A DIFFERENT VIEW ON THE WMD HUNT….Yesterday the Washington Post reported that we were making no progress on finding either WMD or WMD programs. Today, presumably based on different sources, CNN takes a somewhat more optimistic view:
[David] Kay and Maj. Gen. Keith Dayton, the head of the Pentagon’s Iraq Survey Groups, met for three hours behind closed doors with members of the Senate Armed Services Committee….Kay and Dayton were due to also brief the Senate Intelligence Committee Thursday afternoon….Sources told CNN the men were to make the following points:
No confirmed chemical or biological material is in hand. Although they have tested suspect material, “there is nothing you could take to court,” said one source.
More leads have emerged since the deaths of Saddam’s sons, Uday and Qusay Hussein.
The conclusion that Iraq had an “active WMD program” is based on recent interrogations of Iraqi regime officials, as well as documents that the United States has seized. Those documents, the sources said, show that Iraq had plans to destroy weapons stockpiles quickly; shift dual-use plants from weapons to commercial production as part of a deception effort; and reconstitute its weapons if it had to destroy them in the face of inspections or a U.S. attack.
Offering one example, one official said a document was found a few weeks ago that detailed how a dual-use commercial chemical plant might operate. The document specified in detail how equipment should be shifted to weapons production.
So who’s right? Stay tuned.