`White Paper' Details Iraq's Hidden Biological Weapons

By Gertz, Bill | The Washington Times (Washington, DC), February 18, 1998 | Go to article overview

`White Paper' Details Iraq's Hidden Biological Weapons


Gertz, Bill, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)


Iraq has hidden deadly germ and nerve agents along with missiles to deliver them, and has concealed plans to build long-range missiles since the imposition of international sanctions seven years ago, according to a U.S. intelligence report released yesterday.

The report provides new details on the types and amounts of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction and missiles, and its publication coincides with the start of an effort by the Clinton administration to prepare the American public for a military strike on Iraq.

President Clinton began the campaign yesterday with a speech at the Pentagon warning that he may order military action to diminish Saddam Hussein's chemical and biological arsenal.

The 17-page report said United Nations weapons inspectors "believe Iraq maintains a small force of Scud-type missiles, a small stockpile of chemical and biological munitions, and the capability to quickly resurrect biological and chemical weapons production."

The report was produced by U.S. intelligence agencies, including the CIA, but released by the White House as a "white paper" without an agency designation.

Much of the document appears based on the testimony of Iraqi defector Hussein Kamil, a key weapons official who in 1995 disclosed new information about Iraq's hidden nuclear, chemical and biological arsenal. He was executed after returning to Iraq from Jordan.

A U.S. intelligence official said the report "shows the massive efforts the Iraqis have put into building weapons of mass destruction, as well as the effort they have devoted to hiding it."

The document said Iraq has not provided accurate data on its unconventional weapons to U.N. inspectors and obstructed international weapons monitoring by declaring large areas "sensitive" and off-limits.

"Collectively, the evidence strongly suggests that Baghdad has hidden remnants of its weapons-of-mass-destruction program and is making every effort to preserve them," the report said.

Key sites blocked from inspection include Special Republican Guard garrisons, units in charge of carrying out the directives of Saddam's inner circle, the report said. …

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