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[casi] Powell's "Proof by Absence of Proof"

What Kay Found

By Colin L. Powell
Tuesday, October 7, 2003; Page A25

The interim findings of David Kay and the Iraq Survey Group make two things
abundantly clear: Saddam Hussein's Iraq was in material breach of its United
Nations obligations before the Security Council passed Resolution 1441 last
November, and Iraq went further into breach after the resolution was passed.

Kay's interim findings offer detailed evidence of Hussein's efforts to defy
the international community to the last. The report describes a host of
activities related to weapons of mass destruction that "should have been
declared to the U.N." It reaffirms that Iraq's forbidden programs spanned
more than two decades, involving thousands of people and billions of

What the world knew last November about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction
programs was enough to justify the threat of serious consequences under
Resolution 1441. What we now know as a result of David Kay's efforts
confirms that Hussein had every intention of continuing his work on banned
weapons despite the U.N. inspectors, and that we and our coalition partners
were right to eliminate the danger that his regime posed to the world.

Although Kay and his team have not yet discovered stocks of the weapons
themselves, they will press on in the months ahead with their important and
painstaking work. All indications are that they will uncover still more
evidence of Hussein's dangerous designs.

Before the war, our intelligence had detected a calculated campaign to
prevent any meaningful inspections. We knew that Iraqi officials, members of
the ruling Baath Party and scientists had hidden prohibited items in their

Lo and behold, Kay and his team found strains of organisms concealed in a
scientist's home, and they report that one of the strains could be used to
produce biological agents. Kay and his team also discovered documents and
equipment in scientists' homes that would have been useful for resuming
uranium enrichment efforts.

Kay and his team have "discovered dozens of WMD-related program activities
and significant amounts of equipment that Iraq concealed from the United
Nations during the inspections that began in late 2002. The discovery . . .
has come about both through the admissions of Iraqi scientists and officials
concerning information they deliberately withheld and through physical
evidence of equipment and activities that the Iraq Survey Group has
discovered that should have been declared to the U.N."

The Kay Report also addresses the issue of suspected mobile biological agent
laboratories: "Investigation into the origin of and intended use for the two
trailers found in northern Iraq in April has yielded a number of
explanations, including hydrogen, missile propellant and BW [biological
warfare] production, but technical limitations would prevent any of these
processes from being ideally suited to these trailers. That said, nothing .
. . rules out their potential use in BW production." Here Kay's findings are
inconclusive. He is continuing to work this issue.

Kay and his team have, however, found this: "A clandestine network of
laboratories and safe houses within the Iraqi Intelligence Service that
contained equipment subject to U.N. monitoring and suitable for continuing
CBW [chemical-biological weapons] research." They also discovered: "a prison
laboratory complex, possibly used in human testing of BW agents, that Iraqi
officials working to prepare for U.N. inspections were explicitly ordered
not to declare to the U.N."

The Kay Report confirms that our intelligence was correct to suspect the
al-Kindi Co. of being involved in prohibited activity. Missile designers at
al-Kindi told Kay and his team that Iraq had resumed work on converting SA-2
surface-to-air missiles into ballistic missiles with a range of about 250
kilometers, and that this work continued even while UNMOVIC inspectors were
in Iraq. The U.N.-mandated limit for Iraq was a range of 150 kilometers.

The Kay Report also confirmed our prewar intelligence that indicated Iraq
was developing missiles with ranges up to 1,000 kilometers. Similarly, Kay
substantiated our reports that Iraq had tested an unmanned aerial vehicle to
500 kilometers, also in violation of U.N. resolutions.

What's more, he and his team found that elaborate efforts to shield illicit
programs from inspection persisted even after the collapse of Hussein's
regime. Key evidence was deliberately eliminated or dispersed during the
postwar period. In a wide range of offices, laboratories and companies
suspected of developing weapons of mass destruction, computer hard drives
were destroyed, files were burned and equipment was carefully cleansed of
all traces of use -- and done so in a pattern that was clearly deliberate
and selective, rather than random.

One year ago, when President Bush brought his concerns about Iraq to the
United Nations, he made it plain that his principal concern in a post-Sept.
11 world was not just that a rogue regime such as Saddam Hussein's had WMD
programs, but that such horrific weapons could find their way out of Iraq
into the arms of terrorists who would have even fewer compunctions about
using them against innocent people across the globe.

In the interim report, Kay and his team record the chilling fact that they
"found people, technical information and illicit procurement networks that
if allowed to flow to other countries and regions could accelerate global

Having put an end to that harrowing possibility alone justifies our
coalition's action against Hussein's regime. But that is not the only
achievement of our brave men and women in uniform and their coalition

Three weeks ago I paid my respects at a mass grave in the northern city of
Halabja, where on a Friday morning in March 1988, Hussein's forces murdered
5,000 men, women and children with chemical weapons. Saddam Hussein can
cause no more Halabjas. His "Republic of Fear" no longer holds sway over the
people of Iraq. For the first time in three decades, the Iraqi people have
reason to hope for the future.

President Bush was right: This was an evil regime, lethal to its own people,
in deepening material breach of its Security Council obligations, and a
threat to international peace and security. Hussein would have stopped at
nothing until something stopped him. It's a good thing that we did.

The writer is secretary of state.

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