Thursday | January 09, 2003
Still No Smoking Gun In Iraq
The New York Times and the AP just reported the UN weapons inspectors have presented their first update to the Security Council just now, and they have found “no smoking guns.” They did note that Iraq has apparently moved to import missile parts over the last several years, but evidence is heretofore lacking on the issue of WMDs.
Aside from UN Ambassador John Negroponte’s continual push to label the missile parts evidence, the inability for the inspectors to get the Iraqi scientists out-of-country for interviews, and the lack of a WMD smoking gun a “material breach”, it also appears we haven’t exactly been providing the inspectors with the evidence we claim to have.
According to the AP, although the US has been told for awhile to put up or shut up by members of the Security Council regarding the evidence, “Secretary of State Colin Powell told The Washington Post for Thursday's editions that in the past few days, the United States has begun giving inspectors ‘significant intelligence’ that has enabled them to become ‘more aggressive and to be more comprehensive in the work they're doing.’ But Washington is holding back some information to see if inspectors ‘are able to handle it and exploit it. ... It is not a matter of opening up every door we have,’ Powell said.”
Given the troop movements of the last several days, and the impending deadline in late January for a report to the Security Council, it seems counterproductive for the US to still be withholding evidence from the inspectors this late in the game, even if we claim we aren’t doing so in order to not compromise intelligence assets. At this rate, Blix will be issuing an incomplete report based on what his folks have seen on the ground and without the full “evidence” we claim to have.
We of course are taking this White House's claim of concern for intelligence assets as sincere.
And the result will still be a “material breach” as far as the White House is concerned.
Update: It appears that Bush may have problems with our staunchest ally.
Steve SotoPosted January 09, 2003 11:50 AM | Comments (15)