Where are the Iraqi WMDs? In Syria?

Thursday, March 02, 2006
George Tenet called it a "slam dunk." Well, maybe the CIA's HUMINT operations were neglected during the Clinton administration. But how about the British intelligence, the French, the Russians, Israelis and everyone else? Were they all wrong? Especially the British and the Israelis?

And there's no dispute that Saddam did use chemical weapons for mass murder in the past.

Larry Elder, a columnist and nationally syndicated talk show host, reported today on a recent interview of Gen. Georges Sada, the second-highest ranking general in Saddam Hussein's air force. In response to a question about weapons of mass destruction, Sada said:

"The chemical and biological weapons were available in Iraq before liberating
the country, but Saddam Hussein took the advantage of a natural disaster that
happened in Syria when a dam was collapsed and many villages were flooded. So
Saddam Hussein took that cover and declared to the world that he is going to use
the civilian aircraft for an air bridge to help Syria with blankets, food and
fuel oil, and other humanitarian things, but that was not true. The truth is he
converted two regular passenger civilian aircraft, 747 Jumbo and 727 ... all the
weapons of mass destruction were put there by the special Republican Guards in a
very secret way, and they were transported to Syria, to Damascus, by flying 56
flights to Damascus ... In addition ... also a truck convoy on the ground to
take whatever has to do with WMD to Syria."

Larry Elder has previously reported on this subject.

There are reports alleging specific sites in Syria where these WMDs are currently located.

In April 2005, Captain's Quarters reported that Charles Duelfer and the Iraq Survey Group recommended "further investigation, a clear indication that he believes the question remains open on WMD transfers to Syria."

The Israelis speculate on this Syrian connection as well.

And there's the February 19th report that the WMDs were moved from Iraq to Syria and Lebanon by the Russians.

All these reports certainly deserve further investigation, don't you think?


David Thomson said...

“All these reports certainly deserve further investigation, don't you think?”

The MSM will not bother with anything which will strengthen the Bush administration. If anything, these media outlets will go out of their way to argue that Gen. Georges Sada is a fraud trying to sell some books. Even Ronald Reagan wasn't treated this contemptuously. The MSM has unofficially declared an all out war on the present occupant of the White House.

Barry Dauphin said...

The reports do deserve further investigation. Clearly, Saddam possessed WMDs and has never accounted for where they diappeared to. Without a definitive answer of "what happened to them?" we can't assume they were destroyed. Nonetheless, can both the air force general's story be true and the Russian's moved them story be true? Both stories seemed to be trying to account for the entire diappearance as opposed to a portion of the disappearance.

Fresh Air said...


Good point. I would guess Sada had only compartmentalized information. Saddam wouldn't have been foolish enough to let anyone know as much as he did about secret weapons programs.

You could also have good old-fashioned Middle East puffery and a flair for exaggeration on Sada's part.

The Russian Spetsnaz story has a ring of truth to it, though perhaps it was more along the lines of tidying up, while the Syrian cover story thing was more of a full housecleaning.

Seneca the Younger said...

Ion Mihai Pacepa was a Romanian intelligence flag officer, and knew of the Russians contingency plans for removing WMD from East Block countries. he's got interesting things to say.

Knucklehead said...

As Seneca pointed out, Pacepa's version of the Warsaw Pact's chem weapons export programs is that they were a "full service" sort of program. They'd set them up for the client so that they were difficult to detect and easy to deny (dual use kinda things) and if the cops started flashing a warrant they'd make it all go bye-bye right pronto.

How to 'splain the disparity between the "Saddam had stockpiles shipped out to Syria" and "The Russians cleaned it up"? Pure speculation on my part but I guess that the Russians didn't install the programs but, rather, did it through proxies.

Saddam almost certainly would have wanted some portion of his stock out of the reach of the program providers for "insurance" purposes. It wouldn't be suprising if he had a stash that he figured he'd deal with himself.

And the Russian proxies were not exactly the stablest of characters through the later 90's. It is quite possible that despite the T&C's of the "full service" arrangement that the field teams for Rapid Rubbish Removal were no longer intact and Russia wound up having no choice but to send in her own people to do the work.

Just a WAG on my part.

terrye said...

It could have been both. Saddam has always seemed like a mobster to me, and mobsters never leave witnesses unless they can be blackmailed.

He could have been playing both ends against the middle with the US and Russia. Just like the good ol days.

But I do find it more believable that the weapons were hidden than that they were destroyed without leaving a trace behind. That stuff is dangerous. Look how long we have been trying to get rid of the VX here in Indiana.

Knucklehead said...

Sheesh, Terrye! Don't get rid of VX in Indiana. Dump it somewhere else! Don't y'all know about NIMBY?

Barry Dauphin said...

I do believe it is possible that both stories could be true, but they are different stories. It will take more information and some synthesizing to understand the whole picture. As of now I believe the Russia story has more credibility as it dovetails with other reports of trucks going into Syria before the war. Something about the Iraqi general seems too pat, based on what I hear so far, but I'm willing to hear more details (Can he gives us dates/times?).

I find it hard to believe they were simply dumped somewhere but no one knows where. That's silly and a dangerous thing to believe. Everyone keeps pointing to Syria though, even if it's different stories.