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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » How could we be so wrong??? Top WMD Inspector says Iraq likely disarmed in mid 90s

   
Author Topic: How could we be so wrong??? Top WMD Inspector says Iraq likely disarmed in mid 90s
Tresopax
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http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A54353-2004Jan27.html?nav=hptop_ts

quote:
U.S. weapons inspectors in Iraq found new evidence that Saddam Hussein's regime quietly destroyed some stockpiles of biological and chemical weapons in the mid-1990s, former chief inspector David Kay said yesterday.

The discovery means that inspectors have not only failed to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq but also have found exculpatory information -- contemporaneous documents and confirmations from interviews with Iraqis -- demonstrating that Hussein did make efforts to disarm well before President Bush began making the case for war.

So, the question is, can we now say that the more peaceful pre-Dubya policies towards Iraq and U.N. resolutions were far more effecitve than many conservatives keep trying to claim?

And what was responsible for the illusion that Iraq's WMD programs were still imminent threats? Why did our intelligence fail?

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pooka
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Yeah, and it only took a year for this guy to come forward. [Roll Eyes]
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Farmgirl
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You have to remember that pre-W administrations (Clinton) also believed that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Stated as such. This isn't a NEW idea to the current administration.

FG

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Storm Saxon
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And with O' Neill's revelations, various members of the administration involvement with PNAC, etc, does anyone believe that this invasion would not have happened regardless?

To be objective, I want to also point out that Kay also said quite pointedly that this was an intelligence failure, and shouldn't be laid solely at the feet of Bush.

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Gottmorder
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But here's the money question: Then why didn't Saddam show the proof that he had disarmed?
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Teshi
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It's not like Saddam Hussein really helped in making the world believe he didn't have WMDs anymore either.

EDIT: Too slow.

Probably because he gained more from being stubborn. (He could eventually prove the US wrong in the end, as he has done)

[ January 28, 2004, 06:26 PM: Message edited by: Teshi ]

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fugu13
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Very simple. He thought the US was out to get him. Thus, any proof of WMD disarmament would only ensure an invasion. If he just denied it consistently, he could continue to hope that the possible presence of WMDs would keep the US out due to loss of life risk, while the possible absence of them would keep the US from getting together the support (domestic and international) necessary to oust him.
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Gottmorder
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Although you'd think that he would have done so when the US was about to invade. That would have been a kick to the US's figurative arse.
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Tresopax
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quote:
Yeah, and it only took a year for this guy to come forward.
'This guy' is the Chief Weapons Inspector appointed by the Bush administration to go into Iraq and find the truth about the WMDs. He's been in Iraq for the past year leading the WMD hunt. A year ago he would not have known the answer.

[ January 28, 2004, 06:47 PM: Message edited by: Tresopax ]

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newfoundlogic
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Of course he also said he still thinks there were some WMD and that they might have been moved to Lebanon. He also said the administration was not only not completely at fault, but just as much the victims of bad intelligence as any other Americans. He also said some other pro Bush things regarding the war but why would anyone ever want to report about that?
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pooka
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Sorry, Tres, I thought it was one of the guys Clinton brought home. Silly me. I've been obsessing with the NH primary and didn't read the whole story.
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Destineer
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Ha!

You were right before, Tres. We owe the world an apology. And we owe ourselves a four-year reprieve from this neo-con madness. This is where the Project for a New American Century has brought us.

quote:
He also said the administration was not only not completely at fault, but just as much the victims of bad intelligence as any other Americans.
I think the administration made pretty clear what sort of intelligence they expected, and the intelligence agencies aimed to please.
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Maccabeus
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Bah.

We owe the world an apology for unseating a tyrant? Even if we shouldn't have done it now, it's done, as it would have had to be done sooner or later.

I can't make myself concerned about this. I'm more worried about the economy.

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Primal Curve
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I watched a big chunk of this hearing while at work yesterday (TV in the lobby is tuned to CNN 24/7, so I've been all up ons in da politics these days.) The point was made that Saddam was sitting dead center in one of the toughest political and religious regions in the world. Even a small sign of weakness would ensure invasion from neighboring countries that have wanted his ass for ages.
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Robespierre
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The situation that Kay described in Iraq before the war, I think, was even more dangerous than was billed. The absolute lack of control, the total chaos in his weapons programs was scary. People have made a big deal about the differences between Saddam and Osama, noting how Osama called him an Apostate and thought he was a secular mistake. If Saddam had no control over all the guys who had the knowledge to build these weapons, why would the situation between Saddam and Osama mean anything? What stopped Iraq from being a Home Depot for terrorists looking for WMD components? There is plenty of evidence that Al Quaida and other associated groups had connections in Iraq before the war.
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fugu13
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Robespierre -- that of course completely neglects that the situation that Kay described in Iraq before the war did not include non-conventional components to WMD.

When there are no WMD to be stolen there isn't much to worry about in theft from the former WMD program (worrying by us, that is).

[ January 29, 2004, 05:20 PM: Message edited by: fugu13 ]

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newfoundlogic
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According to Kay the actual situation in Iraq was even a greater danger to us than the believed situation was. This being due to chaos Robespierre mentioned. Furthermore similarly to what Maccabeus said, we deposed the cruelest tyrant since Stalin or possibly ever. We know that there was genocide taking place. Hussein used chemical weapons against the Kurds and enforced laws against Shiites and other religions. The humanitarian smoking gun has been found dozens of times over. Why do we owe the international community anything except that maybe we established a precedent for liberating people and other oppressed nations might want the same? Its not like we ignored the UN. First we got a security council resolution that authorized force. Then Russia, France, China, and Germany ignored that made it known they would veto any new security council resolution. At what point did we ignore the UN? What point would the UN have helped us out?
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Destineer
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quote:
According to Kay the actual situation in Iraq was even a greater danger to us than the believed situation was. This being due to chaos Robespierre mentioned.
How could they be dangerous to us without WMDs?
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Xaposert
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quote:
First we got a security council resolution that authorized force. Then Russia, France, China, and Germany ignored that made it known they would veto any new security council resolution. At what point did we ignore the UN?
1. It didn't authorize force - something Bush wanted but could not get the U.N. to agree to
2. It concerned WMDs (which Iraq apparently did get rid of) and weapons inspections (which Iraq did agree to)

We ignored the U.N. because they concluded that no damning evidence had been found in Iraq and that more time was necessary for weapons inspections before force could become an option. We asked if we could go to war and, despite the fact that we paid nations to let us, they still said no, without even having to use vetoes. Then we went ahead and attacked anyway, declaring that we already KNEW Iraq had WMDs and that no further evidence was necessary. Now, are you saying you wouldn't call that ignoring the U.N.?

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plaid
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Something I hate about the whole WMDs discussion is how folks are now excusing the WMDs rationale by saying that before the war, "everyone" agreed that Iraq's WMDs were a threat.

Here's a fun link:

http://www.thememoryhole.org/war/powell-no-wmd.htm

(from a press conference in Cairo, Feb 24 2001):
quote:
Powell: "[Saddam Hussein] has not developed any significant capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction. He is unable to project conventional power against his neighbors."
Or Powell in Senate committee testimony May 15, 2001:
quote:
[Iraq] doesn't have the capacity it had 10 or 12 years ago. It has been contained. And even though we have no doubt in our mind that the Iraqi regime is pursuing programs to develop weapons of mass destruction -- chemical, biological and nuclear -- I think the best intelligence estimates suggest that they have not been terribly successful. There's no question that they have some stockpiles of some of these sorts of weapons still under their control, but they have not been able to break out, they have not been able to come out with the capacity to deliver these kinds of systems or to actually have these kinds of systems that is much beyond where they were 10 years ago.

So containment, using this arms control sanctions regime, I think has been reasonably successful.

(On the same page of the link, there's also a bit at the bottom of the page, where Condi Rice is quoted as saying on CNN on July 29, 2001 that "in terms of Saddam Hussein being there, let's remember that his country is divided, in effect. He does not control the northern part of his country. We are able to keep arms from him. His military forces have not been rebuilt. ")

So, there you've got Powell (our Sec. of State) and Rice (our NSA Advisor), in 2001, saying that they're not worrying about Saddam Hussein as a threat...

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Argèn†~
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quote:
There is plenty of evidence that Al Quaida and other associated groups had connections in Iraq before the war.
If there is so much, would you mind showing a little to us? All I've heard are Bush making vague connections and other similar non-related insinuations from people. I've seen zero proof or evidence.
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