Saturday, July 28, 2007

But, Everyone Thought Saddam Had Nuclear Weapons

Bush loyalist continue to insist that despite not finding any nuclear weapons in Iraq, that absolutely everyone who had adequate knowledge to have an informed opinion had concluded that Iraq had nuclear weapons. The argument is that we can’t blame Bush for being wrong; everyone else was wrong also.

“Why did Clinton three times cite the nuclear danger of Iraq in his December 1998 speech?” a fellow group member on a discussion site to which I belong asked in a recent exchange. “The Clinton and Bush Administration had exactly the same basic intelligence estimate regarding Iraq.” Statements from Al Gore, Sandy Berger, Hillary Clinton, Madeline Albright, John Kerry, and numerous others will be quoted to justify Bush’s decision to go to war with Iraq.

But what the Bush loyalists choose to ignore is the time factor. At one point in time, the Clinton Administration did conclude Saddam probably was reconstituting his weapons program. They did believe he was a threat. And, I think Bush was correct to apply pressure on Saddam, forcing him to allow the IAEC inspectors back in the country. But then, Bush ignored what they found. But by the time Bush led us to war, the inspectors had been back in the country and the IAEC testified they could find no trace of nuclear weapons.

By the time Bush decided to go to war, there was ample reason to believe Iraq did not have nuclear weapons. The important issue facing us now, is how to get out of Iraq, not how we got in. Nevertheless, the truth should be told, from time to time, simply so it is not forgotten. And maybe, by acknowledging our mistakes we will be less likely to repeat them. If told that an event occurred a certain way often enough, then overtime it is easy to forget what really happened.

In the March 7, 2003 presentation to the U.N. Security Council on the progress of the inspection effort in Iraq, Agency Director General Mohamed of The International Atomic Energy Commission stated that the IAEA had conducted a total of 218 nuclear inspections at 141 sites, including 21 that have not been inspected before. These inspections were not only visual inspections but analysis of sediment and air and soil samples. In addition to the sites, 75 facilities such as military bases and storage facilities had been inspected. They also interviewed scientist and technicians with knowledge of nuclear development. The IAEA director stated that Iraq had been forthcoming in its cooperation.

He said that as of that date “there is no indication of resumed nuclear activities” and that “ there is no indication that Iraq has attempted to import uranium since 1990”. Also. “no indication that Iraq has attempted to import aluminum tubes for use in centrifuge enrichment.”
And finally, “no indication to date that Iraq imported magnets for use in centrifuge enrichment program.”

Don’t accept it when a Bush apologist says, “Everyone thought Saddam had Nuclear Weapons”. For the full transcript of the March 7th IAEC report, see the following link:

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