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Former UN Weapons Inspector Says Bush Administration  Had 'Set Mind' on Iraq War - 2004-03-16

The former chief U.N. weapons inspector in Iraq, Hans Blix, says top members of the Bush administration had a "set mind" on going to war in Iraq, adding they wanted to reach the conclusion there were weapons of mass destruction in the country.

On a speaking tour promoting his new book, Disarming Iraq, Mr. Blix identified Vice President Dick Cheney as his number one opponent inside the administration, saying Mr. Cheney was "disdainful" of the U.N. weapons inspection process.

Asked if he thought the Iraq war had made the world a safer place, Mr. Blix said he fears the war has actually bred a lot of terrorism in Iraq and a lot of hatred directed at the Western world.

He faulted U.S. President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair for what he called a lack of critical thinking on intelligence information. He said if they or their advisers had more carefully examined the information reaching them, they could have prevented misleading statements from becoming public.

The 75-year-old Swede left his post at the United Nations last June.

Some information for this report provided by AP.