Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Let's review some findings of David Kay

Dr. David A. Kay (born c. 1940) is an American scientist who is best known for heading the Iraq Survey Group and acting as a weapons inspector in Iraq after the 2003 Invasion of Iraq. David Kay received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Texas at Austin, and also a Masters in International Affairs and Ph.D. from Columbia University.

After the 1991 Gulf War, Kay led teams of inspectors of the International Atomic Energy Agency in Iraq to search out and destroy banned chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons. Following the U.S. invasion of Iraq, he returned to the country, working with the Central Intelligence Agency and U.S. military in 2003 and 2004 to determine if Saddam Hussein's regime had continued developing banned weapons.

We now know that Iraq had not installed any chemical or biological weapons inside any warheads, so they couldn’t be classified as “WMDs” that were ready to fire. But Bush was right in saying that Iraq was certainly a growing threat.

Here are some of the findings and statements of David Kay:

--Iraq was a stockpile of scientists and technology and actual equipment for producing WMD, while we're in a world where terrorists and others are seeking those weapons
--there clearly were terrorist groups passing through and operating in Iraq still seeking WMD capability
--Iraq well could have been that supplier if the war had not intervened
--Iraq was becoming the marketplace for selling the knowledge of how to make them, the knowledge of how to make small amounts, which is, after all, mostly what terrorists wants
--Iraq remained a very dangerous place in terms of WMD capabilities, even though we found no large stockpiles of weapons
--What we have found is a substantial body of evidence that reports that the Iraqis had an intention to continue weapons production at some point in the future
--we found undeclared activities in the chemical and biological and missile area that were never declared to the U.N. and not discovered during previous inspections
--we discovered that the Iraqis initiated work on new agents: Congo-Crimean hemorrhagic fever being one, brucellosis, another, that they had not done before and had not declared
--we found 97 vials of material that they hid from the inspectors to preserve a restart capability
--recent discussions with an Iraqi scientist who, in 1993, had hid in his own refrigerator reference strains for, active strains, that were still active when we found them -- Botulinum toxin, one of the most toxic elements known
--he was asked to hide others, including anthrax, but refused at the time
--we now have three cases in which scientists have come forward with equipment, technology, diagrams, documents and, in this case, actual weapons material, reference strains and Botulinum toxin, that they were told to hide and that the UN and Hans Blix didn't find. These could only be found after the war in which they had free access to investigate.
--there were other strains being searched for in Iraq for at least one more cache of weapons — of strains that David Kay says is certain to exist, although not found
--Iraq conducted new research on biological capable agents, such as Brucella, Congo Crimean Hemorrhagic Fever, and
Naflotoxin (ph), as well as efforts to weaponize Ricin right up until the start of the war
--only time and a little growth media would have produced large amounts of Botulinum toxin
--in fact, it would have taken Iraq an estimated 3-6 months to restart mustard production, and a maximum estimate of two years to produce VX. This fact was again cited during Charles Duelfer’s report
--David Kay's team has identified 130 ammunition storage points of significant size, some larger than 50 square kilometers. These are sites that contain, the best estimate is, between 600,000 and 650,000 tons of arms. That's about one-third of the entire ammunitions stockpile of the much-larger U.S. military. This type of stuff was all supposed to have been declared to the UN. It wasn't.
--Iraq was seeking long range missiles that went well beyond the UN limitations.
--we now have evidence that he was seeking propellants for Scud missiles from N. Korea as late as 2002. Ironically, Iraq had declared that it got rid of all of its Scud missiles in the early 1990s.
--Saddam was ready to restart his nuclear program as soon as sanctions had eroded, which was coming very soon. This was one of the major facts that was later confirmed by Charles Duelfer.
--Documents and equipment, hidden in scientists' homes, that would have helped Iraq resume uranium enrichment by centrifuge and electromagnetic isotope separation.
--A prison laboratory complex that possibly was used to test biological weapons agents on humans. Kay said his investigations have shown that Iraqi officials working to prepare for U.N. inspections were ordered not to declare the facility to the U.N.
--there is absolutely no evidence of any political pressure to manipulate any intelligence or to influence how any inspection team was to perform
--the world is safer without Saddam in power
--Iraq was becoming more dangerous than we realized

David Kay understands the decision to go to war. "I think it's often easy to forget that in the case of Saddam, here's an individual who had invaded two neighboring countries, used chemical weapons against one of those, used them against his own neighbors, and who, by U.N. testimony, had cheated and lied for a decade," he said.

The decision to go to war was "absolutely prudent."

"All I can say is if you read the total body of intelligence in the last 12 to 15 years that flowed on Iraq," Kay said, "I quite frankly think it would be hard to come to a conclusion other than (that) Iraq was a gathering, serious threat to the world with regard to WMD."

"I will just say I'm convinced myself, if I had been there, presented (with) what I have seen as the record of the intelligence estimates, I probably would have come to - not probably - I would have come to the same conclusion that the political leaders did."

"I think at the end of the inspection process, we'll paint a picture of an Iraq that was far more dangerous than even we thought it was before the war. It was of a system collapsing. It was a country that had the capability in weapons-of-mass-destruction areas and in which terrorists, like ants to honey, were going after it."

"I think the world is far safer with the disappearance and the removal of Saddam Hussein," Kay told the Senate Armed Services Committee.


At 2:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I only just now found your site. This is an excellent summary of David Kay's findings. Thanks! I wish I had found your blog sooner.


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