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Iraq and Weapons of Mass Destruction:National Security Archive Report

American and British intelligence reports on the existence and intended use by Iraq of its WMD program.

Institute Network Sources Montreal

Our Washington associates have sent us a report from the National Security Archive,based on current American and British intelligence declassified this week, that should put to rest anyone's doubts as to the existence and intended use by Iraq of its WMD program.The report consists of over a dozen documents, of which the fifth is Saddam's previous plans for a chemical attack on Israel.The documents cover the period from 1988-2002. Some of these have been given to UN Inspectors this past week.It will give you all a comprehensive and informed overview on the true background story behind the current crisis and its implications for the entire free world.

Beryl Wajsmann

Between Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in August 1990, and the commencement of military action in January 1991, then President George H.W. Bush raised the specter of the Iraqi pursuit of nuclear weapons as one justification for taking decisive action against Iraq. In the classified National Security Directive he signed on January 15, 1991, authorizing the use of force to expel Iraq from Kuwait, he identified Iraqi use of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) against allied forces as an action that would lead the U.S. to seek the removal of Saddam Hussein from power.(1)

In the aftermath of Iraq's defeat, the U.S.-led, U.N. coalition was able to force Iraq to agree to an inspection and monitoring regime, intended to insure that Iraq dismantled its WMD programs and did not take actions to reconstitute them. The means of implementing the relevant U.N. resolutions was the U.N. Special Commission on Iraq (UNSCOM). That inspection regime continued until October 6, 1998 - although it involved interruptions, confrontations, and Iraqi attempts at denial and deception - when Iraq declared it would no longer submit to such inspections.

Subsequent to George W. Bush's assumption of the presidency in January 2001, the U.S. made it clear that it could not accept what had become the status quo with respect to Iraq - a country ruled by Saddam Hussein and free to attempt to reconstitute its assorted weapons of mass destruction programs. As part of their campaign against the status quo, which included the clear threat of the eventual use of military force against Iraq, the U.S. and Britain published documents and provided briefings detailing Iraq's WMD programs and its attempts to deceive other nations about its WMD activities.

As a result of the U.S. and British campaign, and after prolonged negotiations between the U.S., Britain, France, Russia and other U.N. Security Council members, the U.N. declared that Iraq must accept even more intrusive inspections than under the earlier inspection regime - to be carried out by the U.N. Monitoring, Verification, and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) - or face "serious consequences." Iraq agreed to accept the U.N. requirement and inspections resumed in late November 2002. On December 7, 2002, Iraq submitted a 12,000-page declaration, which claimed that it had no current WMD programs. Intelligence analysts from the United States and other nations immediately began to scrutinize the document, and senior U.S. officials quickly rejected the claims.

The documents presented in this electronic briefing book include the major unclassified U.S. and British assessments of Iraqi WMD programs, the reports of the IAEA and UNSCOM covering the final period prior to the 1998 expulsions, the transcript of a key speech by President George W. Bush, a recently released statement on U.S. policy towards combating WMD, and documents from the 1980s and 1990s concerning various aspects of Iraqi WMD activities.

Document 1: Interagency Intelligence Assessment, Implications of Israeli Attack on Iraq, July 1, 1981. Secret.

Source: CIA Electronic Reading Room, released under the Freedom of Information Act

On June 7, 1981, in an attempt to prevent Iraqi acquisition of a nuclear weapons capability, Israeli aircraft bombed Iraq's Osirak nuclear reactor, before it became operational. This assessment, produced by the CIA and other U.S. intelligence agencies, examines Arab reactions to the attack as well as both the immediate and short-term repercussions of the pre-emptive strike.

Document 2: CIA, Iraq's National Security Goals, December 1988. Secret.

Source: CIA Electronic Reading Room, released by Mandatory Declassification Review

Written after the conclusion of the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq War, this CIA survey examined Saddam Hussein's likely regional and international objectives and strategies - including his relations with other Arab states and the PLO, his desire to reduce Iraqi dependence on the USSR, and his goal of preventing closer ties between the US and USSR and Iran. With respect to weapons of mass destruction, the analysis briefly discusses Iraqi attitudes toward chemical and nuclear weapons. The first are considered a "short-term fix," while the latter represent "the long-term deterrent."

Document 3: CIA, Iraqi Ballistic Missile Developments, July 1990. Top Secret

Source: CIA Electronic Reading Room, released under the Freedom of Information Act

During the Persian Gulf War, Iraq made extensive use of its Scud missile force to attack both Israel and Saudi Arabia - a Scud that hit a U.S. barracks in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, killed 28 U.S. servicemen. This paper completed a month prior to Iraq's invasion of Kuwait noted that "Iraq has the most aggressive and advanced ballistic missile development program in the Arab world" and that it already had two modified versions of the Scud B - the Al Husayn and Al Abbas.

The paper examines the origins, development, and results of the Iraqi missile program - in the form of the Scud B and its variants. It also examines warhead options - including chemical, biological, and nuclear. In addition, it discusses Iraq's missile production infrastructure as well as foreign assistance to the missile program.

Document 4: CIA, Project Babylon: The Iraqi Supergun, November 1991. Secret.

Source: CIA Electronic Reading Room, released by Mandatory Declassification Review

From 1988 to 1990, Iraq was involved in an unusual weapons program, codenamed Project Babylon. The project's objective was the development and production of several large caliber guns, including a 1,000-millimeter-diameter supergun. In addition, the project included development of both conventional and rocket projectiles for the gun. The gun was intended to deliver the explosive devices to military and economic targets up to 620 miles away. The project was being managed for Iraq by a foreign company, Space Research Corporation, headed by Gerald Bull.

By early 1990, a 350-mm-diameter version of the gun had been successfully built and tested. In addition, many of the components for the 1,000-mm. gun and two other 350-mm guns had been delivered to Iraq. In March 1990, Bull was murdered. The following month, the United Kingdom customs service seized the final eight sections that were to be used in the 1,000-mm. gun barrel. Other nations followed by seizing other components of the supergun. The seizures prevented Iraq from completing the project. In July 1991, after initial denials, Iraq acknowledged the project. In October 1991, Project Babylon components were destroyed under U.N. supervision.

This document discusses the rationale, origins, technical details, and history of Project Babylon.

Document 5: CIA, Iraqi BW Mission Planning, 1992. Secret.

Source: CIA Electronic Reading Room, released under the Freedom of Information Act

This information report states that in the fall of 1990, Saddam Hussein ordered that plans be drawn up for the airborne delivery of an unspecified biological agent. The probable target was Israel. The plan envisioned a conventional air raid employing three MiG-21s, to be followed by another raid involving three MiGs and a SU-22 aircraft that would disperse the biological agent.The first mission was shot down over the Persian Gulf and "no efforts were made to find another method to deliver the BW agent."

Document 6: United Nations, Note by the Secretary General, October 8, 1997 w/att: Letter dated 6 October 1997 from the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency to the Secretary General.

Source: http://www.iaea.org

Part of one of the report describes the work done by the IAEA, during the period April 1, 1997 to October 1, 1997 in montoring and verifying Iraqi compliance with the nuclear disarmament provisions of U.N. resolution 687 (1991). It includes an extensive summary of the technical discussions between IAEA and Iraq. The second part of the report provides an overview of IAEA activities since 1991 related to on-site inspection of Iraqi's nuclear capabilities and the destruction, removal, or neutralization of Iraqi nuclear weapons or nuclear-weapons related material or facilities.

Document 7: United Nations, Note by the Secretary General, October 6, 1998 w/att: Report of the Executive Chairman of the activities of the Special Commission established by the Secretary-General pursuant to paragraph 9(b) (i) of the resolution 687 (1991).

Source: http://www.un.org/Depts/unscom/sres98-920.htm

On October 6, 1998, Iraq informed the U.N. that it was expelling U.N. inspectors, and would cease its "cooperation" in compliance with the U.N. resolutions concerning the dismantlement and monitoring of Iraqi WMD programs. This report from the executive chairman of the UN Special Commission on Iraq (UNSCOM) represents the final report from UNSCOM covering the period in which its representatives were present in Iraq. The report covers developments in the relationship between Iraq and the Commission, priority issues with respect to disarmament, and ongoing monitoring and verification activities.

Document 8: United Nations Security Council, Letter Dated 8 February 1999 from the Secretary-General Addressed to the President of the Security Council, February 9, 1999 w/enc: Report of the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency in connection with the panel on disarmament and current and future ongoing monitoring and verification issues (S/1999/100).

Source: http://www.iaea.org

This report summarizes the status of the International Atomic Energy Agency's implementation of U.N. Security Council resolutions concerning the dismantling of Iraq's nuclear program as of February 1999 - four months after Iraq expelled U.N. inspectors from Iraq. It includes an examination of the remaining questions and concerns and their impact on the IAEA's ability to develop a "technically coherent picture of Iraq's clandestine nuclear weapons [program] and on the IAEA's technical ability to fully implement its OMV [on-site monitoring and verification] program."

Specific questions and concerns noted in the report include: lack of certain technical documentation, external assistance to Iraq's clandestine nuclear weapons program, and Iraq's inability to provide documentation showing the timing and modalities of its alleged abandonment of its nuclear weapons program.

Document 9: UK Joint Intelligence Committee, Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction: The Assessment of the British Government, September 2002. Unclassified.

Source: http://www.pm.gov.uk

This extensive analysis of Iraqi WMD programs was produced by the British Government's Joint Intelligence Committee, which is responsible for overseeing the production of national and strategic intelligence. One part of the document focuses on Iraqi chemical, biological, nuclear, and ballistic missile programs for the years 1971-1998 and in the post-inspection era (1998-2002). Other parts of the document concern the history of UN weapons inspections and "Iraq under Saddam Hussein."

In the foreword, Prime Minister Tony Blair writes (p.3) that "In recent months, I have been increasingly alarmed by the evidence from inside Iraq that ... Saddam Hussein is continuing to develop WMD, and with them the ability to inflict real damage upon the region, and the stability of the world."

Document 10: U.S. State Department, A Decade of Deception and Defiance, September 12, 2002. Unclassified.

Source: http://www.whitehouse.gov

Three pages of this document focus on U.S. charges concerning Iraqi failure to comply with the restrictions pertaining to weapons of mass destruction placed upon it as a result of the Persian Gulf War. It charges, inter alia, that "Iraq is believed to be developing ballistic missiles with a range greater than 150 kilometers - as prohibited by UN Security Council Resolution 687" and "Iraq has stepped up its quest for nuclear weapons and has embarked on a worldwide hunt for materials to make an atomic bomb." With respect to chemical weapons, it charges that "Iraq has not accounted for hundreds of tons of chemical precursors and tens of thousands of unfilled munitions, including Scud variant missile warheads."

Document 11: CIA, Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction Programs, October 2002, Unclassified.

Source: http://www.cia.gov

Issued a month after the British assessment (see Document 8), this CIA study is the unclassified version of a Top Secret National Intelligence Estimate completed shortly before its release. The study contains analysis, maps, tables, and some satellite photographs of apparent Iraqi WMD sites.

Among the study's key judgments is the statement that "Iraq has continued its weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programs in defiance of UN resolutions and restrictions. Baghdad has chemical and biological weapons as well as missiles with ranges in execess of UN restrictions; if left unchecked, it probably will have a nuclear weapon during this decade."

Document 12: The White House, "President Bush Outlines Iraqi Threat," October 7, 2002. Unclassified.

Source: http://www.whitehouse.gov

This speech, given by President Bush at the Cincinnati Museum Center, presents his administration's view concerning the threat from Iraq. It discusses Iraqi chemical, biological, ballistic missile, and nuclear programs - as well as concerns about possible Iraqi connections to international terrorist groups. With respect to how close Iraq is to developing a nuclear weapon, Bush notes that "we don't know exactly, and that's the problem." He went on to state that "If the Iraqi regime is able to produce, buy, or steal an amount of highly enriched uranium a little larger than a single softball, it could have a nuclear weapon in less than a year."

Document 13: Letter, George J. Tenet, Director of Central Intelligence, to Senator Bob Graham, Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, October 7, 2002. Unclassified.

Source: http://www.globalsecurity.org

This letter from the DCI provided an unclassified CIA assessment of Saddam Hussein's willingness to use weapons of mass destruction. According to the letter, Iraq "for now appears to be drawing a line short of conducting terrorist attacks with conventional or ... chemical and biological weapons against the United States," but if "Saddam should conclude that a U.S.-led attack could no longer be deterred, he probably would become much less constrained in adopting terrorist actions." The letter also discusses the question of Iraqi links to Al-Qaeda and the basis for U.S. assessments of the links.

Document 14: DoD, Iraqi Denial and Deception for Weapons of Mass Destruction & Ballistic Missile Programs, October 8, 2002. Unclassified.

Source: http://www.defenselink.mil

The day after President Bush's Cincinnati speech (Document 12), the Defense Department provided a briefing on Iraqi denial and deception activities with respect to their WMD programs. These slides were used in the presentation. They include a variety of satellite photographs (from commercial as well as a intelligence satellites), tables, and charts that concern Iraq's assorted programs and select facilities (for example, the Abu Ghurayb BW Facility). In addition, the presentation focused on Iraq's denial and deception strategy and concealment apparatus.

Document 15: George W. Bush, National Strategy to Combat Weapons of Mass Destruction, December 2002. Unclassified.

Source: http://www.whitehouse.gov

This strategy document is an unclassified extract of Top Secret National Security Presidential Directive 17.(2) The unclassified version asserts that "We will not permit the world's most dangerous regimes and terrorists to threaten us with the world's most destructive weapons." It also notes that "because deterrence may not succeed ... U.S. military forces and appropriate civilian agencies must have the capability to defend against WMD-armed adversaries, including in appropriate cases through pre-emptive measures."

Document 16: Table of Contents, Currently Accurate, Full and Complete Declaration December 7, 2002, w/covering letter from Mohammed A. Aldouri, Permanent Representative to the U.N.

Source: http://www.fas.org

This table of contents describes the content of the report submitted by Iraq to the United Nations with regard to its nuclear, chemical, biological, and missile programs, as required by U.N.Security Council Resolution 1441. It shows the varied methods Iraq used in trying to produce nuclear material suitable for a weapon as well as the large number of sites involved in the nuclear program.

Document 17: Kenneth Katzman, Congressional Research Service, Iraq: Weapons Threat, Compliance, Sanctions, and U.S. Policy, December 10, 2002. Unclassified.

Source: http://www.house.gov/shays/CRS/CRSProducts.htm

This paper, updated from an earlier version, discusses a number of issues concerning Iraq. Outside of the WMD area, it examines human rights/war crime issues, international terrorism, Iraq-Kuwait issues, reparation payments, sanctions, and the oil-for- food program. With respect to weapons of mass destruction, it focuses largely on the U.N. resolutions placing limits on Iraqi WMD programs and the work of U.N. inspectors in attempting to monitor Iraqi chemical, biological, missile, and nuclear programs.

Document 18: Department of State, Fact Sheet: Illustrative Examples of Omissions From the Iraqi Declaration to the United Nations Security Council, December 19, 2002.

Source: http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2002/16118pf.htm

At a December 19 press conference, Secretary of State Colin Powell stated that U.S. experts found the Iraqi declaration "to be anything but currently accurate, full, or complete." He also charged that the declaration "totally fails to meet the resolution's requirements." The same day the State Department issued a fact sheet providing several examples of omissions from the declaration.


1. George H.W. Bush, National Security Directive 54, Responding to Iraqi Aggression in the Gulf, January 15, 1991. Top Secret.

2. Mike Allen and Barton Gellman, "Preemptive Strikes Part of U.S. Strategic Doctrine," Washington Post, December 11, 2002, pp. A1, A26.


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