may remember that in 2002, the year before the Iraq War began, the
United Nations Security Council ordered Iraq to produce a report
detailing all of its biological, chemical, and nuclear weapons –
past and present. Iraqi officials complied and produced an 11,800-page
report on Iraq’s weapons programs. The report described all the
chemical and biological weapons the country once had – where they
came from and what was done with them – as well as what had happened
to Iraq’s nuclear weapons program.
Although the report was prepared for the United Nations, U.S. officials
intercepted the report, edited
out 8,000 pages (over two thirds) of it, and delivered its Reader’s
Digest version of the report to the UN.
A German reporter managed to obtain a copy of the original report
from Iraq, and then compared
it with the truncated copy the U.S. gave to the UN. He found
that the missing parts covered the Iraqis’ acquisition of chemical
and biological weapons from the U.S., the delivery of non-fissionable
materials for a nuclear bomb by the U.S. to the Iraqis, and the
training of Iraqi nuclear scientists at U.S. nuclear facilities
in Los Alamos, Sandia, and Berkeley.
The basic points made in the report were:
Iraq once had chemical and biological weapons.
Some of those weapons were destroyed at the end of the Gulf
rest were destroyed under the supervision of the UN weapons
Iraq once had a program to develop nuclear weapons.
Some of the nuclear weapons facilities were destroyed at the
end of the Gulf War; the rest were destroyed under the supervision
of the UN weapons inspectors.
UN weapons inspector Hans Blix said the conclusions stated in the
report were basically true – that Iraq no longer had dangerous weapons.
Powell dismissed the report, calling it a "catalogue of
recycled information and flagrant omissions." Of course, as
we now know, the information was recycled because it happened to
be true, and the omissions were flagrant because U.S. officials
had done the omitting.
Hussein said he would be like to bring the UN weapons inspectors
back to Iraq. (They
had left for safety reasons in 1998 when President Clinton resumed
air strikes against Iraq.)
President Bush called Hussein’s offer a "cynical ploy"
and managed to nip any such idea in the bud.
Hussein also invited the U.S. Congress to send representatives,
accompanied by experts, to inspect any facilities in Iraq that they
wanted. President Bush said this changed nothing, and he managed
to derail the sending of a Congressional delegation.
Over and over, George Bush told us that Saddam Hussein was lying,
that he was dragging his feet, that Iraq had dangerous weapons,
that Hussein was a threat to the whole world,
Now here we are, over two years later. What have we learned?
Everything Hussein said about the weapons has turned out to
Everything George Bush said about Iraq’s weapons has turned
out to be false.
The Bush administration is trying to sugar-coat the above conclusions
by saying that the recently concluded weapons hunt by Charles Duelfer
and the CIA’s Iraq Survey Group (ISG)
discovered an "intent" by Hussein to renew his WMD
programs if the U.S. would only stay out of Iraq. However, Duelfer
has provided absolutely no hard evidence of such an "intent."
Once again we’re getting firm assertions backed up by nothing.
Former weapons inspector Scott
Ritter has summed it all up very well:
of the tragic ironies of the decision to invade Iraq is that the
Iraqi WMD declaration required by security council resolution 1441,
submitted by Iraq in December 2002, and summarily rejected by Bush
and Blair as repackaged falsehoods, now stands as the most accurate
compilation of data yet assembled regarding Iraq's WMD programs
(more so than even Duelfer's ISG report, which contains much unsubstantiated
speculation). Saddam Hussein has yet to be contradicted on a single
point of substantive fact. Iraq had disarmed; no one wanted to accept
In other words, the Butcher of Baghdad was correct; the President
of the United States of America was wrong. The Butcher of Baghdad
will be put on trial for "war crimes." The President of
the United States of America was reelected to "lead" the
country for four more years.
It’s a sorry state of affairs in America when you can trust the
words of Saddam Hussein more than those of your own President.