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Iraq May Have Been 'Far More Dangerous' Than Believed, Kay Tells
American Forces Press Service ^ | Jan. 29, 2004 | By John D. Banusiewicz

Posted on 01/29/2004 1:55:04 PM PST by Calpernia

The man who spent eight months leading the hunt for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq told senators here Jan. 28 that although no such weapons have been found, he believes Iraq may have been "even more dangerous than we thought" before Saddam Hussein was removed from power.

David Kay, who stepped down last week as head of the Iraq Survey Group, appeared before the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Kay told the senators he has changed his belief – which he pointed out was shared by U.S. and foreign intelligence agencies, including those of governments that opposed the war – that Iraq had stockpiles of biological or chemical weapons, and possibly an advanced nuclear-weapons program, before the war began. But he added that he now believes Iraq actually may have been more dangerous than anyone might have believed at the time.

"I think the world is far safer with the disappearance and the removal of Saddam Hussein," Kay told the committee. "I think that when we have the complete record, you're going to discover that after 1998, it became a regime that was totally corrupt. Individuals were out for their own protection, and in a world where we know others are seeking WMD, the likelihood at some point in the future of a seller and a buyer meeting up would have made that a far more dangerous country than even we anticipated with what may turn out to be not a fully accurate estimate."

Iraq was in "clear material violation" of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1441, Kay said. The resolution gave Iraq a final opportunity to comply with previously mandated disarmament requirements. "They maintained programs and activities, and they certainly had the intentions at some point to resume their programs," Kay told the Senate committee.

Looking back on the evidence, Kay said, he understands the decision to go to war. "I think it's often easy to forget that in the case of Saddam, here's an individual who had invaded two neighboring countries, used chemical weapons against one of those, used them against his own neighbors, and who, by U.N. testimony, had cheated and lied for a decade," he said.

The day before, Kay appeared on the NBC "Today" show and said the notion that U.S. leaders misled the American people in building the case for war is unfair. "And it trivializes what we did find and the problem we face," he told interviewer Matt Lauer.

"The problem we face is that before the war, not only did the U.S. administration and U.S. intelligence, but the French, British, Germans and the U.N. all thought Saddam had weapons of mass destruction. Not discovering them tells us we've got a more fundamental problem."

Kay also told Lauer that he believes the tendency to say inaccurate intelligence must have resulted from White House pressure is "absolutely wrong," and that the decision to go to war was "absolutely prudent."

"In fact," he said, "I think at the end of the inspection process, we'll paint a picture of an Iraq that was far more dangerous than even we thought it was before the war. It was of a system collapsing. It was a country that had the capability in weapons-of-mass-destruction areas and in which terrorists, like ants to honey, were going after it."

In his Senate testimony, Kay said intelligence since the first Gulf War strongly supported the notion of Iraq posing a serious WMD threat.

"All I can say is if you read the total body of intelligence in the last 12 to 15 years that flowed on Iraq," Kay said, "I quite frankly think it would be hard to come to a conclusion other than (that) Iraq was a gathering, serious threat to the world with regard to WMD."

Kay said that while he was not a party to the political decision on whether to go to war, he has no doubt what he would have done had it been his decision to make.

"I will just say I'm convinced myself, if I had been there, presented (with) what I have seen as the record of the intelligence estimates, I probably would have come to – not probably – I would have come to the same conclusion that the political leaders did."

National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice appeared on two morning news programs today, and was questioned about Kay's testimony.

Rice told Hannah Storm on the CBS "Early Show" that intelligence communities around the world believed Iraq had WMDs, and had every reason to believe it.

"When you have a case of a very dangerous man in a very dangerous part of the world who refuses to account for large stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction and who has used them before," Rice said, "I don't know how you come to any other conclusion but that (Saddam) had weapons of mass destruction. Everybody thought that he did."

Acknowledging that differences exist "between what we knew going in and what we found on the ground," Rice said uncertainties are inherent in intelligence. "That's not surprising in a country that was as closed and secretive as Iraq," she said, "a country that was doing everything that it could to deceive the United Nations (and) to deceive the world."

On the "Today" program, Rice told Lauer that Iraq's behavior left no choice in the decision to go to war, as Saddam had every opportunity to prove he didn't have WMDs, but chose a course of deception.

"When you're dealing with a very secretive regime that is out to deceive, that refuses to account for very dangerous material – Saddam Hussein was given an opportunity to tell people if he had destroyed this – could the president of the United States really allow those unaccounted-for weapons stockpiles to sit in Iraq?" Rice asked. "This was a dangerous man. He needed to be dealt with. The world is better off without him."


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: armedservices; davidkay; gnfi; iraq; iraqsurveygroup; saddamhussein; wmd; wmdeadenders

1 posted on 01/29/2004 1:55:10 PM PST by Calpernia
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To: MJY1288; Calpernia; Grampa Dave; anniegetyourgun; Ernest_at_the_Beach; BOBTHENAILER; ...
Pro Military, Pro Coalition, Pro de-Baathification News!

"I think the world is far safer with the disappearance and the removal of Saddam Hussein," Kay told the committee. "I think that when we have the complete record, you're going to discover that after 1998, it became a regime that was totally corrupt. Individuals were out for their own protection, and in a world where we know others are seeking WMD, the likelihood at some point in the future of a seller and a buyer meeting up would have made that a far more dangerous country than even we anticipated with what may turn out to be not a fully accurate estimate."

Private Mail to be added to or removed from the GNFI (or Pro-Coalition) ping list.

2 posted on 01/29/2004 1:57:29 PM PST by Calpernia (Innocence seldom utters outraged shrieks. Guilt does.)
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To: Calpernia
The knee-jerk Liberal [there are such people, we all know some of them] has his soundbite already and isn't interested in these nuances. Neither rational nor reasonable, actually not a good Liberal either.
3 posted on 01/29/2004 2:00:46 PM PST by RightWhale (Repeal the Law of the Excluded Middle)
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To: Calpernia
Bump!!
4 posted on 01/29/2004 2:01:56 PM PST by Vets_Husband_and_Wife
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To: Calpernia
Completely true. Iraq was a rogue state with a lot of technological capacity, both native and purchased. Saddam had obviously discovered the Islamic anti-American pipeline, which I'm sure he used to "distribute" many of the things that he bought or made himself. Thanks to the UN's dithering and failure to press him about these items and their whereabouts, they may still be used against us someday.
5 posted on 01/29/2004 2:04:56 PM PST by livius
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To: Calpernia
Condoleezza Rice is right on the money. Saddam was given one last chance, via UN Resolution 1441, to prove that he had disarmed. He never provided any proof whatsoever. We had no choice but to believe that the weapons still existed.
If a policeman sees a man with a gun run down the street and get into a car, the cop will say, "Throw down the gun. Put your hands where I can see them. Don't make any sudden moves." If the man turns quickly and still has something in his hand, the cop will fire at him. If what he had was just a cell phone, it's just too bad. He didn't follow the instructions, and the officer has to protect himself. The presumption, absent evidence to the contrary, is that he is still armed. The perp could have tossed the gun before he got to the car, or handed it to a confederate. If you act as if you are armed, you will be treated as such. And, rightly so.
6 posted on 01/29/2004 2:07:36 PM PST by TruthShallSetYouFree
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To: Calpernia
The liberation of Iraq by the coalition was very appropriate!
7 posted on 01/29/2004 2:12:24 PM PST by blackie (Be Well~Be Armed~Be Safe~Molon Labe!)
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To: Calpernia
Well Duhhh! Bump
8 posted on 01/29/2004 2:16:12 PM PST by SAMWolf (We secretly replaced the dilithium crystals with Folgers crystals...)
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To: Calpernia
the likelihood at some point in the future of a seller and a buyer meeting up would have made that a far more dangerous country than even we anticipated with what may turn out to be not a fully accurate estimate."

What does Kay mean here? It was likely at some point in the future that a seller without WMDs would seek a buyer for WMDs he didn't have?
9 posted on 01/29/2004 2:16:18 PM PST by Egregious Philbin
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To: Calpernia
Without reading the article I can say had Uday and Qusay been allowed to take power, we would a been in a world of shiite.
10 posted on 01/29/2004 2:19:27 PM PST by eastforker (The color of justice is green,just ask Johny Cochran!)
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To: Egregious Philbin
That the regime was so corrupt it would be easy for rogue elements within the government to sell WMDs on the open market once they became available.
11 posted on 01/29/2004 2:55:38 PM PST by misterrob
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To: Calpernia
Downright amazing how different this account is from everything I've been hearing in the mainstream press. That's not unusual, of course, but this is more egregious than usual.
12 posted on 01/29/2004 2:57:28 PM PST by BelieveNFreedom
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To: livius
Right!
13 posted on 01/29/2004 2:57:35 PM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach (The terrorists and their supporters declared war on the United States - and war is what they got!!!!)
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To: BelieveNFreedom; Calpernia; misterrob; Egregious Philbin; SAMWolf; blackie; TruthShallSetYouFree
Good article here:

Kay frustrates Democrats

14 posted on 01/29/2004 3:02:57 PM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach (The terrorists and their supporters declared war on the United States - and war is what they got!!!!)
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To: Calpernia
This report is so enlightning as to what I've heard in the mainstream press. It's unbelievable!!! Kerry will have his ass handed to him in a handbasket if he thinks the mainstream account of what Kay has stated is anything different than what BUSH was pushing.
15 posted on 01/29/2004 3:10:28 PM PST by sirchtruth
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To: sirchtruth
...if he thinks the mainstream account of what Kay has stated is anything different than what BUSH was pushing.

What I meant to say is that Kay's assessement is really no different than BUSH'S.

The mainsteam press as always pushes the Lib lie!

Thank God for Free Republic!

16 posted on 01/29/2004 3:15:50 PM PST by sirchtruth
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
Thanks for the link
17 posted on 01/29/2004 3:28:11 PM PST by SAMWolf (We secretly replaced the dilithium crystals with Folgers crystals...)
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To: Calpernia
Iraq May Have Been 'Far More Dangerous' Than Believed, Kay Tells

Or it may have been no more dangerous than Disneyland.

Kay has no proof of anything, one way or the other. But he's expelling a great many words rather than just admit it.

I smell retiree hunting juicy book deal.
18 posted on 01/29/2004 3:44:51 PM PST by George W. Bush
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To: George W. Bush
In a world where we know others are seeking WMD, the likelihood at some point in the future of a seller and a buyer meeting up would have made that [Iraq] a far more dangerous country. -David Kay

Not exactly a wordsmith, but he does paint a picture. This whole year, so many unsatisfying editorials have missed the point by making distinctions that are too fine. Then I would read one that used fewer words, fewer points, but was more satisfying. There were many possibilities with Saddam's Iraq. Dangerous possibilities.

19 posted on 01/29/2004 3:52:39 PM PST by NutCrackerBoy
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To: eastforker
Their dad was a monster, but can you imagine the horrors those two could have inflicted on their nation and the world if they managed to come to power?
20 posted on 01/29/2004 4:06:07 PM PST by Stonewall Jackson (Eagle Scout class of 1992.)
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To: NutCrackerBoy
Not exactly a wordsmith, but he does paint a picture. This whole year, so many unsatisfying editorials have missed the point by making distinctions that are too fine. Then I would read one that used fewer words, fewer points, but was more satisfying. There were many possibilities with Saddam's Iraq. Dangerous possibilities.

You can make a far stronger case for vast stockpiles of WMDs and working nukes among the old republics of the Warsaw Pact falling into the wrong hands. But we don't invade them, do we?

You could make a much stronger case for the imminent threat posed by North Korea right now.

You could make a stronger case for the danger posed by Iran, under Pakistani nuclear tutelage.

But if you want to cower in the bunker at this vast arsenel of Saddam's (which no one can even find), go ahead.

It's just a bunch of talk from Kay that means almost nothing of substance. Most of the controversy actually is that he has nothing of substance to offer. And it doesn't address the real danger of proliferation coming from many other countries, all of whom are more dangerous than Saddam's Iraq in the past fifteen years.

Kay is part of a comedy of errors by the Washington establishment. Both parties. This pathetic scrambling at such a late date is even more ridiculous than the usual stuff.
21 posted on 01/29/2004 4:11:54 PM PST by George W. Bush
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To: Calpernia
Predictably, David Kay's statements have been carefully edited and quoted out of context by all the usual suspects in the commercial media.

From the way they tell it, Kay said there were never any WMDs, we should never have invaded Iraq, and American soldiers will "drown in their own blood".
22 posted on 01/29/2004 4:18:34 PM PST by Imal (Heed the need to read my screed. imal.blogspot.com)
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To: George W. Bush
You can make a far stronger case for vast stockpiles of WMDs and working nukes among the old republics of the Warsaw Pact falling into the wrong hands. But we don't invade them, do we?

You've made my point. You focus too narrowly on dangerous objects, stockpiles. There is an X factor. Not to minimize the issues of North Korea and Iran, or to exaggerate Iraq. All three were terrorist states with evil ambitions, and two still are. But NK and Iran have their mitigating circumstances - NK's not in the Middle East and Iran has a freedom movement and a somewhat open society. Besides all which they (and old republics of the Warsaw Pact you mentioned) simply aren't suitable candidates at the moment for military invasion to advance the War On Terror.

Saddam had his prime location in the Middle East and his unmitigated terror-hold on oil, riches, scientists. There was evil motivation, chaos, connections with terrorists. Maybe he wouldn't have been able to pull anything off. But dangerous he was. Besides which, by providing the ideal candidate for successful military invasion, we now have established a powerful deterrent to the other rogue states.

23 posted on 01/29/2004 4:33:05 PM PST by NutCrackerBoy
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To: George W. Bush
The thing is none of those Warsaw Pact countries have invaded other countries, poison gassed their citizens, slaughtered their citizens by the hundreds of thousands, or supported terrorist regimes. They've done nothing like the evil that Hussein has done in the last twenty years. In short, they were no threat to us. Be a little more realistic and don't take people for morons.
24 posted on 01/29/2004 4:52:51 PM PST by driftless ( For life-long happiness, learn how to play the accordion.)
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To: Calpernia; kdf1; AMERIKA; Lancey Howard; MudPuppy; SMEDLEYBUTLER; opbuzz; Snow Bunny; gitmogrunt; ..
major bump
25 posted on 01/29/2004 6:12:34 PM PST by RaceBannon
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To: Calpernia
bump
26 posted on 01/29/2004 6:44:50 PM PST by VOA
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To: George W. Bush
I have heard that military intelligence evaluates two things, capability and intention. While the Warsaw Pact nations may have WMD capability, they don't have the intention. Saddam was believed to have the capability and the intention was clear.
27 posted on 01/29/2004 7:54:15 PM PST by dmcnash (The metaphor is the metaphor)
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To: Calpernia
Bump!
28 posted on 01/29/2004 8:06:46 PM PST by windchime (Podesta about Bush: "He's got four years to try to undo all the stuff we've done." (TIME-1/22/01))
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To: Calpernia
Bump!
29 posted on 01/29/2004 8:13:27 PM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: Calpernia
bump for publicity
30 posted on 01/29/2004 10:51:13 PM PST by VOA
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To: BelieveNFreedom; sirchtruth
Go to CSPAN and watch the actual video of the hearing; believe me, it's well worth the time; he handed Ted Kennedy and Carl Levin their heads on a platter. And Ms.Clinton, too.

Most of what you've read in the press is a LIE, up to and including Tom Brokaw saying tonight on that debate that Kay had called for an independent investigation.

Now that you've read it all, you really will be shocked when you hear what Kay actually said -- and how he said it.
31 posted on 01/29/2004 10:54:28 PM PST by Howlin (http://www.icomm.ca/dragon/image/hbook3.gif)
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To: Calpernia
bump
32 posted on 02/03/2004 8:14:50 PM PST by Texican72
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