Well, new information coming from Iraq's own archives, most of which has yet to be translated, indicates that the full story what happened to Saddam's WMDs may not have been revealed just yet. Stories are beginning to resurface about the potential hand Russia may have played in the removal of those materials. It's all very mysterious as you might imagine.
Such a revelation would not only be evidence of one of the most sophisticated intelligence operations in history, but it would be incredibly detrimental to the US-Russian relationship. It would shock and massively discredit everyone who reflexively accepted the mantra that "Saddam had no WMDs."
I have yet to be convinced of this. It is entirely possible that these weapons did and do exist somewhere and that the entire story has not been written. Certainly it is conceivable that if they could hide two or three dozen fighter planes that we didn't know about by burying them in the desert sand, other things, say a few dozen drums of nerve agent, could have been hidden or spirited away.
Whatever goodwill that has existed in the relationship between the leaders of the US and Russia in recent years, one can still see layers of subversion. The Cold War strategy of using proxies to fight one's battles has not gone away. It is no secret that a number of our enemies at present are both closely aligned with and armed by Russia. Are we then to trust such a nation, headed by an authoritarian veteran of the KGB, that seeks to arm our enemies?
It is a conundrum with no ready-made solution. Stories like this do not give me any confidence that Russia will be of any useful service regarding Iran. Here's hoping we are watchful and that we don't feed the Bear again.
That said, below are some of the most recent stories about all this, followed by related coverage from 2003 and 2004.
Lt. Gen. Thomas McInerney recently endorsed the Russian theory on FOX News (video) - (2/21/06) Note: This video is hosted by a leftwing group that thinks this is just some radical FOX News conspiracy theory.
Ex-Official: Russia Moved Saddam's WMD - Newsmax.com article (2/19/06)
Congressman Hoekstra, chairman of the Select House Intelligence Committee on Iraq's untranslated intelligence files (video) - PJ Media interview (2/19/06)
Saddam's WMDs and Russia - Canada Free Press article (2/28/06)
Evgeny Primakov Named in International Scandal - Kommersant article (3/1/06)
Iraqi WMD Mystery Solved - FrontPageMagazine interview (3/2/06)
Ex-spy fingers Russians on WMD - Op-ed written by Ion Mihai Pacepa, former Romanian spy chief and the highest-ranking intelligence officer ever to have defected from the former Soviet bloc. (August 2003)
A couple of these recent stories mention that two Russian ships reportedly left the Iraqi port of Umm Qasr shortly before the war and headed for the Indian Ocean, possibly carrying WMD materials. Interestingly enough, I remember hearing a similar story, right before the war started. Three ships were being tracked under suspicion of carrying WMDs. They were cruising around in circles in the Indian Ocean and maintaining strict radio silence. Could this have been related? Here's that story from February 2003 - "I saw three ships come sailing in, and what was in those ships all three?"
See my previous posts on this back in 2004
A Bear in the Desert
A Bear in the Desert, Part II
A Bear in the Desert, Part III
[Hat tip to PJ Media for the link at WMD Files]