2003 May 15 Thursday
Did Corrupt Officials Hide Lack Of WMD Program From Saddam?

Jim Lacey, who was embedded with the 101st Airborne Divsion for Time magazine in Iraq has advanced a novel theory about Iraq's Weapons Of Mass Destruction (WMD) programs: there was far less of a program than Saddam Hussein thought there was because corrupt officials hid the fact from him.

Saddam was unlikely to be able to tell the difference between nuclear-grade graphite and pencil lead. What are the chances that the uneducated dictator could tell a centrifuge from a cow-milking machine? By claiming that the program was disbursed at hundreds of different sites, it would ensure that Saddam was never able to visit more then a handful and therefore would not be able to uncover the fraud.

Is this plausible? How good was Saddam's ability to keep track of the weapons development efforts in his country? How many spies did he have in them? Could those spies effectively monitor the work? Was the work distributed to too many sites? Were his own sons part of a systematic deception to hide from Saddam just how little resources were really allocated to WMD development?

We are going to have to wait for a lot more officials to be captured and interrogated and a lot more evidence to be sorted thru before we have a clear picture of what was going on in Saddam's WMD development programs.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2003 May 15 04:51 PM  US Foreign Preemption, Deterrence, Containment


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