Chief Weapons Inspector Report on Iraq Weapons


2004-1-30

 

This is Steve Ember with In the News in VOA Special English.

Former chief United States weapons inspector David Kay has calledfor an independent investigation into the United States intelligencefailure over weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Mister Kay said hehas found no such weapons in Iraq even though he and a number ofgovernments, including the United States, believed they existed.Mister Kay blamed bad intelligence for the failure to find weaponsof mass destruction.

Mister Kay said he does not believe Iraq had many nuclear,chemical or biological weapons when American forces invaded thecountry last year.

The Bush administration noted intelligence showing Iraq had suchweapons as the main reason for going to war to oust Iraqi leaderSaddam Hussein.

Mister Kay spoke Wednesday before the Senate IntelligenceCommittee and the Senate Armed Services Committee in Washington,D-C. He said that people who believed Iraq had weapons of massdestruction were almost all wrong. He also said there was evidencethat Saddam Hussein had made efforts to disarm long before PresidentBush began making the case for war.

However, Mister Kay also noted evidence that Iraq was involved inweapons programs banned by United Nations resolutions.

Some Democrats have suggested that the Bush administrationpressured intelligence experts to shape the intelligence to helpPresident Bush make the case for invading Iraq. But Mister Kaydismissed such comments. He said intelligence experts were neverunder political pressure.

Democrats also have called for an independent investigation. ButCongressional Republicans and the Bush administration oppose such aninvestigation. They say it could harm intelligence efforts.

Mister Kay said questions about Iraq's possible weapons of massdestruction may never be answered. He said that may be because manydocuments and other evidence were stolen following the Americaninvasion of Iraq last year.

David Kay was special adviser to Central Intelligence AgencyDirector George Tenet. He was chosen last year as the leader of theIraq Survey Group, partly because he believed that weapons would befound. Mister Kay resigned last week as the top American weaponsinspector in Iraq. He said he did so because resources for thesearch were being redirected.

In another development this week, a British judge cleared PrimeMinister Tony Blair's administration of any wrongdoing over chargeshe overstated the Iraq weapons threat as a reason for war. JudgeBrian Hutton said the British government's understanding of theIraqi threat came from intelligence officials. The judge denouncedthe British Broadcasting Corporation for a report accusing the Blairadministration of falsely representing the evidence about Iraq'sweapons. The chairman of the B-B-C later resigned.

In the News, in VOA Special English, was written by Cynthia Kirk.This is Steve Ember.