U.S. intelligence agents think that Saddam Hussein either dismantled his chemical and biological weapons, for fear the U.S. would attack, or sent them abroad. But those who think he sent them out of the country disagree about where he sent them.
The World Tribune website says that the Defense Intelligence Agency thinks the weapons of mass destruction (WMD) were shipped to Syria and Iran in 2002 and early 2003. They have evidence that convoys went to both countries shortly before the U.S. invasion. But the CIA says there’s no evidence that Saddam exported any WMD, especially to Iran.
In a recent briefing, James Clapper, director of the National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA), said, “I think personally that the [Iraqi] senior leadership saw what was coming and I think they went to some extraordinary lengths to dispose of the evidence. I’ll call it an educated hunch.” There is less evidence that WMDs were sent to Iran.
Clapper admits that while U.S. spy satellites saw the convoys, they could not identify the cargo being transported by Iraqi trucks into Syria. They could have been carrying the personal wealth of Saddam and his loyalists, rather than WMDs.
Clapper suspects the looting throughout Sunni cities in Iraq in April was instigated as a diversion for the destruction of WMDs or their transfer out of Iraq. He says, “So by the time that we got to a lot of these facilities, that we had previously identified as suspect facilities, there wasn’t that much there to look at.”
We know Saddam once had WMDs, because we sold them to him so he could use them on Iran and also because he used them on us during the 1991 Gulf War. The controversy over whether we should have invaded Iraq has to do with when?and if?he destroyed them. There’s no way to know if the theory that they were transported to Syria is a face-saving maneuver on the part of the U.S. military.
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