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Man inspecting shells
6.13.03
Politics and Economy:
Reviewing the Evidence: Weapons of Mass Destruction
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In his State of the Union address on January 28, 2003, President Bush stated, "Saddam Hussein has gone to elaborate lengths, spent enormous sums, taken great risks to build and keep weapons of mass destruction." Since no weapons have been found, critics have begun to question the Bush administration's sources. How could the administration have been so definite in the case it made for war? Review the evidence.

Around the world, leaders are making their own assessments. Here are some news items about the current WMD buzz:

  • On June 11, The CIA announced the appointment of Dr. David Kay as Special Advisor for Strategy regarding Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Programs. Dr. Kay will be based in Iraq and will be in charge of determining the current status of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction.

  • Australian Prime Minister John Howard predicted that evidence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq would eventually emerge: "I believe that we should give the inspection teams a lot more time before we start declaring that it was all a giant mistake or that there was giant deception. I remain confident that the intelligence advice given to the Australian government by our authorities was properly based." (Reported by the AUSTRALIAN ASSOCIATED PRESS)

  • According to REUTERS News Agency, Amir al-Helou, former Saddam aide has spoken out about the issue of weapons, saying, "The story of weapons of mass destruction is all a lie and the Americans know that very well." Helou added that although Iraq used to have weapons of mass destruction, these were all destroyed by U.N. arms inspectors or U.S. air strikes during the 1991 war.

  • U.N. Security Council members called on the Bush administration to let U.N. weapons inspectors return to Iraq to certify whether the country possessed secret biological and chemical weapons before the U.S.-led invasion. (Reported by THE GUARDIAN, London)

  • In an interview with London's Guardian Newspaper, chief U.N. weapons inspector Hans Blix was quoted as saying, "I agree that the Iraqis are very clever. They have learned, had many years to learn how to hide things. But nevertheless, most of the intelligence has not been solid. Maybe they thought it was solid, but it hasn't led us to the right places."

  • The Liberal Democratic Party in Japan has stalled on making a decision on the government's draft of a new Iraqi reconstruction bill. The Executive Council has called for more thorough discussions due to concerns about details of WMD disposal (as well as the fact that no WMD have yet been found) and the role that Japan's Self-Defense Forces would play. (Reported by THE JAPAN TIMES)

  • AL-JAZEERAH reports that the U.S.-backed Iraqi political leader Ahmad Chalabi has said he was aware of media reports suggesting his Iraqi National Congress gave false information on Baghdad's weapons program, but that he stood behind prior statements. Asked whether he believed evidence of chemical weapons or an active nuclear weapons program would be found, Chalabi replied, "I believe they will. It is the same situation with finding Saddam. How are they looking for Saddam?"



Resources:
Central Intelligence Agency
The CIA is an independent agency, responsible to the President and accountable to the American people through the intelligence oversight committees of the U.S. Congress. The CIA's mission is to support the President, the National Security Council, and all officials who make and execute the U.S. national security policy by providing accurate, comprehensive, and timely foreign intelligence on national security topics and conducting counterintelligence activities, special activities, and other functions related to foreign intelligence and national security, as directed by the President.

"A Decade of Deception and Defiance"
From the White House site, a background paper for President George W. Bush's speech to the United Nations General Assembly, September 12, 2002. The paper provides specific examples of how Iraqi President Saddam Hussein has systematically and continually violated 16 United Nations Security Council resolutions over the past decade.

Iraq Debriefing Book
The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) is dedicated to providing world leaders with strategic insights - and policy solutions to - current and emerging global issues. The site hosts op-eds, articles on homeland security, and issues related to the current situation in Iraq, as well as featuring articles and papers on other topics of national and international public policy.

Iraq: Special Report
Latest news and key information from the White House on "Renewal in Iraq."

Iraq and Weapons of Mass Destruction: National Security Archive Electronic Briefing
The documents presented in this electronic briefing book include the major unclassified U.S. and British assessments of Iraqi WMD programs, the reports of the International Atomic Energy Agency and the United Nations Special Commission covering the final period prior to the 1998 departure and the period since November 27, 2002; the transcript of a key speech by President George W. Bush; a recently released statement on U.S. policy towards combating WMD; the transcript of and slides for Secretary Powell's presentation to the U.N. on February 5, 2003; and documents from the 1980s and 1990s concerning various aspects of Iraqi WMD activities.

Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction: The Assessment of the British Government
The British government has released its dossier on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction and has made it available on this site. Published on September 24, 2002, the dossier details the threat posed by Saddam Hussein's regime.

U.N. Department for Disarmament Affairs
The Weapons of Mass Destruction Branch provides substantive support for the activities of the United Nations in the area of weapons of mass destruction (nuclear, chemical and biological weapons), including the threat of use of weapons of mass destruction in terrorist acts, as well as missiles. The site features the text of and background on the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, as well as a wealth of other information on the United Nations programs of disarmament.

U.S. Department of State Bureau of Nonproliferation
The State Department has put together a list of resources on International Security, including highlights on issues such as Iraq's Hidden Weapons and a White House report on "What Does Disarmament Look Like?"

WMD Resources
The Federation of American Scientists provides a global guide to nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, including information on delivery systems, doctrine, organizations and facilities.

Selected media coverage of the controversy:
BBC
ABC News
THE BULLETIN with NEWSWEEK
CNN.com
NEWSWEEK
U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT
THE WASHINGTON POST



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