5,388. 10/2/2003

“On October 2, 2003, [Iraq Survey Group supervisor David] Kay reported preliminary findings to Congress. Much of his six-thousand-word report supported the Bush Administration’s prewar assertions: Saddam Hussein’s WMD history, intentions, capabilities, and programs supported the conclusion that Iraq posed serious threats. These findings were overshadowed, however, by what the Iraq Survey Group did not find: the weapons that the CIA said were stockpiled in the country. The Iraq Survey Group discovered ‘dozens of WMD-related program activities and significant amounts of equipment that Iraq concealed from the United Nations during the inspections that began in late 2002.’ In addition to discovering extensive concealment efforts, it was ‘faced with a systematic sanitization of documentary and computer evidence in a wide range of offices, laboratories, and companies suspected of WMD work.’ It found that the efforts ‘to erase evidence–hard drives destroyed, specific files burned, equipment cleaned of all traces of use’ were ‘deliberate, rather than random, acts.’ Despite Iraq’s denial-and-deception efforts, the Iraq Survey Group found evidence that, after 1996, Iraq had further compartmentalized its biological weapons (BW) program and ‘focused on maintaining smaller, covert capabilities that could be activated quickly to surge the production of BW agents.’ When Operation Iraqi Freedom began, Saddam had ‘a clandestine network of laboratories and facilities within the security service apparatus.’ This capability was ‘suitable for preserving BW expertise, BW capable facilities and containing R&D–all key elements for maintaining a capability for resuming BW production.’ The Iraqi Intelligence Service (IIS) ‘played a prominent role in sponsoring students for overseas graduate studies in the biological sciences, according to Iraqi scientists and IIS sources, providing an important avenue for furthering BW-applicable research.’ This was the ‘only area of graduate work that the IIS appeared to sponsor.’ ”

 – Douglas Feith, War and Decision, Page 471

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