October 03, 2003

U.S. Expert Reports No WMD Found in Iraq

The story written between the lines here is that some
men have kept their honor.

Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., said of Kay's briefing: "There was talk about facilities that might. There was talk about intent. But there was not talk about weapons of mass destruction. ... There's nothing we can point to and they're asking for another six to nine months."

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=540&e=1&u=/ap/20031002/ap_on_re_mi_ea/iraq_weapons_hunt

U.S. Expert Reports No WMD Found in Iraq
Thu Oct 2, 7:55 PM ET

By JOHN J. LUMPKIN, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON - Chief U.S. weapons searcher David Kay
reported Thursday he had found no weapons of mass
destruction in Iraq (news - web sites), a finding that
brought fresh congressional complaints about the Bush
administration's prewar assertions of an imminent
threat from Saddam Hussein (news - web sites).

Kay, in a report to Congress, described evidence of a
possible small-scale biological weapons effort, and
said searchers had substantial evidence of an Iraqi
push to boost the range of its ballistic missiles
beyond prohibited ranges.


But his team had found only limited evidence of any
chemical weapons effort, he said, and there was almost
no sign that a significant nuclear weapons project was
under way.


"We have not found at this point actual weapons," Kay
said. "It does not mean we've concluded there are no
actual weapons."


"In addition to intent, we have found a large body of
continuing activities and equipment that were not
declared to the U.N. inspectors when they returned in
November of last year," he said.


He cautioned that the search was still under way and
said he should know within six to nine months if there
was more to be found.


The lack of substantive findings so far brought
immediate negative reactions from both Republicans and
Democrats in Congress and also seemed certain to
raise new questions among allies overseas about the
Bush administration's justification for going to war.


"I'm not pleased by what I heard today, but we should
be willing to adopt a wait and see attitude and
that's the only alternative we really have," said Sen.
Pat Roberts, R-Kan., the chairman of the Senate
Intelligence Committee.


Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., said of Kay's briefing:
"There was talk about facilities that might. There was
talk about intent. But there was not talk about
weapons of mass destruction. ... There's nothing we
can point to and they're asking for another six to
nine months."


The administration's assertions about Iraq's weapons
programs and ties to terrorism, and the intelligence
conclusions behind those assertions had driven the
administration's case for war.


Critics have contended that either the CIA (news - web
sites) and other agencies that make up the U.S.
intelligence community made serious errors in their
analysis or the administration exaggerated what
intelligence information it did have to persuade a
skeptical world to support an invasion.


The administration is asking for $600 million to
continue the hunt for conclusive evidence that Saddam
had weapons of mass destruction, according to
congressional officials.


Separately, CIA Director George J. Tenet, in a letter
to the leaders of the House Intelligence Committee
obtained by The Associated Press, rejected
congressional criticism that the prewar intelligence
findings were flawed.


Tenet's statement came in response to a blistering
letter from Reps. Porter Goss, R-Fla., and Jane
Harman, D-Calif., the heads of the House intelligence
committee. That letter, dated Sept. 25, cited
"significant deficiencies with respect to the
collection activities concerning Iraq's WMD and ties
to al-Qaida prior to the commencement of hostilities
there."


Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said Thursday "it
will be unfortunate" if it turns out that intelligence
used to justify the war in Iraq turns out to have been
seriously flawed.


The findings cited by Kay included:


_ On biological weapons, a single vial of a strain of
botulinum, a poison that can be used as a weapon,
located at the home of a known biological weapons
scientist.

_ On chemical weapons, multiple sources told the
weapons hunting group that Iraq did not have a large,
ongoing, centrally controlled program after 1991.
There had been reports that Iraq retained some of its
old chemical weapons but Kay said none had been found.


_ On nuclear weapons, Kay said in his statement to
Congress that despite evidence of Saddam's continued
ambition to acquire nuclear weapons, "to date we have
not uncovered evidence that Iraq undertook significant
post-1998 steps to actually build nuclear weapons or
produce fissile material."

_ But on missiles, Kay said the team had "discovered
sufficient evidence to date to conclude that the Iraqi
regime was committed to delivery system improvements."


Posted by richard at October 3, 2003 02:01 PM