Sunday, March 13, 2005

More Iraqi WMD - New York Times

More about the New York Times story on the spiriting away of Saddam's weapons manufacturing equipment:

Sami al-Araji, the deputy minister of industry, said it appeared that a highly organized operation had pinpointed specific plants... approximately 90 important sites in Iraq had been looted or razed in that period.

A military production plant, as photographed in May 2003 for the American investigation into Iraq's unconventional weapons programs.

Satellite imagery analyzed by two United Nations groups - the International Atomic Energy Agency and the Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission, or Unmovic - confirms that some of the sites identified by Dr. Araji appear to be totally or partly stripped, senior officials at those agencies said. Those officials said they could not comment on all of Dr. Araji's assertions, because the groups had been barred from Iraq since the invasion.
For nearly a year, the two agencies have sent regular reports to the United Nations Security Council detailing evidence of the dismantlement of Iraqi military installations and, in a few cases, the movement of Iraqi gear to other countries. In addition, a report issued last October by the chief American arms inspector in Iraq, Charles A. Duelfer, told of evidence of looting at crucial sites.
Dr. Araji said equipment capable of making parts for missiles as well as chemical, biological and nuclear arms was missing from 8 or 10 sites that were the heart of Iraq's dormant program on unconventional weapons.


Anonymous said...

Oh dear, selective editing. Let's complete that paragraph you clipped:

"Dr. Araji said equipment capable of making parts for missiles as well as chemical, biological and nuclear arms was missing from 8 or 10 sites that were the heart of Iraq's dormant program on unconventional weapons. After the invasion, occupation forces found no unconventional arms, and C.I.A. inspectors concluded that the effort had been largely abandoned after the Persian Gulf war in 1991." (My emphasis)

How about this from USAToday?

CIA Arms Inspector Charles "Duelfer's 1,000-page report to President Bush shows how, in case after case, by the time U.S. inspectors arrived at a site, Iraqi looters had come and gone. Duelfer concluded that Iraq had no chemical or biological weapons stockpiles and had dismantled its nuclear weapons program in 1991. But Iraq retained some manufacturing equipment with possible nuclear weapons applications. U.N. inspectors in the late 1990s and again just before the March 2003 invasion identified and tagged these machines. Denied access to Iraqi weapons sites since the war, the IAEA used commercial satellite photography to identify looted sites."

Andrew said...

I dislike your implication. The link was to the entire story, and the use of the ellipsis notified the reader that there was more to the story. I didn't hide or change anything.
That the CIA arrived after the fact and concluded the stuff was gone, strengthens the story -not weakens it.

Andrew said...

Where the hell did my ellipsis go?

Peter said...

What about the rest of the story, Anonymous?

Dr. Araji said he had no evidence regarding where the equipment had gone. But his account raises the possibility that the specialized machinery from the arms establishment that the war was aimed at neutralizing had made its way to the black market or was in the hands of foreign governments.

"Targeted looting of this kind of equipment has to be seen as a proliferation threat," said Gary Milhollin, director of the Wisconsin Project on Nuclear Arms Control, a private nonprofit organization in Washington that tracks the spread of unconventional weapons."

Anonymous said...

Not sure, but from the titles of the items in your blog, and with the decision to clip the paragraph where you did, it might give someone who glanced quickly at it the impression that the missing WMDs had been found. That is not the case. The omitted line seems to invalidate the title and theme of the articles you wrote.

For information on what they found before the fact we can look to another article which appeared almost a year ago :

"A report from U.N. weapons inspectors to be released today says they now believe there were no weapons of mass destruction of any significance in Iraq after 1994, according to two U.N. diplomats who have seen the document."

And although there was evidence that Iraq was attempting to develop missiles capable of exceeding a U.N.-mandated limit of 93 miles, "U.N. reports submitted to the Security Council before the war by Hans Blix, former chief U.N. arms inspector, and Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the U.N.'s nuclear watchdog agency, have been largely validated by U.S. weapons teams. The common findings:

Iraq's nuclear weapons program was dormant.

No evidence was found to suggest Iraq possessed chemical or biological weapons. U.N. officials believe the weapons were destroyed by U.N. inspectors or Iraqi officials in the years after the 1991 Gulf War."

I'm not sure what in the articles you've quoted invalidates that finding.

Anonymous said...

All those items had been tagged and accounted for by the UN which is mentioned in the same article if I'm not mistaken. In that case the US was so concerned with these sites and the WMD that were to be found there, the supposed reason for the invasion in the first place, that they didn't bother to guard them and allowed organized looting, with flatbeds and heavy equipment no less, to take place over a four week period.

Andrew said...

Anonymous said...

heh. Actually that was pretty funny. That could be me in front of the fridge, or so I've been told.

How about this one?

Hamm172 said...

In light of the U.N. Oil for Saddam scandal, relying on the veracity of any U.N. report about Iraq is the silliest thing you've written so far.

If Saddam had nothing to hide, then why did he try to bribe weapons inspectors?

Anonymous said...

You don't have to rely on UN weapons inspectors. They were barred from the country once the US invaded and then used their own inspectors.

By far the silliest thing you've tried to do was insinuate that the gist of the story you refer to on these two blog articles were proof that Iraq had WMDs when right in the article itself it states that CIA inspectors (not UN, CIA, those same guys that were able to produce on demand any 'evidence' Bush needed to justify going to war) concluded that the effort had been largely abandoned after 1991.

You want more silliness? Do you think, even in you wildest conservative wet dreams, that if WMDs had been found that that fact would have been hidden six paragraphs down in a story? Every GOP hack would be all over the news, every Rush-rip off would be trumpeting it all over the airwaves. It would be known. You should know that.

As for your question, Hussein was attempting to get sanctions lifted, which would require a clean bill from the UN (something the UN did not give him according to the story you site which kind of goes against your assumption that they were universally incompetent), no doubt not for any altruistic motive. If Hussein attempting to bribe UN inspectors automatically signals guilt, what's your take on Bush stating that Iraq had tried to purchase uranium from Africa, stating it right in a State of the Union speech, when the CIA had already told him that that information was false?

Hamm172 said...

OH dear. Turns out There really were WMDs after all.