TITLE

Friendly Fire

AUTHOR(S)
Drogin, Bob
PUB. DATE
October 2003
SOURCE
New Republic;10/27/2003, Vol. 229 Issue 17, p23
SOURCE TYPE
Periodical
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
The article focuses on the report by David Kay that Iraq had taken no significant steps to build nuclear weapons or produce fissile material after 1991 and that U.N. arms and trade sanctions had effectively constricted Saddam Hussein's abilities to develop chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons. The White House swung into action. A senior administration official called in reporters the day after Kay's report was released to complain bitterly that headlines stressed Kay's failure to find WMD. Desperate to re-spin the report and regain the initiative, the White House unholstered its biggest guns. Throughout the next week, President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, and the president's national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, launched a salvo of speeches to sympathetic audiences in which they argued forcefully that Kay had proved that Saddam's illegal weapons programs were alive and well until the U.S.-led invasion. But, to make that case, Bush officials have hyped many of the leads, clues, and suspicions outlined in Kay's mostly inconclusive report. The problem is that some of Kay's strongest claims--especially those cited by administration leaders--don't hold up under scrutiny. Far from making the case for war, Kay seems to have vindicated the U.N. weapons inspections and sanctions that were so maligned by White House hawks. And the supposedly imminent threat posed by Iraq earlier this year now seems vague and distant. The interim report by Kay's Iraq Survey Group released the day before failed to support--and in some cases appeared to directly contradict--many of the CIA's frightening prewar assessments and warnings about Iraq's proscribed weapons.
ACCESSION #
11148823

 

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