Russia "Cleaned Up" Saddam's WMD

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Former Deputy Undersecretary of Defense John A. Shaw, a "top Pentagon official who was responsible for tracking Saddam Hussein's weapons programs before and after the 2003 liberation of Iraq," stated in October 2004, March 2005, and again in February 2006 that it was the Russians who helped Saddam Hussein to "clean up" his weapons of mass destruction stockpiles "to prevent the United States from discovering them." [1]

In late October 2004, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the United Nations' "nuclear watchdog", told the UN Security Council that the Iraqi Interim Government "reported to the agency" that approximately 380 tons of "conventional explosives" were "missing" from the "vast" Al Qa Qaa complex of "1,100 buildings" [2] about 30 miles south of Baghdad "after last year's invasion." [3][4][5]

IAEA Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei "passed on the letter from Iraqi authorities informing the agency of the theft." [6] The IAEA said that "the material, sealed and monitored by its inspectors until the US-led invasion, had gone missing some time after" April 9, 2003, "during 'the theft and looting of governmental installations'." The IAEA "last inspected the munitions at al-Qaqaa in January 2003 but [had] not been allowed back into Iraq" following the invasion. [7]

The Associated Press reported October 25, 2004, that, "At the Pentagon, an official who monitors developments in Iraq said U.S.-led coalition troops had searched Al-Qaqaa in the immediate aftermath of the March 2003 invasion and confirmed that the explosives, under IAEA seal since 1991, were intact. Thereafter, the site was not secured by U.S. forces, the official said, also speaking on condition of anonymity."

The Pentagon was "unclear" as to whether or not the explosives had "disappeared" after the site in Iraq "fell under US control." [8][9]

On February 18, 2006, Shaw "told an audience" at "a privately sponsored 'Intelligence Summit'" in Alexandria, Virginia, that "The short answer to the question of where the WMD Saddam bought from the Russians went was that they went" to Syria and the Bekka valley in Lebanon, Kenneth R. Timmerman reported February 19, 2006, in NewsMax. "They were moved by Russian Spetsnaz (special forces) units out of uniform, that were specifically sent to Iraq to move the weaponry and eradicate any evidence of its existence," Shaw said.

However, the Financial Times (UK) reported October 28, 2004, that Shaw had "not provided evidence for his claims and the Pentagon [had] distanced itself from his remarks."

On December 10, 2004, Bill Gertz reported in The Washington Times that Shaw, who was a former aide to Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld, "was forced to leave his position ... as the result of a 'reorganization' that eliminated his job, defense officials said. ... Shaw said he had been asked to resign for 'exceeding his authority' in disclosing the information, a charge he called 'specious'."


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