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10/14/03 - RICE ON IRAQ’S WEAPONS - 2003-10-14

For twelve years, Saddam Hussein sat in the heart of one of the world’s most volatile regions, defying the United Nations Security Council, and terrorizing the Iraqi people. He invaded his neighbors, Kuwait and Iran, and used chemical weapons against his own people and against Iran.

And, says U.S. national security adviser Condoleezza Rice, there is “proof that Iraq never disarmed, and never complied with U-N [weapons] inspectors.”

“We have hard evidence of facts that no one should ever have doubted. Right up until the end, Saddam Hussein continued to torture and oppress the Iraqi people. Right up until the end, Saddam Hussein lied to the [U-N] Security Council. And, let there be no mistake, right up until the end, Saddam Hussein continued to harbor ambitions to threaten the world with weapons of mass destruction, and to hide his illegal weapons programs.”

A report prepared by the U.S.-led Iraq Survey Group documents the weapons programs and equipment that Iraq concealed from the U-N. The U.S. has discovered dozens of weapons of mass destruction-related program activities and significant amounts of equipment that Iraq concealed from the United Nations during the inspections that began in late 2002. The discovery of these deliberate concealment efforts has come about through the admissions of Iraqi scientists and Iraqi officials. And, says Ms. Rice, evidence continues to be found:

“New research on B-W, biological warfare-applicable agents, Brucella and Congo Crimean Hemorrhagic Fever. Clandestine attempts between late 1999 and 2002 to obtain from North Korea technology related to one-thousand-three-hundred kilometer range ballistic missiles.”

Trusting Saddam Hussein is not an option. A U.S.-led coalition removed him from power. Iraq’s killing fields are now yielding up their dead. Now that Saddam Hussein is gone, he will never again use weapons of mass destruction, and Iraqi support for terrorism is over.