Thursday, October 07, 2004

The ISG report: on WMDs

The Iraq Survey Group report has just been released, and it's spreading like wildfire. Powerline has an excellent post on it. Please read it. Among the interesting tidbits from the report:

Senior military officers and former Regime officials were uncertain about the existence of WMD during the sanctions period and the lead up to Operation Iraqi Freedom because Saddam sent mixed messages. Early on, Saddam sought to foster the impression with his generals that Iraq could resist a Coalition ground attack using WMD. Then, in a series of meetings in late 2002, Saddam appears to have reversed course and advised various groups of senior officers and officials that Iraq in fact did not have WMD. His admissions persuaded top commanders that they really would have to fight the United States without recourse to WMD. In March 2003, Saddam created further confusion when he implied to his ministers and senior officers that he had some kind of secret weapon.

Saddam asked in 1999 how long it would take to build a production line for CW [chemical weapons] agents, accordingto the former Minister of Military Industrialization. Huwaysh investigated and responded that experts could readily prepare a production line for mustard, which could be produced within six months. VX and Sarin production was more complicated and would take longer. Huwaysh relayed this answer to Saddam, who never requested follow-up information. An Iraqi CW expert separately estimated Iraq would require only a few days to start producing mustard—if it was prepared to sacrifice the production equipment.
Imad Husayn ‘Ali Al ‘Ani, closely tied to Iraq’s VX program, alleged that Saddam had been looking for chemical weapons scientists in 2000 to begin production in a second location, according to reporting.


Watch Kerry's foreign policy go flushing down the drain...

From Glenn Reynolds:

The weapons of mass destruction case is a bit more, um, nuanced than a lot of the press treatment makes it sound, of course. No weapons have been found, but the Iraq Survey Group's report makes clear that Saddam wanted to outwait sanctions and then start making the weapons again:
The ISG, who confirmed last autumn that they had found no WMD, last night presented detailed findings from interviews with Iraqi officials and documents laying out his plans to bribe foreign businessmen and politicians.
Although they found no evidence that Saddam had made any WMD since 1992, they found documents which showed the "guiding theme" of his regime was to be able to start making them again with as short a lead time as possible."
But hey, Kerry voted for the war, so his arguments on that topic boil down to either (1) Bush lied, and I'm gullible: or (2) Bush and I both got fooled, but I'll do better next time. Neither is very compelling.

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