The New York Times reports that the draft of David Kay’s report now being prepared will say that his team has not found any unconventional weapons in Iraq. CIA officials are stressing the interim nature of the report, expected by the end of the month, apparently to soften the blow.
Apparently the best that Kay’s 1,400-man team has been able to come up with is “evidence of precursors and dual-use equipment that could have been used to manufacture chemical and biological weapons.” But ambiguous evidence of dual-use capabilities will not be equated by the public with finding weapons of mass destruction. Absent more definitive findings than this, I think a clear majority of voters will conclude that the Iraq war was a mistake. An honest mistake, but a mistake nonetheless.
Things just keep getting worse for the administration.
UPDATE: The left-wing Guardian has the same story, but with some additional details. It quotes an American “intelligence source” as saying: “It will mainly be an accounting of programmes and dual-use technologies. It demonstrates that the main judgments of the national intelligence estimate (NIE) in October 2002, that Saddam had hundreds of tonnes of chemical and biological agents ready, are false.” The same source says that there has been so much disappointment over the draft report that the administration is now debating whether it should be released to Congress during the next two weeks, as originally planned.
STILL MORE: As expected, Iraq’s former Defense Minister Sultan Hashim Ahmed has surrendered in Mosul and has been given immunity from prosecution. The BBC reports that “White House officials say they have high hopes he will provide significant information on Iraq’s alleged weapons programmes.” Hope springs eternal, I guess, but it’s hard to see why one man will give us a breakthrough that months of searches and interviews haven’t.
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