Under the Saddam Hussein regime, Iraq’s weapons development programs were highly compartmentalized. The regime kept its secrets through fear, terror, deception, and denial.
An interim report by David Kay and the Iraq Survey Group has been presented to senior U.S. officials and the U.S. Congress. According to the report, there were dozens of weapons of mass destruction-related programs that Iraq concealed from the United Nations. This information comes from Iraq’s scientists themselves, as well as from physical evidence and documentation that was discovered and saved from organized looting as the regime collapsed. President George W. Bush pointed to some of the findings:
“The report states that Saddam Hussein’s regime had a clandestine network of biological laboratories, a live strain of [the] deadly agent botulinum, sophisticated concealment efforts, and advanced design work on prohibited longer-range missiles.”
Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction programs involved thousands of people and billions of dollars. These programs, said President Bush, were shielded by security and deception operations that continued even after the liberation of Iraq:
“In addition to these extensive concealment efforts, Dr. Kay found systematic destruction of evidence of these illegal activities. This interim progress report is not final. Extensive work remains to be done on his [Saddam Hussein’s] biological, chemical, and nuclear weapons programs.”
But as President Bush says, even this interim report makes it clear that the Saddam Hussein regime actively deceived the United Nations, was in clear violation of U-N resolutions, and was a danger to the world.