The Blogiston Post

Politics, money, and war.

Wednesday, February 4

one more time

There seems to be a great deal of confusion in the White House regarding weapons inspections in Iraq. Transcript CNN January 27, 2004
QUESTION: Mr. President, how do you describe and account for the difference between what you claimed prior to the war about what he possessed and what he was capable of and what the intelligence said he possessed and was capable of -- a nuclear weapon within the decade -- and the fact that David Kay says the intelligence was inaccurate and wrong and nothing has been found?

QUESTION: Don't you owe the American people an explanation?

BUSH: Well, I think the Iraqi Survey Group must do its work. And, again, I appreciate David Kay's contribution.

I said in the run-up to the war against Iraq that, first of all, hopefully the international community would take care of him. I was hoping the United Nations would enforce its resolutions -- one of many.

And then we went to the United Nations, of course, and got an overwhelming resolution, 1441, unanimous resolution, that said to Saddam, "You must disclose and destroy your weapons programs," which obviously meant the world felt he had such programs. He chose defiance -- it was his choice to make -- and he did not let us in.

I said in the run-up that Saddam was a grave and gathering danger. That's what I said. And I believed it then, and I know it was true now. And as Mr. Kay said that Iraq was a dangerous place.

And given the circumstances of September the 11th, given the fact that we're vulnerable to attack, this nation had to act for our security.
Someone want to pass this on to the President? Inspectors’ Accomplishments in Iraq, 2002-2003
UN weapons inspectors began their work in Iraq November 27 [2002] and left March 18 [2003]. Iraq submitted a declaration containing information about its weapons of mass destruction December 7 [2002], as required by UN Security Council Resolution 1441. Inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) conducted 237 inspections at 148 sites, including 27 sites not previously inspected. UNMOVIC inspectors conducted 731 inspections at 411 sites, including 88 sites not previously inspected. Of those inspections, 22 percent were related to chemical weapons, 28 percent to biological weapons, and 30 percent to missiles. The remaining 20 percent were multidisciplinary inspections, involving experts from each disarmament area.

UNMOVIC carried out a total of eight aerial surveillance and monitoring missions by helicopter and 16 reconnaissance missions using U-2 and Mirage aircraft between mid-February and mid-March 2003.

Inspectors also conducted 14 private interviews with Iraqi scientists, out of 54 that they had requested, between January and March 2003. Iraq provided 31 lists of Iraqi scientists to UNMOVIC, five of which contained the names of experts involved in the handling and destruction of prohibited weapons materials. Some of these scientists were involved in destroying anthrax—one of the most important outstanding disarmament issues—but inspectors were withdrawn before those scientists could be interviewed.


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