Iraq and weapons of mass destruction
The fifth president of Iraq, Saddam Hussein, was internationally known for his use of chemical weapons in the 1980s against Iranian and Kurdish civilians during and after the Iran–Iraq War. In the 1980s, he pursued an extensive biological weapons program and a nuclear weapons program, though no nuclear bomb was built.
- Iraq is a long way from [America], but what happens there matters a great deal here. For the risk that the leaders of a rogue state will use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons against us or our allies is the greatest security threat we face. And it is a threat against which we must and will stand firm. In discussing Iraq, we begin by knowing that Saddam Hussein, unlike any other leader, has used weapons of mass destruction even against his own people.
- Secretary Of State Madeleine Albright - CNN "Showdown With Iraq: International Town Meeting," February 18, 1998.
- Countering terror is one aspect of our struggle to maintain international security and peace. Limiting the dangers posed by weapons of mass destruction is a second. Saddam Hussein's Iraq encompasses both of these challenges.
- Secretary Of State Madeleine Albright - Remarks at the American Legion Convention, New Orleans, La., August 9, 1998.
- It is true that much of the intelligence turned out to be wrong.
- In Iraq, a dictator is building and hiding weapons that could enable him to dominate the Middle East and intimidate the civilized world -- and we will not allow it." - President George W. Bush addressing the AEI, Washington Hilton Hotel, February 26, 2003
- [L]et's imagine the future. What if he fails to comply and we fail to act, or we take some ambiguous third route, which gives him yet more opportunities to develop this program of weapons of mass destruction and continue to press for the release of the sanctions and continue to ignore the solemn commitments that he made? Well, he will conclude that the international community has lost its will. He will then conclude that he can go right on and do more to rebuild an arsenal of devastating destruction. And some day, some way, I guarantee you he'll use the arsenal. And I think every one of you who has really worked on this for any length of time, believes that, too." President Bill Clinton - Remarks at the Pentagon, February 17, 1998
- In the next century, the community of nations may see more and more of the very kind of threat Iraq poses now - a rogue state with weapons of mass destruction, ready to use them or provide them to terrorists, drug traffickers, or organized criminals who travel the world among us unnoticed. If we fail to respond today, Saddam, and all those who would follow in his footsteps, will be emboldened tomorrow by the knowledge that they can act with impunity, even in the face of a clear message from the United Nations Security Council, and clear evidence of a weapons of mass destruction program.
- President Bill Clinton - Remarks at the Pentagon , February 17, 1998.
- Other countries possess weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles. With Saddam, there is one big difference: He has used them, not once, but repeatedly. Unleashing chemical weapons against Iranian troops during a decade-long war. Not only against soldiers, but against civilians, firing Scud missiles at the citizens of Israel, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Iran. And not only against a foreign enemy, but even against his own people, gassing Kurdish civilians in Northern Iraq. The international community had little doubt then, and I have no doubt today, that left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will use these terrible weapons again.
- President Bill Clinton - Remarks at the White House , December 16, 1998.
- In the four years since the inspectors, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. … It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capability to wage biological and chemical warfare and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons. If we were to attack Iraq now, alone or with few allies, it would set a precedent that could come back to haunt us. In recent days, Russia has talked of an invasion of Georgia to attack Chechen rebels. India has mentioned the possibility of a pre-emptive strike on Pakistan. And what if China were to perceive a threat from Taiwan? So Mr. President, for all its appeal, a unilateral attack, while it cannot be ruled out, on the present facts is not a good option.
- Senator Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) - Congressional Record, October 10, 2002.
- There is no question that Iraq possesses biological and chemical weapons and that he seeks to acquire additional weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons. That is not in debate. I also agree with President Bush that Saddam Hussein is a threat to peace and must be disarmed, to quote President Bush directly.
- Senator Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) - Congressional Record , October 8, 2002.
- No one was more surprised than I that we didn't find (WMD's).
- Remember, Peter, this is a man who has used poison gas on his own people and on his neighbors repeatedly. He's trying to get ballistic missiles, nuclear weapons, chemical and biological weapons. He could be a mass murderer of the first order of magnitude. We are not going to allow that to happen.
- Vice President Al Gore - ABC News’ "Special Report,” December 16, 1998.
- [I]f you allow someone like Saddam Hussein to get nuclear weapons, ballistic missiles, chemical weapons, biological weapons, how many people is he going to kill with such weapons? He's already demonstrated a willingness to use these weapons; he poison gassed his own people. He used poison gas and other weapons of mass destruction against his neighbors. This man has no compunctions about killing lots and lots of people.
- Vice President Al Gore - Larry King Live, December 16, 1998.
- We know that [Saddam] has stored away secret supplies of biological weapons and chemical weapons throughout his Country. We have no evidence, however, that he has shared any of those weapons with terrorist groups. Moreover, if we quickly succeed in a war against the weakened and depleted fourth rate military of Iraq and then quickly abandon that nation as President Bush has abandoned Afghanistan after quickly defeating a fifth rate military there, the resulting chaos could easily pose a far greater danger to the United States than we presently face from Saddam.
- Vice President Al Gore, Remarks to the Commonwealth Club of California, San Francisco, California, September 23, 2002.
- We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and developing weapons of mass destruction. But information from the intelligence community over the past six months does not point to Iraq as an imminent threat to the United States or a major proliferator of weapons of mass destruction." -
- Senator Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.), Remarks at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, October 27, 2002.
- According to the CIA's report, all U.S. intelligence experts agree that Iraq is seeking nuclear weapons. There is little question that Saddam Hussein wants to develop nuclear weapons."
- Senator John Kerry - Congressional Record, October 9, 2002.
- Scott Ritter, a former Marine Corps officer in Iraq and United Nations weapons inspector, told me, “The irony is we invaded Iraq in 2003 to destroy its nonexistent WMD [weapons of mass destruction]. To do it, we fired these new weapons, causing radioactive casualties.”
The weapons were first used in 1991 during Desert Storm, when the U.S. military fired guided bombs and missiles containing depleted uranium (DU), a waste product from nuclear reactors. The DOD particularly prized them because, with dramatic density, speed and heat, they blasted through tanks and bunkers.
- Barbarra Koeppel, “How the U.S. Made Dropping Radioactive Bombs Routine”, Newsweek, (4/4/16).
- "Like millions of others, I now bitterly resent that a prime minister could use such a farrago of lies and manipulation to deceive us and to take the nation to war so dishonestly."
- Michael Meacher Meacher blames 'error of judgment and Blair's lies' for supporting war. The Guardian (December 1, 2006). Retrieved on April 20, 2014..
- During the 1991 Gulf War, there was great concern that Iraq might have the capability to deliver chemical, biological, and even nuclear weapons with Scud missiles. WMD have been available for many years, their deployment just limited by the delivery systems available at the time.
- Jeffrey N. Renehan, “Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and Weapons of Mass Destruction A Lethal Combination?”, School of Advanced Airpower Studies, (1995-1996), p.2
- We must eliminate that [potential nuclear] threat now before it is too late. But that isn't just a future threat. Saddam's existing biological and chemical weapons capabilities pose real threats to America today, tomorrow. … [He] is working to develop delivery systems like missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles that could bring these deadly weapons against U.S. forces and U.S. facilities in the Middle East. He could make these weapons available to many terrorist groups, third parties, which have contact with his government. Those groups, in turn, could bring those weapons into the United States and unleash a devastating attack against our citizens. I fear that greatly.
- Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) - Congressional Record, October 10, 2002.
- [It] is Hussein's vigorous pursuit of biological, chemical and nuclear weapons, and his present and potential future support for terrorist acts and organizations, that make him a terrible danger to the people to the United States.
- Senator Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), Congressional Record, October 10, 2002.