Author(s): WHITNEY CRAIG
The WMD Mirage features the soon-to-be-released official report from the bipartisan Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction-named by President Bush to try to prevent similar policy debacles in Iran and North Korea. It also includes the official speeches, United Nations reports, and declassified government investigation reports that show, step by step, how the United States got the crucial question of arms in Iraq so terribly wrong. The documents show that: * The CIA concluded in 2002 that Iraq had reconstituted its WMD programs, but in fact Saddam had dismantled them. * American policymakers consistently assumed the worst case: regardless of his denials, if there was intelligence that Saddam might be making weapons of mass destruction then he had them and was hiding them. * UN inspectors, by contrast, assumed that thorough inspection and insistence on complete Iraqi documentation could determine what the truth was. * UN inspectors were frustrated by Saddams refusal to cooperate freely and thwarted by American military impatience just as they thought themselves on the verge of success. * American inspectors sent in after the war in 2003 found no weapons of mass destruction and how they-and Washington insiders-began to question the basis of the prewar intelligence.
Craig R. Whitney has worked as a reporter for The New York Times in New York, Saigon, Bonn, Moscow, Paris, and London. He has also served as European diplomatic correspondent, foreign editor, and Washington editor. He is currently an assistant managing editor of the Times.