T Nation

WMD in Iraq


#1

While having a discussion with ILOVEGEORGEWBUSH1 (rsu), he trotted out the line, "We haven't found WMD in Iraq line."

Clearly, to have found weapons systems and intent to reconstitute would undermine RSU and others who say that Iraq was not a threat in the post 9/11 world.

I found an excellent summary:

www.strategypage.com/strategypolitics/articles/20031004.asp

I then read the text of the Duefler report to Congress.

Now, let me preempt the people who don't read the information that I pass along.

Please (I'm being polite) if you don't read every line of this report, do not respond.

If I have to, I will pull the pictures and the key findings and post them.

I'd rather have a in depth discussion about what seems pretty obvious to me.

In short, if you don't read it, don't comment upon it.

Thanks!!!

JeffR


#2

why would you want to have "an in depth discussion" on something you find so obvious ?


#3

Funny, I'm pretty confident that if the Bush administration felt it had found WMD's that it would have said so.

Instead, from time to time the White House has issued statements and acknowledgements that is hadn't found them.

You'd have to be pretty stupid to think otherwise there Jerffy.


#4

Ever considered questioning the cerdibility and legitimacy of the report, its origins, purpose and content?


#5

Still waiting for someone to read the report and comment.

In addition, I suggest you read the Duefler report.

Very interesting reading.

Again, did the three people who have responded catch the part where I asked nicely for you to keep your mouth shut if you can't be bothered to read the report?

Thanks.

JeffR


#6

Jerffy, nobody actually pays attention to requests like that... are you nuts? Oh sorry, I rescind the question.


#7

Ok, there have been over 80 views of the subject.

I'm guessing that at least one of my "Bush is the Devil" pals has not only read my post, but the report as well.

I am VERY curious to hear your responses.

Oh, for the others who won't look up the link, I appreciate your restraint in not regurgitating canned responses.

Thanks!!!

JeffR


#8

I just read the page and I am now completely convinced that you are retarded. Before you get mad because that was a personal attack, here is the evidence that site took the pleasure of dictating back in 2003:

Oh no, not biomaterial found in a scientists lab/house that was NOT a biomedical weapon but this source says they could somehow be used as such. I would love to know what this material was because if it was so easily convertable to a weapon, why was it not done? Why do we care about biomedical projects that are NOT WMD's? Have you been to a hospital? There are TONS of biomedical waste emptied by them everyday that could be used to form some sort of "weapon", especially if that weapon is TB or Staph infections. That has no use at all as a "mass destruction" tool. Why didn't this legitimate article go into detail about what was in the viles? If it was so proveable, why has this administration admitted that no WMD's have been found?

The fact that "burned documents" are now supposedly evidence is just plain stupid, espedcially during a WAR. That is almost like saying the hundreds of shredded docs that we discard because they contain sensitive patient information are somehow connected. Is this what you wanted everyone to read? Why?


#9

Seems like no one really cares to read the blabber you recommend.

You know why? Because when the WH said "we made a mistake, there were no weapons, it was bad intelligence"...WE BELIEVED THEM!


#10

POX,

Thanks for reading the article.

I appreciate your response.

I'm eagerly awaiting other inputs.

JeffR


#11

Now that I have RSU (ILOVEGEORGEWBUSH1) to comment,

I would like to post another link:

cshink.com/saddams_wmd.htm

I think it is wise to summarize the findings as we go forward.

I have found a disturbing pattern of the media not summarizing new findings.

I know that I risk more people not reading the links the more that I post.

However, I have to take that risk.

If I can get one of my more moderate liberal friends (Makkun, Dean) to think critically on this issue, I judge it a success.

Does anyone else marvel at the lengths to which the POX's, RSU, etc will go to defend Saddam? How often they will refuse to admit that this guy was a serious threat? How often they will read only CNN headlines and no more?
POX's commentary about biological agents in possession of one of these scientists is very revealing.

Think about it, if you were Saddam, how would you drive your weapons systems underground? You'd disperse it for safekeeping for a later date.

That's just too much faith in the major media. As this last campaign showed, to get a true picture of an event, you must do some of your own research.

Again, I would appreciate it if people who can't be bothered to read the whole links, would refrain from knee-jerk commentary.

JeffR


#12

Oh, you little trooper you. We all admire the great personal sacrifice and risk that you endure on our behalf...


#13

dude are you serious ?
this is what you're urging me to read and there's a freaking typo in the very first line ? how can i give an objective eye to someone who writes a sentence like "read on and decide yourself."?!

dude i gotta go. millar just jacked a three run double off the wall.


#14

I would like to direct your attention to the nuclear scientist who was ordered by Saddam to keep the centrifuge plans and equipment "until the bitter end."

Fascinating.

It happens to go along quite nicely with the biological strains found at the chemical weapon scientists home.

Don't we all work in production of CW?

Don't we all take home vials of the stuff!!!

Everyone needs a vial or two to deter the neighbors.

I stongly encourage people to read these links and comment.

It's fascinating.

JeffR


#15

JeffR,

Already working on it, answer coming soon. Doing some research and writing. You won't like the result though, I guess...

:wink:
Makkun


#16

Makkun,

I specifically want your input. I know full well that you aren't going to agree with everything.

But, you do help me tighten up my argument and highlight where I may be weak.

Plus I learn.

Win, Win, Win for all.

I'll read everything you post and then comment as I know you are doing for me.

JeffR


#17

So true


#18

http://www.cia.gov/cia/reports/iraq_wmd_2004/Comp_Report_Key_Findings.pdf

Alright, I did some reading. I did not read the ca. 1000 page Duelfer report, but fortunately he gives us a summary of the Iraq Survey Group?s (ISG) key findings. So let's do this strictly BostonBarrister style :wink: :

REGIME STRATEGIC INTENT

"Saddam wanted to recreate Iraq's WMD capability - which was essentially destroyed in 1991 - after sanctions were removed and Iraq's economy stabilized, but probably with a different mix of capabilities to that which previously existed. Saddam aspired to develop a nuclear capability - in an incremental fashion, irrespective of international pressure and the resulting economic risks - but he intended to focus on ballistic missile and tactical chemical warfare (CW) capabilities.
...
The former Regime had no formal written strategy or plan for the revival of WMD after sanctions. Neither was there an identifiable group of WMD policy makers or planners separate from Saddam. Instead, his lieutenants understood WMD revival was his goal from their long association with Saddam and his infrequent, but firm, verbal comments and directions to them."

To summarise: With his WMD destroyed in 1991, Saddam envisioned to rebuild his arsenal as soon as the sanctions were over. But there were no written plans.

DELIVERY SYSTEMS

"By 1991, Iraq had successfully demonstrated its ability to modify some of its delivery systems to increase their range and to develop WMD dissemination options, with the Al Husayn being a first step in this direction. The next few years of learning and experiments confirmed that the Regime's goal was for an effective long-range WMD delivery capability and demonstrated the resourcefulness of Iraq?s scientists and technicians. Iraq failed in its efforts to acquire longer-range delivery systems to replace inventory exhausted in the Iran/Iraq war. This was a forcing function that drove Iraq to develop indigenous delivery system production capabilities.
...
Desert Storm and subsequent UN resolutions and inspections brought many of Iraq's delivery system programs to a halt. While much of Iraq's long-range missile inventory and production infrastructure was eliminated, Iraq until late 1991 kept some items hidden to assist future reconstitution of the force. Iraq's decisions in 1996 to accept the Oil-For-Food program (OFF) and later in 1998 to cease cooperation with UNSCOM and IAEA spurred a period of increased activity in delivery systems development. The pace of ongoing missile programs accelerated, and the Regime authorized its scientists to design missiles with ranges in excess of 150 km that, if developed, would have been clear violations of UNSCR 687.
...
ISG uncovered Iraqi plans or designs for three long-range ballistic missiles with ranges from 400 to 1,000 km and for a 1,000-km-range cruise missile, although none of these systems progressed to production and only one reportedly passed the design phase. ISG assesses that these plans demonstrate Saddam's continuing desire - up to the beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) - for a long-range delivery capability.
...
Given Iraq's investments in technology and infrastructure improvements, an effective procurement network, skilled scientists, and designs already on the books for longer range missiles, ISG assesses that Saddam clearly intended to reconstitute long-range delivery systems and that the systems potentially were for WMD."

Yes, Saddam did move towards developing a delivery system, although the sanctions obviously worked (in spite of his massive tinkering with the OFF programme) and he had considerable difficulties.

NUCLEAR

"Iraq Survey Group (ISG) discovered further evidence of the maturity and significance of the pre-1991 Iraqi Nuclear Program but found that Iraq's ability to reconstitute a nuclear weapons program progressively decayed after that date.
...
As with other WMD areas, Saddam's ambitions in the nuclear area were secondary to his prime objective of ending UN sanctions."

That was a quick one - as long as the sanctions were in place, he posed no nuclear threat.

CHEMICAL

"While a small number of old, abandoned chemical munitions have been discovered, ISG judges that Iraq unilaterally destroyed its undeclared chemical weapons stockpile in 1991. There are no credible indications that Baghdad resumed production of chemical munitions thereafter, a policy ISG attributes to Baghdad's desire to see sanctions lifted, or rendered ineffectual, or its fear of force against it should WMD be discovered.
...
The way Iraq organized its chemical industry after the mid-1990s allowed it to conserve the knowledge-base needed to restart a CW program, conduct a modest amount of dual-use research, and partially recover from the decline of its production capability caused by the effects of the Gulf war and UN-sponsored destruction and sanctions. Iraq implemented a rigorous and formalized system of nationwide research and production of chemicals, but ISG will not be able to resolve whether Iraq intended the system to underpin any CW related efforts.
...
Iraq constructed a number of new plants starting in the mid-1990s that enhanced its chemical infrastructure, although its overall industry had not fully recovered from the effects of sanctions, and had not regained pre-1991 technical sophistication or production capabilities prior to Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF).
...
ISG uncovered information that the Iraqi Intelligence Service (IIS) maintained throughout 1991 to 2003 a set of undeclared covert laboratories to research and test various chemicals and poisons, primarily for intelligence operations. The network of laboratories could have provided an ideal, compartmented platform from which to continue CW agent R&D or small-scale production efforts, but we have no indications this was planned.
...
ISG investigated a series of key pre-OIF indicators involving the possible movement and storage of chemical weapons, focusing on 11 major depots assessed to have possible links to CW. A review of documents, interviews, available reporting, and site exploitations revealed alternate, plausible explanations for activities noted prior to OIF which, at the time, were believed to be CW-related."

On the account of chemical weapons (CW) - not much, but a little bit. Yes, he made some progress in rebuilding infrastructure and was obviously ready to go ... yes, once the sanctions were lifted ... but as obvious from the above, he did not have stockpiles of dangerous substances, or plans to produce them in mass.

BIOLOGICAL

"ISG judges that Iraq's actions between 1991 and 1996 demonstrate that the state intended to preserve its BW capability and return to a steady, methodical progress toward a mature BW program when and if the opportunity arose.
...
In practical terms, with the destruction of the Al Hakam facility, Iraq abandoned its ambition to obtain advanced BW weapons quickly. ISG found no direct evidence that Iraq, after 1996, had plans for a new BW program or was conducting BW-specific work for military purposes. Indeed, from the mid-1990s, despite evidence of continuing interest in nuclear and chemical weapons, there appears to be a complete absence of discussion or even interest in BW at the Presidential level.
...
Iraq would have faced great difficulty in re-establishing an effective BW agent production capability. Nevertheless, after 1996 Iraq still had a significant dual-use capability - some declared - readily useful for BW if the Regime chose to use it to pursue a BW program. Moreover, Iraq still possessed its most important BW asset, the scientific know-how of its BW cadre.
...
Depending on its scale, Iraq could have re-established an elementary BW program within a few weeks to a few months of a decision to do so, but ISG discovered no indications that the Regime was pursuing such a course.
...
ISG judges that in 1991 and 1992, Iraq appears to have destroyed its undeclared stocks of BW weapons and probably destroyed remaining holdings of bulk BW agent. However ISG lacks evidence to document complete destruction. Iraq retained some BW-related seed stocks until their discovery after Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF).
...
In spite of exhaustive investigation, ISG found no evidence that Iraq possessed, or was developing BW agent production systems mounted on road vehicles or railway wagons."

OK. That was the last one: No biological weapons programme, but he did retain the know-how, as he indeed was an aggressive dictator who would have loved to terrorise his neighbours some more. But the report quite clearly shows that he couldn't: He did not have nuclear, chemical or biological weapons nor the delivery system to pose a real threat. It points out to his intent, but also a lack of planning.

The report quite clearly states this, thanks JeffR, for pointing it out to me. I'll never have to admit to not knowing the results of the WMD hunt in Iraq again. :wink:

Which deductions can we take from this? Well, the obvious one is that intelligence on Iraq was not good - to bad it was part of the argument for war. The other one might be - and I would leave that open for discussion - that the UN sanctions (in spite of the OFF misuse) actually did work.

Any thoughts, anyone?
Makkun


#19

LOL, I guess that was easier than trying to read it yourself, wasn't it Jerffy?


#20

Excellent post, Makkun.

I thought it was well-balanced and fair.

I'm going to do a little more digging.

Bear with me.

As of right now, it appears that Saddam drove his WMD programs underground (literally and figurativelly).

The ISG and other units have come across pieces of the clandestine cover up of said weapons systems.

We have evidence of scientists who worked in the field with orders from Saddam to conceal weapons components.

I thought it was hilarious (if it wasn't so sad) that POX had the audacity to state that the chemical weapons scientist, caught with vials in his home, may have had them there for some sort of benign reason. We have it from the mouth of the nuclear scientist that he was ordered to keep the uranium enrichment plans and some key components on his property. Is it really so difficult to imagine him saying the same thing to other branches of WMD production/research?

What are we left with? Even with the evidence presented, it just seems so clear that Saddam maintained the desire and the means to reconstitute his weapons programs (yes, we've found undeclared systems) once the sanctions were lifted.

We have vials, nuclear components, enriched/non-enriched components spread all over Iraq. This is highly suggestive of a concerted effort to conceal and disperse said components.

We are left with the lack of a garage or larger size repository of WMD clearly stating pre-2003 vintage that says, "Hey, ABBer's, this is Saddam and I plan on arming terrorists to hit the United States of America."

I'm beginning to think that this is the sort of "proof" required for some of these people.

For many of the rest of us, we can read the signs and connect the dots.

JeffR