The question of “Where are the WMD?” has been offered by critics of the Bush Administration in order to mock the rationale for the invasion of Iraq. The question is presented because of the failure to find the weapons of mass destruction that Saddam was said to possess or was pursuing. But it’s still a legitimate question. And some new answers are beginning to emerge?although generally not in the major media.
Several new sources have come to light to indicate that Saddam probably did have WMD, at least chemical and biological weapons, and that a nuclear program had not been entirely discontinued. And they also suggest a substantial relationship between Saddam and al Qaeda.
The Weekly Standard has had a series of articles by Stephen Hayes, examining the mystery surrounding some of the previously classified documents that have been discovered in Iraq. Amazingly, nearly three years after the fall of Saddam’s brutal regime, the U.S. has only translated about 2.5 percent of all the documents they have discovered. But Hayes says the documents reveal, among other things, extensive training of al Qaeda by Iraqi intelligence.
The New York Sun has been leading the way in reporting on a former Iraqi Air Force general, Georges Sada, who is out with a new book, Saddam’s Secrets, asserting that Saddam sent his WMD to Syria in converted passenger planes, shortly before the war began. He appeared on the Fox News show Hannity & Colmes to talk about it, and Sherrie Gossett of CNS News also did a good story about his disclosures.
On Capitol Hill, Rep. Peter Hoekstra is trying to reopen the question of Saddam’s WMD through the House Intelligence Committee. This was based on 12 hours of audiotapes that came to light revealing Saddam’s discussion of hiding his WMD, and of his prediction of a terrorist attack on the U.S. This was first reported by the New York Sun, and then got a minor mention in a tiny article buried on the inside pages of the New York Times. Later ABC’s Nightline was the first to air portions of the tapes.
The Sun reported that Hoekstra “is in touch with other people who have come forward to the committee?Iraqis and Americans?who claim that the weapons inspectors may have overlooked other key sites and evidence. He has asked the director of national intelligence, John Negroponte, to declassify some 35,000 boxes of Iraqi documents obtained in the war that have yet to be translated.
Another article in the Sun by Eli Lake tells the story of David Gaubatz, a former member of the Air Force’s Office of Special Investigations. Gaubatz said that during the war he found “four sealed underground bunkers in southern Iraq that he is sure contain stocks of chemical and biological weapons. But when he asked American weapons inspectors to check out the sites, he was rebuffed.”
Hayes and Lake deserve credit for continuing to pursue the story.
“If verified,” Investors Business Daily says about Sada’s revelations, “his story would be a smoking gun that blows away the claims of a ‘Bush lied, people died’ crowd that insists Saddam never had WMDs and that his regime was not linked to al-Qaida. You’d think this would be a matter of great interest to all who seek the truth. But all we get is tedious replay of theories blaming Bush for doing nothing other than protecting his country, as he’s sworn to do.”
We understand why the major media want to ignore these new revelations. They have already found Bush guilty of lying about the WMD.
The mystery is why the Bush administration has not worked harder to get out the information that could neutralize these reckless accusations. We hope it’s not because they are afraid of picking a fight with the liberal press.