The Guardian March 24, 2004


One year on, still no weapons of mass destruction
Is the US now shipping them in?

A year ago the US, Britain and Australia invaded Iraq. The 
pretext for the illegal invasion was their insistence that Iraq 
had weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and was ready to use them 
against the West.

Despite numerous and thorough weapons inspections both before and 
after the war, nothing has been found.

Hans Blix, former chief UN weapons inspector has emphasised that 
the US and British intelligence agencies issued false reports on 
Iraq leading to the attack.

The Bush administration continues to defend its decision to go to 
war against Iraq despite the demand from David Kay, the man who 
led the CIA's effort to find WMD, that the Bush administration 
should "come clean with the American people" and admit that it 
was wrong about the existence of the WMD in Iraq 

Now come reports that the US has shipped in weapons of mass 
destruction, no doubt ready to be "found" by "inspectors".

The Tehran Times reported on March 13 that US forces had 
unloaded a large cargo of parts for construction of long-range 
missiles and weapons of mass destruction in the southern ports of 
Iraq.

The information is said to come from a "reliable source" in the 
Iraqi Governing Council who was speaking on condition of 
anonymity. He said that US forces, with the help of British 
forces stationed in southern Iraq, had made extensive efforts to 
conceal their actions.

Unloaded at night

Cargo was unloaded during the night while the attention of the 
media was concentrated on the signing of the Iraqi Provisional 
Constitution.

The source said that in order to avoid suspicion, ordinary cargo 
ships were used to transport the cargo which consisted of weapons 
produced in the 1980s and 1990s.

He pointed out that the US facilitated Iraq's WMD program during 
the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq conflict.

The source claimed that the weapons were "probably" transferred 
to locations somewhere in the vicinity of Basra.

The Tehran Times reports the source as saying: "Most of 
these weapons are reportedly of Eastern European origin and some 
parts are from the former Soviet Union and the Eastern bloc. The 
US obtained them through confiscations during sales of banned 
arms over the past two decades".

An official of the US forces in Iraq said he had not received any 
information about the unloading of weapons of mass destruction in 
southern Iraqi ports.

Another article in the Daily Times Monitor published in 
Pakistan reports retired US Navy Lt Commander Nelda Rogers, who 
is a veteran of the Defence Department, as saying that the CIA 
planned to "plant" WMDs inside Iraq but that the plan was blown.

CIA bungle

Ms Rogers revealed that there was a covert military operation 
that took place both preceding and during hostilities in Iraq. 
She said that "it was really the CIA that bungled it".

What are the chances of these weapons being "found" just before 
the US elections?

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