- The WikiLeaks de facto declassification of privileged material makes it case closed: Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction -- and intended to restart his program once the heat was off.
Bush, in building the case for war against Iraq, lied to the nation. He falsely claimed that Iraq was attempting to purchase yellowcake from Africa. Time magazine specifically referred to the yellowcake "lie" in accusing Bush of fabricating the case for war. Therefore, were Iraq to have had yellowcake -- an assertion called a "lie" -- it would have confirmed the presence of WMD, giving credence to Bush's declaration of Iraq as a "grave and gathering threat."
But ... there ... was ... yellowcake. This brings us back to WikiLeaks.
Wired magazine's contributing editor Noah Shachtman -- a nonresident fellow at the liberal Brookings Institution -- researched the 400,000 WikiLeaked documents released in October. Here's what he found: "By late 2003, even the Bush White House's staunchest defenders were starting to give up on the idea that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. But WikiLeaks' newly-released Iraq war documents reveal that for years afterward, U.S. troops continued to find chemical weapons labs, encounter insurgent specialists in toxins and uncover weapons of mass destruction (emphasis added). ... Chemical weapons, especially, did not vanish from the Iraqi battlefield. Remnants of Saddam's toxic arsenal, largely destroyed after the Gulf War, remained. Jihadists, insurgents and foreign (possibly Iranian) agitators turned to these stockpiles during the Iraq conflict -- and may have brewed up their own deadly agents."
In 2008, our military shipped out of Iraq -- on 37 flights in 3,500 barrels -- what even The Associated Press called "the last major remnant of Saddam Hussein's nuclear program": 550 metric tons of the supposedly nonexistent yellowcake. The New York Sun editorialized: "The uranium issue is not a trivial one, because Iraq, sitting on vast oil reserves, has no peaceful need for nuclear power. ... To leave this nuclear material sitting around the Middle East in the hands of Saddam ... would have been too big a risk."