Friday, June 29, 2007

U.N. closes down hunt for Iraqi WMD, issues report saying inspections showing no WMD before war were accurate

Above: Secretary of State Colin Powell holds a vial that he says could be used for an anthrax attack in a speech before the United Nations Security Counsel in February, 2003, urging action against Saddam Hussein. According to Powell, "Less than a teaspoon of dry anthrax, a little bit about this amount--this is just about the amount of a teaspoon--less than a teaspoon full of dry anthrax in an envelope shutdown the United States Senate in the fall of 2001. This forced several hundred people to undergo emergency medical treatment and killed two postal workers just from an amount just about this quantity that was inside of an envelope."

U.N. Closes Down Iraq Weapons Monitors

The Security Council voted Friday to immediately close down the U.N. inspection bodies that played a pivotal role in monitoring Iraq's weapons of mass destruction programs under Saddam Hussein's regime.

The resolution terminating the mandate of the U.N. bodies responsible for overseeing the dismantling of Saddam's programs to develop nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and long-range missiles was approved by a vote of 14-0. Russia abstained, saying there was still "no clear answer to the existence of weapons of mass destruction" in Iraq.

Since 2005, the United States has been trying to get the Security Council to wrap up the work of the inspectors, who were pulled out of Iraq just before the 2003 U.S.-led invasion and were barred by the U.S. from returning.

Read the rest at the Guardian

Told you so, U.N. Iraq arms inspectors' report says

On the day before it is due to be shut down, the U.N. unit that found no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq but failed to stop the U.S.-led invasion said on Thursday time had justified its methods and work.

In a voluminous report detailing the history of Iraq's banned weapons programs and U.N. efforts to dismantle them, it said the episode had shown that on-the-ground inspections were better than intelligence assessments by individual countries.

The report by the U.N. Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission, or UNMOVIC, did not name its targets but several of its conclusions appeared aimed at the United States and Britain, which invaded Iraq in March 2003.

Washington and London said despite UNMOVIC's inability to find evidence, they were acting in the belief that Iraq was pursuing chemical, biological and nuclear weapons programs begun in the 1970s. No such weapons have been found.

Read the rest at Reuters/Alternet

Related Link:
Perspective: 5 years on, U.N. team still looking for Iraq's WMD