Category Archive 'Missing Iraqi WMD'
03 Jul 2007

Don’t Be So Sure

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Rachel Neuwirth advises, at American Thinker, Don’t Be So Sure There Were No WMD in Iraq.

Before America went to war to topple Saddam Hussein’s regime it was widely believed that he possessed weapons of mass destruction. Today it is widely believed that there were no WMD in Iraq before the war. People of both political parties, the major media, and the intellectual community all appear in strong agreement on that point. Some even charge that the Bush Administration deliberately, and knowingly, misled the nation with false information as a pretext to justify going to war.

The Bush Administration is quietly acknowledging that they made a mistake, albeit not intentional. That admission seems to be the final confirmation that there were no WMD in Iraq. In police work when the accused confesses to making a mistake, it is then assumed that the accusation is true and people consider it to be ‘case closed’.

This widespread belief of no WMD in Iraq is seriously damaging our ability to deal with a growing nuclear threat from Iran. There are those who opposed our toppling mass murderer Saddam Hussein both in 1991 and again in 2003, even after he defied multiple U.N. resolutions and was generally believed to have WMD. Now the ‘peace at any price’ crowd is exploiting the widespread belief of ‘no WMD’ to undermine our war in Iraq. If we fail in Iraq it greatly weakens our ability to deal with Iran, which will become greatly emboldened and infinitely more dangerous as it eventually goes nuclear.

01 May 2007

Tenet Discounts Saddam as Nuclear Threat

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Lorie Bird at Wizbang reports that during his interview on 60 Minutes, George Tenet continued his attacks on the Bush Administration for ignoring the Intelligence Community and launching an unnecessary invasion of Iraq.

Dick Cheney and the Neocons were wrong, Tenet asserted. Wiser heads in the Intelligence Community had more correctly estimated that Saddam wouldn’t have nuclear weapons (he could make available to terrorists) until 2007 to 2009!

SCOTT PELLEY, CBS’ “60 MINUTES”: January ’03, the President, again: “imagine those 19 hijackers this time armed by Saddam’s Hussein,” is that what you’re telling the President?

GEORGE TENNET: No.

[narrating voice]

The Vice President up the anty, claiming Saddam had nuclear weapons when the CIA was saying he didn’t.

PELLEY: What’s happening here?

TENNET: I don’t know what’s happening here. The intelligence community’s judgement is he will not have nuclear weapons until the year 2007, 2009.

PELLEY: That’s not what the Vice President is saying.

TENNET: Well I can’t explain it.

video link

19 Apr 2007

Those Missing WMDs Again

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Melanie Phillips has released on her blog a piece which will be appearing in the Spectator tomorrow.

It’s a fair bet that you have never heard of a guy called Dave Gaubatz. It’s also a fair bet that you think the hunt for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq has found absolutely nothing, nada, zilch; and that therefore there never were any WMD programmes in Saddam’s Iraq to justify the war ostensibly waged to protect the world from Saddam’s use of nuclear, biological or chemical weapons.

Dave Gaubatz, however, says you could not be more wrong. Saddam’s WMD did exist. He should know because he found the sites where he is certain they were stored. And the reason you don’t know about this is that the American administration failed to act on his information, ‘lost’ his classified reports and is now doing everything it can to prevent disclosure of the terrible fact that, through its own incompetence, it allowed Saddam’s WMD to end up in the hands of the very terrorist states against whom it is so controversially at war. …

Having served for 12 years as an agent in the US Air Force’s Office of Special Investigations Mr Gaubatz, a trained Arabic-speaker, was hand-picked for postings in 2003, first in Saudi Arabia and then in Nasariyah in Iraq. His mission was to locate suspect WMD sites, discover threats against US forces in the area and find Saddam loyalists, and then send such intelligence to the Iraq Survey Group and other agencies.

Between March and July 2003, he says, he was taken to four sites in southern Iraq— two within Nasariyah, one 20 miles south and one near Basra — which, he was told by numerous Iraqi sources, contained biological and chemical weapons, material for a nuclear programme and UN-proscribed missiles. He was, he says, in no doubt whatever that this was true.

This was in the first place because of the massive size of these sites and the extreme lengths to which the Iraqis had gone to conceal them. Three of them were bunkers buried 20-30 feet beneath the Euphrates. They had been constructed through building dams which were removed after the huge subterranean vaults had been excavated so that these were concealed beneath the river bed. The bunker walls were made of reinforced concrete five feet thick.

‘There was no doubt, with so much effort having gone into hiding these constructions, that something very important was buried there’, says Mr Gaubatz. By speaking to a wide range of Iraqis, some of whom risked their lives by talking to him and whose accounts were provided in ignorance of each other, he built up a picture of the nuclear, chemical and biological materials they said were buried underground.

‘They explained in detail why WMDs were in these areas and asked the US to remove them’, says Mr Gaubatz. ‘Much of this material had been buried in the concrete bunkers and in the sewage pipe system. There were also missile imprints in the area and signs of chemical activity —gas masks, decontamination kits, atropine needles. The Iraqis and my team had no doubt at all that WMDs were hidden there.’ …

Mr Gaubatz verbally told the ISG of his findings, and asked them to come with heavy equipment to breach the concrete of the bunkers and uncover their sealed contents. But to his consternation, the ISG told him they didn’t have the manpower or equipment to do it and that it would be ‘unsafe’ to try.

‘The problem was that the ISG were concentrating their efforts in looking for WMD in northern Iraq and this was in the south’, says Mr Gaubatz. ‘They were just swept up by reports of WMD in so many different locations. But we told them if they didn’t excavate these sites, others would’.

That, he says, is precisely what happened. He subsequently learned from Iraqi, CIA and British intelligence that the WMD buried in the four sites were excavated by Iraqis and Syrians, with help from the Russians, and moved to Syria. The location in Syria of this material, he says, is also known to these intelligence agencies. The worst-case scenario has now come about. Saddam’s nuclear, biological and chemical material is in the hands of a rogue terrorist state — and one with close links to Iran.

12 Jan 2007

Iraqi Insurgents Claim to Have Fired Chemical WMDs at US Forces

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Iraqi Jihadi Iinsurgents released a video on Wednesday showing the preparation, and launching, of missiles containing chemical weapons. Story at MEMRI.

The Salahaldin Al-Ayoubi Brigades, the military wing of JAMI, Al Jabha Al-Islamiyya l’il-Muqawama Al-‘Iraqiyya, announced via Islamist websites that today, January 10, 2007, it had fired four missiles loaded with chemicals at a U.S. base near Samara, Iraq. The organization posted a film showing militants wearing gas masks and filling the missiles with a liquid which the organization claims are chemicals.

Hat tip to AJStrata.

04 Nov 2006

Authenticated By the Times

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Douglas Ross thanks the Times for (implicitly, at least) changing its position on Saddam and WMDs yesterday.

Starting in 1994 — and lasting at least until 1997, but probably longer — Saddam Hussein’s Intelligence Services had multiple, direct contacts with Osama Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda.

And, just four days after 9/11, Hussein’s Intelligence personnel issued written warnings that their connections to Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda might be discovered by the U.S.!

In 2003, an Iraqi government memo testified that a convoy of fifty (50) tractor-trailers entered Syria just before the invasion. What cargo would have been shipped into Iraq just before the invasion (for which each driver was paid $200, a very generous sum in 2003 Iraqi terms)?

Also in 2003, another official memo describes where chemical weapons and delivery systems (missiles) were hidden to prevent their destruction in the invasion.

In 2002, Hussein’s government was actively manufacturing the bioweapon ricin.

Also in 2002, Iraqi Intelligence Forces were actively engaged in the design of bioweapon delivery schemes, including the use of airplanes to spread toxic materials.

In 2001, Hussein ordered mass grave sites to be tested for radiation. What exactly about these graves would require testing for radiation?

In 2001, Hussein’s government actively recruited suicide bombers to attack American interests either in the U.S. or abroad.

In 1999, Uday Hussein ordered a series of assassinations in London, Iran, and Iraq.

* * *

And – there’s more where those documents came from. The net result, though, is that the Times has confirmed several critical facts regarding Iraq:

1. Saddam’s government had mature WMD programs just prior to the invasion (bioweapons, chemical, and nuclear).

2. Saddam was only months away from building an atomic weapon.

3. Saddam’s government had multiple, operational ties to global terror groups, including Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda.

Thank you, New York Times!

02 Nov 2006

New York Times Spills Some Very Interesting Beans

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From the Friday New York Times, we learn that some of the captured Iraqi documents, recently made available for public scrutiny on the Internet, contained technical details of atomic weapons production whose availability on-line alarmed arms control officials.

The Times published all this as an indictment of the public release of captured Iraqi documents.

The director of national intelligence, John D. Negroponte, had resisted setting up the Web site, which some intelligence officials felt implicitly raised questions about the competence and judgment of government analysts. But President Bush approved the site’s creation after Congressional Republicans proposed legislation to force the documents’ release…

Some intelligence officials feared that individual documents, translated and interpreted by amateurs, would be used out of context to second-guess the intelligence agencies’ view that Mr. Hussein did not have unconventional weapons or substantive ties to Al Qaeda. Reviewing the documents for release would add an unnecessary burden on busy intelligence analysts, they argued.

But the Times overlooks the fact that this kind of detailed technical information about an Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction Program specifically confirms the Bush Administration’s causus belli, against which elite media (like the Times), and the most influential sectors of the Intelligence Community have so successfully waged a campaign of denial.

Does not the very existence of documents providing factual information of the highest relevance to the most vital public debate of the last three years, concealed by powerful elements of the Intelligence Community, perhaps prejudiced on policy issues, or possibly motivated (as some suspect) by partisanship, demand “second-guessing?”

Hat tip to Matt Drudge.

16 Sep 2006

Hitchens on Iraq and the Niger Uranium

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Christopher Hitchens dissects the facile dismissal of Iraq seeking Niger uranium in the Pouting Spooks’ Senate Intelligence Committee report.

And, on page 54 we read, under the heading “Conclusions”:

Iraq had two contacts with Niger after 1998, but neither involved the purchase of uranium. The purpose of a visit to Niger by the Iraqi ambassador to the Vatican, Wissam al-Zahawie, was to invite the president of Niger to visit Iraq. The other visit involved discussions of a Nigerien oil purchase from Iraq.

Since the report does not trouble to supply any reasoning from the evidence to its conclusions, we are left to infer that there is nothing odd about Saddam Hussein’s envoy (to the Vatican) paying a visit to Niger, and nothing unusual about Niger’s desire to buy (“for cash”) crude oil from a country under international sanctions that is much less close and convenient a source of oil than, say, its neighbors Nigeria and Algeria.

That ambassador to the Vatican, it turns out, was none other than Wissam al-Zahawi. Ambassador Rolf Ekéus, head of the UNSCOM inspection team after the end of the first Gulf War, tells Hitchens:

When I first heard that it was Zahawie who had been to Niger, I thought well, then, that’s it. Conclusive.

One of my colleagues remembers Zahawie as Iraq’s delegate to the IAEA General Conference during the years 1982-84. One item on the agenda was the diplomatic and political fall-out of Israel’s destruction of the Osirak reactor (a centerpiece of Iraq’s nuclear weapons ambitions). . . . He was the under-secretary of the foreign ministry selected by Baghdad to represent Iraq on the most sensitive issue, the question of Iraq’s nuclear weapons ambitions. His participation as leader of the Iraqi delegation to the 1995 Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference merely confirms his standing as Iraq’s top negotiator on nuclear weapons issues.

Hitchens sums it up.

The Senate report gives two versions of Zahawie’s name without ever once mentioning his significant background. It takes at face value his absurd claim about the supposedly innocent motive for his out-of-the-way trip. It accepts similarly bland assurances made by the government of Niger… It does not canvass the views of our allies, or of tried-and-tested experts like Ambassador Ekéus. It offers little evidence and no argument in support of its conclusions. It is a minor disgrace, but a disgrace nevertheless.

09 Sep 2006

Liberal Majority on Senate Intel Committee Adopts Pouting Spook’s Press Releases

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The merry gang of former John Kerry supporters in control of the US Intelligence Community under the Bush Administration have produced two extremely partisan reports, establishing that they were right all along: Saddam Hussein was perfectly harmless, had no WMDs, and had nothing to do with Al Qaeda or terrorism generally, and Bush lied.

These conclusions are reached by the artful selection of data, and by systematically dismissing the sources of all evidence to the contrary of a preferred reality as unreliable on a variety of questionable bases. This source spoke to the Press, that proves he’s lying. And that source took a job with the Iraqi opposition, obviously he was always peddling propaganda on their behalf. If you throw out every piece of evidence you don’t like, using any convenient rationalization, it isn’t difficult to arrive at the conclusions you desired all along.

The reports were adopted, and amended, in a series of partisan votes, in which so-called Republican Senators Olympias Snowe (Maine) and Chuck Hagel (Nebraska) voted with the democrats.

New York Times story

————————————
The Reports:

Postwar Findings on WMD Programs and Links to Terrorism

Report on Information Provided by the Iraqi National Congress

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AJStrata notes that media establishment journalists can’t read.

Now I know why journalists get their stories so wrong so often – they lack basic reading comprehension skills. With all the hoopla about the Senate Intelligence report supposedly saying there were no ties between Saddam and Terrorists (despite Iraq documents which log the training of thousands of terrorists, and notes regarding meetings with Al Qaeda) it might behoove people to read them for themselves.

————————————

Flopping Aces quotes some sources the reports overlooked:

Like the 2002 Congressional Resolution authorizing the use of force against Iraq.

“Whereas members of al-Qaida, an organization bearing responsibility for attacks on the United States, its citizens, and interests, including the attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, are known to be in Iraq…

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Macranger

I’m still weeding through this “report”. First impressions I got is that it seems to read as if it were trying to convince me that Saddam had no ties to Al Qaeda as if by repeating over and over again I would descend in to a state of BDS and start a new liberal blog…

Our Senate Intelligence Committee could care less about getting to the truth, for the Democrats on the committee it was just another way to get Bush, nothing more, and nothing less.

28 Jul 2006

100 Truckloads to Syria

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Captain Ed quotes the translation of captured Iraqi document No. ISGQ-2005-00022470:

On Moharram 10th (Arabic calendar) [14 March 2003], prior to US/allied invasion to Iraq, fifty (50) Iraqi trucks entered Syria as convoys (or groups), I met some the drivers of those trucks, they got no idea about the content of their trucks.
The loads basically came from some where in Baghdad, Iraqi intelligence were escorting the loads. During their tripe, those truck drivers were stopped and asked frequently by the intelligence officers about whether or not they got any idea about the content of their loads, the divers replied “we have no idea”, then the officers would say “thank you”.

Upon their arrival to Deayr Ezoor city/ Syria, the drivers were ordered to get down, elements from Syrian intelligence got into the trucks, they took the trucks to big barracks for downloading.

After that; Iraqi drivers got their trucks back, they got $200 as a reward.

The drivers told me that it was their second time to bring such secret shipment; the first shipment was Moharram 1st.

05 Jul 2006

More Qassam Rockets From Gaza Strike Israel

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A second Qassam missile launched by Hamas militia from Gaza struck the Israeli city of Ashkelon Wednesday night, one day after the first rocket to hit a city in Israel landed on a high school. Another missile exploded harmlessly south of the city. Depkafile reports:

Eight people in shock, four of them children. The missile exploded on residential Efraim Tsur Street.

Jerusalem Post

WorldNetDaily

The really intriguing question of whether the Palestinians will make good their threat of using WMDs remains to be seen.

04 Jul 2006

Four Qassam Rockets Fired Yesterday Into Israel

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One Qassam rocket fired Tuesday evening by Hamas militia units struck a high school in the Israeli coastal city of Ashkelon, 6 miles (10 km) over the border from the Gaza strip. No one was injured, and the rocket apparently did not carry a chemical warhead. This rocket strike represented the deepest penetration into Israel by a Qassam rocket so far, and was described as “a major escalation” by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

Another Israel report says that an additional three Qasam rockets were fired Tuesday morning from Northern Gaza into Israel, all three landed in the Negev region and caused no injuries and no damages. One rocket landed near kibbutz Yad Mordechai and two other in open fields near kibbutz Nahal Oz.

The use of the Qassam rockets against Israel by Hamas militia units, though so far producing little in the way of results, is of international interest because al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades boasted in leaflets distributed in Gaza on June 25th of possessing both chemical and biological weapons capabilities.

30 Jun 2006

But Did They Contain Gas?

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Depkafile reports that, yes, Virginia, at least three Palestinian missiles were fired (presumably by al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades) into Israel from Gaza.

So, tell us aready, did any of the three feature the chemical warhead, Palestinian sources said they had launched yesterday?

An unexploded Palestinian missile armed with two engines to extend its range was found in Ashkelon cemetery Friday.

It was the first to land inside the town and one of three missiles fired at Ashkelon from northern Gaza Thursday night. Two exploded in the Ashkelon industrial zone, another near the big power station. Israel’s air force went into action and for the second time in a week blasted Gaza’s transformer station, outing electricity in many parts of the Gaza Strip. Two more Qassam missiles blew up Friday outside Kibbutz Gevim and Sderot.

In leaflets distributed in Gaza on Sunday, reported in the Jerusalem Post, al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades were claiming to have “developed” 20 different types of chemical and biological weapons.

It is hardly likely that the simple and uneducated street fellahin making up the membership of Palestinian “Martyrs Brigades” have any such scientific capabilities, but the close ties between Hamas and Syria are only too well known.

Right now, the leadership of Hamas is hiding in Syria, while directing kidnappings, murders, and rocket attacks on Israel from Gaza.

There is a good deal of reason to believe that a very large portion of Saddam Husssein’s Weapons of Mass Destruction were hastily evacuated to Syria at the time of the US Invasion in 2003. It is consequently not very difficult to connect the dots, if WMDs of any form really are established to have appeared in Palestinian hands in Gaza.

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