WASHINGTON, DC -- Did President Clinton misrepresent the threat from Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction? Like the "Iraq cisis" in February, we believe this "crisis" too was a sham.
Syndicated columnist Robert D. Novak apparently supports our conclusion. The following are excerpts from "One-Man Show on Iraq" by Robert D. Novak (The Washington Post, Op-Ed page, November 16, 1998):
"[Lawmakers] could ask angry Pentagon staff officers why the J-3 operations section started logistical prepositioning a month ago -- before Saddam Hussein on Oct. 31 triggered the new crisis by restricting inspectors."
Peter J. Boyer's article (The New Yorker, November 9) gives credence to widely discounted claims Thursday by Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz that UNSCOM worked closely with the CIA and the Israeli Mossad.
"Since UNSCOM (the United Nations inspecting organization) never has on its own been able to find chemical or germ weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, how can Saddam Husseins denial of inspection rights be considered so grave a threat to U.S. security as to enable Clinton as commander in chief to exercise inherent constitutional powers?"
Former congressman, and presidential candidate, Jack Kemp said last week that "his staff can find no evidence of UNSCOM documentation of further weapons finds. Indeed, when I asked Rubin about this on Friday, he cited specifically only the weapons pointed out by the Iraqis in 1991, though he added that he had been assured there have been other discoveries."
One Pentagon staffer, writes Mr. Novak, "suspects that the timing of Clinton's response was purely political, designed to offset impeachment proceedings." Had the U.S. proceded with the bombing of Iraq, aborted 18 minutes before the scheduled launch, the Pentagon estimates that 10,000 Iraqis would have been killed.
Mr. Novak's article deserves wide circulation. It is unfortunate that The Washington Post did not include Mr. Novak's article in their world wide web edition.
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