WMD Search Comes to a Quiet End
Wednesday, January 12, 2005
Today the 1700 member Iraq Survey Group were re-assigned to other counter-insurgency efforts. This effectively ends the search for weapons of mass destruction. While no evidence of banned weapons or even the capability to create them was found, White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan remained positive. "There may be a couple, a few people that are focused on that," McClellan said.
Charles Duelfer, a CIA special adviser and leader of ISG, will deliver a full report next month.
Charles Duelfer, a CIA special adviser and leader of ISG, will deliver a full report next month. The final report is expected to be a revision of Duelfer’s September report that states that Saddam not only had no weapons of mass destruction and had not made any since 1991, but that Saddam lacked the capability to produce additional weapons.
In a speech to the UN in 2003, Colin Powell had claimed "irrefutable and undeniable" evidence that Iraq was hiding banned weapons. "I cannot tell you everything that we know, but what I can share with you, when combined with what all of us have learned over the years, is deeply troubling," Powell said. In April 2004, Powell admitted his evidence was not as irrefutable as it had seemed at the time, "It appears not to be the case that it was that solid." This was frustrating for Powell, who is not used to having reliability problems. It has been suggested that Powell never would have presented his stuff to the UN if he had been even slightly uncertain about his ability to keep it solid.
At the black tie dinner, Bush showed a slideshow including shots where he was looking under furniture in the Oval office for the weapons.
This news comes as no surprise to many as the search for WMD has become a joke even to Bush. Bush drew heavy flack from some families of dead and injured soldiers when he joked at a media dinner that WMD had been found. At the black tie dinner, Bush showed a slideshow including shots where he was looking under furniture in the Oval office for the weapons. The slideshow also included pictures of Bush giving a full body cavity search to Karl Rove.
Members of the Administration are undoubtedly hoping that they can put this embarrassment behind them. It is certain that Donald Rumsfeld is hoping that Bush will stop telling him, “Hey, I got your WMD right here” and “Pull my finger, and I’ll reveal the location of some Mustard Gas”. Bush has appointed a panel to report on why the intelligence about Iraq's weapons was wrong.