Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Iraq Did Have WMD

Well, better late than never, but The New York Times steps up to reality with a good piece in Sunday's Edition.

BAGHDAD, Iraq, March 12 - In the weeks after Baghdad fell in April 2003, looters systematically dismantled and removed tons of machinery from Saddam Hussein's most important weapons installations, including some with high-precision equipment capable of making parts for nuclear arms, a senior Iraqi official said this week in the government's first extensive comments on the looting. . . .

Dr. Araji said equipment capable of making parts for missiles as well as chemical, biological and nuclear arms was missing from 8 or 10 sites that were the heart of Iraq's dormant program on unconventional weapons. After the invasion, occupation forces found no unconventional arms, and C.I.A. inspectors concluded that the effort had been largely abandoned after the Persian Gulf war in 1991.

Dr. Araji said he had no evidence regarding where the equipment had gone. But his account raises the possibility that the specialized machinery from the arms establishment that the war was aimed at neutralizing had made its way to the black market or was in the hands of foreign governments.

And, we have an Inspector Clusoe Alert:

The United Nations, worried that the material could be used in clandestine bomb production, has been hunting for it, largely unsuccessfully, across the Middle East.

Classic understatement: "largely unsuccessfully."

Will Iran quake in its boots when Clusoe requests access?

No, it will laugh -- and grownups will have to prevent (or, may God protect us, cleanup) the radioactive mess.