If the administration finds weapons of mass destruction, said a pundit on one of last Sunday's political chat shows, then expect a President Bush lift-up in the polls. If the administration finds weapons of mass destruction?
Apparently, few paid attention to the interim report of David Kay, the man Bush put in charge of preparing the report on Iraq's weapons program. Kay recently briefed congressional intelligence committees about his -- so far -- three-month-long search and examination. What he disclosed clearly demonstrates the validity of the war and confirms the president's arguments.
David Kay also explains the difficulty in determining the existence or removal of Iraq's WMDs: "All of Iraq's WMD activities were highly compartmentalized . . . with deception and denial built into each program. Deliberate dispersal and destruction of material and documentation . . . began pre-conflict and ran trans- to post-conflict. Post-war looting destroyed or dispersed important and easily collectible material and evidence. . . . Significant elements of this looting were carried out in a systematic and deliberate manner, with the clear aim of concealing pre-war activities of Saddam's regime. Some WMD personnel crossed borders in the pre/trans-conflict period, and may have taken evidence and even weapons-related materials with them. Any actual WMD weapons or material is likely to be small . . . and difficult to identify with normal search procedures. Even the bulkiest materials we are searching for . . . can be concealed in spaces not much larger than a two-car garage."
Some Democratic presidential candidates, meanwhile, especially former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, grow ever more shrill and skeptical about Bush's war rationale. Suggestion: Read Mr. Kay's briefing. Not only does this confirm Bush's suspicions about the intention of Saddam Hussein, but let us recall that the previous administration shared the same fears and concerns about Saddam.
David Kay, Oct. 2, 2003: "Iraq's WMD programs spanned more than two decades, involved thousands of people, billions of dollars and were elaborately shielded by security and deception operations that continued even beyond the end of Operation Iraqi Freedom."
Sandy Berger, Clinton national security adviser, Feb. 18, 1998: "He will use those weapons of mass destruction again, as he has 10 times since 1983."
David Kay: "We have found people, technical information and illicit-procurement networks that, if allowed to flow to other countries and regions, could accelerate global proliferation."