Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Saddam Had WMD

The following two articles were recently (yesterday and last Friday) published in the Investors’ Business Daily.  I am reposting them here because this information needs to be in as many places as possible.  

The articles are available online here:
http://www.investors.com/editorial/IBDArticles.asp?artsec=20&artnum=1&issue=20060224&rss=1
And here:
http://www.investors.com/editorial/IBDArticles.asp?artsec=20&artnum=2&issue=20060227&rss=1


Saddam Had WMD

Posted 2/24/2006

WMD: Now that Leno and Letterman have had their way with Vice President Cheney's hunting accident and the port controversy, maybe we can get back to something really important — like Saddam's WMD program.

Yes, the linchpin of opposition to the Iraq War — never really strong to begin with — has taken some real hits in recent weeks. And "Bush lied" — the anti-war mantra about the president, Saddam Hussein and weapons of mass destruction — looks the most battered.

Inconveniently for critics of the war, Saddam made tapes in his version of the Oval Office. These tapes landed in the hands of American intelligence and were recently aired publicly.

The first 12 hours of the tapes — there are hundreds more waiting to be translated — are damning, to say the least. They show conclusively that Bush didn't lie when he cited Saddam's WMD plans as one of the big reasons for taking the dictator out.

Nobody disputes the tapes' authenticity. On them, Saddam talks openly of programs involving biological, chemical and, yes, nuclear weapons.

War foes have long asserted that Saddam halted his WMD programs in the wake of his defeat in the first Gulf War in 1991. Saddam's abandonment of WMD programs was confirmed by subsequent U.N. inspections.

Again, not true. In a tape dating to April 1995, Saddam and several aides discuss the fact that U.N. inspectors had found traces of Iraq's biological weapons program. On the tape, Hussein Kamel, Saddam's son-in-law, is heard gloating about fooling the inspectors.

"We did not reveal all that we have," he says. "Not the type of weapons, not the volume of the materials we imported, not the volume of the production we told them about, not the volume of use. None of this was correct."

There's more. Indeed, as late as 2000, Saddam can be heard in his office talking with Iraqi scientists about his ongoing plans to build a nuclear device. At one point, he discusses Iraq's plasma uranium program — something that was missed entirely by U.N. weapons inspectors combing Iraq for WMD.

This is particularly troubling, since it indicates an active, ongoing attempt by Saddam to build an Iraqi nuclear bomb.

"What was most disturbing," said John Tierney, the ex- FBI agent who translated the tapes, "was the fact that the individuals briefing Saddam were totally unknown to the U.N. Special Commission (or UNSCOM, the group set up to look into Iraq's WMD programs)."

Perhaps most chillingly, the tapes record Iraq Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz talking about how easy it would be to set off a WMD in Washington. The comments come shortly after Saddam muses about using "proxies" in a terror attack.

9-11, anyone?

In short, let us repeat: President Bush was right. We had to invade to disarm Saddam — otherwise, he would have completely reconstituted his chemical, nuclear and bio-weapons programs when inspectors left.

Saddam probably knew better than to use them himself against the U.S. But it's likely he wouldn't have hesitated giving one or more to terror groups with which he had routine contact.
Lest you think we're making the case entirely based on these tapes, let us assure you that other evidence — mounting by the day — points to the same conclusion.

We've been very impressed by the story told by Georges Sada, the former No. 2 in Iraq's air force. He has written a book, "Saddam's Secrets," that details how the Iraqi dictator used trucks, commercial jets and ships to remove his WMD from the country. At the time, the move went largely undetected, because Iraq pretended the massive movement of materiel was to help Syrian flood victims.

Nor is Sada alone. Ali Ibrahim, another of Saddam's former commanders, has largely corroborated Sada's story.

So how was Saddam able to use his "cheat and retreat" tactics without being found out? He had help, according to a former U.S. Defense Department official.

"The short answer to the question of where the WMD Saddam bought from the Russians went was that they went to Syria and Lebanon," said John Shaw, former deputy undersecretary of defense, in comments made at an intelligence summit Feb. 17-20 in Arlington, Va.  

"They were moved by Russian Spetsnaz (special ops) units out of uniform that were specifically sent to Iraq to move the weaponry and eradicate any evidence of its existence," he said.

These are extraordinary developments. They deserve a full airing in the media, since they essentially validate part of Bush's casus belli for invading Iraq and deposing the murderous Saddam.

But once again, the mainstream media have dropped the ball. They seem more interested in Dick Cheney's marksmanship and American port management than in setting the record straight about one of the most important developments of our time.


Saddam Had WMD (Cont'd)

Posted 2/27/2006

Justifying The War: Most in the media are ignoring the words of Saddam himself and his aides on 12 hours of captured tapes saying that Iraq's WMD were moved to Syria. But they aren't the only ones saying it.

For example, three months before Operation Iraqi Freedom began, Israeli intelligence detected Iraq moving large amounts of military materiel into Syria, another Baathist dictatorship — materiel that could have included Saddam's WMD.

Last month, Moshe Yaalon, who was Israel's top general at the time, said Iraq transported WMD to Syria six weeks before Operation Iraqi Freedom began.

On Jan. 25, 2004, Nizar Nayouf, a Syrian journalist who recently defected to France, told the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf that chemical and biological weapons were smuggled from Iraq into Syria when Saddam realized an American invasion was imminent.

Nayouf said he knew of at least three Syrian sites where Saddam's WMD were kept. One was in tunnels under the town of al-Baida near the city of Hama in northern Syria, part of an underground factory built by North Korea for producing a Syrian version of the Scud missile. Others were in the village of Tal Snan, adjacent to a Syrian air base, and in Sjinsjar, on the Syrian-Lebanese border.

Nayouf's claims were in effect confirmed two months earlier in a briefing to reporters on Oct. 20, 2003, by officials of the National Imagery and Mapping Agency in Washington. Retired Air Force Lt. Gen. James Clapper, head of NIMA when the Iraq War began, said satellite imagery showed a heavy flow of traffic from Iraq into Syria just before the American invasion.

Retired Marine Lt. Gen. Michael DeLong, who was deputy commander of Central Command during Operation Iraqi Freedom, told WABC radio in September 2004: "I do know for a fact that some of those weapons went into Syria, Lebanon and Iran."

In an interview with the London Telegraph in January 2004, David Kay, former head of the Iraq Survey Group (ISG), said he uncovered evidence that unspecified materials had been moved to Syria shortly before Operation Iraqi Freedom.

"We know from some of the interrogations of former Iraqi officials that a lot of material went to Syria before the war, including some components of Saddam's WMD program," Kay told the Telegraph. "Precisely what went to Syria, and what happened to it, is a major issue that needs to be resolved."

Charles Duelfer, Kay's successor as ISG head, testified at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Oct. 6, 2004, that "a lot of materials left Iraq and went to Syria."

"There was certainly a lot of traffic across the border points," said Duelfer. "We've got a lot of data to support that, including people discussing it. But whether in fact in any of these trucks there was WMD-related materials, I cannot say."

Jordan's King Abdullah may have an opinion on that. In April 2004, his country foiled a plot that involved five vehicles carrying a combined total of 20 tons of chemical weapons laced with conventional explosives.

The weapons would have released a cloud of poison gas sufficient to kill 80,000 people and, in Abdullah's words, "would have decapitated the government." The trucks were intercepted 75 miles inside the Jordanian border. They were coming from — you guessed it — Syria.

Still more answers may lie in the 35,000 boxes of documents that Rep. Peter Hoekstra, R-Mich., chairman of the House Committee on Intelligence, says he's trying to get translated and released into the public domain. He told Fox News' Neil Cavuto recently that "we verified that it is Saddam's voice on these tapes" and that the "12 hours of tape is only the tip of the iceberg."

We wish Hoekstra Godspeed in getting out this vital information pertaining to U.S. involvement in Iraq. No one knows for sure, of course, what those documents will reveal.

One thing is certain: There won't be any leaks on the front page of The New York Times and The Washington Post.

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