Skip to comments.Laurie Mylroie: Mystery of the WMDs
Posted on 01/29/2008 10:20:47 AM PST by neverdem
George Piro, a personable and handsome FBI agent, appeared on 60 Minutes Sunday to tell us Saddam Hussein's secrets. The 36-year-old Lebanese-American was Saddam's interrogator. In addition to whatever the show disclosed about Saddam, it also revealed a lot about how the U.S. media and bureaucracies have handled and stoked the controversies over Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) -- basically, afflicted by chronic Alzheimer's. The events relevant to understanding OIF go back nearly 18 years -- to Iraq's August 1990 invasion of Kuwait. Few people worked on Iraq all those years. Still, those doing so now ought to know that history. Neither 60 Minutes nor the FBI do.
Piro explained that when he finally asked Saddam about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, Saddam replied that most were destroyed by U.N. inspectors (UNSCOM) and the rest were destroyed by Iraq. After their destruction, however, Saddam tricked the world into believing Iraq still had them. "That was what kept him...in power. That capability kept the Iranians away," Piro affirmed.
Yet in the first four years following the 1991 Gulf War, Iraq sought to do the opposite. It worked mightily to demonstrate that all its banned weapons had been destroyed and economic sanctions should be lifted. Baghdad was successful to a very significant extent. By March 1995, considerable pressure existed in the U.N. Security Council to reward the Iraqis for their cooperation and lift sanctions. Congressional leaders complained the Clinton administration was weak on Saddam, and the White House publicly promised to veto any attempt to end sanctions.
Yet the U.S. never had to use that veto. Although Iraq's chemical, nuclear and missile programs were thought to have been neutralized, one issue remained outstanding -- Iraq's biological program. UNSCOM began to address it in July...
(Excerpt) Read more at spectator.org ...
When we actually invaded and toppled his regime, his strategy once captured was to avoid prosecution by claiming he'd complied with UN mandates, expecting to be back on the throne in a couple years.
Thank you, Laurie. I have faith that Bush will be vindicated eventually.
From my files:
On June 9th , the UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission briefed the Security Council about the export of Iraqi WMD, missile and nuclear components shipped out of Iraq before, during and after the invasion. As reported by MENL news service, UNMOVIC acting executive chairman Demetrius Perricos told the Council, "The removal of these materials from Iraq raises concerns with regard to proliferation risks," and said inspectors found Iraqi WMD and missile components shipped abroad that still contained UN inspection tags.
The World Tribune reported on Perricos's briefing. "He said the Iraqi facilities were dismantled and sent both to Europe and around the Middle East at the rate of about 1,000 tons of metal a month... The Baghdad missile site contained a range of WMD and dual-use components, UN officials said. They included missile components, reactor vessel and fermenters ... required for the production of chemical and biological warheads. 'It raises the question of what happened to the dual-use equipment, where is it now and what is it being used for,' Perricos's spokesman, said. 'You can make all kinds of pharmaceutical and medicinal products with a fermenter. You can also use it to breed anthrax.'"
Retired Air Force Lt. Gen. James Clapper, head of the National Imagery and Mapping Agency, said vehicle traffic photographed by U.S. spy satellites indicated that material and documents related to the arms programs were shipped to Syria."
"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.
Last March, John A. Shaw, a former U.S. deputy undersecretary of defense for international technology security, said Russian Spetsnaz units moved WMD to Syria and Lebanon's Bekaa Valley.
"While in Iraq I received information from several sources naming the exact Russian units, what they took and where they took both WMD materials and conventional explosives," Mr. Shaw told NewsMax reporter Charles Smith.
Retired Marine Lt. Gen. Michael DeLong was deputy commander of Central Command during Operation Iraqi Freedom. In September 2004, he told WABC radio that "I do know for a fact that some of those weapons went into Syria, Lebanon and Iran."
In January 2004, David Kay, the first head of the Iraq Survey Group which conducted the search for Saddam's WMD, told a British newspaper there was evidence unspecified materials had been moved to Syria from Iraq shortly before the war.
"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," Mr. Kay told the Sunday Telegraph.
Also that month, Nizar Nayuf, a Syrian journalist who defected to an undisclosed European country, told a Dutch newspaper he knew of three sites where Iraq's WMD was being kept. They were the town of al Baida near the city of Hama in northern Syria; the Syrian air force base near the village of Tal Snan, and the city of Sjinsar on the border with Lebanon.
In an addendum to his final report last April, Charles Duelfer, who succeeded David Kay as head of the Iraq Survey Group, said he couldn't rule out a transfer of WMD from Iraq to Syria.
"There was evidence of a discussion of possible WMD collaboration initiated by a Syrian security officer, and ISG received information about movement of material out of Iraq, including the possibility that WMD was involved. In the judgment of the working group, these reports were sufficiently credible to merit further investigation," Mr. Duelfer said."
"The short answer to the question of where the WMD Saddam bought from the Russians went was that they went to Syria and Lebanon," former Deputy Undersecretary of Defense John A. Shaw told an audience Saturday at a privately sponsored "Intelligence Summit" in Alexandria, Va. (www.intelligencesummit.org).
"We are not talking about a large stockpile of weapons," he said. "But 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 programme. Precisely what went to Syria, and what has happened to it, is a major issue that needs to be resolved."
"Two days before the war, on March 17th, we saw through multiple intelligence channels - both human intelligence and techinical (satellite,eavesdrop) intelligence - large caravans of people and things, including some of the top 55 Iraqis, going to Syria."
See also: What Charles Duelfer Missed
It was an interesting interview, but at a certain point, I was unsure who was playing whom, especially when Piro supposedly took advantage of a benign conversation and pumped Saddam for info on the WMD. Who knows if he was telling the truth or not?
Saddam wasn’t M.I.T. material but he also wasn’t a dummy.
remember Saddam was a very bright guy and a prolific liar. Like Clinton, it just came to him naturally.
He may well have been honest to set the record straight, or he may have been doing was he did best.
Israel and the US are mums on most of it. We (both countries) had boots on the ground (Spec Ops) to collect pre-strike info and air samples after the site was destroyed.
Uh huh. Not the way I remember it.
Haven’t heard her on the radio lately.
Thanks for the comments and links!
I believe that was September 6th, 2007, not December...right?
Events took a nasty little turn for Saddam, and he found himself getting some real old-fashioned Anglo-Saxon “justice”, which involved execution of the defeated king. But so long as he was alive, he could keep telling the story in the manner most beneficial to himself.
Veracity was not a factor in anything the deposed dictator of Iraq might have said. He was interested only in his “legacy” and how it would read a thousand years from now, as he wanted to be the equal, in history, of Saladin, famous for having kicked the Crusaders out of Syria and the Levantine in the 12th Century.
As it turned out, Saddam did not manage to kick out the modern “crusade”, which rather than establishing the supremacy of the Christian church, chose to overthrow the despotism that had been honed to an extreme level after the sweep of the Mongols throughmost of Western Asia and into Europe, and the later establishment of the Ottoman Empire, which proved to be one of the most tyrannical regimes ever established in the history of the world.
From my talk in Dec., with very limited comments by him on the subject, all I can say is: 'ever notice how Syria, the UN, and most anti-US / Israel types have not said hardly much at all about it?' OK now, after that raid, notice how the 'Bush Lied / People Died' got pretty much quite in the media?
Let's just say if us and Israel went totally public with what we have on it all and the who's involved and the timelime........ooh booy. The LSM and other Leftie moonbats would go into major meltdown, denial, stuttering, and major bed wetting. Of course, the LSM would not publish or air much at all...."that's old news - such 2001-2002 on the timeline stuff."
Once the surge is successfully completed and Iraq cools down enough, we need to send US troops into Syria to ensure those weapons Saddam smuggled there are not used against us and our friends. The US invasion will also be an opportunity to bring democracy to another Mid-East nation.
And we need to keep our eye on Iran. They should be on our liberation list too.
bookmarked. Nice post. Thanks.
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