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Wednesday, October 06, 2004

CIA report: Saddam Hussein had no weapons of mass destruction for more than a decade

From the Los Angeles Times:

"Saddam Hussein did not produce or possess any weapons of mass destruction for more than a decade before the U.S.-led invasion last year, according to a comprehensive CIA report released Wednesday.

Saddam intended to someday reconstitute his illicit programs and rebuild at least some of his weapons if United Nations sanctions were eased and he had the opportunity, the report concluded. But the Iraqi regime had no formal, written strategy to revive the banned programs after sanctions, and no staff or infrastructure in place to do so, the investigators found...

[Charles A. Duelfer, head of the CIA's Iraq Survey Group weapons-hunting teams} said... there was no evidence that Saddam sought to import uranium from Africa, as Bush claimed in his 2003 State of the Union speech. Duelfer said investigators also found no evidence that Saddam had passed illicit weapons material to al-Qaida or other terrorist organizations, or had any intent to do so.

Bush, who delivered a national security campaign speech in Pennsylvania on Wednesday, did not mention the weapons report, but White House spokesman Scott McClellan told reporters aboard Air Force One that it showed Saddam 'was a threat we needed to take seriously.' He said Saddam 'retained the intent and capability to produce weapons of mass destruction' and was "working to undermine sanctions'...

Rep. Jane Harman, D-Calif., the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said: 'The Duelfer report is yet another example that there really are two Americas. There's the one that exists in the Bush fantasy world, and then there's the real America.'"

Full story here.


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