Wednesday, April 27, 2005


On the same day that the NYTimes publishes an editorial claiming that the notion of a WMD program in Iraq was "fictitious", the CIA's Iraq Survey Group issues a report that states it CANNOT RULE OUT the allegation that Iraq transferred WMD to Syria before the US attack.

The ISG is led by Charles Duelfer, whose previous testimony to Congress and interim report I discussed last year. Duelfer is a WMD skeptic (that's sceptic in the UK). But he knows the difference between evidence of absence and absence of evidence. Here's an excerpt from the Washington Times:

The CIA's chief weapons inspector said he cannot rule out the possibility that Iraqi weapons of mass destruction were secretly shipped to Syria before the March 2003 invasion, citing "sufficiently credible" evidence that WMDs may have been moved there.

Inspector Charles Duelfer, who heads the Iraq Survey Group (ISG), made the findings in an addendum to his final report filed last year. He said the search for WMD in Iraq -- the main reason President Bush went to war to oust Saddam Hussein -- has been exhausted without finding such weapons. Iraq had stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons in the early 1990s.

But on the question of Syria, Mr. Duelfer did not close the books. "ISG was unable to complete its investigation and is unable to rule out the possibility that WMD was evacuated to Syria before the war," Mr. Duelfer said in a report posted on the CIA's Web site Monday night.

For more information on the Duelfer report, see this post, this one, and this one too.

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