Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Have We Found Iraq's WMDs?

An interesting article by Kenneth Timmerman entitled “Iraq’s WMD Have Been Found” has certainly been under-reported in the press. In the article, he mentions, for example, that while former weapons inspector David Kay reported that they had failed to find the WMD “stockpiles” this was front-page news. On the other hand, when Kay presented the Iraq Survey Group’s findings to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence last October the media was silent. As Timmerman writes, among Kay’s findings where the following:

· A prison laboratory complex that may have been used for human testing of BW agents and "that Iraqi officials working to prepare the U.N. inspections were explicitly ordered not to declare to the U.N." Why was Saddam interested in testing biological-warfare agents on humans if he didn't have a biological-weapons program?
· "Reference strains" of a wide variety of biological-weapons agents were found beneath the sink in the home of a prominent Iraqi BW scientist. "We thought it was a big deal," a senior administration official said. "But it has been written off [by the press] as a sort of 'starter set.'"
· New research on BW-applicable agents, brucella and Congo-Crimean hemorrhagic fever, and continuing work on ricin and aflatoxin that were not declared to the United Nations.
· A line of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or drones, "not fully declared at an undeclared production facility and an admission that they had tested one of their declared UAVs out to a range of 500 kilometers [311 miles], 350 kilometers [217 miles] beyond the permissible limit."
· "Continuing covert capability to manufacture fuel propellant useful only for prohibited Scud-variant missiles, a capability that was maintained at least until the end of 2001 and that cooperating Iraqi scientists have said they were told to conceal from the U.N."
· "Plans and advanced design work for new long-range missiles with ranges up to at least 1,000 kilometers [621 miles] - well beyond the 150-kilometer-range limit [93 miles] imposed by the U.N. Missiles of a 1,000-kilometer range would have allowed Iraq to threaten targets throughout the Middle East, including Ankara [Turkey], Cairo [Egypt] and Abu Dhabi [United Arab Emirates]."
· In addition, through interviews with Iraqi scientists, seized documents and other evidence, the ISG learned the Iraqi government had made "clandestine attempts between late 1999 and 2002 to obtain from North Korea technology related to 1,300-kilometer-range [807 miles] ballistic missiles - probably the No Dong - 300-kilometer-range [186 miles] antiship cruise missiles and other prohibited military equipment," Kay reported.

I may be a hopeless idealist, but it seems to me that this sort of stuff should not be refused by the mass media as un-newsworthy.Read Mr. Timmerman’s full article here.

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