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Jan 13th, 2009

In his final scheduled press conference today, President George W. Bush, addressing some of the regrets of his presidency, stated: “Not having weapons of mass destruction [in Iraq] was a significant disappointment.”

The president continued: “… parts of Europe have said that we shouldn’t have gone to war in Iraq without a mandate, but those are a few countries. Most countries in Europe listened to what [UN Security Council Resolution] 1441 said, which is disclose, disarm, or face serious consequences.”

Full text: Press Conference by the President (Jan. 12, 2009)


Bush’s exit interview (NBC Nightly News, Jan. 12, 2009) – President George W. Bush delivered an at-times defiant speech in which he expressed regret and discussed some mistakes he has made while in office. Chuck Todd reports. (04:00)


‘Disclose, Disarm, or Face Serious Consequences’

On Dec. 7, 2002, Saddam Hussein delivered a 11,800-page weapons disclosure to U.N. inspectors in Baghdad, which he said proved Iraq had no illegal weapons programs.

Some of the documents turned over to the U.N. by Iraq prior to the U.S. invasion.

On December 7, 2002, CNN reported as follows:

Iraq Hands Over Arms Declaration

December 7, 2002

BAGHDAD, Iraq — Iraq delivered its declaration on weapons of mass destruction to U.N. inspectors in Baghdad Saturday [Dec. 7, 2002], one day ahead of a U.N. deadline.

As the declaration was being handed over, Iraqi President Saddam Hussein apologized for invading Kuwait in 1990 in a statement read on government-run Iraqi television. …

U.S. intelligence officials expressed deep skepticism about the Iraqi weapons declaration, saying the United States has its own “clear evidence” that Iraq has an extensive weapons program.

U.S. officials say they do not expect to see that program honestly and completely described in the nearly 12,000 pages plus CD-ROMs from Iraq.

“It will be the biggest shock of my life if the Iraqis come clean” in the documents, said one official. …

Iraq allowed journalists to look at the declaration before handing it over to the United Nations but not to examine its contents. A top Iraqi official said that the voluminous document “should prevent any threat against Iraq.”

Iraq said there were more than 11,000 pages — 1,334 on the area of Iraq’s biological activities, 1,823 on chemical activity and 6,887 on missiles. There was also material involving the nation’s nuclear activity stacked on one corner of the table. …

Labels indicated the documents were “currently accurate, full and complete.” …

From Baghdad, U.N. officials were to bring copies to U.N. Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission chief Hans Blix in Cyprus; International Atomic Energy Agency Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei in Vienna; and U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan in New York. …

The United States is anxious to compare the declaration to U.S. intelligence on Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction.

UNMOVIC and the IAEA have a million pages of intelligence themselves, and they will compare the declaration to their information to look for inconsistencies.

If the declaration is found to include false information or leave out pertinent information, it may constitute a “material breach” of the resolution.

The Bush administration has said that if there is a material breach, the United States may call for a meeting of the Security Council to discuss the use of military force against Iraq.

And no matter what the council decides, Bush has said the United States may decide to lead a coalition to disarm Saddam through military force. …

CNN Correspondents Nic Robertson, Rym Brahimi, Michael Okwu, Andrea Koppel, Suzanne Malveaux, and John King contributed to this report.


Related reports

Iraq says report to the U.N. shows no banned arms
(New York Times, Dec. 8, 2002)

Democrats seek criminal probe of Bush ‘abuses’
(Associated Press, Jan. 13, 2009)


Here’s some background information on Iraq’s declaration in terms of Resolution 1441, from The Monterey Institute’s Center for Nonproliferation Studies:

The November 2002 UN Security Council resolution required Iraq to submit to the Security Council within thirty days a declaration of all aspects of its WMD and missile programs. It called on Iraq to provide inspectors with unrestricted access to all facilities and documents, as well as the opportunity to conduct interviews inside or outside of Iraq of relevant Iraqi officials.

The resolution threatened “serious consequences” if Iraq were found to be in material breach of the resolutions provisions. “Material breach” is defined in the resolution as “false statements or omissions in the declarations submitted by Iraq pursuant to this resolution and failure by Iraq at any time to comply with, and cooperate fully in the implementation of, this resolution.” …

On December 7, one day before the deadline set by Resolution 1441, Iraq turned in its 12,000 page declaration of its past WMD and missile programs and facilities to the UN. Members of UNMOVIC and the IAEA Iraq Action Team analyzed the declaration, which was compared with information gathered by U.S. and other intelligence agencies and information obtained through past inspections and analysis.

Gaps or inaccuracies, which can be considered a “material breach of Resolution 1441, were later used to challenge Iraqs statements of its truthfulness and willingness to comply with the resolution. Indeed, in late December 2002, the United States announced it considered Iraq to be in material breach of its obligations as a result of these omissions.



Bombs Kill at Least Seven in Baghdad

January 12, 2009

BAGHDAD — Bombers staged a series of attacks across Baghdad on Monday, mainly targeting Iraqi security forces, killing at least seven people and wounding more than 30, police said.

A bomb attached to a car, followed quickly by another blast, killed three people and wounded 10 in the New Baghdad district in the east of the capital, police said.

A roadside bomb in the Yarmouk neighborhood struck an Iraqi army truck carrying ammunition. Three soldiers were burned to death inside the truck and four civilians were wounded.

A bomb struck a police patrol near Sha’ab stadium in eastern Baghdad, wounding seven people including three policemen. In Ghazaliya district in western Baghdad a roadside bomb struck a police patrol wounding three policemen and a civilian.

A roadside bomb struck near a police patrol in the central Karrada district killing one civilian and wounding four policemen, and another roadside bomb in central Baghdad wounded four people. …

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