Pentagon and CIA officials appear to have accepted that there is little point in searching for weapons stockpiles in Iraq, and will now concentrate
on auditing Iraqi claims of their destruction.
The sharp change in emphasis by the CIA-directed Iraq Survey Group follows the admission on Friday by its outgoing leader, Dr David Kay, that his
1,000-man organisation had not found evidence of stockpiles, and that he now believed they had never existed.
The CIA has announced that Kay will be replaced by Charles Duelfer, a former senior weapons inspector, who has said that in the past that the Bush
administration's prewar allegations on Iraq's weapons were 'far off the mark'. 'My goal is to find out what happened on the ground. What was the
status of the Iraqi weapons programme? What was their game plan? What were the goals of the regime? To find out what is the ground truth,' said
In a deeply embarrassing reverse for both the Bush administration and Tony Blair, Duelfer indicated on Friday that he regarded his primary task as
attempting to reconstruct a 'complete, credible and openly demonstrable picture of what Iraq had, what their programmes were and where they were
headed' before the war.
Duelfer has already laid out his stall, in the Washington Post in the autumn when he remarked on 'the apparent absence of existing weapons
He wrote then that although he still considered the Iraqi regime as posing a theoretical future threat over WMD: that 'clearly this is not the
immediate threat many assumed before the war'.
So it continues. Does anyone know the selection process by which these CIA inspectors are chosen? Because contrary to the normal appointments in this
administration, these folks ( Kay & Duelfer ) don't seem to be the standard puppets du jour.
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