Jim Caddell, The Unrepentant Liberal, June 12, 2003
If you followed the news reports before and after the conquest of Iraq, you may have noticed a distinct difference in tone. The administration began to play down weapons of mass destruction and began emphasizing the "liberation" of Iraq. However, after talking about WMD until the whole country was sick of hearing about them, questions were bound to be asked. The contrast between the administration's stance before and after Baghdad's fall is striking:
stated, there is no
doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass
Dick Cheney, August 26, 2002
now, Iraq is expanding
and improving facilities that were used for the
production of biological weapons.
George W. Bush, September 12, 2002
Iraq has stockpiled biological and chemical weapons, and is rebuilding the facilities used to make more of those weapons. ... 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 W. Bush, October 5, 2002
The Iraqi regime . . . possesses and produces chemical and biological weapons. It is seeking nuclear weapons. We know that the regime has produced thousands of tons of chemical agents, including mustard gas, sarin nerve gas, VX nerve gas. We've also discovered through intelligence that Iraq has a growing fleet of manned and unmanned aerial vehicles that could be used to disperse chemical or biological weapons across broad areas. We're concerned that Iraq is exploring ways of using these UAVS for missions targeting the United States. The evidence indicates that Iraq is reconstituting its nuclear weapons program. Saddam Hussein has held numerous meetings with Iraqi nuclear scientists, a group he calls his "nuclear mujahideen" - his nuclear holy warriors. Satellite photographs reveal that Iraq is rebuilding facilities at sites that have been part of its nuclear program in the past. Iraq has attempted to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes and other equipment needed for gas centrifuges, which are used to enrich uranium for nuclear weapons.
George W. Bush, October 7, 2002
he declares he has none, then we will know that Saddam Hussein
is once again misleading the world.
Ari Fleischer, December 2, 2002
president of the United States and the secretary of defense
would not assert as plainly
and bluntly as they have that Iraq
has weapons of mass destruction if it was not true, and
if they did not have a solid basis for saying it.
Ari Fleischer December 6, 2002
know for a fact that there are weapons there.
Ari Fleischer January 9, 2003
It appears to be a re-run of a bad movie. [Iraqi President Saddam Hussein] is delaying. He's deceiving. He's asking for time. He's playing hide-and-seek with inspectors. One thing is for certain -- he's not disarming.
George W. Bush, January 21, 2003
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
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 W. 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 7, 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 W. Bush, March 17, 2003
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. And . . . 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
One of our top objectives is to find and destroy the WMD. There are a number of sites.
Pentagon Spokeswoman Victoria Clark, March 22, 2003
We know where they are. They're in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat.
Donald Rumsfeld, March 30, 2003
We are in the process of trying to liberate that country. And at the moment where the war ends and the coalition forces occupy the areas where those capabilities -- chemical and biological weapons -- are likely to be, to the extent they haven't been moved out of the country, it obviously is important to find them.
Donald Rumsfeld, April 9, 2003
have high confidence
that they have weapons of mass destruction. That
is what this war was about and it is about.
Ari Fleischer, April 10, 2003
When there happens to be a weapon of mass destruction suspect site in an area that we occupy and if people have time, they'll look at it.
Donald Rumsfeld, April 11, 2003
I don't think we'll discover anything, myself. I think what will happen is we'll discover people who will tell us where to go find it. It is not like a treasure hunt where you just run around looking everywhere hoping you find something. I just don't think that's going to happen. The inspectors didn't find anything, and I doubt that we will. What we will do is find the people who will tell us.
Donald Rumsfeld, April 17, 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 W. Bush, April 24, 2003
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
He tried to fool the United Nations and did for 12 years by hiding these weapons. And so, it's going to take time to find them. But we know he had them, and whether he destroyed them, moved them or hid them, we're going to find out the truth.
W. Bush April 25, 2003
find them. It'll be a
matter of time to do so.
George W. Bush, May 3, 2003
I'm absolutely sure that there are weapons of mass destruction there and the evidence will be forthcoming. We're just getting it just now.
Colin Powell, May 4, 2003
never believed that we'd just tumble over weapons of mass
destruction in that country.
Donald Rumsfeld, May 4, 2003
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
officials never expected that "we were going to open
garages and find" weapons of mass destruction.
Condoleeza Rice, May 12, 2003
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
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
may have had time to destroy them, and I don't know the
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
was a surprise to me then -- it remains a surprise to me now
-- that we have not uncovered weapons, as you say, in some of
the forward dispersal sites. Believe me, it's not for lack of
trying. We've been to
virtually every ammunition supply point between the Kuwaiti
border and Baghdad, but they're simply not there.
Lt. Gen. James Conway, 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, May 30, 2003