JUST KEEP LOOKING ….
Jay B. Gaskill
The largest verified caches of biological and chemical warfare agents in the entire Middle East were under the control of the Saddam regime before they “disappeared” in the 2002-2003 pre-invasion run-up.
The US invasion of Iraq was effectively stalled for six months because of a decision to first exhaust diplomatic and UN channels.
So we might reasonably ask:
What were bio-chemical warfare paraphernalia doing in a British mosque raided by authorities in 2003 during the pre-invasion stall phase? Why did the mosque have “NBC Suits” (see below) From what source did these terrorists get the expectation that their “NBC Suits” would be needed?
Ø Oct. 10, 2002- Congress adopts a joint resolution authorizing use of force against Iraq and gives the president authority to take preemptive, unilateral military action against Iraq, when and how he deems necessary.
Ø Nov. 8, 2002- The UN Security Council unanimously approves Resolution 1441, imposing tough new arms inspections on Iraq and precise, unambiguous definitions of what constitutes a “material breach.” Should Iraq violate the resolution, it faces “serious consequences,” which the Security Council would determine.
Ø Dec. 21, 2002- President Bush approves the deployment of U.S. troops to the Gulf region. By March, 200,000 troops will be stationed there.
Ø January 20, 2003: Britain: Operation Mermant began in the early hours of January 20 2003. Scores of officers in body armor used battering rams to enter the Finsbury Park mosque. Inside they found a mini-arsenal of weapons, terrorist paraphernalia and forged passports. The stash of equipment included chemical warfare protection suits, or NBC (nuclear, biological and chemical) suits, as they are technically known. For the full story: http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/crime/article343846.ece
Ø March 19, 2003- Invasion of Iraq begins when the United States launches Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Ø April 9, 2003- The fall of Baghdad.
Ø Saddam’s arsenal of chemical and biological weapons was “missing”.
We might reasonably ask:
Can any of us feel confident that Saddam destroyed his entire arsenal in situ?
Does anyone really doubt that some of these weaponized kill-agents were destined for the Finsbury Park mosque, or that the other parts of the Iraqi arms cache were to be delivered to other jihad terrorist cells?
What has happened since 2003?
Two things to Consider:
The Iraq Survey Group Final Report
23 September 2004
Special Advisor to the Director of Central Intelligence
Baghdad, September 2004
“Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) were an integral element in the range of tools Saddam drew upon to advance his ambitions. WMD was not an end in itself. Therefore, to examine meaningfully WMD in Iraq means examining the leadership of Iraq concomitantly.
“The Regime was run by Saddam and the calculations he made concerning WMD were based on his view of relevant related factors—not ours. Optimally, we would remove the reader temporarily from his reality and time. ….
“Complicating their lives was the tendency of Saddam to hold his cards close while he allowed minions to debate. Saddam did not lead by espousing detailed goals and objectives.
“We have tried to sort through the data available and have tried to judge candid views from Saddam on WMD as well as his likely vision of the future of Iraq and the role of WMD. What seems clear is that WMD was a tool of power or leverage that varied in its utility in advancing toward his goals for himself and Iraq.
“Jail was frequently on the resume of even some of his higher ranking staff. For example, Presidential Advisor and leader of the former Iraqi Nuclear Weapon program, Ja’far Dhia Ja’far, was jailed by Saddam and released only when he agreed to work on the nuclear weapon program.
“Externally, Saddam applied the same predilection to attack perceived threats preemptively. Saddam acted against Iran when he thought he had the advantage. Saddam attacked Kuwait in response to perceived economic aggression by Kuwait.
‘It is vital to understand that in such an environment—an environment alien to those accustomed to Western democracies—implicit guidance from the leader can be as compelling and real as explicit guidance. Indeed, in the security-conscious world of Saddam, it would be surprising to find explicit direction related to sensitive topics like WMD. This would especially be the case for programs of presidential interest or direction. It is important to understand what one should expect to see and what one should not expect to see.
“Likewise, many years of inspections taught the Iraqi WMD counterparts how their country was being examined. It might well be expected that they would seek to elude such examination as a result.
“Two examples from interactions in the 1990s may be illustrative. An Iraqi minister in 1994 asked, “Why do you Americans always attack buildings?” … [T]hey would simply take key equipment and move it out of buildings and disperse it in ways that we could not resolve into our targeting and intelligence-operating system. This was shrewd but obvious. It affected the data we were examining.
“Throughout this report, timeline sections are repeated to remind continuously the reader of the events going on that impinge on Saddam’s field of vision.
“… Saddam’s experience with WMD previously had been very positive. Senior Iraqis have said that it was their firm conviction that the use of ballistic missiles and chemical munitions saved them in the war against Iran. Missiles allowed them to hit Iranian cities, and chemical munitions (101,000 were used) countered the Iranian “human wave” attacks.
“In addition, the Iraqis believed that their possession and willingness to use WMD (CW and BW) contributed substantially to deterring the United States from going to Baghdad in 1991. WMD demonstrated its worth to Saddam. Moreover, senior Iraqis have observed that, if Saddam had waited until he finished his nuclear weapon before invading Kuwait, the outcome would have been much different.
“Therefore, it was a tough decision he faced when confronted by the UN resolution linking lifting of the sanctions with WMD disarmament. … The goal was to do enough to be able to argue that they had complied with UN requirements. Some production capacity that Baghdad thought could be passed off as serving a civilian function was retained, and no admission of biological weapons was made at all. But the clear prime theme of Saddam was to defeat the UN constraints. Dispensing with WMD was a tactical retreat in his ongoing struggle.
“From the evidence available through the actions and statements of a range of Iraqis, it seems clear that the guiding theme for WMD was to sustain the intellectual capacity achieved over so many years at such a great cost and to be in a position to produce again with as short a lead time as possible—within the vital constraint that no action should threaten the prime objective of ending international sanctions and constraints.
“1996 Beginning of Oil-for-Food. The onset of the OFF program began what became a burgeoning source of real disposable income. The revenues Iraq garnered grew incredibly from an estimated $250 million in 1996 to $2.76 billion in 2001. The process of oil exports offered leverage in the international oil markets. The UN system for controlling Iraqi oil exports had the unintended consequence of allowing ample opportunities for corruption. Corruption of this process suited the objectives of Saddam of escaping the fetters of the sanctions controlled by the UN Security Council….
“The Regime’s strategy was successful to the point where sitting members of the Security Council were actively violating the resolutions passed by the Security Council.
“1998—End of Inspections. … During the summer of 1998, when UNSCOM surfaced its concern over the evidence it found that Iraq had, contrary to its declarations, weaponized VX in missile warheads, Baghdad appears to have concluded that there was no prospect of satisfying the inspection teams. Cooperation with UNSCOM was seen as a trap, not a path to ending sanctions.
“Baghdad ended full cooperation in August … UNSCOM and IAEA inspectors departed Iraq just before the bombing and never returned. The Iraqis were satisfied with the outcome. They said, given a choice of sanctions with inspections or sanctions without inspections, they would prefer without. …Clearly their strategy was to erode sanctions, and they saw no need to accept a new set of inspectors.
“2000—The End is in Sight. By 2000, the erosion of sanctions accelerated. …
“From Baghdad the long struggle to outlast the containment policy of the United States imposed through the UN sanctions seemed tantalizingly close. …
“11 September 2001 The progress Baghdad had made toward escaping sanctions changed following 11 September 2001. Saddam did not immediately understand this.
“Reflecting Saddam’s ill-formed understanding of the United States, Baghdad fully grasped neither the effect of the attacks on the United States nor their implications for Iraq’s position in the United Nations. The seriousness of the change in the international atmosphere and Iraq’s diplomatic position became clear to Saddam only after President Bush’s 2002 State of the Union speech. He saw a seriousness he had not earlier recognized. Still, he tried to bargain with the Security Council rather than outright accept new inspections. The dithering cost him. … Iraq was surrounded by a large and expensive, military force. Sustaining such a force for any length of time would be impossible. It was not a stable situation, and Saddam realized his position far too late.”
Special Advisor to the Director of Central Intelligence
Baghdad, September 2004
As JAMES LACEY recently wrote:
“… the final report of the Iraqi Survey Group (ISG) … The evidence found by the ISG confirms that Saddam was preparing to rapidly reconstitute his WMD program the moment he broke out of sanctions…
“Consider just one datum: According to the report, Saddam had the capability to start anthrax production within one week of making the decision to do so, and thereafter to produce over ten tons of weaponized anthrax a year. If even 1 percent of that amount — 200 pounds — were released into the air over Washington, D.C., Congress’s Office of Technology Assessment estimates that up to 3 million people would die.
“…a facility called al-Hakam produced ten tons of biopesticides for agricultural use each year. These biopesticides were produced in powder form and milled to 1 to 10 microns in size… Though such finely milled powder may be useless for agricultural work, it is the perfect size for an inhalation bioweapon. (To be effective, anthrax must be milled at less then 10 microns.) Experts estimate that weaponized-anthrax spores that infect the skin will kill 50 percent of untreated patients; inhaled anthrax will kill 100 percent of untreated victims and 50 percent of those receiving immediate treatment. Simulations prior to Desert Storm estimated that an anthrax attack would kill over 25 percent of Coalition forces, as many as 200,000 men. In the hands of terrorists, this would be a weapon of incalculable value.”
The Threat Saddam Posed by James Lacey, National Review, April 10, 2006
& The Most Likely Scenario?
For at least a decade and half and throughout the run-up to the second Iraq War, there is one overall regional picture: We face the prospect of an emerging proto-power. It is clear in retrospect, that even Saddam was willing to ride that horse. Of course, the radical mullahs of Iran, the Taliban in Afghanistan, among others, dreamed of an Islamist super state. But these visions of a single super-state (really the Fourth Reich) were and are potentially convergent with regimes like Saddam’s. Recall that Saddam was willing to appeal to Islamist sentiments, and he was certainly willing to train Islamist terrorists. Was he willing to share deliverable WMD materials to these same terrorists in order to attack the West? Of course he was. Because we have no credible evidence of the destruction of his arsenal, Saddam’s “outsourcing” of the struggle via the transfer of elements of his chemical and bio-weapons stocks to Syria, Hamas or to other terrorist allies can never be ruled out.
Still, that dangerous proto-state has yet to emerge; it exists only in fragmented form at present. Part of this “rough beast” consists of Iran and Syria, part of jihad terror cells throughout the area of conflict, parts exist as “ministers-in-waiting”, sympathetic jihad elements embedded in “friendly” Islam-saturated states, notably Pakistan. And other strong pockets of support exist in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Indonesia. The growing, restive Islamic minorities in Europe form the easily manipulated jihad foot soldiers in an unconventional war the objective of which is the creation of what I’ve called “Islamostan”, (http://jaygaskill.com/Islamist.htm ) a nuclear armed world power with an ideology that recapitulates the very worst features of Nazism.
Have the portable remnants of Saddam’s arsenal have now been dispersed to these scattered forces? ( See: http://jaygaskill.com/KayInterview.htm )
There is no other plausible explanation.