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Monday, September 15, 2003
Writing in disbelief
The Sunday Times reported yesterday that the publication David Kay's full report on weapons of mass destruction and related programs in Iraq has been delayed indefinitely because no evidence of such weapons has been found. (Unfortunately readers will have to pay for The Sunday Times but Press Trust of India, Sify News and the Xinhua News Agency have all written about the story.)
There can be no disputing that fear of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction was one of the reasons the Bush Administration publicly gave for starting Operation Iraqi Freedom in March. "I believe Saddam Hussein is a threat to the American people. I believe he's a threat to the neighborhood in which he lives," U.S. President George W. Bush said 13 days before beginning the offensive. "And I've got a good evidence to believe that. He has weapons of mass destruction, and he has used weapons of mass destruction, in his neighborhood and on his own people."
If former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein's government did not have weapons of mass destruction when invaded, it would important to try to figure if bad evaluations, bad intelligence, incompetence, mendacity and/or some other factor lead to Bush claiming that he had reason to believe that Saddam had such weapons. But before that can be done in full, Kay's report needs to be released. There is no excuse for not doing so, at least in part, once it has been completed.