Saturday, January 24, 2004

David Kay tells the truth

I've written a lot of nasty things about David Kay, all of them deserved. But I have to give the man his due. He could have kept lying, like Cheney, but he decided to fess up. From his interview (or here) with Reuters (my emphasis):

"Q: What happened to the stockpiles of biological and chemical weapons that everyone expected to be there?

A: 'I don't think they existed.'

'I think there were stockpiles at the end of the first Gulf War and those were a combination of U.N. inspectors and unilateral Iraqi action got rid of them. I think the best evidence is that they did not resume large-scale production, and that's what we're really talking about, is large stockpiles, not the small. Large stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons in the period after '95.'

Q. After '95?

A. 'We're really talking about from the mid-90s, when people thought they had resumed production.'

Q. What about the nuclear program?

A. 'The nuclear program was as we said in the interim report, I think that will be a final conclusion. There had been some restart of activities, but they were rudimentary.'

'It really wasn't dormant because there were a few little things going on, but it had not resumed in anything meaningful.'

Q: You came away from the hunt that you have done believing that they did not have any large stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons in the country?

A: 'That is correct.'

Q. Is that from the interviews and documentation?

A. 'Well the interviews, the documentation, and the physical evidence of looking at, as hard as it was because they were dealing with looted sites, but you just could not find any physical evidence that supported a larger program.'

Q: Do you think they destroyed it?

A: 'No, I don't think they existed.'

Q. Even though in the mid-1980s people said they used it on Halabja?

A. 'They had stockpiles, they fought the Iranians with it, and they certainly did use it on the Kurds. But what everyone was talking about is stockpiles produced after the end of the last (1991) Gulf War and I don't think there was a large-scale production program in the '90s.'"

So there it is, from the American expert on the subject. No biological or chemical weapons, and no meaningful nuclear program. Americans were clearly lied to in order to provide an excuse for the attack, and have been consistently lied to ever since, up to and including the most recent State of the Union Address ('weapons of mass destruction-related program activities') and Cheney's most recent statements. American taxpayer dollars are still being spent to continue the search for what isn't there. Why is this not a hot political issue in the United States?