When Vice President Dick Cheney was asked, on NBC Meet the Press on 9/8/02, what specifically Saddam had obtained to make Cheney believe Saddam could or did to enhance his Nuclear Development Program, he responded, “Well, in the nuclear weapons arena, you’ve got sort of three key elements that you need to acquire. You need the technical expertise. You need to have a group of scientists and technicians, engineers, who know how to put together the infrastructure and to build a weapon. He’s got that. He had it because of his program that was there previously, which I’ll come back and talk about in a minute, but we know he’s been working for 20 years trying to acquire this capability. He’s got a well established scientifically, technically competent crew to do it.
Secondly, you need a weapons design. One of the toughest parts about building a nuclear weapon is knowing how to do it. And they’ve got that. He had it back prior to the Gulf War. We know from things that were uncovered during the course of the inspections back in the early ’90s that he did, in fact, have at least two designs for nuclear weapons.
The third thing you need is fissile material, weapons-grade material. Now, in the case of a nuclear weapon, that means either plutonium or highly enriched uranium. And what we’ve seen recently that has raised our level of concern to the current state of unrest, if you will, if I can put it in those terms, is that he now is trying, through his illicit procurement network, to acquire the equipment he needs to be able to enrich uranium to make the bombs.”
– NBC Inc., Meet the Press September 8, 2002, NBC Inc., Accessed on 9/22/2016
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