Sunday, October 10, 2004

The Los Angeles Times has a front-page story today about a very disturbing but little-noted finding in the Duelfer report to the CIA. Insurgent groups in Iraq are actively trying to obtain chemical and biological weapons. Duelfer's team found out about this threat only after a U.S. Army patrol raided a Baghdad laboratory that was producing small amounts of ricin, a deadly poison. After interviewing the chemist and investigating his associates, Duelfer and his staff established a connection between the laboratory and an insurgent network called Al Abud (the name of the laboratory where the chemist worked).

Although this particular threat was discovered and stopped in time to prevent any attacks, Duelfer stressed that the knowledge of toxic chemicals developed under Saddam Hussein is now in the hands of insurgents--who are obviously much harder to identify and find than one centralized government leader. And here is the kicker: Duelfer's report says that "the risk of a 'devastating' attack with unconventional weapons has grown [emphasis mine] since the U.S.-led invasion and occupation of Iraq last year."

The irony would be laughable if it were not so deadly. Here we have Pres. Bush, in the second debate with John Kerry, saying that the United States HAD to invade Iraq and take out Saddam Hussein, even though he did NOT have weapons of mass destruction, because he retained the knowledge of how to build such weapons and could pass them on to terrorists. And the reality is that Saddam Hussein had NO known ties to terrorist groups, but now that he is gone, insurgent networks that did not exist before the invasion and were triggered by the invasion, are using the knowledge gained under Saddam's regime to try to make and obtain those very weapons.

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