Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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June 25, 2003
By: Kevin Drum

WMD UPDATE....MSNBC is reporting that an Iraqi scientist has led U.S. investigators to a barrel in his backyard containing plans for a gas centrifuge and components of a uranium enrichment system. However, the plans appear to date back to 1991 and are really nothing new.

However, MSNBC also says:

The more significant discoveries were related to Saddams attempts to rebuild chemical and biological arsenals like those he was known to have used during the Iran-Iraq War of the late 1980s, when he was supported by the U.S. government.

Sources told NBC News Jim Miklaszewski that within just the past week, U.S. investigators had found two shipping containers filled with millions of much more recent documents relating to chemical and biological weapons.

One of the documents, from 2001, was titled Document burial and U.N. activities in Iraq, the sources said. It gave detailed instructions on how to hide materials and deceive U.N. weapons inspectors, the sources said.

Other documents related to the concealment of VX nerve gas, the sources said.

Documents are not weapons, and considering the number of times we've been suckered already by discoveries that turn out a few days later to be meaningless, I'd take this with a shaker of salt for the time being. Still, it's a clue that might lead to discoveries in the near future and it's worth keeping an eye on.

My own guess at this point is that Saddam pretty much abandoned his WMD program after 1998 but kept documentation around in the hopes that he could start back up someday. In the end, however, that someday never came.

Kevin Drum 9:47 PM Permalink | Trackbacks

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