WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Saddam Hussein did not possess stockpiles of illicit weapons at the time of the U.S. invasion in March 2003 and had not begun any program to produce them, a CIA report concludes.
The hunt for biological, chemical and nuclear weapons in Iraq has come to an end nearly two years after President Bush ordered U.S. troops to disarm Saddam Hussein. The top CIA weapons hunter is home, and analysts are back at Langley.
Many said they had been openly sceptical about the presence of WMD in Iraq for years. There was a systematic failure, they believe, in the way intelligence was interpreted. This was because they were under pressure to provide the government with what it wanted, namely that Iraq possessed WMD and that it posed a clear and present danger.
U.S. public perceptions about former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein's alleged ties to al-Qaeda and stocks of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) continues to lag far behind the testimony of experts, boosting chances that President George W Bush will be re-elected, according to a survey and analysis released Thursday.
No sign of Iraq's WMD
New questions about U.S. intelligence regarding Iraq's weapons of mass terror
The Senate Intelligence Committee has issued a scathing report of the CIA's pre-war assessments of Iraq's WMD. According to the committee, claims made by the CIA that Saddam Hussein possessed chemical and biological weapons and was working to acquire nuclear weapons were either wrong or based on false or misleading analysis. Sen. Jay Rockefeller said, "We in Congress would not have authorized that war ... with 75 votes, if we knew what we know now." Rockefeller blames the CIA's "bad information" for the decision to go to war in Iraq. But that's only part of the picture, and not the most important part.
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Read David Corn's "Where's the Outrage?" for more on the WMD scandal.
With each passing day, the questions surrounding Iraq's missing weapons of mass destruction take on added urgency. Where are the massive stockpiles of VX, mustard, and other nerve agents that we were told Iraq was hoarding? Where are the thousands of liters of botulinim toxin? Wasn't it the looming threat to America posed by these weapons that propelled the United States into war with Iraq? Isn't this the reason American military personnel were called upon to risk their lives in combat?
'US knew Iraq was WMD free'
"See, in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda." George W Bush, 5/24/05