Where did all the weapons go? That is the question. Opponents of the Iraq war, opponents of the United States, and the haters of George Bush cling to the notion that Iraq did not have WMD, and that the U.S. and Britain were mistaken in attacking Saddam. Some even suggest that Mr. Bush and Mr. Blair both knew that there were no WMD in Iraq, but lied to the world so as to justify the war. Objective people recognize that that opinion has no basis in fact. But I won't go into that here.
A couple of weeks ago, radio host Charles R. Smith filed a column titled, Russia Moved Iraqi WMD on the NewsMax Web site, claiming that Moscow moved the weapons to Syria and Lebanon, and that the CIA satellites and NSA listening posts failed to detect it.
Is this column authoritative? Is it correct? I confess that I don't know. But I think it's worth your reading and forming your own opinion. Here are a couple of excerpts:
"I am absolutely sure that Russian Spetsnatz units moved WMD out of Iraq before the war," stated John Shaw, the former deputy undersecretary for international technology security.
According to Shaw, Russian units hid Saddam's arsenal inside Syria and in Lebanon's Bekka valley.
"While in Iraq I uncovered detailed information that Spetsnatz units shredded records and moved all WMD and specified advanced munitions out of Iraq to Syria and Lebanon," stated Shaw during an exclusive interview.
There is one apparent discrepancy that concerns me. Or, perhaps, I just missed something. But in one place he says "Shaw's assertions match the information provided by U.S. military forces that satellite surveillance showed extensive large-vehicle traffic crossing the Syrian border prior to Operation Iraqi Freedom." But later he said "[t]he Russians were able to move hundreds of tons of chemical, biological and nuclear materials without being discovered by CIA satellites or NSA radio listening posts."
Shaw's information also backs allegations by a wide variety of sources of Russia's direct involvement in Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program. One U.N. bioterrorism expert announced that Russia has been Iraq's "main supplier of the materials and know-how to weaponize anthrax, botulism and smallpox."
Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Robert Goldberg cited former U.N. weapons inspector Richard Spertzel, who stated that Moscow supplied Baghdad with fermentation equipment to produce biotoxins.
According to Spertzel, the Russians on the U.N. inspection team in Iraq were "paranoid" about his efforts to uncover smallpox production.
Hopefully, many of my visitors will read this column, and a delightful discussion will ensue.