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:
"We gathered information from the five embassies where we have [military] attaches: Jordan, Turkey, Qatar, Yugoslavia and Russia. Another source is the Internet -- it has everything. For example, the attache 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."
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."
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."
Saddam: ". . . I need these germs to be fixed on the missiles, and . . . starting the 15th, everyone should be ready for the action to happen at any time, and I consider Riyadh as a target."
Husayn: "Sir, let me explain to you. What we produced now are the rocket heads and the containers, and we distributed them underground in three different locations. . . . We have three types of germ weapons, but we have to decide which one we should use, some types stay capable for many years."
Saddam: "We want the long term, the many years kind."
Husayn: "Sir, this option is available and all other options are available as well. . . . That is why there has to be a decision about which method of attack we use: a missile, a fighter bomb, or a fighter plane."
Saddam: "With them all, all the methods. . . . At the moment of use, you should launch them all against their targets. . . . We don't want to depend on one option. The missiles will be intercepted and the planes, at least one will crash. But whenever the missiles or planes fall down over the enemy land, then I consider the goal is achieved and the mission fulfilled."
Husayn: "Sir, it is available and stored somewhere, but if you, Sir, order us to transfer it, we are a bit worried it will cause contamination. . . . Sir, it has been experimented on only once and some of the employees, Sir, were contaminated."
Saddam: ". . . regarding] weapons to be distributed to targets, I want Riyadh and Jeddah, which are the biggest Saudi cities with all the decision makers, and the Saudi rulers live there. This is for the germ and chemical weapons. . . . Also all the Israeli cities, all of them. Of course, you should concentrate on Tel Aviv, since it is their center."
Husayn: "Sir, the best way to transport this weapon and achieve the most harmful effects would come by using planes, like a crop plane, to scatter it. This is, Sir, a thousand times more harmful. This is according to the analysts of the technicians."
Saddam: "Anyway, it is our duty to think of all the bad scenarios of the mission. Then Israel first, and if the Americans attack us with unconventional, harmful types of weapons, or at the moment we see it feasible to attack, but as for now, put Riyadh and Jeddah as targets."
"He thought they [Americans] would not fight a ground war because it would be too costly to the Americans. He was overconfident. His was clever, but his calculations were poor. It wasn't that he wasn't receiving the information. It was right there on television, but he didn't understand international relations perfectly." -- Former Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz