Still Looking for WMD in Iraq

Why did the US invade Iraq? Wasn't it because Iraq posed a threat to US National Security via WMD? Well no WMD has been found in over four years of occupation. The chances of finding a significant enough cache that might have threatened the US is getting smaller by the day.

We already heard (via the Downing Street Memo) how the facts were being fixed to the policy of invading Iraq. It looks more and more like WMD was simply one of those "facts" that grew out of a fiction. And it was used, in violation of the public trust, to justify invading Iraq. In that light, the invasion was an attack - an aggressive invasion - an belligerent act of war.

Hideous. Read about the continuing mission to discover WMD in Iraq:
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Though Work Is Seen as Irrelevant, Security Council Can't Agree to End It

By Colum Lynch
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, June 2, 2007; A01

UNITED NATIONS -- More than four years after the fall of Baghdad, the United Nations is spending millions of dollars in Iraqi oil money to continue the hunt for Saddam Hussein's alleged weapons of mass destruction.

Every weekday, at a secure commercial office building on Manhattan's East Side, a team of 20 U.N. experts on chemical and biological weapons pores over satellite images of former Iraqi weapons sites. They scour the international news media for stories on Hussein's deadly arsenal. They consult foreign intelligence agencies on the status of Iraqi weapons. And they maintain a cadre of about 300 weapons experts from 50 countries and prepare them for inspections in Iraq -- inspections they will almost certainly never conduct, in search of weapons that few believe exist.

The inspectors acknowledge that their chief task -- disarming Iraq -- was largely fulfilled long ago. But, they say, their masters at the U.N. Security Council have been unable to agree to either shut down their effort or revise their mandate to make their work more relevant. Russia insists that Iraq's disarmament must be formally confirmed by the inspectors, while the United States vehemently opposes a U.N. role in Iraq, saying coalition inspectors have already done the job.

"I recognize this is unhealthy," said Dimitri Perricos, a Greek weapons expert who runs the team, known as the U.N. Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC), and manages its $10 million annual budget. But, he added, "we are not the ones who are holding the purse; the one who is holding the purse is the council."

There was a time when the work of U.N. weapons inspectors on Iraq was the stuff of front-page news and impassioned speeches by world leaders. President Bush even argued that Hussein's refusal to cooperate with U.N. inspectors offered legal backing for the 2003 invasion.

But the inspectors' primary mission -- ridding Hussein's regime of chemical, biological and nuclear weapons -- has become irrelevant since a U.S.-led coalition toppled the Iraqi leader and discovered that his government had destroyed its most lethal weapons shortly after the 1991 Persian Gulf War.

"The reality on the ground is there is no WMD there," said Charles Duelfer, a former U.N. weapons inspector who published the landmark 2004 report of the CIA-led Iraq Survey Group, which concluded that Iraq's weapons had been destroyed. "I think they understand the distance their work is from reality."

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