Nissar Hindawi, who worked on the Iraqi biological warfare program, now admits that the statements made to the United Nations regarding their programs were "all lies." Judith Miller, a New York Times reporter "embedded" with the military inspections teams, writes that Hindawi claims the government forced him to work on the program from 1986-1989 and intermittently up to the mid-'90s. "He said that while he worked in the program," writes Miller, "or was ordered to brief the inspectors on it, Iraq made 8.9 cubic meters of concentrated liquid anthrax, one of the deadliest and most durable germ weapons, and even larger quantities of botulinum toxin, one of the most lethal poisons."
Miller also writes that an un-named Iraqi scientist claimed that Hussein ordered the destruction of chemical and biological weapons literally days before the coalition-led campaign. "The scientist," writes Miller, "also told American weapons experts that Iraq had secretly sent unconventional weapons and technology to Syria, starting in the mid-1990s, and that more recently Iraq was cooperating with al-Qaida, the military officials said. The Americans said the scientist told them that President Saddam Hussein's government had destroyed some stockpiles of deadly agents as early as the mid-1990s, transferred others to Syria and had recently focused its efforts instead on research and development projects that are virtually impervious to detection by international inspectors and even American forces on the ground combing through Iraq's giant weapons plants. The American military team hunting for unconventional weapons in Iraq . . . said that they considered him credible and that the material unearthed during the past three days at sites to which he led them had proved to be precursors for a toxic agent that is banned by chemical weapons treaties."
According to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, "I never believed that we'd just tumble over weapons of mass destruction in that country. . . . We're going to find what we find as a result of talking to people, I believe, not simply by going to some site and hoping to discover it." And U.S. Central Command Chief General Tommy Franks, head of coalition troops in Iraq, estimates that it could take a year to search the almost 3,000 sites in Iraq where weapons might be hidden.
Before the war, opponents urged patience. After all, they claimed, the "inspections were working." With major fighting concluded, however, the very same people demand an immediate "smoking gun" to prove the existence of weapons of mass destruction.
And the beat goes on.