On the trailers, for example, a physical inspection by the ISG engineers unambiguously established that they were not designed (and could not be readily modified) for biological agent production. My own view, as an expert on the Iraqi biological weapons program, was that you would be better starting off with a bucket, rather than try to adapt the equipment to make anthrax. But in addition to physical evidence, there was a folder of documentation on the trailers that included the original contract for their construction, acceptance trials and operating “manual,” all indicating that the trailers were for hydrogen production for artillery balloons. Chemical sampling by the ISG showed that the trailers had in fact produced hydrogen.
Charles Duelfer, the new head of the ISG, arrived in Baghdad on February 12,
2004. Naturally he had his own ideas on a report, and this was discussed with senior staff on the day of his arrival. A key feature was that it would include no assessment, but would simply report our findings without comment. The report as he envisioned it would be about 20 pages in length and would emphasize the work the ISG had yet to complete.
Over a series of three private meetings with Charles, I tried to dissuade him from this course. I argued that we had found evidence that overturned much of the
pre-war intelligence and were confident of our findings: this should be reported. Also political leaders in the U.S., UK and Australia were making public statements which we now knew were incorrect, and we had a duty to inform them of our conclusions. If we were aware of certain information and did not disclose it, then that would be tantamount to dishonesty.
However, before the report was finalized, both London and Washington proposed some changes, the consequence of which would have been to imply that there was WMD yet to found in Iraq. These particular suggestions were rejected.
At the same time as the report was being drafted, instructions from Langley
were being sent directly to the leaders of the chemical and biological teams, who were CIA analysts responsible for pre-war intelligence assessments, to channel their work.
It seemed to me that the ISG had lost its independence and, with it, its direction. This was illustrated by the approach by the senior CIA professional assisting Charles. In mid-March 2004, he told me in relation to the trailers that he did not care what they were for, but that it was “politically not possible” to say they were not biological trailers.
As soon as the report was finalized, I tendered my resignation. In a letter to
the Australian Department of Defence, I indicated that the reason I resigned was
broader than just the March report, and that “I was concerned about the objectivity of the ISG.” Two senior ISG officials (another Australian and one UK) also resigned at that time, for similar reasons, and I am aware that others were also considering quitting.
In spite of the problems in March, Charles did eventually produce an honest and objective report. Charles asked me to assist with that and, when I was convinced that it was a genuine and independent effort, I returned to Baghdad in August/September to help with its coordination and drafting. This “substantive”
report was presented to congressional committees early in October 2004. With the exception of a major (and important) section on “Regime Strategic Intent,” most of the report could have been published in March 2004.
and this (pdf) from Joseph Cirincione
Senior Vice-President for National Security and International Policy
Center for American Progress
On October 7, 2002, President Bush delivered a major address on Iraq's weapons.i hadn't realised that they'd told that specific lie.
Bush said that "the regime was forced to admit that it had produced more than
30,000 litres of anthrax and other deadly agents. The inspectors, however,
concluded that Iraq had likely produced two to four times that amount. This is a
massive stockpile of biological weapons..." UN inspectors did not reach this
conclusion; the inspectors had said that Iraq had enough growth medium that
could be used to produce more anthrax than it had declared. The inspectors did
not assert that Iraq actually had produced additional anthrax.
If the United States is to reform the intelligence assessment process to betternaming names. the same names keep cropping up, no? i'd so love to see cambone nailed.
respond to future threats, it is essential that top policymakers understand that the work is only half finished. They should resist the rushed efforts to adopt sweeping
reorganizations based on the mistaken belief that they now have the full picture of what went wrong. The Senate report and the 9/11 Commission report, as good as they are, as information-rich as they are, as well-written as they are, tell only half the story. Until the full details of the roles played by Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence Stephen Cambone, Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Douglas Feith, Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, Vice-President Cheney and his Chief of Staff Lewis “Scooter” Libby are revealed, policy-makers will not understand how the system became so corrupted.