No Smallpox Program In Iraq Either Us

No Smallpox Program in Iraq, Either

US Secretary of State Colin Powell said in his UN presentation that Iraq had the capacity to produce smallpox, one of the reasons it had to be attacked immediately.

A special team scouring Iraq for a smallpox weapons program came up empty. The building the CIA thought might have been used for the program was full of cobwebs. Satellite photos had shown trucks coming up to the building, causing the CIA to worry that a biological weapons program had been started back up. It turns out that the trucks belonged to looters who were stripping the abandoned building. Iraqi biologists all say there was no such program, and they have no reason to lie, now.

This further case of missing weapons programs appears to be more a matter of paranoia than deliberate deception. I doubt Bush got innoculated, and called for millions of Americans to get shots, while believing there really was no threat. The mistake also shows the drawbacks for US intelligence of relying on high tech electronic surveillance rather than human intelligence. If the CIA had developed Iraqi agents in Iraq, one of them could just have visited the building and seen the cobwebs. If trucks of looters could get in, so could an agent.

See

http://www.globeandmail.com/servlet/

story/RTGAM.20030918.wpoxx0918/

BNStory/International/