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New Information Expected on Iraq Weapons
VOICE of AMERICA ^ | July 3 2003 | Dan Robinson

Posted on 07/04/2003 11:03:08 PM PDT by anglian

New Information Expected on Iraq Weapons Dan Robinson Washington 03 Jul 2003 U.S. senators who have just returned from a visit to Iraq say there may be new information soon about weapons of mass destruction developed under the Saddam Hussein regime. They spoke at a news conference dominated by the weapons question, as well as efforts to locate the ousted Iraqi dictator, and the issue of continuing attacks on U.S. troops in Iraq.

Republican Senator Pat Roberts, who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee, says there is new information in the hands of U.S. intelligence agencies and the Bush administration regarding Iraqi weapons of mass destruction (WMD).

Senator Roberts appeared at a Capitol Hill news conference after returning from a congressional delegation visit to Iraq. "My judgment is that there is going to be breaking, positive news on that front in the very near term," he said.

Earlier, in a separate telephone news conference, Senator Roberts said he is urging the administration and intelligence agencies to make public key parts of what is now known.

Senator John Warner, the Republican chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, says the new information should leave no doubt about Saddam Hussein's pre-war weapons efforts.

"Facts will be given, publicly soon, which in my judgment, any fair-minded individual will reach the conclusion one, that Saddam Hussein had a substantial infrastructure to produce weapons of mass destruction, that he very skillfully either disposed or concealed them," he said. "We are beginning to locate those things. And that there was the potential for Saddam Hussein and his administration to use them and perhaps, export them."

All of the senators said that amid continuing attacks on U.S. and coalition forces, it is now more crucial than ever to locate the ousted Iraqi leader.

Susan Collins, a Republican senator from Maine, refers to a "pervasive climate of fear" she says is impeding the efforts of the coalition, particularly in central and southern Iraq.

"There is a fear that he will return, that he will come back. And that fear prevents us from making progress as rapidly as we otherwise would. And that fear emboldens those who would attack our troops," she said.

Senator Carl Levin, a key Democratic critic of the administration on the question of pre-war intelligence information, says it is essential that the United States is not intimidated by remnants of Iraq's Baathist regime. However, Mr. Levin says Washington needs help.

"First, we must end the feud, with Germany, France and the United Nations. And we must seek the help of those countries, we must seek the support and participation of NATO and the U.N. Our troops are stretched very thin. We need the participation of other countries for that reason along," he said.

Amid the recent upsurge in attacks, U.S. officials have revised previous statements downplaying the amount of organization that may be behind them. Senator Warner says the violence does not mean the ex-Iraqi leader is still wielding great power, but he agrees a Saddam Hussein still-on-the-loose is a problem.

"This guy is not ten feet tall anymore. This guy is not, to the best [knowledge] of all those who have facts, trying to coordinate any of these attacks," he said. "This guy is slinking around, each day hiding and running, some say in a crude disguise, some say manifesting the effects of having been wounded. We will get him. But the specter of his past brutality does hang over this entire operation, and does to some extent impede the progress by which other civilian Iraqis would feel free to come ahead."

Lawmakers say President Bush needs to be completely honest with the American people about the likelihood of a prolonged U. S. stay in Iraq, and more casualties.

When lawmakers resume work next week, Senate and House committees will be holding more closed hearings on Iraq, particularly on the weapons and intelligence information issue, with public hearings to follow later this month.


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: carllevin; intellegence; iraq; levin; levine; pat; patroberts; roberts; wmd
"Facts will be given, publicly soon, which in my judgment, any fair-minded individual will reach the conclusion one, (that Saddam Hussein had a substantial infrastructure to produce weapons of mass destruction, that he very skillfully either disposed or concealed them,)" he said. "We are beginning to locate those things"
1 posted on 07/04/2003 11:03:08 PM PDT by anglian
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To: anglian
I'm not going to hold my breath on this one. Wasn't it three weeks ago that Blair--after being put on the grill by his Parliment--claimed to have "secret" knowledge that would come out "soon" about WMDs? Why wait to release this info--that's what I'm wondering about. If this information is so hot, then it should lead to something tangible (i.e. that we can physically see). We shouldn't need to have some senator to tell us, "Oh, this is GOOD info. Trust me."
2 posted on 07/04/2003 11:09:29 PM PDT by MaxPlus305
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To: anglian
If WMD is no longer in Iraq, then the people who prevented the troops from going in once they were on the border must be questioned - that would include the french, the germans, and tom daschle.
3 posted on 07/04/2003 11:11:50 PM PDT by Bernard
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To: Bernard
If WMD is no longer in Iraq, then the people who prevented the troops from going in once they were on the border must be questioned - that would include the french, the germans, and tom daschle.

Indeed. Their little wait-and-see-what-Blix-can-"find" game may have allowed time for Saddam to work some kind of deal with Russia or Syria and secrete the weapons.

"First, we must end the feud, with Germany, France and the United Nations. And we must seek the help of those countries, we must seek the support and participation of NATO and the U.N. Our troops are stretched very thin. We need the participation of other countries for that reason along," he said.

Leave it to a Democrat to say something stupid like that.

4 posted on 07/04/2003 11:22:37 PM PDT by arasina (America: STILL the BEST! Offering Freedom, Justice and The Pursuit of Happiness Since 1776)
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To: All
LEVIN SAID at the same news conference that he had access to the same information that Roberts saw in Iraq but that he drew different conclusions.

"Whether we find weapons or we don't find weapons, the allegations [made by the Bush administration] with certainty - that there were weapons of mass destruction imminently available and [that the weapons] would be used by Saddam Hussein was based on intelligence which, it seems to me, there at least is evidence that it was exaggerated." Levin said, "Nothing I saw on this trip changed my view of the troubling nature of that evidence."

5 posted on 07/04/2003 11:53:37 PM PDT by anglian
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To: anglian
I think a dem would sing like Bhagdad Bob to hold power. There could be a train of nukes passing by as they said, there are no weapons of mass destruction around here. Then when the first mushroom cloud appeared on American soil they would blame everyone else for the destruction.

The dems are disgusting, and would turn this country over to thugs if they get the chance....
6 posted on 07/05/2003 4:47:49 AM PDT by holyh2o
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To: anglian
Levin: First, we must end the feud, with Germany, France and the United Nations....

As I recall, Bush said, to Germany, France, the United Nations and everyone: "You're either with US, or you're with THE TERRORISTS"

So Levin, when THEY switch sides, the feud is over.
7 posted on 07/07/2003 5:30:44 PM PDT by zencycler
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