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Inspector Calls US Iraq Intelligence a Failure

The former chief U.S. weapons inspector in Iraq is accusing U.S. intelligence agencies of widespread failures in evaluating pre-war Iraqi weapons programs.

David Kay says the CIA and other agencies failed to recognize that Saddam Hussein all but abandoned efforts to produce large quantities of chemical and biological agents after the 1991 Gulf War.

President Bush used pre-war intelligence showing Baghdad with stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons as his principal justification for the U.S.-led invasion last year. He also cited intelligence showing Iraqi efforts to reconstitute a nuclear weapons program.

However, Mr. Kay and his investigators have not found measurable quantities of chemical, biological or nuclear components in post-war Iraq.

Speaking on National Public Radio on Sunday, Mr. Kay said intelligence agencies owe President Bush and the American public an explanation for their apparent failures.

Mr. Kay, who resigned Friday, said his weapons probe also found that Iraqi scientists in 1997 or 1998 began seeking funding approval from Saddam Hussein for fictitious weapons programs. He said his probe shows many scientists then used the money for other purposes.

The White House has not responded to Mr. Kay's accusations.