chasing saddam's weapons
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photo of inspectorsJoin the Discussion:  Eight months into the search, the U.S. has still not found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. What are your thoughts? Would the failure to find WMD invalidate the case for going to war?
 

Dear FRONTLINE,

One would think that a government with as many resources as the US, could easily fabricate a few face saving WMDs. I am surprised it hasn't and expect a miraculous WMD find just prior to the presidential election.

Bernard Wright
Sacramento, CA

Dear FRONTLINE,

I enjoyed this program, like so many others that I see on PBS, very much. It may have been one sided, but it was a side that network news stations seem to have blantantly neglected. Remember "Radio Free Europe" - news broadcasted to surpressed countries? The more I watch the large network stations, the more I appreciate and believe that stations like PBS represent Radio Free America.

George Sterpka
Folsom, CA

Dear FRONTLINE,

Your series once again was very educating and interesting. I have been asking myself and others a question for some years now: Does anyone realize that a weapon of mass destruction is a weapon that is filled with chemical, biological or nuclear agents; and that these agents are of liquid and compound form and can be carried in viles and small cases?

... a scientist can empty a weapon of its components(chemical, biological...)into a portable suitcase and store them in a freezer or under a tree in their back yard? Or send them over the border to neighboring countries that could use them for the same cause? Finding an actual weapon of mass destruction is extremely if not impossibly difficult. Lets face that fact and move on with the war against terrorists and the countries and regimes that support them.

Alec Yannoulis
Chicago, Illinois

Dear FRONTLINE,


Thanks for another thoughtful and thought-provoking program, but I wonder whether Dr. Grossman watched the same program I did. It seems to me that most of the points he lists in dismissing your efforts as "bad reporting" were, in fact, covered in the program. I assume the recent report from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace had not been released before your program was taped, but doesn't it reinforce your several of observations?

Donald Thomas
Chapel Hill, North Carolina

FRONTLINE's editors respond:

The Carnegie Report is linked to in the "Links and Readings" section of this web site.

Dear FRONTLINE,

Having worked in the field of WMD (nuclear)for decades, I believe that your "Chasing Saddam's Weapons" was very well done. What it boils down to is the question, "is the Bush Administration incredibly ignorant, or were they lying from the beginning?"

John G. Marinuzzi
LOS ALAMOS, New Mexico

Dear FRONTLINE,

Read, listen to and study the facts. Bush and his administration clearly said that the WMD existed at the time of the War and that War "right then in 2003" was the only means of stopping this & future weapons production. It is easy to dispute "maybes" & "couldas" but facts are always facts and when facts are distorted to advance war, then every world leader, including the President of the United States, should be held accountable, especially in an election year.

J M
kennesaw, georgia

Dear FRONTLINE,

A country as large as CA has many places to bury WMD. Facts are that many citizens who have attempted to assist the US have been threatened or killed by saddam allies. once saddam's allies are killed more information will be developed. We will find the WMD but it will take time. Remember saddam had years to hide ( mortar rounds, airplanes, WMD ) and lie to the UN.

david kaltenbach
gwinn, mi

Dear FRONTLINE,

Currently, I am a professor of law and geopolitical analysis at a small college. As a former USAF intelligence officer and intelligence veteran in Saudi Arabia during Desert Storm, as well as, a student of the tactics of the Soviet Union and its client states, I believe the deception surrounding Iraq's weapons programs after 1991 were not only a function of Saddam's ego, but also they were of a stratigic program of deception.

The Soviet tactics included "active measures" of disinformation, or "dezinformatsia", similiar to the Allies placing Gen. Patton in East Anglia across the English Channel from the Pas d'Calais to make the German High Command think the invasion of Europe would occur at Cherborg.

An excellent book on the subject is "Dexinformatsia: The Strategy of Soviet Disinformation" by Richard Shults & Roy Godson.

"When you are weak, feign strenght." Sun Tzu "The Art of War"

Lawrence Daniel, J.D.

Dear FRONTLINE,

I fully agree with David Kay and Hans Blix that regardless of the outcome, the search for WMDs, the evidence of their destruction, or their ultimate whereabouts is vitally important. If Iraq destroyed their stocks of chemical/biological agents and suspended their nuclear program after the first Gulf War, it points to a serious intelligence failure that needs to be addressed to husband finite resources in the War on Terror and prevent future terrorist attacks. If the weapons do still exist in some form, we need to find out where they are located and who has access to them.

The Frontline program pointed to the bureaucratic style of the Baathist regime. It seems odd that there would be no records of, or witnesses to, the disposal. How could Saddam be sure that none of the stockpiles ended up with his enemies inside or outside of Iraq? And how can we be sure?

Raymond Kyle
St. Louis, Missouri

Dear FRONTLINE,

Whether or not we find the weapons makes no difference to me. We all know that he had them. At a minimum, he pretended to have them. Your story stated that he wanted his neighbors to believe it. He snubbed his nose at the world for over a decade. That's more than enough to take him out in my opinion. If you threaten us, if you want a fight with us, you got it! No more of allowing these piss ant dictators to threaten us. What are we supposed to do, wait for him to take out Tel A Viv, Jerusalem, Tehran with a device that could potentially kill millions. We just sit around and wait for that and then we respond. Not in my book.

Americans are a peace loving people. I hope and wish we could love one another until the end of time. I've never had the urge to harm anyone. But when someone wants to kill me and my family for something so outrageous as our belief in Christ, I'm fighting back. I'm not waiting for you to kill my son before I take you out. No way. Someone threatens my family and I'm coming after them hard! You better believe that. God bless president Bush.

David Ripplinger
st. peters, mo

Dear FRONTLINE,

Jane Corbin actually seemed to take the search for WMD seriously rather than to treat it with the disrespect that it actually deserves.

The media frequently tell us how Iraq used such weapons on Iran. Why would Iraq not have used these weapons on the invading U.S. and British forces if the country actually had them (and they were operational in 45 minutes)? If intelligence gatherers said there were WMD surely someone should have asked them where these weapons were. The Bush and Blair administrations' manipulation of facts is beyond dispute but not beyond belief.

Jim Garwood
Winnipeg, Manitoba

Dear FRONTLINE,

Since the ISG has surveyed only approx 20% of all sites listed in the CIA paper( 10% as of DR Kay's report to Congress in Oct. 2003), it is unrealistic to draw any conclusions at this point.

The most interesting piece of information in this story continues to be the silence of the Iraqi scientific community and the threats they continue to receive for cooperating, even though the old regeme is no longer in control. I have no doubt that there will be WMD and their components found in Iraq: after all, the world community ( including those opposed to the conflict) had intelligence stating that Iraq indeed had WMD and programs.Some of those nations, willingly or covertly, supplied Iraq with weapon systems and weapons banned under the UN mandate.

michael daigeaun
plains, pa

Dear FRONTLINE,

Trust is probably the most important gift the politician can receive from his public. I believe Clinton lost much of this when he lied about his White House affair with a young woman. We may never know whether Bush's claims about Iraq weapons was just poor intelligence or a chorus of lies. Although I voted for him, I certainly trust him less now.

Thomas Zentner
Monroe, LA

Dear FRONTLINE,

The whole world agreed the U.N. inspectors should have continued looking for WMD's but the arrogant Bushies had other plans of getting their hands on "our oil which happens to be under Iraq's soil". It's a crying shame what this selected president has been allowed to get away with !!! Nothing but lies and distortions !

Renata Koppel

Dear FRONTLINE,

Frontline's program shows that our administration's allegation of weapons of mass destruction was false. The UN Security Council was right in not approving of the war against Iraq, at least not on the grounds that the Bush administration claimed. I am proud of how Chile and Mexico voted on that council and I am proud of the many individuals and groups around the world who opposed the war. I am sorry that my country's leadership lied.

Lindy Scott
Wheaton, Illinois

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posted january 22, 2004

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