4,017. 10/1/2002

The National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) of October 1, 2002 said: “that the United States had a ‘high confidence’ that:
‘*Iraq is continuing, and in some areas expanding, its chemical, biological, nuclear, and missile programs contrary to U.S. resolutions.
*We are not detecting portions of these weapons programs.
*Iraq possesses proscribed chemical and biological weapons and missiles.
*Iraq could make a nuclear weapon in months to a year once it acquires sufficient weapons-grade fissile material.’
More specifically, the NIE stated that Iraq is ‘vigorously trying’ to obtain uranium and ‘reportedly’ is working on a deal to purchase ‘up to 500 tons’ of uranium from Niger. It added that ‘Baghdad has mobile facilities for producing bacterial and toxin BW
[biological weapon] agents; these facilities can evade detection and are highly survivable.’ And, with some qualifications, it asserted that ‘Iraq’s aggressive attempts to obtain high-strength aluminum tubes for centrifuge rotors–as well as Iraq’s attempts to acquire magnets, high-speed balancing machines, and machine tools–provide compelling evidence that Saddam is reconstituting a uranium enrichment effort for Baghdad’s nuclear weapons program.’ ”

 – Craig Unger, The Fall of the House of Bush, Page 266

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