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Iraq’s Weapons of Mass Destruction: Who Said What When

“Every day Saddam remains in power with chemical weapons, biological weapons, and the development of nuclear weapons is a day of danger for the United States.”

Sen. Joseph Lieberman, D-CT, September 4, 2002

“Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction.”

Dick Cheney, August 26, 2002

“If we wait for the danger to become clear, it could be too late.”

Sen. Joseph Biden D-Del., September 4, 2002

“Right now, Iraq is expanding and improving facilities that were used for the production of biological weapons.”

George W. Bush, September 12, 2002

“If he declares he has none, then we will know that Saddam Hussein is once again misleading the world.”

Ari Fleischer, December 2, 2002

“We know for a fact that there are weapons there.”

Ari Fletcher, January 9, 2003

“Our intelligence officials estimate that Saddam Hussein had the materials to produce as much as 500 tons of sarin, mustard and VX nerve agent.”

George W. Bush, January 28, 2003

“We know that Saddam Hussein is determined to keep his weapons of mass destruction, is determined to make more.”

Colin Powell, February 5, 2003

“Iraq both poses a continuing threat to the national security of the United States and international peace and security in the Persian Gulf region and remains in material and unacceptable breach of its international obligations by, among other things, continuing to possess and develop a significant chemical and biological weapons capability, actively seeking a nuclear weapons capability, and supporting and harboring terrorist organizations.”

Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-NY, February 5, 2003

“We have sources that tell us that Saddam Hussein recently authorized Iraqi field commanders to use chemical weapons — the very weapons the dictator tells us he does not have.”

George Bush, February 8, 2003

“So has the strategic decision been made to disarm Iraq of its weapons of mass destruction by the leadership in Baghdad? I think our judgment has to be clearly not.”

Colin Powell March 8, 2003

“Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised.”

George Bush, March 18, 2003

“We are asked to accept Saddam decided to destroy those weapons. I say that such a claim is palpably absurd.”

Tony Blair, Prime Minister 18 March, 2003

“Well, there is no question that we have evidence and information that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction, biological and chemical particularly . . . all this will be made clear in the course of the operation, for whatever duration it takes.”

Ari Fleisher, March 21, 2003

“There is no doubt that the regime of Saddam Hussein possesses weapons of mass destruction. As this operation continues, those weapons will be identified, found, along with the people who have produced them and who guard them.”

Gen. Tommy Franks, March 22, 2003

“I have no doubt we’re going to find big stores of weapons of mass destruction.”

Kenneth Adelman, Defense Policy Board, March 23, 2003

“One of our top objectives is to find and destroy the WMD. There are a number of sites.”

Victoria Clark, Pentagon Spokeswoman, March 22, 2003

“We know where they are. They are in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad.”

Donald Rumsfeld, March 30, 2003

“Saddam’s removal is necessary to eradicate the threat from his weapons of mass destruction.”

Jack Straw, British Foreign Secretary 2 April, 2003

“Obviously the administration intends to publicize all the weapons of mass destruction U.S. forces find — and there will be plenty.”

Robert Kagan, Neocon scholar, April 9, 2003

“I think you have always heard, and you continue to hear from officials, a measure of high confidence that, indeed, the weapons of mass destruction will be found.”

Ari Fleischer, April 10, 2003

“We are learning more as we interrogate or have discussions with Iraqi scientists and people within the Iraqi structure, that perhaps he destroyed some, perhaps he dispersed some. And so we will find them.”

George Bush, April 24, 2003

“Before people crow about the absence of weapons of mass destruction, I suggest they wait a bit.”

Tony Blair, 28 April, 2003

“There are people who in large measure have information that we need . . . so that we can track down the weapons of mass destruction in that country.”

Donald Rumsfeld, April 25, 2003

“We’ll find them. It’ll be a matter of time to do so.”

George Bush May 3, 2003

“I am confident that we will find evidence that makes it clear he had weapons of mass destruction.”

Colin Powell, May 4, 2003

“I never believed that we’d just tumble over weapons of mass destruction in that country.”

Donald Rumsfeld, May 4, 2003

“I’m not surprised if we begin to uncover the weapons program of Saddam Hussein — because he had a weapons program.”

George W. Bush, May 6, 2003

“U.S. officials never expected that “we were going to open garages and find” weapons of mass destruction.”

Condoleezza Rice, May 12, 2003

“I just don’t know whether it was all destroyed years ago — I mean, there’s no question that there were chemical weapons years ago — whether they were destroyed right before the war, (or) whether they’re still hidden.”

Maj. Gen. David Petraeus, Commander 101st Airborne May 13, 2003

“Before the war, there’s no doubt in my mind that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, biological and chemical. I expected them to be found. I still expect them to be found.”

Gen. Michael Hagee, Commandant of the Marine Corps May 21, 2003

“Given time, given the number of prisoners now that we’re interrogating, I’m confident that we’re going to find weapons of mass destruction.”

Gen. Richard Myers, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff May 26, 2003

“They may have had time to destroy them, and I don’t know the answer.”

Donald Rumsfeld May 27, 2003

“For bureaucratic reasons, we settled on one issue, weapons of mass destruction (as justification for invading Iraq) because it was the one reason everyone could agree on.”

Paul Wolfowitz, May 28, 2003

This list of quotations is excerpted from Imperial Crusades: a Diary of Three Wars.

 

Jeffrey St. Clair is editor of CounterPunch. His new book is The Big Heat: Earth on the Brink co-written with Joshua Frank. He can be reached at: sitka@comcast.net. Alexander Cockburn’s Guillotined! and A Colossal Wreck are available from CounterPunch.

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