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Diane Vera

Everything the religious right wing is against, I am for!

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Iraq - review of history of pre-war U.N. weapons inspections in 2002-2003
Thanks to in-person conversations with some people who question or disagree with my antiwar position, I realize I need to bone up on the history of events that led up to the Iraq war, especially the issues of alleged "weapons of mass destructions" and Iraq's compliance or noncompliance with U.N. weapons inspections.

Personally, I knew, on the first day of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, that Iraq did not have WMD's. Moreover, on that day, it was obvious to me that the U.S. government knew that Iraq didn't have WMD's.

How did I know? On the first day of the war, I listened to a radio interview with one of the generals. (Alas I didn't take notes and I don't remember the general's name.) When a reporter asked about the "weapons of mass destruction," the general said something to the effect of "Oh, we'll worry about them later." I thought, wait a minute, if you've just invaded a country that really has weapons of mass destruction, you don't worry about them later, you worry about them immediately.

Of course, one could argue that, even though Iraq didn't have WMD's at that time, Iraq didn't always cooperate fully with U.N. weapons inspectors, thereby violating the treaty that ended the first Gulf War. To one person I spoke to recently, that in itself was sufficient justification for the U.S. go go to war. This same person also denied that the Bush administration ever claimed that Iraq actually had WMD's, (as distinct from some weaker claim that was popularly interpreted that way).

So, I'm now reviewing the history. To that end, I'm now looking at the section titled Inquiry into the Decision to Invade Iraq on the Cooperative Research site, especially the collection of news stories on 2002-2003 UN weapons inspections. Also useful are the Wikipedia article on the 2003 invasion of Iraq and the InfoPlease Iraq Timeline, 2002 to 2003 Borgna Brunner. Later, I'll also look at Dennis Kucinich’s supporting documents for H Res 333 (to impeach Cheney).

Below, I'll discuss some of the more interesting relevant items I found on the Cooperative Research site.

Here is a table of contents of the remainder of this post:

Bush administration claims about Iraqi WMD's:

First, did the Bush administration ever claim that Iraq actually had WMD's? According to the following Cooperative Research items, various high officials in the Bush administration did indeed claim to know that Iraq had WMD's:

although there were admissions of a lack of "smoking gun" intelligence. For example: December 10, 2002: US, Britain Lack ‘Killer’ Intelligence on Iraqi WMD.

Bush administration officials made some claims that were later shown to be fraudulent. For example:

The Iraqi "cooperation" issue - brief overview:

Based on the online reading I've done these past several days, the U.N. weapons inspectors said they got adequate "passive" cooperation from the Iraqi government, but were not satisfied with the level of "active" cooperation. The U.N. inspectors were allowed to go anywhere they wanted in Iraq, and were allowed to make surprise visits. However, the Iraqi government did not always furnish all the requested documentation, and there was Iraqi resistance to the idea of private interviews with Iraqi scientists.

The inspectors' requests for private interviews with scientists were a particularly sensitive issue. The Bush administration wanted the inspectors to try to get Iraqi scientists to defect and leave Iraq, which the U.N. inspectors were hesitant to do, given U.N. rules. On the other hand, the Iraqi government had reason to fear:
  1. that some scientists might jump at the opportunity to move to the U.S.A. and, to that end, might make false allegations, telling the U.N. inspectors what the Bush administration wanted to hear.
  2. that the Bush administration might seize upon uncorroborated witness testimony as a pretext for war.
Thus, even if the Iraqi government was truly and completely disarmed, it had good reason to fear the idea of Iraqi scientists being interviewed privately by U.N. weapons inspectors, and hence did not allow private interviews at first.

But the Bush administration yelled that such "non-cooperation" was, in itself, sufficient justification for war.

So, the Iraqi government was in a damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don't position regarding private interviews with Iraqi scientists.

What happened back in 1998 and 1999?:

The Cooperative research page about 2002-2003 UN weapons inspections starts off with what appears to be an instance of historical distortion by the mass media: December 16, 1998: Richard Butler Orders the Withdrawal of UN Weapons Inspectors from Iraq. This episode is reported very differently in 1998 and in subsequent stories in 2002. In 1998, the story was that the U.N. inspectors left Iraq for their own safety because Peter Burleigh, the American representative to the United Nations, was threatening an invasion of Iraq because Iraq had not cooperated fully with the investigators. But then, in 2002, it was widely claimed that the U.N. inspectors had been kicked out of Iraq, in 1998, by the Iraqi government. (See also What a Difference Four Years Makes, October 2002, on the website of Fairness and Accuracy in Rreporting.)

After leaving in 1998, the U.N. weapons inspectors were sent into Iraq again later, but I'm not sure whether they didn't go back at all until late 2002 or whether they went in again briefly in 1999. this London Times article, dated Wednesday, September 18, 2002, cited in Cooperative Research's item December 17, 1999: UNMOVIC Replaces UNSCOM; Set Up to Keep Out Western Spies, suggests but does not clearly state that a reorganized group of inspectors was sent into Iraq in 1999. If they were, they apparently did not stay long, judging by the InfoPlease Iraq Timeline, 2002 to 2003, according to which, on November 18, 2002, "UN weapons inspectors return to Iraq, for the first time in almost four years." I'm not sure whether, in 1999, the reorganized inspectors actually went into Iraq at all, or whether they were just reorganized without actually going there. More likely the latter.

This New York Times article, published: December 20, 2002, ends by saying:
Gen. Hussam Muhammad Amin, who runs Iraq's National Monitoring Directorate, which serves as the liaison with the inspectors, said at the news conference today that in the three weeks since the weapons inspectors had been back they had visited 130 sites, 116 of which were under United Nations monitoring from the previous round of inspections that ended in 1998.
I also found a White House Press release, Saddam Hussein’s Deception and Defiance, cited in the item September 17, 2002: White House Releases Timeline of Iraqi Obstruction of UN Efforts to Monitor Weapons on the Cooperative Research site. The press release is dated September 17, 2002 and contains a detailed timeline. However, the last item on that timeline is dated August 5, 1998. No more recent instances of alleged "deception and defiance," including whatever might have happened in 1999, are listed there. This too suggests that the last previous inspections were in 1998.

The Bush administration's resistance to renewed U.N. inspections in 2002:

The Bush administration initially resisted the idea of sending U.N. inspectors back into Iraq in 2002, preferring instead just to go ahead and invade. Below are relevant Cooperative Research items: Later, there was much haggling over the conditions under which the inspectors would return to Iraq: Anyhow, the U.N. inspectors did go back into Iraq in late 2002.

What the inspectors found in Iraq in late 2002 and early 2003:

What did they find once they got there? On this, I found a Cooperative Research item titled End of December 2002: UN Inspectors Find No Evidence of WMD in Iraq

I also found the following three Cooperative Research items with mis-typed dates (should be 2003, not 2002): Alas, Cooperative Research's page about 2002-2003 UN weapons inspections includes a bunch of items with mis-typed dates. Several items that should be dated 2003 are dated 2002 instead. (The correct dates can be gleaned from the sources.) The wrong dates affect the items' apparently automated placement on the page, messing up the timeline, which is annoying. Nevertheless, it's worth plowing through and reading the sources.

Anyhow, the second of the above-listed items cites three different sources ([Associated Press, 1/18/2003, Baltimore Sun, 1/20/2003, and New York Times, 1/20/2003) in support of the following assertion:
By this time, more than 300 different inspections have been conducted in Iraq by the UN weapons inspection teams, which report no instances of Iraqi attempts to impede their access to the alleged weapons sites.
Indeed, according to all three of the above news stories, the Iraqi government allowed the U.N. weapons inspectors to make many surprise visits and, at that time, had not been impeding the inspectors' access to any sites. It was reported that the inspectors found (1) some empty warheads and (2) a bunch of documents at the private home of one Iraqi scientist. Both of these finds were considered to somewhat worrying, but not "smoking guns."

For more about the warheads, see these Cooperative Research items: For more about the pile of documents, see: The U.N. inspectors' one major complaint, apparently, was that they were not allowed to interview Iraqi scientists unaccompanied by Iraqi government "minders." (Baltimore Sun, 1/20/2003.)

Next in the Cooperative Research item Mid-January 2002: UN Finds Iraqis Cooperating with Weapons Inspections (where the 2002 should be 2003), a news story in the London Independent, 1/8/2003, is cited as quoting a diplomat as saying, “Realistically, it is not going to be easy to see in the next two months that we will be able to say that Iraq is not cooperating.” However, the link is mistaken or outdated and leads to a different page. Looking on the Internet Archive site, I couldn't find this story there either, but found only No evidence of banned arms, Blix to tell UN by David Usborne in New York, London Independent, 09 January 2003.

Next in this same Cooperative Research item, the earlier-cited [Associated Press report, 1/18/2003, is cited as saying, “UN arms monitors have inspected 13 sites identified by US and British intelligence agencies as major ‘facilities of concern,’ and reported no signs of revived weapons building.”

Next, the Cooperative Research item cites a Time magazine interview with Mohamed El Baradei, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, interviewed by Marge Michaels, January 12, 3003. The link is broken, but I found the interview here. Mohamed El Baradei is quoted as saying, "I think it’s difficult for Iraq to hide a complete nuclear-weapons program. They might be hiding some computer studies or R. and D. on one single centrifuge. These are not enough to make weapons." He also says, "There were reports from different member states that Iraq was importing aluminum tubes for enrichment, that they were importing uranium from Africa. Our provisional conclusion is that these tubes were for rockets and not for centrifuges."

For more about the International Atomic Energy Agency's findings, see also the following items on the Cooperative Research site: About the aluminum tubes, see also these items on the Cooperative Research site: Back to the Time magazine interview with Mohamed El Baradei. El Baradei seemed more concerned about the possibility of hidden chemical or biological weapons than nuclear weapons: "The chemical and biological files are very much open. There is almost a consensus among intelligence agencies that there are still chemical- and biological-weapons programs going on in Iraq. UNMOVIC (U.N. Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission) expected to get records of production, destruction, physical evidence of where remnants of some of the stuff has been destroyed. The declaration (and inspections so far) shed no new light on any of these issues. So that's why (UNMOVIC chief Hans) Blix keeps saying, 'I don't have any evidence, but I cannot exclude the possibility.' In light of the Iraqi past record of concealment and deceit, that's obviously not good enough for the Security Council. The uncertainty is too wide for the council to accept."

Still more news stories about the International Atomic Energy Agency's findings can be found in the ironically-titled item January 11, 2003: US Still Not Cooperating With UN Inspectors, Says ElBaradei. Here, El Baradei complains that U.S. intelligence sources were not providing the U.N. inspectors with information on where to look.

U.N. inspectors' progress reports, early 2003:

At the end of January 2003, there were progress reports from both Hans Blix and Mohamed ElBaradei: January 27, 2003: Chief Weapons Inspectors Report on Progress of Inspections in Iraq. Blix said that the Iraqi government was cooperating passively, but not actively, and that the inspections needed more time. Also:
Iraq has refused to permit overflights by American U2 surveillance planes. Iraq said that it would allow the overflights only if the UN promised to demand an end to the almost daily bombings by US and British war planes in the so-called “no-fly” zones. Iraq worries that if fighter jets and U2 planes are flying over Iraq at the same time, Iraq might inadvertently shoot at the surveillance planes, thinking they are fighter jets.
According to this item: January 28, 2003:
Powell tells reporters after the UN inspectors’ January 27 interim report: “The inspectors have also told us that they have evidence that Iraq has moved or hidden items at sites just prior to inspection visits. That’s what the inspectors say, not what Americans say, not what American intelligence says; but we certainly corroborate all of that. But this is information from the inspectors.” [Associated Press, 1/27/2003] But Hans Blix, the chief UNMOVIC weapons inspector, tells the New York Times a few days later that UN weapons inspectors had experienced no such incidents. [New York Times, 1/31/2003]
The New York Times link doesn't work, but I found the article here: Threats and Responses: The Inspector; Blix Says He Saw Nothing to Prompt a War by Judith Miller and Julia Preston, January 31, 2003.

More about those proposed overflights of U.S. surveillance planes: January 31, 2003: Bush Tells Blairs US Going to War Regardless of Inspection Results; US Considering Luring Saddam into Shooting at US Aircraft Painted in UN Colors, according to which:
US President George Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair meet at the White House to discuss Iraq. Blair presses Bush to seek a second UN resolution that would provide specific legal backing for the use of force against Iraq. According to the minutes of the meeting, Bush says that “the diplomatic strategy [has] to be arranged around the military planning” and that the “US would put its full weight behind efforts to get another resolution and would ‘twist arms’ and ‘even threaten.’” But if such efforts fail, Bush is recorded saying, “military action would follow anyway.” Bush also tells Blair that he hopes to commence military action on March 10. ... The minutes indicate that there is concern that inspections have failed to provide sufficient evidence of a material breach. “The US was thinking of flying U2 reconnaissance aircraft with fighter cover over Iraq, painted in UN colors,” the minutes report. “If Saddam fired on them, he would be in breach.”
A borderline violation is discovered: February 12, 2003:
A UN panel—consisting of missile experts from the United States, Britain, France, Ukraine, Germany and China—unanimously concludes that Iraq’s Al Samoud 2 conventional missile program is in violation of UN resolutions because its range exceeds restrictions imposed in 1991 after the Gulf War. While admitting that the Al Samoud missiles exceed the 150 km limit in test runs—by a mere 33km—Iraqi officials insist that they would be incapable of traveling more than 150 km when laden with conventional explosives and guidance equipment. Iraq has more than 100 of these missiles
Iraq agrees to destroy the missiles. See also: On February 14, 2003, Blix and ElBaradei present another update to the U.N. Security Council.

Then another report three weeks later: March 7, 2003: UNMOVIC and IAEA Reports on Iraq Weapons Inspections Undermine Bush Administration’s Claims.

The lack of adequate help from the U.S.:

As mentioned earlier, the U.N. inspectors complained about a lack of adequate help from the U.S. government. More about this in the following items:

The Bush administration's possible motives:

Further elaboration on the above complaints can be found in the Cooperative Research item December 2002-March 2003, which says:
Critics argue that the Bush administration is attempting to use the inspections as a means of provoking resistance from Iraq so that Washington can claim it is in “further material breach.” The US would then cite this breach as justification for taking military action against Iraq. Critics also say that the administration’s agenda conflicts with the aims of the inspectors and that the US is undermining the inspectors’ work.
This is followed by a JavaScript link that one can click to "Show related quotes." The quotes are from Peter Kilfoyle, Jeremy Brecher (a historian), and Milan Rai.

Sources are the following:

  • Bush Aide: Inspections or Not, We'll Attack Iraq by Paul Gilfeather, Mirror (U.K.), Thursday, November 21, 2002. Here, Peter Kilfoyle, described as a "former defense minister and Labour backbencher," is quoted as saying: "America is duping the world into believing it supports these inspections. President Bush intends to go to war even if inspectors find nothing. This make a mockery of the whole process and exposes America's real determination to bomb Iraq."

    This was in response to a statement by Dr Richard Perle, Bush's top security adviser, stating that the U.S. would attack Iraq even if the inspectors failed to find weapons. Perle is paraphrased as saying, "Evidence from ONE witness on Saddam Hussein's weapons program will be enough to trigger a fresh military onslaught" Kilfoyle's criticism of this is, "Because Saddam is so hated in Iraq, it would be easy to find someone to say they witnessed weapons building. Perle says the Americans would be satisfied with such claims even if no real evidence was produced. That's a terrifying prospect."

    Unfortunately, I have not yet been able to corroborate that "one witness" quote in any source other than ones obviously referencing the Mirror article. And, alas, the Mirror isn't exactly the U.K.'s most reputable newspaper. However, if indeed Perle ever said that "one witness" would be sufficient to trigger a war, without any further corroborating evidence needed, then that would certainly explain Iraq's reluctance to allow scientists to be interviewed alone. On the other hand, even if Perle didn't really say such a thing, the Iraqi government still had lots of other reasons to believe that the Bush administration was itching for any excuse to invade Iraq.
  • Viewpoint: UN inspections a side-show, BBC News, Thursday, 19 December, 2002. Here, anti-war activist Milan Rai says, "There is pressure on UN weapons inspectors to instigate a confrontation that can be used to justify war, perhaps over the US demand that inspectors take weapons scientists and their families out of Iraq for questioning (where they will be offered asylum by the US). Iraq is expected to refuse to permit this, creating a 'justification' for war." Milan Rai also says:
    Thomas Friedman, diplomatic correspondent of the New York Times, said in July 1991 that economic sanctions would continue until there was a military coup which would create "the best of all worlds": "an iron-fisted Iraqi junta without Saddam Hussein".

    A return to the days when Saddam Hussein's "iron first" held Iraq together, "much to the satisfaction of the American allies Turkey and Saudi Arabia." This is not "regime change"; this is "regime stabilisation/leadership change."
    The latter is, of course, not what actually happened, but it's an interesting bit of historical perspective. On this basis, Milan Rai also says:
    The United States is not committed to the weapons inspection process, has never called for the return of weapons inspectors, and is interested in the inspectors only insofar as they can be manipulated into creating a war crisis. That war has as its immediate goal the assassination and replacement of Saddam Hussein and his immediate entourage, and a continuation of the same regime (with minor modifications). ‘Regime stabilization with leadership change’ will reinforce the stability of Washington’s clients in the region, Turkey and Saudi Arabia, and re-establish US dominance of Iraq’s huge oil wealth. This is a deeply cynical exercise, as well as being illegal and immoral.
    Milan Rai may have had an outdated understanding of U.S. strategy here. For more about this matter, see Richard Perle, and Others, On Iraq on the website of the Federation of American Scientists.
  • "Bush administration sabotages inspections" by Jeremy Brecher, Baltimore Sun, 3 December 2002. The link on the Cooperative Research site is broken, but I found a copy here.
(The above Cooperative Research item is partly duplicated by another one, November 20, 2002: Perle: UN Won’t Find Iraqi Weapons Because They Are So Well Hidden; US Will Attack Even If No Weapons Found.)

Private interviews with Iraqi scientists:

Regarding the issue of private interviews with Iraqi scientists, a key item on the Cooperative Research site is November 8, 2002: UN Security Council Adopts Resolution 1441; Does Not Authorize Force Against Iraq. Among other things, this item says:
"The resolution states that weapons inspectors will be authorized to remove Iraqi scientists, as well as their families, from Iraq in order to interview them. An official later tells the Washington Post that the power to interview Iraqi scientists was “the most significant authority contained in the resolution” and “the one thing that is most likely to produce overt Iraqi opposition.”
The sources given are U.N. Security Council Resolution 1441 (PDF), November 9, 2002, and Washington Post, 12/12/2002. (The latter page no longer contains the full text of the news article.)

Iraq had little choice but to accept UN Security Council Adopts Resolution 1441, despite qualms: The Cooperative Research item Early December 2002: White House Orders Plan to Forcibly Interrogate Iraqi Scientists; UN Says Plan Would Undermine Inspections begins as follows:
The White House orders the CIA, the Defense Department, and the State Department to develop an aggressive plan for UN weapons inspectors that would require Iraqi scientists to appear for questioning. “An intense argument is under way… on almost all of the details of a protection program,” reports the New York Times. “Some American officials want the United Nations team to be aggressive in identifying scientists and demanding that they leave the country, perhaps without the scientists’ permission.” The UN would either issue subpoenas to the scientists or the UN would “lure” the scientists with offers of asylum in another country. If it is decided that subpoenas are to be used, Iraqi scientists would be required to “appear on a certain date and time at a place outside of Iraq… [and] Baghdad would be held responsible for seeing that they appear,” reports The Washington Post. Officials leak to the press that the Bush administration views the plan as the most likely way to provoke resistance from Baghdad. One official tells The Washington Post that if Iraqis “don’t produce those people, I would say that’s a demonstration of noncompliance and noncooperation.” The Washington Post reports that the inspections agencies, some allied governments, and UN officials are not pleased with the idea. They warn “that attempts to short-circuit the inspection process with a quickly conceived operation that could involve hundreds of Iraqis and their families could endanger lives while undermining both the inspections themselves and ongoing US intelligence operations in Iraq.” [New York Times, 12/6/2002; Washington Post, 12/12/2002; Washington Post, 12/13/2002]
Among the sources given above, the New York Times link doesn't work, but I found a relevant New York Times article here (registration required): Threats and REsponses: Search for Arms; U.S. Is Pressuring Inspectors in Iraq to Aid Defectors by Patricia E. Tyler, December 6, 2002.

The first Washington Post link is to a page which no longer contains the text of the story. The second Washington Post link does work, and leads to U.S. Sees Showdown Over Iraqi Scientists: Administration Insists on Interviews Abroad by Karen DeYoung and Walter Pincus, Friday, December 13, 2002; Page A01.

Alas, I was not able to find the source for the tantalyzing statement that "Officials leak to the press that the Bush administration views the plan as the most likely way to provoke resistance from Baghdad."

Below are other Cooperative Research items about policies regarding the scientists: According to the news story Nuclear 'threat' found as UN asks for time by Helena Smith, Kamal Ahmed, and Ed Vulliamy, The Observer (U.K.), Sunday, January 19, 2003:
Physicist Faleh Hassan accused one female inspector of using the bribe of a promise of medical treatment for his sick wife in an attempt to have him leave to be interrogated abroad about Baghdad's nuclear programmes.
(The nuclear "threat" mentioned in the title is the pile of documents found in Faleh Hassan's private home, which he said were from his private research and from doctoral theses of his students, according to the above news story.)

Disagreements between the Bush administration and U.S. allies:

There was much disagreement between the Bush administration and various U.S. allies on whether the weapons inspections were working: And then we come to an item November 2002-March 2003: Bush Officials, UN Disagree on Time Frame of Weapons Inspections:
The Bush administration disagrees with UN inspectors and the governments of other Security Council member states on how much time inspectors will need to complete their work. The Bush administration, eager to begin its planned invasion of Iraq before the end of March, opposes suggestions by inspectors that the process will require a year or more. Military planners are concerned that beginning an invasion after March could cause some of the heaviest fighting to occur during Iraq’s blistering hot summer. The Washington Times reports: “US military planners are facing the prospect that weapons inspections in Iraq will drag on for months, pushing the Pentagon’s timetable for action from the ideal weather of February to the blistering days of midsummer…. War designers see February as the best time to fight and have considered troop deployments around that date. A February campaign would capitalize on optimum weather in the desert region. A February date also would allow three months for the administration to complete a final war plan, line up support from allies, and deploy and alert the necessary combat units.” [Washington Times, 11/29/2002]
(The Washington Times link doesn't work, but the above is consistent with what I remember hearing on the radio shortly before the invasion of Iraq.)

More about the disagreements on the time frame: Related to this is the item November 25, 2002: Full Complement of UN Inspection Teams Arrives in Baghdad, according to which, among other things:
The stated purpose of the inspections, according to the UN resolution, is to bring “to full and verified completion the disarmament process established by resolution 687 (1991) and subsequent resolutions of the Council.” [United Nations, 11/9/2002] However, since the passing of the resolution the Bush administration has maintained that the purpose of inspections is much broader. For instance, US Secretary of State Donald Rumsfeld will claim in January that inspectors are not to act as “discoverers” trying to locate things. Rather the purpose of the inspections, according to Rumsfeld, is to determine whether Iraq is cooperating. [BBC, 1/22/2003]
According to the BBC News story, EU allies unite against Iraq war, Wednesday, 22 January, 2003:
US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld told reporters that the president had made no decision to go to war - the US was waiting to see whether the United Nations process of inspections was yielding any results. The UN Security Council is to hear the first report on inspections on 27 January and there have been calls for the inspectors to be given more time to verify Iraqi claims that it had destroyed banned weapons.

But Mr Rumsfeld said inspectors were not "discoverers" trying to find things that had been hidden - that kind of hunt would take years.

He said the test ought to be determining whether the Iraqis were co-operating not whether the inspectors had discovered anything.
It appears that Iraq did cooperate, to a large degree at least: But the Bush administration eagarly seized upon any excuse to say otherwise: According to the second item above:
But the administration’s conclusion is made before the Arabic sections of the declaration have even been translated. Blix says that there are 500 or 600 pages that still need to be translated and that it is too early to provide a complete assessment. He adds that the Bush administration’s statements about a “material breach” are baseless allegations. [CNN, 12/19/2002; Straits Times, 12/20/2002]
THe Straits Times link does not work. The CNN source is here: Blix: Not Enough Evidence to Exonerate Iraq, transcript of interview, December 19, 2002. Here, the point about the 500 or 600 pages that still need to be translated is attributed not to Blix but to "President Saddam Hussein's top scientific adviser." Likewise this New York Times article attributes a similar statement to "Gen. Amir al-Saadi, President Saddam Hussein's top adviser on weapons." Hans Blix is quoted as saying that the documents are incomplete, but is also said to have refrained from saying that the incompleteness constitutes a "material breach."

The U.N. and NATO opposed Bush's eagerness to go to war. For example: And the Bush administration rejected Iraq'a last desperate attempt to avoid war: (February-March 2003): Washington Rejects Last Minute Offer from Baghdad,