Were Saddam’s WMD bunkers found, but the discovery covered up because it reveals that the weapons were transferred to a pariah nation?
That’s the claim in the most recent issue of The Spectator
It’s a fair bet that you have never heard of a guy called Dave Gaubatz. It’s also a fair bet that you think the hunt for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq has found absolutely nothing, nada, zilch; and that therefore there never were any WMD programmes in Saddam’s Iraq to justify the war ostensibly waged to protect the world from Saddam’s use of nuclear, biological or chemical weapons.
Dave Gaubatz, however, says that you could not be more wrong. Saddam’s WMD did exist. He should know, because he found the sites where he is certain they were stored. And the reason you don’t know about this is that the American administration failed to act on his information, ‘lost’ his classified reports and is now doing everything it can to prevent disclosure of the terrible fact that, through its own incompetence, it allowed Saddam’s WMD to end up in the hands of the very terrorist states against whom it is so controversially at war.
Now to be clear, this isn’t an attempt to exonerate the Bush administration’s stated claims for going to war, namely that among them were Saddam’s possession of weapons of mass destruction. Unless, of course, they’re attempting the double-blind switcheroo by deflecting it into a criticism that they let Syria and Iran get their hands on a stockpile of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons.
Between March and July 2003, he says, he was taken to four sites in southern Iraq — two within Nasariyah, one 20 miles south and one near Basra — which, he was told by numerous Iraqi sources, contained biological and chemical weapons, material for a nuclear programme and UN-proscribed missiles. He was, he says, in no doubt whatever that this was true.
This was, in the first place, because of the massive size of these sites and the extreme lengths to which the Iraqis had gone to conceal them. Three of them were bunkers buried 20 to 30 feet beneath the Euphrates. They had been constructed through building dams which were removed after the huge subterranean vaults had been excavated so that these were concealed beneath the river bed. The bunker walls were made of reinforced concrete five feet thick.
‘There was no doubt, with so much effort having gone into hiding these constructions, that something very important was buried there’, says Mr Gaubatz. By speaking to a wide range of Iraqis, some of whom risked their lives by talking to him and whose accounts were provided in ignorance of each other, he built up a picture of the nuclear, chemical and biological materials they said were buried underground.
I recall that in 2003 I read several accounts—and saw the accompanying satellite photographs—of Saddam’s immense underground bunkers, including some near weapons depots. Then I heard stories about shipments being secretly transferred to Syria for safekeeping. I guess here’s more evidence.
Unfortunately, the Bush administration has a vested interest in keeping this quiet because keeping the WMD from getting out of Iraq was one of the reasons for going to war and the Democrats want to keep it quiet because their talking points specifically state that Bush lied about WMD to get us into the war. Meanwhile, rogue states potentially have stockpiles of this stuff. It makes me feel so much safer.