The return of the phantom WMD!
UN Inspectors: WMD removed from Iraq
The Associated Press reports:
UN satellite imagery experts have determined that material that could be used to make biological or chemical weapons and banned long-range missiles has been removed from 109 sites in Iraq, UN weapons inspectors said in a report obtained Thursday.
So the UN itself thinks that there were at least 109 places in Iraq where Saddam Hussein could have had weapons of mass destruction, or had the ability to develop them.
And there I was, thinking that President Bush and Prime Minister Blair had lied to me.
Now, I'll perhaps excuse John getting a misleading impression from the Irish Pennants post, but surely he could have read the original AP article for himself?
The actual AP goes on to say:
"U.N. inspectors have been blocked from returning to Iraq since the U.S.-led war in 2003 so they have been using satellite photos to see what happened to the sites that were subject to U.N. monitoring because their equipment had both civilian and military uses.
In the report to the U.N. Security Council, acting chief weapons inspector Demetrius Perricos said he's reached no conclusions about who removed the items or where they went. He said it could have been moved elsewhere in Iraq, sold as scrap, melted down or purchased.
He said the missing material can be used for legitimate purposes. "However, they can also be utilized for prohibited purposes if in a good state of repair.""
So, these were sites with dual-use facilities, which were being carefully monitored by the UN pre-invasion. Post-invasion, the UN inspectors (blocked from returning by Bush & Co.) now report that someone has looted those sites.
So, to recap: no WMD found after all (surprise, surprise), but potential materiél to make such weapons has now evaporated thanks to GWB and the incompetence of his administration. But, I guess that's just us in the Reality-Based Community being nit-pickers.
(Note: edited for clarity)