Pre-war intelligence and doubt that Iraq had WMD

This thread is actually not meant to start (yet another) discussion on the topic but rather to keep information on pre-war intelligence and threat assesement handy, as well providing a view from some foreign intelligence agency.
It further showes what “evidence” the US used had already been proven wrong before, thus allowing the conclusion that most if not all the evidence related to WMD was heavily flawed or wrong and should have led to a conclusion that Iraq did not have WMD:

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (CEIP) on Iraq (PDF File)

CEIP Summary on Iraq

German Intelligence (BND) only shares limited concern with the American and British counterparts

Washington Post Article (hosted on a crackpot site

WMD claims tied to discredited informant

Iraq: WMD evidence presented to U.N. by Colin Powell

This is especially for fred and his ‘nobody doubted that Iraq possessed WMD’ argument:

[quote]In September 2002, as the war buildup campaign started, the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) produced a report called “Iraq: Key Weapons Facilities–An Operational Support Study.”
It said: "There is no reliable information on whether Iraq is producing and stockpiling chemical weapons, or where Iraq has–or will–establish its chemical warfare agent production facilities." (From summary page leaked to Bloomberg News, June 6, 2003.)[/quote]

And you will like that one:

[quote]Mr Blix, who retires at the end of the month, told the BBC: “We went to a great many sites that were given to us by intelligence, and only in three cases did we find anything - and they did not relate to weapons of mass destruction. That shook me a bit, I must say.”

He added: “I thought ‘My God, if this is the best intelligence they had and we find nothing, what about the rest?’”[/quote]

The moderator may merge this with another thread if he deemes it necessary / appropiate.


Fine, but what were the OFFICIAL government positions on Iraq and wmds. This group said yes, this one said maybe, this one said no, but what was Germany’s OFFICIAL position and what was the OFFICIAL position of its intelligence service director? Also, the concerns you have raised are ones of pinpointing wmds not questioning whether they existed or not. No Intelligence Agency questioned that Saddam was not compliant. They questioned where such wmds were actually located. Big difference, but keep trying Rascal. Yawn.

Love and kisses

WASHINGTON - The CIA’s former weapons hunter in Iraq realized within days of arriving in Baghdad last summer that dictator Saddam Hussein was no longer stockpiling a banned arsenal, according to a new report.

David Kay, with whom the Bush administration placed its hopes of finding Iraq’s alleged weapons of mass destruction, sent a startling E-mail to CIA Director George Tenet in early July 2003.

“I wrote that it looks as though they did not produce weapons,” Kay reveals in an interview with the new Vanity Fair. . .

Kay . . . was actually ready to come home in mid-December. Tenet said no.

“If you resign now, it will appear that we don’t know what we’re doing and the wheels are coming off,” he said Tenet told him. “So I said, ‘Fine, I’ll wait.’” … 6891c.html

I doubt very much whether Bush actually had any pre-war intelligence…

More evidence crumbling down:

Claim that al-Zarqawi got aid in Iraq questioned

Fine, all of these are voices that were heard PRIOR to the invasion. The media had plenty of articles casting doubt or questioning why inspections could not last longer, but what were the OFFICIAL positions of the intelligence services (often based on best available evidence) of Britain, America, France, Germany, Israel, Russia and even the UN?

It’s all fine to present this evidence now like these questions were never raised before but that is not true. All of these intelligence agencies went with what they had and what they determined was that:

  1. Saddam was NOT compliant (still true)
  2. Saddam was hiding something (still true)
  3. Saddam had weapons programs (still true)
  4. Saddam had wmds (not proven either way but most likely not true)

So presenting all of this “evidence” is fine but it does not change the fact that even Germany’s official intelligence position was that all of the above were true as well. Ditto for France. Ditto for the UN. Otherwise, explain to me why Chirac would give the speech he did in January 2003 in which he noted that he believed all four to be true as well?

What does it matter what others thought? The US claimed to know it all and that they can handle things themselves, so stop pointing the finger at others as it was their fault that the US started/led this was.
I really don’t care if they all got it wrong - the difference is however that not all of those wanted to wage war based on mere believe.
Needless to point out again that the UN inspections were on-going to clarify some of the issues and that those who believed in WMD but did not support the war were mostly in support of the inspections.
Since there wasn’t much hard evidence and the fact that some had been discredited previously to the invasion would support that evidence and such the believes based on that were flawed if not wrong, therefore the argument that WMD existed for sure (as the US claimed) should never have been made.
But then Bush and Co. knew that without it the invasion would never ever have happened, no matter all the other reasons given. Draw you own conclusion from that.


Fine. But one really must wonder why you continue to look at this through an America only filter. Yes, we have led this effort and yes we get the point that you don’t like it, but you cannot keep hounding America on these points, when every country’s official position was that Saddam was noncompliant. The way you keep going on about this is bizarre. If you are concerned about innocent Iraqi civilians being killed fine, but then look at who killed most. Not America. If you are worried about pre-emption fine, but why only when America is doing it. If you are worried about international law, fine, but then criticize all who break it and for the most serious infractions, the more serious your outrage should be, but always always always, we only hear about your anger and opposition with one sole consistency: When it is a chance to criticize America. So here we have yet another new thread that is supposed to be looking at the truth of wmds and the reasons for going to war, but it is the same old stuff rehashed. It was not that America was wrong about wmds (and we could still be right though doubtful) because everyone was wrong about that. What you cannot stand is that we acted without your permission. Blow me.

The French were determined to oppose us. There

Speaking of prewar intelligence…

By journalist Robert Kagan

One would have to assume as well that the German intelligence service was lying when it reported in 2001 that Hussein was three years away from being able to build three nuclear weapons and that by 2005 Iraq would have a missile with sufficient range to reach Europe.

Maybe French President Jacques Chirac was lying when he declared this past February that there were probably weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and that “we have to find and destroy them.” (Okay only probably but look at what he said about dealing with this “probable” problem.

And as to the precious UN and Hans Blix’s views on the matter…

The absurdity of these accusations is mind-boggling. Start with this: The Iraqi government in the 1990s admitted to U.N. weapons inspectors that it had produced 8,500 liters of anthrax, as well as a few tons of the nerve agent VX. Where are they? U.N. weapons inspectors have been trying to answer that question for a decade. Because Hussein’s regime refused to answer, the logical presumption was that they had to be somewhere still in Iraq.

That, at least, has been the presumption of Hans Blix. Go back and take a look at the report Blix delivered to the U.N. Security Council on Jan. 27. On the question of Iraq’s stocks of anthrax, Blix reported there existed “no convincing evidence” they had ever been destroyed. On the contrary, he said, there was “strong evidence” that Iraq had produced even more anthrax than it had declared “and that at least some of this was retained.” Blix also reported that Iraq possessed 650 kilograms of “bacterial growth media,” enough “to produce . . . 5,000 litres of concentrated anthrax.”

On the question of VX, Blix reported that his inspection team had “information that conflicts” with Iraqi accounts. The Iraqi government claimed that it had produced VX only as part of a pilot program but that the quality was poor and therefore the agent was never “weaponized.” But according to Blix, the inspection team discovered that the Iraqi government had lied. The Iraqi government’s own documents showed that the quality and purity of the VX were better than declared and, according to the inspection team, there were “indications that the agent” had indeed been “weaponized.”

Blix reported as well that 6,500 “chemical bombs” that Iraq admitted producing still remained unaccounted for. Blix’s team calculated the amount of chemical agent in those bombs at 1,000 tons. As Blix reported to the U.N. Security Council, “in the absence of evidence to the contrary, we must assume that these quantities are now unaccounted for.”

This is a complete non-issue, IMO.

So let’s think this over and if the Germans believed that Saddam had nuclear weapons and would have a missile at Europe, why would anyone wait. Yes, the US said it knew for certain and it has been proven that we were wrong but taking this out of the circumstances at the time to analyze it as legalistically as Rascal would like to do only serves a narrow agenda.

So now it’s noncompliance, not existance of WMD anymore? Wasn’t part of my argument - the US clearly stated that Iraq had WMD (at the time when the claim was made). Period.
That’s not an issue of noncompliance (lack of evidence that they had been destroyed is not proof that they exist) and neither has it anything to do with the position of other countries and what they believed or what worst case scenarios they painted. The fact remains that they didn’t want to start a war based on that; and it’s ‘interesting’ that you now use statements from those opposing the war to make a point when earlier you entirely disagreed with them and questioned their credibility.

But whatever the position of others, not all of them wanted to wage war based on their believes, it was mostly and of all the US and thus you have to take 100% of the blame (in particular since you didn’t wait for the outcome of the inspections and interrupted them).

Nuff said, else we just start repeating what we have argued about before.

No Rascal:

If you want to look at it that way, we do not take 100% of the blame. Saddam takes the bulk for noncompliance and for creating the problem in the first place.

What we made was an honest mistake. A mistake that had its basis in the same belief that every intelligence agency had: Saddam was a threat. That was true even though he did not have wmds. So the premise was shared by everyone the only difference is that we chose to act on it.

We chose to act while you other cowards, errr, those that were against it chose to do the usual and do nothing. Though I must say given the French record in Rwanda and Congo (3 million dead) perhaps it’s best that you did leave well enough alone. Given that Germany FAILED to act in Bosnia and Kosovo, I think I will attribute the 500K dead there to Germany. 100% to Germany. Especially since the German government was the one who rushed to recognize Croatia and Slovenia, thus exacerbating the situation. So 3 million on the French, 500K for the Germans, 11K for the dead that the Dutch failed to protect in Srebrenica and so I guess since we have caused 3,000 to 7,000 civilian deaths, we can live with being a far better world citizen and less lethal force than France and Germany. Hurray!

Finally, as a coalition with members such as Briain, Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands, Denmark, Italy, Poland, Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Ukraine, Romania and Bulgaria, even in Europe we were in the majority along with numerous other important coalition partners, who I might add are all adults with independent foreign policies, we take the blame together. So all of us share the 100% though I would be more than happy to take the bulk of this as the leading nation of this coalition.

You are merely mad that we acted without YOUR permission. Sorry, but neither Germany nor France and certainly not Rascal has a veto over US defense.

So explain to me again how this “honest” mistake is so worthy of Rascal’s undying criticism and hostility?

“Honest mistake”?

I’d say “didn’t have a clue” is more like it.

Which “clue” from before the invasion, for example, turned out to be true?

Yellowcake, aluminum tubes, mobile bioweapons laboratories, “we know where they are”, underground nuclear test sites, 45 minutes to . . . weaponized biological agents, advanced nuclear weapons programs, SCUD fleets with WMD-tipped warheads, unmanned BW aerial delivery systems, Al Queda/Iraq joint ventures . . . ?

I don’t think Martha Stewart or management at Enron or WorldCom could have cooked up a bigger mess of neochicanery on their worst days than Bush management did on any given day.

And as the 9/11 investigations will soon make clear, the bozos in charge were just as incapable of seeing actual threats as they were incapable of judging lies and forgeries for what they really were.

God help America if those were honest mistakes and we can expect more of the same.

Not an honest mistake. Not even close.

Ample and pretty conclusive evidence exists to show that the Bush administration stovepiped intelligence favoring war straight to Bush, via Cheney’s lips in his ear (arm up his ass - Cheney’s Edgar Bergen to Bush’s Charlie McCarthy?), and buried intelligence that indicated otherwise. Jesus farking christ, they even outed a CIA operative, Valerie Plame, to accomplish this last bit. Whoever did that deserves to be drawn, quartered, and hanged, in my humble opinion. :fume:

Not only that, but ROW intelligence came largely from this same, stovepiped US intelligence. I’m talking here about the “intelligence” that Bush and Powell used to justify an immediate attack on Iraq. (but Bush never said the words imminent!!! threat!!!)

The US chose to support UN resolutions on best-objective-case, honest (but flawed) intelligence, but it chose to throw objectivity to the dogs and act on dishonest intelligence (i.e., only the intelligence that supported Bush’s timeline for Iraq, a timeline more related to his reelection than to any realistic threat posed by Hussein). When the UN wouldn’t agree to Bush’s timeline, despite the cover Bush desperately argued this dishonest US intelligence provided to the UN, the US jettisoned then strafed it. Now Bush is attempting a belated dive on the wreck, in the hope of salvaging the UN’s multilateral cover and its nationbuilding skills in Iraq - and again only because an election looms in November.

Honest mistake my ass. Please. Only if by honest mistake you mean clusterfuck.

Fine and Dandy:

But then explain Clinton and Gore’s take on this same issue while in office. Look at British, French, German, Russian and UN intelligence. Hell if the US (Bush) is smart enough to get all this intelligence planted retroactively than he deserves to be president solely on the basis of accomplishing the unimaginable. Get over it. Saddam was an evil bastard who finally got what he deserved. Just because he was caught without wmds does not mean that he was not guilty. He was on parole. When you violate your parole no matter for what silly simple little offense, you go back in the slammer and all the other previous violations that you committed (and which were waived) get tallied up and you pay big time. Sort of like the Three Strikes Law. It could be for something very minor but you are already being watched so Saddam knew this, boo fucking hoo.

What hostility? Back to outrage and Anti-Americanism? Yawn … :snore:

It surely wasn’t a mistake and if the US would have presented the evidence as it was provided (not as ‘we are sure’, ‘we know’ etc.) then - well, the world would have laughed at them and the war would never have happened.
And again it doesn’t matter what Clinton and Gore claimed or believed, it wasn’t them who started the war. That was Bush.

Further the war was a US-led effort, the case was made by the US and they asked others to support it - so the US should take 100% of the blame.
Blame the others for whatever you want, but neither they nor those that opposed the war yet believed in the existence of the WMD were the ones that wanted to wage war. That was the US only.

As to your argument of parole: that would be part of which law exactly? :wink:

So at the end of the day, the US was wrong about finding wmds. What part of this bothers you Rascal? You have never answered?

Infringement of Sovereignty?
Deaths of Iraqi civilians?
Threatening the International Order?
Superceding the UN?
Setting a policy of pre-emption?

What exactly bothers you Rascal? You know that as soon as you answer, I will provide you with an exhaustive list of numerous other examples to nullify all of the above points if they were your TRUE conerns. We all recognize your true motives. Faced with the evidence, you are not coming off any better than Bush. haha