washingtonpost.com  > Nation > National Security > Intelligence
Excerpts From the Weapons Report

A Look Inside the Hussein Government

Thursday, October 7, 2004; Page A33

Excerpts from the report by Charles Duelfer, special adviser to the director of central intelligence on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction:

Preparation for War

Saddam's advisers claimed he never expected a U.S. attack that would oust him from power. But Iraq's military intelligence officials nonetheless did the best they could to gather data on the U.S. military buildup:

_____Iraq Survey Group_____
Comprehensive Report of the Special Advisor to the DCI on Iraq's WMD
Key Findings (PDF)
Excerpts from the Report
Comparison: Administration Claims and the Report
Dana Priest MSNBC Video: The Post's Dana Priest talks about details of Saddam Hussein's personality contained in the report.
AP Report: The top U.S. arms inspector said Wednesday he found no evidence that Iraq produced any weapons of mass destruction after 1991.
_____Today's Post Coverage_____
U.S. 'Almost All Wrong' on Weapons (The Washington Post, Oct 7, 2004)
Hussein Used Oil to Dilute Sanctions (The Washington Post, Oct 7, 2004)
War's Rationales Are Undermined One More Time (The Washington Post, Oct 7, 2004)
A Leader With an Eye on His Legacy (The Washington Post, Oct 7, 2004)
Inspector Is Known as Tough, Thorough (The Washington Post, Oct 7, 2004)
Timing of Report Called Inspector's Decision (The Washington Post, Oct 7, 2004)
_____Message Boards_____
Post Your Comments

"We gathered information from the five embassies where we have [military] attachés: Jordan, Turkey, Qatar, Yugoslavia and Russia. Another source is the Internet -- it has everything. For example, the attaché in Qatar reports that the coalition has 15,000 to 18,000 troops arriving," said Gen. Zuhayr Talib, former Director of the Iraqi Directorate for Military Intelligence. "Everyone except for Saddam Husayn, his children, and his inner circle, everyone else secretly believed that the war would continue all the way to occupation. Saddam and his inner circle thought the war would last a few days and then it would be over."

Instilling Discipline

After Saddam's son-in-law Husayn Kamil Hasan Al Magid [Hussein Kamel Hassan Majeed] defected to Jordan and then returned to Iraq in early 1996, a manager in the Special Security Organization published an administrative order on Feb. 20 calling Husayn a traitor, and adding:

"Anyone who obeys his orders will be punished by execution, by order of the Leader, The President, God Bless Him."

Cultural Touchstones

Saddam learned what he could about America by watching its movies and listening to Arabic broadcasts by the Voice of America, his advisers said. He "did not perceive the US-Iraqi relationship to be necessarily one of conflict," his personal secretary Abd Hamid Madmud Al Khatab said. One of his favorite novels was Ernest Hemingway's "Old Man and the Sea," the timeless tale of a poor Cuban fisherman's failed but dignified efforts to bring a Marlin to shore.

Use of Toxic Gas

During a revolt in southern Iraq in 1991, while U.S. forces were still in the country, an unidentified Iraqi official requested authorization to use "liquids" around the city of Najaf, according to the Survey Group's report. Husayn Kamil, head of the Military Industrialization Committee, ordered canisters of VX, a persistent nerve gas, but was told they were unavailable. So helicopters were loaded with canisters containing a less persistent nerve gas, Sarin, at a base in Tamuz, and 10 to 20 were dropped on Shia rebels in Karbala. But the canisters did not work as well as expected, so other helicopters dropped more than 200 bombs filled with CS tear gas on the rebels.

Potential Targets in 1991

At a meeting with senior advisers, Saddam Hussein opened a conversation about preparations for using weapons of mass destruction, according to a tape of the discussion disclosed in the Survey Group report. Western officials had previously disclosed that Saddam had sought to have the weapons used in the event that Baghdad fell and he died, but the transcript contains new details of a plan that was never carried out and weapons that became the target of UN inspections:

"I want to make sure that -- close that door please -- the germ and chemical warheads, as well as the chemical and germ bombs, are available to the 'concerned people,' so that in case we ordered an attack, they can do it without missing any of their targets."

Husayn Kamil, then head of the Military Industrialization Commission, replied: "Sir, if you'll allow me. Some of the chemicals now are distributed. . . . Chemical warheads are stored and are ready at Air Bases, and they know how and when to deal with, as well arm these heads. . . . In the past, many substantial items and materials were imported; now, we were able to establish a local project. . . . Also, another bigger project will be finalized within a month, as well as a third project in the coming two to three months that will keep us on the safe side, in terms of supply. We, Sir, only deal in common materials like phosphorus, ethyl alcohol, and methyl [interrupted]."

Saddam: "This is not important to me. . . . We qualify that the missiles, by tomorrow, will be ready on the 15th."

Husayn: "Sir, we don't have the germs."

Saddam: "Then where are they?"

Husayn: "It's with us."

CONTINUED    1 2    Next >

© 2004 The Washington Post Company