5,784. 4/15/2004

In April 2004, Iraq Survey Group leader Charles Duelfer met with CIA Director George Tenet and asked him to support the release of a declassified final report on Iraq’s status regarding WMD. “According to Duelfer, ‘Saddam Husayn so dominated the Iraqi regime that its strategic intent was his alone. He wanted his weapons of mass destruction (WMD) when sanctions were lifted.’ Duelfer wrote that Saddam wanted WMD to deter Iran, in his view Iraq’s principal enemy. The belief that he had such weapons would also, Saddam thought, deter hostile groups inside Iraq. Maintaining a calculated position of ambiguity on whether he had WMD was, in Saddam’s view, essential to deterring these external and internal threats… Saddam believed he could simply wait out the sanctions [by the UN against Iraq] and then begin re-creating Iraq’s WMD capabilities. …On the critical issue that had been used as justification for the war, the report concluded that Saddam did not possess stockpiles of biological, chemical, and nuclear weapons at the time of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003, and that he had no active program to produce them.” [The 15th of the month used for date sorting purposes only.]

 – George Tenet with Bill Harlow, At the Center of the Storm, Pages 414-415

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