4,002. 10/1/2002

“The National Intelligence Estimate that was provided to Congress in October [1] 2002 reported that Saddam had up to several dozen Scud missiles with ranges of 400 to 550 miles. The threat that Saddam might fire Scuds with WMD warheads at Israel had been one of the Pentagon’s biggest worries and extensive training had been carried out at Nellis Air Force Base [Nevada] on operations to hunt the weapons. But in the years since the Gulf War, U.S. reconnaissance had not snapped a single picture of a Scud. The estimate was based on the CIA’s insistence that there was a gap in accounting between the number of Scuds the Iraqis were thought to have acquired before the Gulf War and the number that they expended and destroyed. The mission of the 5th Special Forces Group [to hunt for Scuds and WMD in western Iraq] was a sensible precaution but also another case in which the prewar intelligence was way off base.”

 – Michael R. Gordon and Bernard E. Trainor, Cobra II, Page 383

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