WMD misinformation abounds

by on December 22nd, 2003

Former chief UN weapons inspector Hans Blix said last Tuesday that it is evident that Iraq has no WMD, thereby invalidating the war.

“My guess is that there are no weapons of mass destruction left,” said Blix.

[…]

“I think it’s getting safer and safer to say that it was just an ice floe,” Blix said.

But perhaps instead of making nice with the anti-war folks, Blix should have paid attention to David Kay’s report in October about Iraqi WMD. Kay will be leaving his post soon, but he has contributed quite a bit to the WMD hunt in Iraq. Some highlights:

  • We have discovered dozens of WMD-related program activities and significant amounts of equipment that Iraq concealed from the United Nations during the inspections that began in late 2002.
  • A prison laboratory complex, possibly used in human testing of BW agents, that Iraqi officials working to prepare for UN inspections were explicitly ordered not to declare to the UN.
  • In addition to the discovery of extensive concealment efforts, we have been faced with a systematic sanitization of documentary and computer evidence in a wide range of offices, laboratories, and companies suspected of WMD work. The pattern of these efforts to erase evidence — hard drives destroyed, specific files burned, equipment cleaned of all traces of use — are ones of deliberate, rather than random, acts.

With that information, it hardly seems like one can authoritatively conclude WMD never existed in Iraq. Under that reasoning, Saddam never existed until we found him.

On the WMD side, we’ve already found strange practices and low-end WMD capabilities in the Arab nation since the end of major combat operations. However, some in the mainstream media continue to harp on the fact that we’ve yet to find huge atomic and nuclear bombs. David Kay puts those claims to rest:

Any actual WMD weapons or material is likely to be small in relation to the total conventional armaments footprint and difficult to near impossible to identify with normal search procedures. It is important to keep in mind that even the bulkiest materials we are searching for, in the quantities we would expect to find, can be concealed in spaces not much larger than a two car garage.

It took American troops months to locate Saddam in a hole about the size of a small-car garage. What David Kay said in his report is then intensely significant: Stockpiles of Iraqi WMD may be hidden in such holes, and could be all across the nation. Adding these up, Saddam’s WMD capabilities could have been vast. But to Bush’s detractors, this information goes in one ear and out the other.

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