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Militant Islam Monitor > Articles > New York Times' Belated Admission That Saddam Had Thousands Of WMDs: A National Security Professional Responds

New York Times' Belated Admission That Saddam Had Thousands Of WMDs: A National Security Professional Responds

February 18, 2015


February 17, 2015 – San Francisco, CA – PipeLineNews.org – For some, the claims surrounding Saddam Hussein's possession of weapons of mass destruction be they kinetic, chemical or biological in nature, is very old news. All of official DC including its lap dog media "settled" the matter long ago.

Bush lied, people died…

However for many people, this writer included, the fable regarding the war in Iraq which has now become accepted fact is not just inaccurate; it's monstrously so. The topic remains of extreme importance because it's this narrative which now binds our hands and limits our actions as the United States stands by watching as ISIS burns its way towards the global caliphate.

In politics, perception is often reality and the public now firmly believes that "Bush's" ground war in the Middle East was an egregious mistake that ended in failure. Unfortunately it's this tainted lens through which all subsequent efforts to confront Islamic jihad are seen.

We last wrote about this and related topics in a November 2014 feature piece, Obama, GW Bush, WMDs And CDC's Response To Ebola - U.S. Wide Open For Asymmetrical Warfare On A Horrific Scale

"…A striking defect of the way consecutive administrations [Clinton and Bush] approached this problem was the failure to assemble and evaluate the evidence at hand as a whole. If this had been done, it should have been possible to have taken preemptive action much earlier because we would have seen the pattern and known then rather than years after the fact, that Saddam absolutely had WMDs, used them, and acted to retain the infrastructure to continue these programs to completion when the climate was less restrictive.

Though Saddam had thousands of WMDs, veritable stockpiles, it was the lack of proof thereof which Bush's critics cleverly used first, to mischaracterize the reason we went to war, and second, to then use that fable to discredit every aspect of the administration's effort to prevent a potential nightmare, for which he would have been held responsible had it actually occurred.

However Bush's 2003 ultimatum to Saddam Hussein didn't support the false narrative created by the leftist/media revisionists:

"...For more than a decade, the United States and other nations have pursued patient and honorable efforts to disarm the Iraqi regime without war. That regime pledged to reveal and destroy all its weapons of mass destruction as a condition for ending the Persian Gulf War in 1991. Since then, the world has engaged in 12 years of diplomacy...passed more than a dozen resolutions in the United Nations Security Council. We have sent hundreds of weapons inspectors to oversee the disarmament of Iraq. Our good faith has not been returned. The Iraqi regime has used diplomacy as a ploy to gain time and advantage. It has uniformly defied Security Council resolutions demanding full disarmament. Over the years, U.N. weapon inspectors have been threatened by Iraqi officials, electronically bugged, and systematically deceived. Peaceful efforts to disarm the Iraqi regime have failed again and again -- because we are not dealing with peaceful men. Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised. This regime has already used weapons of mass destruction against Iraq's neighbors and against Iraq's people..." [source, GW Bush WH document, President Says Saddam Must Leave Iraq In 48 Hours]

The record has only recently and partially been corrected, albeit with the omnipresent anti-Bush bias remaining. This time the spin serves the purpose of sidestepping the empirical fact that on this point, the Bush critics got it entirely wrong. For example, we turn to the left's most sacred news source, the New York Times which, after the passage of more than a decade has seen fit to finally publish part of the truth regarding this matter.

"With remarkable speed, Iraq built a program with equipment and precursor purchases from companies in an extraordinary array of countries…German construction firms helped create a sprawling manufacturing complex in the desert south of Samarra and three plants in Falluja…Iraq produced 10 metric tons of mustard blister agent in 1981; by 1987 its production had grown 90-fold, with late-war output aided by two American companies that provided hundreds of tons of thiodiglycol, a mustard agent precursor. Production of nerve agents also took off…Rising production created another need. Mr. Hussein's military did not possess the munitions for dispersing chemical agents. So it embarked on another buying spree, purchasing empty ordnance - aviation bombs from a Spanish manufacturer, American-designed artillery shells from European companies, and Egyptian and Italian ground-to-ground rockets - to be filled in Iraq…" [source C. J. Chivers, The Secret Casualties of Iraq's Abandoned Chemical Weapons , NYT]

As part of the NYT investigation and consequent FOIA actions, formerly classified government documents reveal that not only were thousands of weapons found, but that hundreds of U.S. servicemen were seriously injured through contact with blistering agents and Sarin nerve gas. A subsequent review of DOD records reveals that, "...734 U.S. troops who deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan reported potential exposure to chemical warfare agents, according to the Pentagon..." [see, Jon Harper, U.S. Intelligence Documents on Chemical Weapons Found in Iraq , Stars And Stripes]…"

The Times recently did a follow-up piece containing much the same information.

In an effort to clarify this important issue - which directly bears on defense of the homeland and the West in general - we asked Clare Lopez [a former Central Intelligence Agency operations officer who served domestically and abroad for 20 years in a variety of assignments. Ms. Lopez is currently serving as VP for Research & Analysis at the Center for Security Policy] and is also VP of the Intelligence Summit] for some additional comments.

Not surprisingly, Ms. Lopez states that, "this is really a much bigger story than just what the NYT has published here. Of course he had WMD - and not just these old stocks of shells and warheads. It was primarily CW, but also extensive BW, and some elements of radioactive nuclear program material too."

"Let's not forget that our troops brought home the audio tapes, seized from Saddam's warehouses, in which he and his innermost circle of trusted officials can be heard discussing how to get rid of their CW stocks - for months before March 2003. We know this because the [above referenced] Intelligence Summit organization was able to acquire and translate many of them."

Expanding on this point, Lopez also ponders why the GWB Team refused to defend itself against the unwarranted attacks by the left.

"President Bush and his DNI [Director of National Intelligence] Negroponte actually had so much audio material that they essentially 'crowd sourced' it by putting it out on the Internet for a time - until our conference showed them how important these tapes were - then they were pulled and never again saw the light of day. Let's not forget also that we had overhead imagery of the truck convoys out of Baghdad traveling up the Euphrates River route to Syria, which removed the most incriminating of Saddam's WMD materials…probably this was mostly CW and precursor chemicals. We know, too, that the Russian Spetznaz forces came in to fly out what had Russian fingerprints on it."

So it becomes clear that rather than clarifying the matter, the NYT big "blockbuster" story concerned itself with minutia about the cast-off remnants of a much larger WMD program, "the real stash."

"…Let's not forget that Saddam also had an extensive and deadly BW program, too - which no one ever talks about, just like nobody will speak of Bashar al-Assad's BW program [supported by Iran, North Korea, and Russia]. Because BW materials - like vials and Petri dishes - are so much smaller than tons of CW precursor chemicals, they could get away with hiding that without too much difficulty. Of course, US forces never thought to test Saddam's prison populations for antibodies. Just like in North Korea, that's how they tested their agents [the Japanese did this, too, in China during WW II].

And finally, we know from eyewitness American accounts that our troops discovered radioactive caches of something buried underneath the river waters that made their Geiger counters go crazy....and that when they came back later to check, those concrete bunkers were looted & empty, and the villagers who'd led them to the spot were dead…and all the reporting they sent into classified IC channels had been scrubbed from the official data bases."

Ms Lopez as well as other high level national security professionals remain perplexed as to, "why the GWB admin refused to defend its own accurate reporting prior to the invasion, or why they refused to allow any Americans involved in finding, hiding, destroying, or having been injured by this material, to speak about it…"

It's very hard to imagine why this information wasn't disclosed. Officially Team Bush has said that to respond to this type of partisan sniping and mudslinging would dishonor the Office of the President, something GWB took very seriously. However, few believe that was the extent of the administration's concerns and objections.

But why is this "ancient" history important?

Because the blow-back due to the Bush administration refusing to set the record straight has been immense; it leaves a key element – trust - in the logic behind our national security posture in a very bad place. More than 10 years down the road, it's now painfully clear that by refusing to defend itself against the "Big Lie" [which has become the lodestone for leftist opposition to a vigorous program of national defense] it has given these people free rein to act as roadblocks against taking the necessary steps to defeat what is arguably the most serious existential threat facing the West since World War II.

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