Iraqi WMD: A Deadly Cover-up?


Conventional wisdom says there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. The intelligence community in several countries has been severely criticized for getting it wrong, and the Bush administration especially has been accused of purposefully misleading the American people in order to justify the Iraq war. Few issues have caused more division in this country.

But is the real debate being missed?

Amid all the controversy over this subject, are the real questions being asked and answered?

Evidence shows there may be a deadly cover-up on this subject.

The whole public debate is built on the assumption that no evidence of Iraqi nuclear, biological or chemical weapons was ever found—removing the justification for the invasion of Iraq.

“Dave Gaubatz, however, says that you could not be more wrong,” Britain’s Spectator magazine reported April 21. “Saddam’s wmd did exist. He should know, because he found the sites where he is certain they were stored. And the reason you don’t know about this is that the American administration failed to act on his information, ‘lost’ his classified reports and is now doing everything it can to prevent disclosure of the terrible fact that, through its own incompetence, it allowed Saddam’s wmd to end up in the hands of the very terrorist states against whom it is so controversially at war.”

Before you dismiss this bold claim, consider where it came from. Dave Gaubatz is a counterterrorism specialist and Arabic linguist. He served as an agent in the U.S. Air Force’s Office of Special Investigations for 12 years and worked on assignments in several Middle Eastern countries. In 2003, he was specially selected for a position in Iraq. His assignment was to track down suspected wmd sites, in addition to pinpointing threats to u.s. forces in the area and hunting down Saddam loyalists. “Mr. Gaubatz is not some marginal figure,” wrote the Spectator. “He’s pretty well as near to the horse’s mouth as you can get.”

In 2003, Gaubatz found four sites in southern Iraq he is convinced held stockpiles of biological and chemical weapons—not to mention material for a nuclear program and missiles prohibited by the United Nations. What Gaubatz found was backed up by independently gained, agreeing testimony from several Iraqi sources. The four sites were massive, and great care had been taken to hide them: Three were bunkers built underneath the Euphrates river bed, with reinforced concrete walls 5 feet thick.

“There was no doubt, with so much effort having gone into hiding these constructions, that something very important was buried there,” Gaubatz said.

Iraqi informants “explained in detail why wmds were in these areas and asked the U.S. to remove them,” he said. “Much of this material had been buried in the concrete bunkers and in the sewage pipe system. There were also missile imprints in the area and signs of chemical activity—gas masks, decontamination kits, atropine needles. The Iraqis and my team had no doubt at all that wmds were hidden there.” Also, the medical records of Gaubatz and his team showed that they had been exposed to high levels of radiation at these sites.

When Gaubatz reported his findings to the Iraq Study Group, he was told it lacked the manpower and equipment to break into and examine the underground sites.

The U.S. might not have had the manpower and equipment—but Iraq and Syria did. Gaubatz later found out from Iraqi, cia and British intelligence that the wmd had been excavated by Iraqis and Syrians, with Russia’s help, and transferred to Syria. “The worst-case scenario has now come about,” the Spectator wrote. “Saddam’s nuclear, biological and chemical material is in the hands of a rogue terrorist state—and one with close links to Iran.”

Mr. Gaubatz and several other people, including two congressmen, have tried to have the claims investigated—but the Defense Department and cia refuse to provide information. On top of that, all 60 of the classified intelligence reports Gaubatz submitted back in 2003 went missing.

The Spectator explained why the issue is such a political hot potato: “The Republicans won’t touch this because it would reveal the incompetence of the Bush administration in failing to neutralize the danger of Iraqi wmd. The Democrats won’t touch it because it would show President Bush was right to invade Iraq in the first place. It is an axis of embarrassment.”

There is a lot there to be embarrassed about!

Intelligence and terrorism expert John Loftus goes further. “Saddam’s nuclear research, scientists and equipment, he says, have all been relocated to Syria, where U.S. satellite intelligence confirms that uranium centrifuges are now operating—in a country which is not supposed to have any nuclear program. There is now a nuclear axis, he says, between Iran, Syria and North Korea …” (ibid.; emphasis mine).

Loftus says, “With a little technical advice from Beijing, Syria is now enriching the uranium, Iran is making the missiles, North Korea is testing the warheads, and the White House is hiding its head in the sand.”

Of course, the media establishment is also hiding its head in the sand. Back in 2004, when Syrian-sourced wmd were found in terrorists’ hands in Jordan, some terrorist experts believed there was evidence this wmd originated in Iraq.

I wrote about this in the June 2004 Trumpet: “[W]here is most of the media focusing? It would seem that they are focusing on finding stockpiles of wmd only in Iraq. … That is a dangerously shallow view. And surely many in the media know this.

“Are some in the media withholding this Jordanian story so that their political candidate can win the U.S. election? Are they sacrificing the country’s welfare on the altar of politics? …

What if the terrorists had been caught in New York City or Washington or Los Angeles with 20 tons of chemicals? Those 20 tons of chemicals could go a long way toward wrecking the economies of America, Britain or Israel if they were used against our nations. This is a story that goes far beyond politics or even one or two nations. It’s a world crisis of the greatest magnitude!

“The media has been screaming about no wmd ever since Saddam Hussein was toppled. Now we find 20 tons and they go shamefully, shamefully quiet! How can we even describe such a disgusting failure to seek the truth (which is supposedly why they exist)? Has most of the media totally lost sight of the bigger issues—the life-and-death issues of nations?”

Three years later, the same questions need to be asked!

In general, the media have not wanted to know Gaubatz’s story. His claims have mostly gone unreported. Last year, the New York Times wrote him off as a wmd fanatic.

As the Spectator commented, “Of course, we don’t know whether any of this is true. But given Dave Gaubatz’s testimony, shouldn’t someone be trying to find out? Or will we still be intoning ‘there were no wmds in Iraq’ when the Islamic bomb goes off?”

For the White House, admitting there could be wmd in the hands of Syria or Iran would mean having to take action to prevent them from being used. Perhaps going along with the party line that there were no wmd in the first place is an easier alternative than the embarrassment of admitting that those wmd could now be in the hands of an enemy more unpredictable and dangerous than Saddam Hussein—Iran.

The United States has demonstrated over and over that it lacks the will to deal with the fountainhead of terrorism.