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U.S. Report May Cite Whereabouts of Saddam's WMDs

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Sept. 10, 2003 – Questions about the whereabouts of weapons of mass destruction possessed by former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein may be answered within a much-anticipated report, the U.S. national security adviser said here Sept. 9.

Condoleezza Rice told reporters at a Foreign Press Center briefing that former chief U.N. weapons inspector David Kay "is doing a thorough job now of putting together documentary evidence" on Saddam's suspected WMD programs.

Kay's work, Rice said, includes interviews and physical evidence to show "a full picture of what has happened" to Saddam's weapons of mass destruction and "the state of his (WMD) programs."

Kay, a Central Intelligence Agency representative, is in Iraq working with Army Maj. Gen. Keith Dayton's WMD search group, which has its headquarters in Baghdad.

That the deposed regime "had used and continued to pursue weapons of mass destruction" was backed up by "U.N. accounts, or the accounts of foreign intelligence services, or the accounts of three different" American administrations, Rice maintained.

Rice explained that President Bush "was not willing to permit that threat to remain in the world's most volatile region."

The Saddam-WMD connection was one of several factors -- including his support of terrorists and the regime's brutality against Iraq's people -- that convinced senior U.S. and coalition officials to take down the dictator's government during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

While no WMDs have been found in post-Saddam Iraq thus far, vast weapons caches -- and buried military jets -- have been discovered since the former dictator's regime yielded power April 9 when U.S. and coalition troops secured Baghdad.

However, Rice predicted that thanks to Kay's work "we will find now with the full picture before us, the state of those (WMD) programs." The report is expected to be released later this month.

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