Friday, December 15, 2006

P-76 Report: UK wasn't worried about Saddam and WMD

Report: UK wasn't worried about Saddam

LONDON - Britain's former top Iraq expert at the United Nations said in previously secret testimony that most government officials did not believe Iraq posed a threat in the months leading to the U.S.-led invasion, according to a new report. .... Carne Ross, a former first secretary to the British mission at the U.N. responsible for Iraq policy, told a House of Commons committee that he and other analysts believed that Iraq had only a "very limited" ability to mount an attack of any kind, including one using weapons of mass destruction, or WMD.

"Iraq's ability to launch a WMD or any form of attack was very limited," he said. "There were approx 12 or so unaccounted-for Scud missiles; Iraq's air force was depleted to the point of total ineffectiveness; its army was but a pale shadow of its earlier might; there was no evidence of any connection between Iraq and any terrorist organization that might have planned an attack," he wrote.

During the months leading up to the war, he said, there was no new evidence that Saddam posed a threat. "What changed was the government's determination to present available evidence in a different light," he testified.

Ross' testimony is likely to be cited during a full parliamentary debate on the Iraq war next month.


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