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Former US Inspector Criticizes Faulty Intelligence in Iraq Weapons Search - 2004-01-28


Former chief U.S. weapons inspector David Kay is blaming faulty intelligence for the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Mr. Kay testified before Congress Wednesday.

Mr. Kay, who resigned as top U.S. arms inspector after six months on the job, says he has found no weapons of mass destruction, even though he and a number of governments, including the United States, believed they existed.

"It is highly unlikely that there were large stockpiles of deployed militarized chemical and biological weapons there," he said.

The Bush administration had cited intelligence saying Iraq had such weapons as a key reason for going to war.

Appearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Mr. Kay denied suggestions from Democrats that intelligence analysts were pressured by the administration to shape intelligence to support a case for war. "Not in a single case was the explanation 'I was pressured to do this'," he said.

Mr. Kay said that even though weapons have not been found, evidence has been discovered that Iraq was involved in weapons programs banned by United Nations resolutions. He said it is still possible that small weapons stockpiles could be found.

Although many Democrats, including those seeking their party's nomination for president this year, believe the war in Iraq was not justified because no weapons have been discovered, Mr. Kay argues otherwise. He says the world is safer with former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein out of power, because he could have developed weapons that would pose a threat to global security.

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