2002 November 02 Saturday
Richard Spertzel On Hard Inspections Job In Iraq

Richard Spertzel emphasises that weapons inspectors will face a very difficult task if they return to Iraq.

"In some cases, we have solid evidence that they're saying isn't true," says Richard Spertzel, former head of the UN inspections team searching for biological weapons. "When things don't add up, you start asking questions. And if you start getting dumb answers, you know you got a problem."

"If Iraq doesn't make a full disclosure, then it's up to the inspectors to find what Iraq has, and that's not what they're set up to do. That literally could take years."

Spertzel has previously argued that there is a widespread misconception about what inspection teams can accomplish. In a nutshell, inspection teams do not have adequate powers and abilities to do the necessary investigative and discovery work in a country that hides its weapons programs. For biological weapons the problem of investigation and discovery is especially difficult because the equipment and the labs are so much smaller and can even be mobile. It is suspected that Saddam Hussein does have mobile biological weapons labs.

The whole idea of a UN inspections team for Iraq is based on a fiction. Inspection teams can not discover many of the weapons labs and weapons storage facilities as long as the current regime is in power. The regime can hide what it has and intimidate its own weapons scientists and engineers to stay silent. The Bush Administration, by pursuing the resumption of an inspections regime, is lending credence to this fiction and is doing a disservice to the American people.

Update: At Hood College in Frederick Maryland on October 27, 2002 Richard Spertzel had this to say:

"I think it's inevitable that it will take a war to persuade Iraq to give up their weapons of mass destruction, now whether that comes sooner or later depends on what takes place at the Security Council."

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2002 November 02 09:02 PM  Inspections and Sanctions


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