The US and anyone else interested (which leaves out most of the press) knew what happened to Iraq’s WMD. A U.S. government press conference released satellite photos and described Russian special forces in convoy moving the WMD through Syria to pits and caves in the Bekka (Beqaa) valley.
“Satellite photo of hundreds of trucks systematically leaving an Iraqi weapons depot in early 2003.” (That is the DOD label on the photo captured from screen. )
The U.S. government spokesman John A Shaw was fired and the story mostly disappeared. However, other events events linked to this and confirmed it. At the time, supposedly, relations between U.S. and Russia were warming and friendly so the story of the WMD’s was uncomfortable for international relations.
John A. Shaw, the US deputy undersecretary of defense for international technology security, said in an interview that he believes the Russian troops, working with Iraqi intelligence, “almost certainly” removed the high-explosive material that went missing from the Al-Qaqaa facility, south of Baghdad. “The Russians brought in, just before the war got started, a whole series of military units,” Mr. Shaw said. “Their main job was to shred all evidence of any of the contractual arrangements they had with the Iraqis. The others were transportation units.”
Mr. Shaw, who was in charge of cataloging the tons of conventional arms provided to Iraq by foreign suppliers, said he recently obtained reliable information on the arms-dispersal program from two European intelligence services that have detailed knowledge of the Russian-Iraqi weapons collaboration.
Most of Saddam’s most powerful arms were systematically separated from other arms like mortars, bombs and rockets, and sent to Syria and Lebanon, and possibly to Iran, he said. The Russian involvement in helping disperse Saddam’s weapons, including some 380 tons of RDX and HMX, is still being investigated, Mr. Shaw said. The RDX and HMX, which are used to manufacture high-explosive and nuclear weapons, are probably of Russian origin, he said.
Bill Gertz’s said Shaw’s information came from his Ukranian-American aid who was a personal friend of David Nicholas, a Western ambassador in Kiev, and of Igor Smesko, head of Ukrainian intelligence.
Smesko had been a military attaché in Washington in the early 1990s when Ukraine first became independent. Much more at:http://www.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2006/2/18/233023.shtml?s=lh
The disappearance of the material was reported in a letter Oct. 10 from the Iraqi government to the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Disclosure of the missing explosives Monday in a New York Times story was used by the Democratic presidential campaign of Sen. John Kerry, who accused the Bush administration of failing to secure the material. A second defense official said documents on the Russian support to Iraq reveal that Saddam’s government paid the Kremlin for the special forces to provide security for Iraq’s Russian arms
The Russian generals who led the special forces operation Iraq received medals in a ceremony back in Russia. WMD were later blown up in the caves and field in Lebanon by clandestine operations. (Guess who?) Those were the most dangerous weapons that had been supplied by Soviets/Russia. Other dangerous chemical and biological weapons were moved to other areas. Many remaining in Iraq were blown up by Saddam’s forces. Mostly old, less dangerous and out of date WMD remained and small numbers of those were found.
By late June 2003, Israeli Air Force commander Halutz was confident enough to predict that Iraq’s WMD would be found, probably in Syria. The West identified Mustafa Tlas, the Syrian defense minister, as the man in charge of the secret WMD transfers to Lebanon and Syria from Baghdad, Tikrit and al-Qaim. The intelligence indicated some weapons were destroyed, some left in Iraq underground, and others sent to other countries. Much of it was buried under an army base in northern Syria and in huge pits made by Syrian engineers in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley.[
Towards the end of summer 2003, Israel identified the placement of Iraqi WMD goods in Hezbollah-controlled Lebanon. Israeli spy satellites had captured on film several tractor-trailers filled with Iraqi weapons (they assessed them to be WMD later) in the Bekka Valley. The weapons were then connected to strange shipments that occurred between January and the first week of March 2003. Additional information indicated that Saddam Hussein paid Bashar Assad, Syria’s president, approximately $35 million to hide the supplies. (Geostrategy-Direct.com, August 19, 2003.) Not long after this was reported, additional press reports indicated that privately the United States had begun to suspect that the theory about WMDs in Lebanon to be correct.
The US concurred that there was evidence that the weapons were in the Bekka Valley, near cells of Iraqi intelligence agents, Hezbollah strongholds, and presences of Syrian and Iranian intelligence cells. (World Tribune, August 25, 2003) Jane’s Foreign Report confirmed the assessment that Syria was hiding Iraq’s weapons among its own stockpiles. Jane’s also reported that Syria appeared to be using Iraqi expertise in its chemical weapons tests. (Jane’s Foreign Report, July 29, 2003.)
The Wall Street Journal’s Robert Goldberg has cited a bioterrorism expert explaining that Russia was Iraq’s main supplier of materials and technical know-how to make anthrax, smallpox and botulism. Former UN inspector Richard Spertzel reports that Russia gave Iraq some fermentation equipment to produce biological weapons, and that Russians on his UN inspection team were “paranoid” about his efforts to uncover Iraq’s smallpox production. Goldberg explained that no nation has helped Iraq rebuild WMDs more than Russia.
The highest-ranking Communist bloc defector, former spy, Ion Mihai Pacepa says he knows first-hand that the Operation Emergency Exit was applied to Iraq, because Ceausescu, Brezhnev, Andropov and Primakov all informed him about it. (Washington Times, “Ex-spy fingers Russians on WMD” by Ion Mihai Pacepa.)
On March 26th, 2003 US troops south of Baghdad found Russian chemical warheads with a launcher and a chemical weapons specialist. A reporter with the U.S. Third Infantry Division confirmed the incident. (Newsmax.com, April 4, 2003. Newsmax.com, April 3, 2003.)
Despite the appearance of WMD investigations during the Iraq war, nothing real was heard about all of this in mainstream media at the time because U.S. and Russian were considered “allies.”
The Kay Report has a massive amount of evidence against the Iraqi regime. Among the information is that documents prove that Iraq signed a $10 million contract with North Korea to receive the technology and equipment to make intermediate-range ballistic missiles (the supplies never came). And on the subject of missiles, Kay proved that Iraq was preparing fuel in 2002 that can only be used in SCUD missiles. The Kay Interim Report can be viewed here:
In addition to the Soviets and Russians, the U.S. provided Saddam with chemical weapons during the Iraq-Iran War, so the U.S. knew those were there. France and Russia provided Saddam with nuclear technology. Before the 2003 U.S.-led invasion, Israel blew up Saddam’s nuclear plant. Germany was providing Saddam with bunker building capability, and many were found in Iraq.
Above – except for the photo and my memory of news conference – is excerpted from a longer report: “WMD: Believe Iraq or Believe the Evidence?” Compiled By: Ryan Mauro