The report of the Iraq Survey Group should put an end to a saga which will go down as one of the great failures in the history of intelligence.
The group concluded it was unlikely that &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/main/2002/11/06/39211.html ' target=_blank>Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. It also concluded that he probably meant to make chemical weapons again one day, if sanctions had been lifted. "The emphasis is on capability and intention not on immediate threat," said one British official familiar with the report. While the technical assessment is over, barring some unexpected discovery, the political argument is not, reports BBC News.
According to the Scotsman News, &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/world/20/91/365/13872_Blair.html' target=_blank>Prime Minister Tony Blair, speaking in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa where he will tomorrow chair a meeting of his Commission for Africa, told reporters: "I welcome the report because what it will show is that this is a far more complicated situation than many people thought and just as I have had to accept that the evidence now is that there were not stockpiles of actual weapons ready to be deployed I hope others have the honesty to accept that the report also shows that sanctions weren’t working.
"That, on the contrary, Saddam Hussein was doing his best to get round those sanctions and had every intention of redeveloping those programmes, that he was retaining the teams of scientists and the facilities to do so and there were multiple breaches of UN resolutions which were the ultimate legal justification for the conflict.
In drafts of the report, U.S. weapons hunter Charles Duelfer concluded that Saddam's Iraq had no stockpiles of banned weapons but said he found signs of idle programs that Saddam could have revived if international attention had waned.