Thursday, July 29, 2004


A Convenient Myth

All intelligence services thought that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, and was a threat, prior to the war.

1. Do you believe that Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction; for instance, chemical or biological weapons?

President Chirac: Well, I don’t know. I have no evidence to support that… It seems that there are no nuclear weapons - no nuclear weapons program. That is something that the inspectors seem to be sure of. As for weapons of mass destruction, bacteriological, biological, chemical, we don’t know. And that is precisely what the inspectors’ mandate is all about. But rushing into war, rushing into battle today is clearly a disproportionate response.
Interview with CBS, 16th March, 2003

2. A British intelligence source said the best intelligence on Saddam was held by the French who had agents in Iraq. 'French intelligence was telling us that there was effectively no real evidence of a WMD program. That's why France wanted a longer extension on the weapons inspections. The French, the Germans and the Russians all knew there were no weapons there -- and so did Blair and Bush as that's what the French told them directly. Blair ignored what the French told us and instead listened to the Americans.'
The Sunday Herald, June 1, 2003

3. French intelligence services did not come up with the same alarming assessment of Iraq and WMD as did the Britain and the United States. "According to secret agents at the DGSE, Saddam's Iraq does not represent any kind of nuclear threat at this time…It [the French assessment] contradicts the CIA's analysis…" French spies said that the Iraqi nuclear threat claimed by the United States was a "phony threat."
Institute for Science and International Security

4. Russia was not convinced by either the September 24, 2002 British dossier or the October 4, 2002 CIA report. Lacking sufficient evidence, Russia dismissed the claims as a part of a "propaganda furor."Specifically targeting the CIA report, Putin said, "Fears are one thing, hard facts are another." He goes on to say, "Russia does not have in its possession any trustworthy data that supports the existence of nuclear weapons or any weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and we have not received any such information from our partners yet. This fact has also been supported by the information sent by the CIA to the US Congress." However, Putin was apprehensive about the possibility that Iraq may have WMDs and he therefore supported inspections. The Russian ambassador to London thought that the dossier was a document of concern. "It is impressive, but not always…convincing."
Institute for Science and International Security

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