Iraq Survey Group

The Iraq Survey Group (ISG) was a fact-finding mission sent by the multinational force in Iraq after the 2003 invasion of Iraq to find the weapons of mass destruction alleged to be possessed by Iraq that had been the main ostensible reason for the invasion. Its final report, Comprehensive Report of the Special Advisor to the Director of Central Intelligence on Iraq WMD (commonly referred to as the Duelfer Report, named after the head of the ISG Charles A. Duelfer), was submitted to Congress and the president in 2004.[1] It consisted of a 1,400-member international team organized by the Pentagon and Central Intelligence Agency to hunt for the alleged stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction, including chemical and biological agents, and any supporting research programs and infrastructure that could be used to develop WMD. The report acknowledged that only small stockpiles of chemical WMDs were found, the numbers being inadequate to pose a militarily significant threat.

WeaponsInspector
A UN weapons inspector in Iraq.

Formation

The ISG was made up of more than one thousand American, British and Australian citizens, with the United States providing the bulk of the personnel and resources for the operation. These people included civilian and military intelligence and WMD experts, as well as a large number of people working to provide armed security and support. David Kay, who had been a weapons inspector after the first Gulf War, was chosen to head the group. The agency tasked as the head U.S. government agency of the ISG was a joint venture of the CIA and the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), a Department of Defense intelligence agency. Chosen as the senior military officer of the ISG was MG Keith Dayton, who was tasked TDY from his assignment as Deputy Director, Human Intelligence, Defense Intelligence Agency.

The Iraq Survey Group replaced the United Nations inspections teams (the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC), led by Hans Blix) and from the International Atomic Energy Agency (led by Mohamed ElBaradei), which had been mandated by the UN Security Council to search for illegal weapons before the conflict (See Iraq disarmament crisis). None had been found.

The ISG was a combined joint/multi-agency intelligence task force operating in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). It was made up of personnel from all four services, US Government Agencies, the Australian and UK Armed Forces as well as UK and Australian Governmental Agencies. The ISG mission was to organize, direct, and apply intelligence capabilities and expertise to discover, capture, exploit and disseminate information on individuals, documents and other media, materials, facilities, networks, and operations relative to Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD), Terrorism, Former Regime Intelligence, as well as Iraqi or Third-Country Nationals associated with the Former Regime, detained by the Former Regime, or subjects of Indictment for War Crimes or Crimes against Humanity.

The ISG's mission also included the ongoing investigation into the fate of United States Navy Captain Michael Scott Speicher, who was shot down in 1991 during the Gulf War. Initially presumed dead, he was later declared missing when evidence emerged after the war that he had survived the crash of his aircraft. On August 2, 2009, the Navy reported that Speicher's remains were found in Iraq by United States Marines belonging to MNF-W's Task Force Military Police. His jawbone was used to identify him after study at the Charles C. Carson Center for Mortuary Affairs at Dover Air Force Base. According to local civilians, Speicher was buried by Bedouins after his plane was shot down. The evidence proved that Speicher did not survive the crash. Senator Nelson attributed the delayed finding to the culture of the locality: "These Bedouins roam around in the desert, they don't stay in one place, and it just took this time to find the specific site."

Speicher's family expressed gratitude that the Defense Department had stayed with the case and that closure was now available.

Organization and operations

To make the primary mission of WMD search more manageable, ISG was operationally divided up into several sectors each with its own Sector Control Point. The three sectors were North, Baghdad and South, with Sector Control Point-Baghdad (also known as SCP-B or "skip bee") being the primary and largest. The bulk of the ISG staff and SCP-B were located on Camp Slayer at the former Al Radwaniyah Presidential Site on Baghdad International Airport in western Baghdad. One of the major supporting elements of the ISG was the Combined Media Processing Center (CMPC). It consisted of four components, CMPC-Main (CMPC-M) at Camp Al Sayliyah, Qatar, CMPC-Baghdad (CMPC-B) located on Camp Slayer, as well as CMPC-North (CMPC-N), and CMPC-South (CMPC-S). The initial nucleus of the CMPC were drawn from DIA document exploitation personnel. By the summer of 2004, the CMPC had grown to over four hundred mostly civilian document and media processors and linguists/translators living and working primarily in CMPC-M at Camp Al Sayliyah, Qatar, and CMPC-B at Camp Slayer in Iraq.

Acting as an independent entity outside of the normal chain of command (ISG reported directly to Donald Rumsfeld), it surveyed and exploited hundreds of possible WMD sites across the breadth of Iraq with very few problems. There were two incidents which incurred fatalities. The first incident was a paint factory explosion of 26 April 2004, which killed two soldiers, US Army sergeants Lawrence Roukey, and Sherwood Baker, and injured several more. The mission had been previously abandoned because of security concerns. These were the ISG's first casualties in over a year of operations. The second was a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (IED) attack against Charles Duelfer's convoy, which claimed the lives of two of Duelfer's Physical Security Detail, SSG Clinton Wisdom and SPC Don Clary, both of the Kansas Army National Guard's B Battery, 2/130th Field Artillery Battalion.

Throughout the life of ISG, there were two occasions where chemical weapons were found. The first was a single sarin mortar shell which had been reworked into a roadside IED by insurgents. The second was a handful of 122-millimeter rocket warheads filled with inert mustard gas that was recovered near Babylon. Both were thought to be remainders from the Iran–Iraq War, when Iraq was in some sense a US ally, and were useless as offensive weapons. They were later destroyed by ISG personnel. In late 2004 the ISG and the MCTs (mobile collection teams) undertook some counterinsurgency operations, although many details remain classified. There were other missions and organizations operating within the ISG which are Top Secret and are unlikely to be declassified anytime soon.

Interim Progress Report

After six months searching for WMD, the ISG issued an Interim Progress Report on 3 October 2003. The team said it had found evidence of "WMD-related program activities" but no actual chemical, biological or nuclear weapons. In addition to details of dormant WMD programs, the October 2003 report also includes discoveries of non-WMD programs banned by the UN and concealed during the International Atomic Energy Agency and UNMOVIC inspections that began in 2002. Lines of enquiry adopted by the ISG include the examination of sites across Iraq, as well as interviewing scientists, truck drivers and other workers with possible knowledge of WMD.

David Kay resigns

On 23 January 2004, the head of the ISG, David Kay, resigned his position, stating that he believed WMD stockpiles would not be found in Iraq. "I don't think they existed," commented Kay. "What everyone was talking about is stockpiles produced after the end of the last Gulf War and I don't think there was a large-scale production program in the nineties." In a briefing to the Senate Armed Services Committee, Kay criticized the pre-war WMD intelligence and the agencies that produced it, saying "It turns out that we were all wrong, probably in my judgment, and that is most disturbing."[2] Sometime earlier, CIA director George Tenet had asked David Kay to delay his departure: "If you resign now, it will appear that we don't know what we're doing. That the wheels are coming off."[3]

Kay told the SASC during his oral report the following, though: "Based on the intelligence that existed, I think it was reasonable to reach the conclusion that Iraq posed an imminent threat. Now that you know reality on the ground as opposed to what you estimated before, you may reach a different conclusion-—although I must say I actually think what we learned during the inspection made Iraq a more dangerous place, potentially, than, in fact, we thought it was even before the war."

Kay's team established that the Iraqi regime had the production capacity and know-how to produce chemical and biological weaponry if international economic sanctions were lifted, a policy change which was actively being sought by a number of United Nations member states. Kay also believed some components of the former Iraqi regime's WMD program had been moved to Syria shortly before the 2003 invasion,[4] though the Duelfer Report Addenda (see below) later reported there was no evidence of this.

On 6 February 2004, George W. Bush convened the Iraq Intelligence Commission, an independent inquiry into the intelligence used to justify the Iraq war and the failure to find WMD. This was shortly followed by the conclusion of a similar inquiry in the United Kingdom, the Butler Review, which was boycotted by the two main opposition parties due to disagreements on its scope and independence.[5] In 2003, the US-sponsored search for WMD had been budgeted for $400 million, with an additional $600 million added in 2004.

Kay's successor, named by CIA director George Tenet, was the former UN weapons inspector Charles A. Duelfer, who stated at the time that the chances of finding any WMD stockpiles in Iraq were "close to nil."

Duelfer Report

On 30 September 2004, the ISG released the Duelfer Report, its final report on Iraq's purported WMD programs. This report recorded the relationship of the Iraqi regime with WMD over time and in so doing investigated the decision making process, and underlying assumptions, of the regime. Key to the investigation was lengthy interviewing of all top officials including Saddam, examination of regime documents, and investigations of various sites in Iraq.[6] Among its conclusions were:

  • Saddam Hussein controlled all of the regime's strategic decision making.
  • Hussein's primary goal from 1991 to 2003 was to have UN sanctions lifted, while maintaining the security of the regime.
  • The introduction of the Oil-for-food program (OFF) in late 1996 was a key turning point for the regime.
  • By 2000-2001, Hussein had managed to mitigate many of the effects of sanctions and undermine their international support.
  • Iran was Iraq's pre-eminent motivator.
  • The Iraq Survey Group (ISG) judged that events in the 1980s and early 1990s shaped Saddam's belief in the value of WMD.
  • Hussein ended his nuclear program in 1991. ISG found no evidence of concerted efforts to restart the program, and Iraq's ability to reconstitute a nuclear weapons program progressively decayed after 1991.
  • Iraq destroyed its chemical weapons stockpile in 1991, and only a small number of old, abandoned chemical munitions were discovered by the ISG.
  • Hussein's regime abandoned its biological weapons program and its ambition to obtain advanced biological weapons in 1995. While it could have re-established an elementary BW program within weeks, ISG discovered no indications it was pursuing such a course.
  • Hussein wanted to recreate Iraq's WMD capability, which was essentially destroyed in 1991, after sanctions were removed and Iraq's economy stabilized. Saddam aspired to develop a nuclear capability—in an incremental fashion, irrespective of international pressure and the resulting economic risks—but he intended to focus on ballistic missile and tactical chemical warfare (CW) capabilities.
  • Hussein deceived his own army and the best intelligence agencies in the world into believing he still had WMDs because he believed none of his enemies would dare attack him if he had WMDs, notably Iran, "as there was a strong need to maintain the outward appearance of possessing a WMD capability to deter Iran."[7]
  • Hussein believed the US and the coalition that threatened to go to war against him if the UN resolutions were not met was bluffing.
  • The pursuit of weapons of mass destruction in the 1980s was to assure Iraqi safety from Iranian aggression, and “this led to a difficult balancing act between the need to disarm to achieve sanctions relief while at the same time retaining a strategic deterrent. The regime never resolved the contradiction inherent in this approach.”[1]

Operations Tempo 2004-2005

Although the search for WMD had been conducted earnestly and fruitlessly during the initial year of the occupation, site exploitation continued through the summer of 2004. In late summer and early fall, the WMD search tempo slowed considerably; all of the most promising sites had been exploited in 2003-2004 and even most of the unpromising sites had been exploited by fall of 2004.

In late September and into October 2004, the number of site exploitations increased significantly, although most of these were revisits to already-exploited sites - some of which had been altered by Iraqis in the intervening months. For instance: the former Iraqi Chemical Brigade headquarters building in Baghdad was in the midst of being converted to office space when ISG personnel returned for a second visit.

ISG's exploitation operations mostly ceased in early November 2004. By early 2005, the MCTs were disbanded and all but two former MCT members, Army Sergeants 1st Class Marshall Lowery and Robert Shano, returned to their parent units and the MP teams that supported them were dispersed to other camps and given other missions. Lowery and Shano agreed to remain in Iraq and continue running convoys for the ISG until it was deactivated. Although Lowery rotated back to the US after the ISG was deactivated, Shano extended his tour in Iraq to serve with a group of coalition advisors mentoring the Iraqi officer candidates at the Military Academy in Al-Rustimaya.

In January 2005, the group announced the conclusion of its search. The ISG stated that while it had, "not found evidence that Saddam possessed WMD stocks in 2003," they acknowledged "the possibility that some weapons existed in Iraq, although not of a militarily significant capability."[8]

March 2005 Report Addenda

In March 2005 Duelfer added addenda to the original report, covering five topics:

  • Prewar Movement of WMD Material Out of Iraq, stating "ISG judged that it was unlikely that an official transfer of WMD material from Iraq to Syria took place" but also acknowledging that there was evidence "about movement of material out of Iraq, including the possibility that WMD was involved," and that this evidence was "sufficiently credible to merit further investigation." IAG noted that, due to security concerns, it "was unable to complete its investigation and is unable to rule out the possibility that WMD was evacuated to Syria before the war."
  • Residual Pre-1991 CBW Stocks in Iraq, concluding "any remaining chemical munitions in Iraq do not pose a militarily significant threat ... ISG has not found evidence to indicate that Iraq did not destroy its BW weapons or bulk agents".
  • Residual Proliferation Risks: People, concluding "former WMD program participants are most likely to seek employment in the benign civil sector, either in Iraq or elsewhere ... However, because a single individual can advance certain WMD activities, it remains an important concern".
  • Residual Proliferation Risk: Equipment and Materials, concluding "Iraq’s remaining chemical and biological physical infrastructure does not pose a proliferation concern".
  • Iraqi Detainees, concluding "the WMD investigation has gone as far as feasible. ... there is no further purpose in holding many of these detainees".

In media interviews before the addenda were published, officials went further on the important question of the possible smuggling of WMD to Syria, saying they had not seen any information indicating that WMD or significant amounts of components and equipment were transferred from Iraq to neighboring Syria or elsewhere.[9] Other details surfaced after the Duelfer Report, which helped fill in the blanks left by the ISG investigation. Duelfer also concluded that Saddam planned to resume production of weapons of mass destruction once the United Nations lifted economic sanctions.[10]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b "Comprehensive Report of the Special Advisor to the DCI on Iraq's WMD". Central Intelligence Agency. September 30, 2004. Retrieved September 30, 2004.
  2. ^ http://www.cnn.com/2004/US/01/28/kay.transcript/
  3. ^ Insight: U.S. Intelligence Failures in Iraq CNN International August 18, 2005
  4. ^ https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2004/01/25/wirq25.xml&sSheet=/news/2004/01/25/ixnewstop.html
  5. ^ http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/3426931.stm
  6. ^ Duelfer, Charles A. "Chronic Misperception and International Conflict: The U.S.-Iraq Experience". International Security. 36 (1): 80.
  7. ^ Duelfer, Charles A. "Chronic Misperception and International Conflict: The U.S.-Iraq Experience". International Security. 36 (1): 94.
  8. ^ http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/3718150.stm
  9. ^ http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/09/16/iraq/main643989.shtml
  10. ^ ISG Final Report: Key Findings

External links

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455th Chemical Brigade (United States)

The 455th Chemical Brigade was an NBC defense formation of the United States Army Reserve, active from 2000 to 2007 at Fort Dix. The brigade headquarters deployed to Iraq with the CFLCC and Iraq Survey Group from February 2003 to April 2004.

The brigade perpetuated the lineage of the 100th Chemical Mortar Battalion, a unit that fought in the Italian Campaign of World War II, which was inactivated in late 1945 following the end of the war. Briefly reactivated as the reserve 455th Chemical Mortar Battalion in the late 1940s and again inactivated in the early 1950s, it became the 100th Chemical Group in 1952, and was based at Fort McClellan as a training headquarters for chemical units until its 1967 inactivation.

Abu Ghraib

Abu Ghraib ( (listen); Arabic: أبو غريب‎, Abū Ghurayb) is a city in the Baghdad Governorate of Iraq, located just west of Baghdad's city center, or northwest of Baghdad International Airport. It has a population of 189,000 (2003). The old road to Jordan passes through Abu Ghraib. The government of Iraq created the city and Abu Ghraib District in 1944.

The placename has been translated as "father of little crows" (in the sense of "place abundant in small crows"), but this translation has been suspected of being a "folk etymology", and the name may be related to gharb 'west' instead.Abu Ghraib was known for the Abu Ghraib Infant Formula Plant, which Western intelligence agencies perennially claimed to be a biological weapons production facility. The plant was built in 1980 and painted with a dappled camouflage pattern during the Iran–Iraq War. It was bombed during the Gulf War, and the Iraqi government allowed CNN reporter Peter Arnett to film the destroyed building along with a conspicuous hand-painted sign that read, "baby milk factory". Iraq partially rebuilt the facility afterward, and US Secretary of State Colin Powell falsely cited it again as a weapons production plant in the run-up to the Iraq War, even though the CIA’s own investigation had concluded that the site had been bombed “in the mistaken belief that it was a key BW [Biological Weapon] facility.” Also, an examination of suspected weapons facilities by the Iraq Survey Group later determined that the plant, in disuse for some time, housed discarded infant formula, but found no evidence of weapons production.The city is also the site of Abu Ghraib prison, which was one of the sites where political dissidents were incarcerated under former ruler Saddam Hussein. Thousands of these dissidents were tortured and executed. After Saddam Hussein's fall, the Abu Ghraib prison was used by American forces in Iraq. In 2003, Abu Ghraib prison earned international notoriety for the torture and abuses by members of the United States Army during the post-invasion period.

Al-Abud Network

The al-Abud Network is a former insurgent group who was operating within Iraq during the Iraq War. First reported in the "Comprehensive Report of the Special Advisor to the DCI on Iraq's WMD", the group is alleged to have attempted to acquire chemical weapons for use in fighting against Coalition Forces (source).

Butler Review

The Review of Intelligence on Weapons of Mass Destruction, widely known as the Butler Review after its chairman Robin Butler, Baron Butler of Brockwell, was announced on 3 February 2004 by the British Government and published on 4 July 2004. It examined the intelligence on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction which played a key part in the Government's decision to invade Iraq (as part of the U.S.-led coalition) in 2003. A similar Iraq Intelligence Commission was set up in the United States. Despite the apparent certainty of both governments prior to the war that Iraq possessed such weapons, no such illegal weapons or programs were found by the Iraq Survey Group.

The inquiry also dealt with the wider issue of WMD programmes in "countries of concern" and the global trade in WMD. Recommendations were made to the prime minister to better evaluate and assess intelligence information in the future before invoking action.

Camp Slayer

Camp Slayer was a US military base in Iraq, an annex of the Victory Base Complex, established early into the 2003 Iraq War. Located on the southeastern corner of the Baghdad International Airport, it is part of the former Al Radwaniyah Presidential Complex and contains several man-made lakes, a man-made hill (result of the man-made lakes), the Ba'ath Party House, the Victory Over America Palace, Perfume Palace, and dozens of smaller luxury homes for Ba'ath Party notables.

During the 2003 Iraq War, it was most notable for being the headquarters of the Iraq Survey Group until 2005.

Charles A. Duelfer

Charles A. Duelfer is Chairman of Omnis, Inc., a consulting firm in aerospace, defense, intelligence, training, and finance. He is a regular commentator in the media on intelligence and foreign policy and is the author of Hide and Seek: The Search for Truth in Iraq.

Duelfer is perhaps best known as the former Special Advisor to the Director of Central Intelligence for Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. He led the Iraq Survey Group (ISG) that conducted the investigation of the scope of Iraq's WMD. The ISG was a unique intelligence organization of over 1700 military and civilian staff that investigated Iraq WMD programs. The ISG's definitive work, known as the Duelfer Report, described in detail the relationship of the Saddam Regime to WMD and was presented to the President and Congress in October 2004. It was published with previously classified addenda in 2005.

From 2005-2008, Duelfer was CEO of Transformational Space, Inc., a small space launch vehicle company that worked under NASA and DARPA contracts to develop a new vapor-pressurized liquid fuel engine.

Previously, Duelfer was the Deputy Executive Chairman and then Acting Chairman of the UN Special Commission on Iraq (UNSCOM) from 1993 until its termination in 2000. The Commission was established following the Gulf War by the UN Security Council to monitor and eliminate Iraq's WMD.

Before joining UNSCOM, Duelfer was Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for arms control and multilateral defense matters. From 1990 to 1992, he was in charge of defense trade matters as the director of the Center for Defense Trade and Deputy to the Assistant Secretary of State for politico-military affairs. In this capacity, he had responsibility for arms transfers, munitions licensing, and conventional arms control. From January to March 1991, he directed the State Department's Task Force in support of Operation Desert Storm.

Duelfer's 25 years of government service involved policy and intelligence in the Middle East, Africa, Central America, and Asia, and in the areas of nuclear weapons and space programs. Duelfer joined the Politico-Military Bureau of the State Department in 1983 and was responsible for special regional activities including conflicts in Chad, Libya, and Grenada as well as ongoing strategic verification, space, and strategic defense issues. In 1984, he became Deputy Director of the Office of International Security Policy and was responsible for European, Africa, and Latin America regions. He became Director, with responsibility for regional security issues worldwide, in 1985. During this period, Duelfer also worked with the special coordinator for counterterrorism to develop, implement, and exercise the State Department's terrorism response system. Before joining the Department of State, Duelfer worked at the White House Office of Management and Budget (1977-1983), where he was responsible for Department of Defense strategic nuclear forces and space programs.

Duelfer holds a BA from the University of Connecticut and a MSc from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

David Kay

David A. Kay (born c. 1940) is a weapons expert, political commentator, and senior fellow at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies. He is best known for his time as United Nations Chief Weapons Inspector following the first Gulf War and for leading of the Iraq Survey Group's search for weapons of mass destruction following the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Upon presentation of the Group's finding that there had been significant errors in pre-war intelligence concerning Iraq's weapons programs, Kay resigned. The ensuing controversy served as impetus for the formation of the Iraq Intelligence Commission.

Directorate 14

Directorate 14, also referred to as the Directorate of Special Operations or M14, was a branch of the Iraqi Intelligence Service under President Saddam Hussein. Headquartered in Salman Pak, this branch was one of the largest and most important directorates within the Iraqi Intelligence Service, and was responsible for the most secret and sensitive operations undertaken outside of Iraq, including espionage and assassination. Directorate 14 was also responsible for the training of officers for operations of this nature. It is also reported to have occasionally worked with the Iranian opposition group, the People's Mujahedin of Iran. The last known director for Directorate 14 was Muhammad Khudayr Sabah Al Dulaymi, and according to the Iraqi National Congress, was previously led by Brig Nouri Al Douri (Abu Ibrahim) from Jadriya.Before the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Directorate 14 was entrusted with oversight of the Challenge Project. According to the Iraq Survey Group report:

M14, directed by Muhammad Khudayr Sabah Al Dulaymi, was responsible for training and conducting special operations missions. It trained Iraqis, Palestinians, Syrians, Yemeni, Lebanese, Egyptian, and Sudanese operatives in counterterrorism, explosives, marksmanship, and foreign operations at its facilities at Salman Pak. Additionally, M14 oversaw the “Challenge Project,” a highly secretive project regarding explosives. Sources to date have not been able to provide sufficient details regarding the “Challenge Project.”

The report also stated that the Directorate was engaged in assassination attempts, including those of US President George H. W. Bush and Husayn Kamil, an Iraqi defector. It may have also been behind the assassination of Talib Al Suheil, an Iraqi dissident killed in 1994 in Beirut.Soon after the 2003 invasion, Newsweek reported that a memo from the Directorate, dated October 29, 2002, raised the possibility that they had an informant inside the US intelligence community before the war: "one of our sources in the United States, with a high level of reliability, says the CIA and the so-called opposition have a joint plan to bring 'quislings' to Iraq from the north and south to gather information and await future missions. Our informant will be one of them."

Iraq Intelligence Commission

The Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction is a panel created by Executive Order 13328, signed by U.S. President George W. Bush in February 2004. The impetus for the Commission lay with a public controversy occasioned by statements, including those of Chief of the Iraq Survey Group, David Kay, that the Intelligence Community had grossly erred in judging that Iraq had been developing weapons of mass destruction (WMD) before the March 2003 start of Operation Iraqi Freedom. President Bush therefore formed the Commission, but gave it a broad mandate not only to look into any errors behind the Iraq intelligence, but also to look into intelligence on WMD programs in Afghanistan and Libya, as well as to examine the capabilities of the Intelligence Community to address the problem of WMD proliferation and "related threats." However, the commission was not directed to examine the extent to which the Bush administration may have manipulated the intelligence.Following intense study of the American Intelligence Community, the Commission delivered its report to the President on March 31, 2005, the so-called Robb-Silberman Report.

Iraq and weapons of mass destruction

Iraq actively researched and later employed weapons of mass destruction from 1962 to 1991, when it destroyed its chemical weapons stockpile and halted its biological and nuclear weapon programs. The fifth president of Iraq, Saddam Hussein, was internationally condemned for his use of chemical weapons during the 1980s campaign against Iranian and Kurdish civilians during and after the Iran–Iraq War. In the 1980s, Saddam pursued an extensive biological weapons program and a nuclear weapons program, though no nuclear bomb was built. After the Persian Gulf War (1990-1991), the United Nations (with the Iraqi government) located and destroyed large quantities of Iraqi chemical weapons and related equipment and materials, and Iraq ceased both its chemical, biological and nuclear programs.In the early 2000s, the administrations of George W. Bush and Tony Blair asserted that Saddam Hussein's weapons programs were still actively building weapons, and that large stockpiles of WMDs were hidden in Iraq. Inspections by the UN to resolve the status of unresolved disarmament questions restarted between November 2002 and March 2003, under United Nations Security Council Resolution 1441, which demanded Saddam give "immediate, unconditional and active cooperation" with UN and IAEA inspections, shortly before his country was attacked. The United States asserted that Saddam's frequent lack of cooperation was a breach of Resolution 1441, but failed to convince the UN Security Council to pass a new resolution authorizing the use of force due to lack of evidence. Despite this, Bush asserted peaceful measures could not disarm Iraq of the weapons he alleged it to have and launched a second Gulf War instead. Later U.S.-led inspections found that Iraq had earlier ceased active WMD production and stockpiling.Iraq signed the Geneva Protocol in 1931, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in 1969, and the Biological Weapons Convention in 1972, but did not ratify it until June 11, 1991. Iraq has not signed to the Chemical Weapons Convention.

Iraqi aluminum tubes

Aluminum tubes purchased by the nation of Iraq were intercepted in Jordan in 2001. In September 2002 they were publicly cited by the White House as evidence that Iraq was actively pursuing an atomic weapon. Prior to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, many questioned the validity of the claim. After the invasion, the Iraq Survey Group determined that the best explanation for the tubes' use was to produce conventional 81-mm rockets; no evidence was found of a program to design or develop an 81-mm aluminum rotor uranium centrifuge.

Iraqi biological weapons program

Saddam Hussein (1937–2006) initiated an extensive biological weapons (BW) program in Iraq in the early 1980s, in violation of the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) of 1972. Details of the BW program—along with a chemical weapons program—surfaced only in the wake of the Gulf War (1990–91) following investigations conducted by the United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM) which had been charged with the post-war disarmament of Saddam's Iraq. By the end of the war, program scientists had investigated the BW potential of five bacterial strains, one fungal strain, five types of virus, and four toxins. Of these, three—anthrax, botulinum and aflatoxin—had proceeded to weaponization for deployment. Because of the UN disarmament program that followed the war, more is known today about the once-secret bioweapons program in Iraq than that of any other nation.

Jeish Muhammad

Jeish Muhammad (Arabic: جيش محمد الفاتح‎ Jaish Muḥammad al-fātiḥ, translation: Army of Muhammad the Conqueror; JM) is an Iraqi militant group that is both politically and religiously motivated. The politically motivated faction within JM is primarily made up of former Ba'athist members mainly from the Sunni region. Many who enjoyed special status during the leadership of Saddam Hussein were from Tikrit, which is in turn within an area of Iraq where the Arab population is mostly Sunni. People who generally hold the ex-vice-president, Izzat Ibrahim ad-Douri, in exceptionally high esteem were members of the security, intelligence and police forces from the previous government.

Jaysh Muhammad was initially believed to consist of fighters who had infiltrated Iraq from Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries. Later it was reported by the Iraq Survey Group, that membership appears to be primarily of Iraqi citizens, former regime officers. This was supported by their ability to use a pre-war information network and supply infrastructure. The JM was responsible for sophisticated attacks on Coalition forces during early 2004, assisted by former intelligence and security officers.

Keith Dayton

Lieutenant General Keith W. Dayton, (born March 7, 1949) United States Army, is the director of the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany. Dayton served as the U.S. Security Coordinator for Israel-Palestinian Authority in Tel Aviv, Israel from December 2005 to October 2010. He has also served as the Director of the Iraq Survey Group, as a senior member of the Joint Staff, and as U.S. Defense Attache in the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, Russia.

Richard O. Spertzel

Richard Oscar Spertzel (9 February 1933 – 24 March 2016) was a veterinarian, microbiologist and expert in the area of biological warfare. He participated in germ warfare research at U.S. Army Medical Unit (USAMU), Fort Detrick, Frederick, Maryland. (USAMU is now known as the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, or USAMRIID)[1]. Spertzel held several positions USAMRIID including Deputy for Research, Deputy Commander, and Chief of the Animal Assessment Division. From 1994 to 1998 Spertzel served as the Senior Biologist for the United Nations Special Commission in Iraq. His Congressional testimonial about the WMD capabilities of Iraq[2] helped to justify the subsequent US invasion of Iraq. After the invasion, Spertzel was a member of the Iraq Survey Group, which found that Iraq was not producing nor planning to produce WMD at the time of the invasion.

Salman Pak facility

The Salman Pak, or al-Salman, facility is an Iraqi military facility near Baghdad. At one time, it was a key center of Iraq’s biological and chemical weapons programs.

September Dossier

Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction: The Assessment of the British Government, also known as the September Dossier, was a document published by the British government on 24 September 2002 on the same day of a recall of Parliament to discuss the contents of the document. The paper was part of an ongoing investigation by the government into weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in Iraq, which ultimately led to the 2003 invasion of Iraq. It contained a number of allegations according to which Iraq also possessed WMD, including chemical weapons and biological weapons. The dossier even alleged that Iraq had reconstituted its nuclear weapons programme. Without exception, all of the allegations included within the September Dossier have been since proven to be false, as shown by the Iraq Survey Group.

The much-anticipated document was based on reports made by the Joint Intelligence Committee, part of the British Intelligence 'machinery'. Most of the evidence was uncredited, ostensibly to protect sources. On publication, serious press comment was generally critical of the dossier for tameness and for the seeming lack of any genuinely new evidence. Those politically opposed to military action against Iraq generally agreed that the dossier was unremarkable, with Menzies Campbell observing in the House of Commons that:

We can also agree that [Saddam Hussein] most certainly has chemical and biological weapons and is working towards a nuclear capability. The dossier contains confirmation of information that we either knew or most certainly should have been willing to assume.

However, two sections later became the centre of fierce debate: the allegation that Iraq had sought "significant quantities of uranium from Africa", and the claim in the foreword to the document written by British Prime Minister Tony Blair that "The document discloses that his military planning allows for some of the WMD to be ready within 45 minutes of an order to use them."Britain's biggest selling popular daily newspaper, The Sun, subsequently carried the headline "Brits 45mins from doom", while the Daily Star reported "Mad Saddam ready to attack: 45 minutes from a chemical war", helping to create the impression among the British public that Iraq was a threat to Britain.

Major General Michael Laurie, one of those involved in producing the dossier wrote to the Chilcot Inquiry in 2011 saying "the purpose of the dossier was precisely to make a case for war, rather than setting out the available intelligence, and that to make the best out of sparse and inconclusive intelligence the wording was developed with care." On 26 June 2011, The Observer reported on a memo from John Scarlett to Blair's foreign affairs adviser, released under the Freedom of Information Act, which referred to "the benefit of obscuring the fact that in terms of WMD Iraq is not that exceptional". The memo has been described as one of the most significant documents on the September dossier yet published as it is considered a proposal to mislead the public.

WMD conjecture in the aftermath of the 2003 invasion of Iraq

WMD conjecture in the aftermath of the 2003 invasion of Iraq concerns the immediate reactions and consequences to the failure by the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) and the U.S.-led Iraq Survey Group (ISG) to find the alleged stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction during and after 2003 invasion of Iraq. The United States effectively terminated the search effort for unconventional weaponry in January 2005, and the Iraq Intelligence Commission concluded that the judgements of the U.S. intelligence community about the continued existence of weapons of mass destruction and an associated military program were wrong. The official findings by the CIA in October 2004 were that Iraqi leader 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."Immediately following and during these searches, many theories were put forward on how it could be possible for these WMDs to have suddenly disappeared (assuming they were, in fact, there at first). These theories included conspiracy theories, accusations against other governments and claims of successful deception efforts by Saddam Hussein.

After much criticism against the war over the years that followed, every figure that previously supported the claims of WMDs in Iraq (with the exception of Dick Cheney) acknowledged that they had been wrong. A related debate concerned whether the figures that had built the case for the war had been inadvertently misled by intelligence or that they intentionally deceived the public.

Wissam al-Zahawie

Wissam al-Zahawie was a former official in Saddam Hussein Baathist Iraq government who held many offices including that of Iraq's non-resident Ambassador to the Holy See and Iraq's Ambassador to the United Nations.

Al-Zahawie was said to have been involved with Saddam Hussein's alleged efforts to acquire yellowcake uranium from Niger in Africa. This alleged attempt by Hussein to purchase uranium is highly controversial, with skeptics commonly stating that the claim has been discredited and/or is generally considered to have been the product of an elaborate hoax, and with supporters of Coalition efforts in Iraq stating that the claim is in fact true. Al-Zahawie himself denies the claim, stating that he was in Niger to get the president of that country to visit Baghdad, and not to arrange for purchases of yellowcake in violation of the U.N. embargo. An investigation by the Iraq Survey Group uncovered no evidence to support claims that Iraq was pursuing uranium from foreign governments.Al-Zahawie is known to be a fan of Western classical music, especially that of Bach and Mozart.

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