:12 AM

Spot on. Most of the MSM are socialist propagandists.

Among other things, they are trying to create the illusion that their world view is normal and that moar socialism and more big leftist government in the US is desirable, good, just, and inevitable.

In the process the Lefties in the country are painting those who disagree as, essentially, dangerous extremist crazy counter-revolutionaries. It’s the Lefty way. And they smile and joke while they do it. The Koch brothers are the current Emmanual Goldstein stand-ins. They will be replaced by others as needed.

The libs in the media who are not already hard core leftists are too stupid, foolish, and righteous to understand that once the power hungry lefties they love have the power they seek they too will become targets. Comrade O’s Unconstitutional attempts to grab power like a third world populist socialist dictator in the Hugo Chavez mold, the turning of a leftist IRS bureaucracy loose on political enemies, and the bugging of FOXnews reporters are only the tip of the ice berg.

farsighted on July 13, 2014 at 10:25 AM

I would suspect that whatever Saddam had, it was moved to Syria in the time between the passage of the AUMF-2002, and the actual invasion in 2003, with storage eventually at Syria’s Al Kibar site – it’s nuclear reactor/NoKor-manned weapons facility that the IDF attacked in 2007.

Another Drew on July 13, 2014 at 10:29 AM

The libs in the media who are not already hard core leftists are too stupid, foolish, and righteous to understand that once the power hungry lefties they love have the power they seek they too will become targets.

farsighted on July 13, 2014 at 10:25 AM

Absolutely.
It’s a predictable process . The Left realizes and utilizes the power of the Media. When they are in a position that allows them to do so, they will overtly control the Media with an iron fist. And that means very bad things for their current useful idiot underlings. I’d almost feel a certain schadenfreude over it, if it didn’t signify the end of the nation as we knew it.

justltl on July 13, 2014 at 11:02 AM

A former classmate of mine spent nearly 4 years in Iraq overseeing the destruction/deactivation of chemical precursors and freeze-dried biologicals.

The way he put it was, “If you walk into a kitchen, and in it you find flour, sugar, milk, eggs, vanilla. etc., you don’t have a cake, but you can make one pretty quickly. What we found was boxed cake mix and canned frosting.”

There were and are WMDs in Iraq, along with a hell of a lot more that were trucked over the border to Syria in the months’ long run up to the war.

Solly on July 13, 2014 at 11:44 AM

They all knew and were convinced, Bush was one of a hundred that saw the evidence, knew the history, talked with the other leaders…it was the right move to go in and take him out. The problem is we fiddled around too long, and delayed the inevitable.

right2bright on July 13, 2014 at 7:53 AM

And keep in mind that after his capture Hussein admitted to fabricating “evidence” to make everyone think he had WMD.

ButterflyDragon on July 13, 2014 at 12:00 PM

I get so tired of this. Gwb early on refused to let his people defend the false accusations made by the Left that there were no WMDs in Iraq. He felt it took away from the reality that we were already there. So it didn’t matter.

archer52 on July 13, 2014 at 7:48 AM

Took away from the reality so much, he decided to make it into a standup routine…

JohnGalt23 on July 13, 2014 at 12:08 PM

I would suspect that whatever Saddam had, it was moved to Syria in the time between the passage of the AUMF-2002, and the actual invasion in 2003, with storage eventually at Syria’s Al Kibar site – it’s nuclear reactor/NoKor-manned weapons facility that the IDF attacked in 2007.

Another Drew on July 13, 2014 at 10:29 AM

If Hussein had any brains at all, everything worth moving* was already moved months if not YEARS ahead of the invasion where we all but announced a start date and place on Facebook.

I am hardly surprised we found nothing when we FINALLY came marching in besides a few obsolete fighters (which we would’ve blown out of the sky anyhow) a few rusty-a$$ cans and a poorly-stored jumble to shame an enthusiastic high school chemistry teacher.

*Which considering his nation was dirt-poor and most of his ‘army’ was a bunch of yes-men and Muslim zealot idiots, probably wasn’t all that much.

LawfulGood on July 13, 2014 at 12:11 PM

That was just one of the sixteen justifications presented by the Bush administration in late 2002 for ending the cease fire and eliminating Hussein

Thank you for restating this, Ed… and as I recall, it wasn’t the first one on the list. Of course, lazy people don’t realize any of this.

dpduq on July 13, 2014 at 12:27 PM

Gulf War Syndrome cookies, anyone? Got the secret ingredient in Baghdad.

famous amos on July 13, 2014 at 12:39 PM

You’re one of those doing the duping. You admit they were there. You comment about the extent. Yet you find the need to qualify just one narrow point in the history of their use to assert, it wasn’t as much as we thought and somehow, that means something important to you.

Saddam Hussein had WMDs. He used WMDs. It wasn’t even the chief point for going to war with him and yet they were there.

You’re welcome.

hawkdriver on July 13, 2014 at 9:26 AM

Nobody (serious) denies he had WMD’s. The point is, he said he would stop making them, and all the evidence points to the fact that he did.

Despite the tenuous claims made by the Bush Administration.

Not as much as we thought??? Gee, why would we think that?

Oh yeah, because the SecState himself said 100-500 tons of chemical munitions? 100-500 tons would make a pretty good photograph, wouldn’t it?

So, where’s the art?

And what did the Senate Intelligence Committee have to say, when all was said and done?

Statements and implications by the President and Secretary of State suggesting that Iraq and al-Qa’ida had a partnership, or that Iraq had provided al-Qa’ida with weapons training, were not substantiated by the intelligence.

Statements by the President and the Vice President indicating that Saddam Hussein was prepared to give weapons of mass destruction to terrorist groups for attacks against the United States were contradicted by available intelligence information.

Imagine that.

You’re welcome…

JohnGalt23 on July 13, 2014 at 1:05 PM

About that 2008 ‘Senate Intelligence’ Committee report, from a Dem majority Senate, chaired by a Dem, and composed of a majority of Dems, in a Presidential election year, released in the summer before the election…

Minority opinions Beginning on page 100…

And… even Time reported this…

Missouri Senator Kit Bond, the ranking Republican on the committee, furiously wrote in his minority opinion, that the report was a blatant attempt by Democrats to politicize what turned out to be nothing more than bad intelligence on the part of the C.I.A. “We have been forced to waste countless man-hours to show what we and the American people already knew four years ago, that policymakers’ statements turned out to be wrong after the war because the statements were based on flawed intelligence. The Committee’s Phase I report, which investigated that intelligence failure and explained how it happened, was a judicious and valuable act of intelligence oversight. Distorting intelligence and misleading the public, as the current report does, it not.”

Bond is so angry that he throws in some choice prewar statements that demonstrate that those in the Bush Administration weren’t the only ones fooled by faulty intelligence. “I have come to the inescapable conclusion that the threat posed to America by Sadaam’s weapons of mass destruction is so serious that despite the risks�we should authorize the President to take the necessary steps to deal with that threat.” — Sen. John D. Rockefeller, Congressional Record, 10/10/02.

Bond goes on, excerpting statements from Senators Hillary Clinton, Christopher Dodd, John Kerry, John Edwards, etc. to show that those in the Bush bubble weren’t the only ones beating the drums of war.

The Dems have been claiming they were duped by Buuuuuuusssshhhh and Darth Cheney ever since post-Saddam Iraq did not work out as well as hoped. If post-Saddam Iraq had worked out well they would not be making these claims.

Apparently the Senate Dems were so stupid they were duped by both Saddam and Bush/Cheney. And President Bubba was duped by the CIA and Saddam, too.

farsighted on July 13, 2014 at 2:25 PM

Whether or not Iraq had a warehouse filled with weapons, or whether or not the weapons found were pre-1991 ought not matter, because we were fighting from the perspective that Iraq was violating a cease-fire agreement that not only said he couldn’t make anymore such weapons, but those already made had to be destroyed.

Kevin Burnett on July 13, 2014 at 2:52 PM

About that 2008 ‘Senate Intelligence’ Committee report, from a Dem majority Senate, chaired by a Dem, and composed of a majority of Dems, in a Presidential election year, released in the summer before the election…

By all means, peruse the 2006 report, from a GOP chaired Intelligence Committee.

Postwar findings so not support the 2002 National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) assessments that Iraq “has chemical weapons” or “is expanding its chemical industry to support chemical weapons (CW) production”.

You’re welcome…

JohnGalt23 on July 13, 2014 at 3:45 PM

JG23- seems to be caught in a time between 2004 and 2006 when dems and the MSM beat GWB with “no weapons found” mantra. Even though plenty of weapons and precursors were found.

He needs to rip himself free and just Google the latest. The article about what is in chemical bunkers, including what Saddam hid from the UN by saying the wmds were bombed by the US. They weren’t.

Neither the UN or the Left will admit this. The longer they lie the more chance it will be cemented as truth.

But the question everyone asked back then was would Saddam give terrorists WMDs? We couldn’t chance the answer being yes.

archer52 on July 13, 2014 at 4:44 PM

In July 29, 2001 Condoleezza Rice said Iraq had no WMD’s:

“But in terms of Saddam Hussein being there, let’s remember that his country is divided, in effect. He does not control the northern part of his country. We are able to keep arms from him. His military forces have not been rebuilt.”

In 2001 Secretary Powell said Iraq had no WMD’s 2001:

“The Iraqi regime militarily remains fairly weak. It doesn’t have the capacity it had 10 or 12 years ago. It has been contained… He has not developed any significant capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction. They have not been able to come out with the capacity to deliver these kinds of systems or to actually have these kinds of systems that is much beyond where they were 10 years ago… He is unable to project conventional power against his neighbors. So in effect, our policies have strengthened the security of the neighbors of Iraq…”

In 2002 Saddam Hussein, in a letter to the UN invited UN weapons inspectors to come into Iraq to prove to Bush that the Iraq government had no WMD’s and was not a threat to the US. Saddam repeatedly stated in his public speeches and on international news that Iraq did not have the ability or the specialized facilities needed to manufacture and maintain chemical or nuclear weapons and Saddam repeatedly said Iraq was not a threat to any country, especially America, unless Iraq is attacked and must defend its national borders.

We are not weapons collectors,” the official Iraqi News Agency quoted Saddam as saying. “When Saddam Hussein says he has no weapons of mass destruction, he means what he says.”

In 2002 inspectors began visiting sites where WMD production was suspected, but found no evidence of such activities and in January 2003, United Nations weapons inspectors reported that they had found no indication that Iraq possessed nuclear weapons or an active WMD program.

On March 7, The UN inspectors reported accelerated cooperation throughout the month of February. The UN inspectors were picking the locations that they would inspect each day without giving any prior knowledge of the location or what they were looking for and yet the UN inspectors reported that they were still given full cooperation from the Iraq government.

Yet after failing to secure U.N. authorization to use force against Iraq, Bush gave Saddam 48 hours to step down or face war.

The absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Donald Rumsfeld

The UN inspectors said Iraq was cooperating fully and that they had not found any WMD’s but Bush advised them to leave Iraq when he gave Saddam a 48 hr deadline. So all U.N. inspectors, whom had insisted that Saddam was fully cooperating with them and had released a preliminary report that said Iraq had NO WMD’s, had to immediately evacuate Iraq after Bush declared a 48 hour deadline to war. http://www.foxnews.com/story/2003/03/18/un-inspectors-leave-iraq/

“Late last night… I was advised by the US Government to pull out our inspectors from Baghdad,” the UN’s chief nuclear weapons inspector Mohammed ElBaradei said on Monday. BBC

Shortly before Bush ordered the invasion, Hans Blix the lead weapons inspector, advised the UN Security Council that Iraq was cooperating with inspections and that the confirmation of disarmament through inspections could be achieved in a short period of time if Iraq remained cooperative. Immediately after Has Blix gave his report of Iraqi cooperation to the UN Security Council the U.S advised weapons inspectors to leave Iraq: USA Today

U.N. spokesman Hiro Ueki said; “It’s unfortunate we have to leave now,” Ueki said at the airport. “I think all the inspectors and support staff have done our best.” CBS News

Scores of Iraqi documents, seized after the 2003 invasion, have been released at the request of the U.S. House Intelligence Committee chairman, Rep. Peter Hoekstra, who hoped that evidence might turn up that the Iraqis hid their weapons or sent them to neighboring Syria. No such evidence has emerged.

8,000 boxes of documents, audiotapes and videotapes were captured by the U.S. military during the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Many of these documents make clear that Saddam’s regime had given up on seeking a WMD capability by the mid-1990s.

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence has already looked at the documents and warned that “amateur translators won’t find any major surprises, such as proof Hussein hid stockpiles of chemical weapons.”

The Pentagon also went through the documents and released an official study of the documents; the study also shows that Iraq had given up on seeking any WMD capability in the mid-1990s.

Repeatedly in the captured transcripts, Saddam and his lieutenants remind each other that Iraq destroyed its chemical and biological weapons in the early 1990s, and shut down those programs and the nuclear-bomb program, which had never produced a weapon. Top weapons program official Amer Mohammed Rashid, describes his conversation with UN weapons inspector Rolf Ekeus: “We don’t have anything to hide, so we’re giving you all the details.” At another meeting Saddam told his deputies, “We cooperated with the resolutions 100 percent and you all know that, and the 5 percent they claim we have not executed could take them 10 years to (verify). Don’t think for a minute that we still have WMD. We have nothing.”

On October 6, 2004, the head of the Iraq Survey Group (ISG), Charles Duelfer, announced to the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee that the group found no evidence that Iraq under Saddam Hussein had produced and stockpiled any weapons of mass destruction since 1991, when UN sanctions were imposed. https://www.cia.gov/library/reports/general-reports-1/iraq_wmd_2004/index.html#sect1

The 2006 Senate Select Committee on Intelligence concluded that “additional reviews of documents recovered in Iraq are unlikely to provide information that would contradict the Committee’s findings or conclusions.”

On the second paragraph of page two of the 2007 Pentagon Inspector General Report it says that Feith’s Office of Special Plans, an office in the Pentagon run by Douglas Feith that was the source of most of the misleading intelligence on Iraq, had;

“developed, produced, and then disseminated alternative intelligence assessments on the Iraq and al Qaida relationship, which included some conclusions that were inconsistent with the consensus of the Intelligence Community, to senior decision-makers.”

And on the third paragraph of page two of the 2007 Pentagon Inspector General Report it says The report found that these actions were “inappropriate” though not “illegal.”

Feith stated that he “felt vindicated” by the report’s conclusion that what he did was only “inappropriate” though not “illegal.” He also said that his office produced;

“a criticism of the consensus of the intelligence community”.

The problem is that he and his office did NOT mention that their reports were only a criticism/alternative and NOT based on the consensus of the intelligence community as had been assumed by everyone that read the reports from his office. Thus a lot of people where mislead.

Bush and Blair made a secret deal to carry out the invasion regardless of whether WMD were discovered by UN weapons inspectors. In the memo, Bush is paraphrased as saying, “The start date for the military campaign was now pencilled in for 10 March. This was when the bombing would begin. BBC

“Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy”. Times On line

The Bush administration had already decided on the invasion of Iraq at that point. Bush was allegedly floating the idea of painting a U 2 spyplane in UN colors and letting it fly low over Iraq to provoke Iraqi forces into shooting it down, thereby providing a pretext for the United States and Britain to invade.

JustTheFacts on July 13, 2014 at 7:36 PM

It’s Truther Time.

farsighted on July 13, 2014 at 9:25 PM

Wow!

I just got back and as expected there is not a single legitimate counter argument to my comment above except for the usual illogical ad hominem fallacies and one desperate attempt to claim that the documented sites by UN inspectors from the early 1990′s, (who had destroyed, sealed, or deemed them as no longer a threat), justify that Iraq was somehow an imminent threat that was about to launch an attack against the US and its neighbors.

But we all know that if Iraq was trying to maintain an arsenal of chemical weapons it would have had thousands of documented scientist operating specialized military laboratories that were able to contentiously produce tens of thousands of tons of it and a way to deliver it to accomplish any discernible military effect not to mention the fact that Iraqi chemical weapons have a shelf life of weeks or months due to impurities in the precursors.

Even the most sophisticated chemical weapons manufactured from the most advanced laboratories in the US are only able to last about five years. For example Sarin and tabun have a shelf life of approximately five years, VX lasts a bit longer (but not much longer), and botulinum toxin and liquid anthrax last about three years and therefore any weapons found in Iraq would need to have been made RECENTLY with an active chemical program having scientists running military facilities that are capable of manufacturing them within the last five years otherwise they are harmless substances and no threat.

Here is a list of evidence that is still missing listed in order of importance:

#1. Any RECENTLY operating, (yr 2000), specially designed military facilities that are capable of manufacturing tens of thousands of tons of chemical weapons to continuously replace the quickly degrading and worthless stockpiles of old useless chemical weapons.

#2. Any of the thousands of scientists needed to work at and operate the many RECENTLY operating, (yr 2000), specially designed military facilities that are capable of manufacturing tens of thousands of tons of chemical weapons to continuously replace the quickly degrading and worthless stockpiles of old chemical weapons.

#3. Any stock piles of RECENTLY manufactured, (in year 2000), chemical weapons.

#4. Any paper trail found in Iraq, (including hard drives etc..), that documented any evidence of RECENTLY operating, (in year 2000), specially designed military facilities that are capable of manufacturing tens of thousands of tons of chemical weapons to continuously replace the quickly degrading and worthless stockpiles of old useless chemical weapons.

If any of the above evidence has been found PLEASE LINK TO IT!!!!

JustTheFacts on July 14, 2014 at 12:17 AM

“The UN had those weapons secured until the 2003 invasion, and then after that we did, and then the Iraqi army.”

A UN-guarded chemical weapons storage facility inside Iraq was never “secured”. Why are we pretending otherwise? And The UN’s scratch-n-dent policy doesn’t mean much to the sorts of people who want chemical weapons.

“Two Cruciform Bunkers were sealed containing munitions too dangerous for destruction.”

It’s a good thing these ISIS chaps fully comply with with all applicable worker safety regulations, or they might actually think about using the incredibly dangerous chemicals the UN decided to leave in their basement.

GalosGann on July 14, 2014 at 9:41 AM

This, however, is unenriched and unrefined uranium, pretty much what can be pulled out of the ground, and not even pure. Ninety pounds of uranium sounds like a lot, but it takes tons of unenriched uranium to be refined into weapons-grade uranium

How much is needed to create a dirty bomb with just enough media-exposed geiger-counter-needle movement to unleash terror on Manhattan… say, like 90lbs worth?

dominigan on July 14, 2014 at 10:30 AM

The lying dirtbag obama fellating media knew the WMD existed – they just refused to report on it, the same way they have covered obama’s ass for the last 6 1/2 years (I know he’s only been in office 5 1/2 years – they covered his ass during his campaign too).

Wired wasn’t the only one to have this story, they just happened to be the only ones who published and it was quickly covered up by the LSM by ignoring it.

Even so, we never had any reason to invade Iraq because they were never a threat to us.

earlgrey on July 14, 2014 at 1:03 PM

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