"The Russian arms-removal program was initiated after Yevgeny Primakov, the former Russian intelligence chief, could not persuade Saddam to give in to U.S. and Western demands, this official said.
A small portion of Iraq's 650,000 tons to 1 million tons of conventional arms that were found after the war were looted after the U.S.-led invasion, Mr. Shaw said. Russia was Iraq's largest foreign supplier of weaponry, he said.
However, the most important and useful arms and explosives appear to have been separated and moved out as part of carefully designed program. "The organized effort was done in advance of the conflict," Mr. Shaw said.
The Russian forces were tasked with moving special arms out of the country.
Mr. Shaw said foreign intelligence officials believe the Russians worked with Saddam's Mukhabarat intelligence service to separate out special weapons, including high explosives and other arms and related technology, from standard conventional arms spread out in some 200 arms depots.
The Russian weapons were then sent out of the country to Syria, and possibly Lebanon in Russian trucks, Mr. Shaw said.
Mr. Shaw said he believes that the withdrawal of Russian-made weapons and explosives from Iraq was part of plan by Saddam to set up a "redoubt" in Syria that could be used as a base for launching pro-Saddam insurgency operations in Iraq.
The Russian units were dispatched beginning in January 2003 and by March had destroyed hundreds of pages of documents on Russian arms supplies to Iraq while dispersing arms to Syria, the second official said.
Besides their own weapons, the Russians were supplying Saddam with arms made in Ukraine, Belarus, Bulgaria and other Eastern European nations, he said.
"Whatever was not buried was put on lorries and sent to the Syrian border," the defense official said.
Documents reviewed by the official included itineraries of military units involved in the truck shipments to Syria. The materials outlined in the documents included missile components, MiG jet parts, tank parts and chemicals used to make chemical weapons, the official said.
The director of the Iraqi government front company known as the Al Bashair Trading Co. fled to Syria, where he is in charge of monitoring arms holdings and funding Iraqi insurgent activities, the official said.
Also, an Arabic-language report obtained by U.S. intelligence disclosed the extent of Russian armaments. The 26-page report was written by Abdul Tawab Mullah al Huwaysh, Saddam's minister of military industrialization, who was captured by U.S. forces May 2, 2003.
The Russian "spetsnaz" or special-operations forces were under the GRU military intelligence service and organized large commercial truck convoys for the weapons removal, the official said.
Regarding the explosives, the new Iraqi government reported that 194.7 metric tons of HMX, or high-melting-point explosive, and 141.2 metric tons of RDX, or rapid-detonation explosive, and 5.8 metric tons of PETN, or pentaerythritol tetranitrate, were missing.
The material is used in nuclear weapons and also in making military "plastic" high explosive.
Defense officials said the Russians can provide information on what happened to the Iraqi weapons and explosives that were transported out of the country. Officials believe the Russians also can explain what happened to Iraq's weapons of mass destruction programs.
IMO, Bush has made some serious mistakes regarding Iraq. I do think that he and the military has learned from them. Kerry is good a pointing out errors but he has a track record of flip flopping on all kinds of issues and wouldn't know where to begin as commander in chief. We don't have the luxury of time to train a new guy for the most important job in America. sb
I know that it is not possible, but I would like to see them limit terms in all offices. You can only be president for 2 terms, but you can be a senator or congressman as long as you are elected.
I think that would fix alot of the problems with special interest groups and keep the ideas fresh. Just a thought.
I am in sales. I can sell any of my top clients anything, due to the fact that I have a relationship that goes back several years. It is the same mentaility for special interest groups. Some senators have had thier position for 20+ years. Easy sales!
the whole point is there were NO ORDERS to search and defend the facility...because there was NOT ENOUGH troops availiable cuz Bush Corp tried to do Iraq on the cheap becuz if they were honest with America about the cost of the war they wouldnt have had support.
You cant believe your Repug media ... Drudge,rush,fox will say anything to get bush back.
Has no one heard of the K Street Project that Grover Norquist and other Repug insiders have set up to insure that ONLY Repug lobbyists are hired... ALL Parties deal with Special Interests...Just the Repugs are cheating now...
I respect yr views very much mad but I just cant see that both parties are the same... Yes i am a Democrat and yes i have been known top hug trees and i am absolutely not ashamed of that...I am concerned with the damage bush corp is doing to any enviormental progress made...has no one here heard about the mercury issue? the repugs are completely sold out to Big Business and the enviornment is suffering...
if a train leaves chicago heading west at 55 mph, and makes 3 stops, each 14 mins long, on it's way to denver, 900 miles away --- how long will it take to make the journey.
if the wind was blowing from the west at 10 miles per hour?
and it rained?
and the damn conductor stepped on the brake for 7 minutes, thus slowing the train to 38 miles per hour.
and it's really not 900 miles, but only 876 miles.
pebs, i'm sure you are right. i'm sure that all of this never happened. and if it did....
IT'S THE COMMANDERS FAULT, OR THE SOLDIERS OF THE 1O1ST FAULT CAUSE THEY WENT AND LOOKED AT STUFF THEY WEREN'T SUPPOSED TO.
UNLESS, OF COURSE, WE CAN PIN IT ON THE WHITE HOUSE COMMUNICATIONS OFFICE --- we're still looking at that angle.
trust me, all of this will be cleared up by No Child Left Behind.
once we decide to fund it.
i just caught up with the story about the embedded cameramen with the 101st, so i wasn't completely informed when posting that last msg.
ok, so if they prove (not yet done) that the explosives were there on 4/18, what does that say about the searches that were done by the 3rd ID?
were they negligent?
second point: how could those 380 tons of explosives been taken out of the place even if there weren't security guards posted?
can't stick around, gotta get some sleep.
>>so, apparently the Times is not the "only news organization in America that doesn't know the 101st Airborne merely passed through Al Qaqaa on the way to Baghdad without searching the site."
apparently KSTP Channel 5 doesn't know this either. but what do they know, right? i mean, they just have the tape.<<
then what about what was reported about the commander?
>>The commander of the troops that went into the Al Qaqaa facility on the way to Baghdad in early April, Col. Joseph Anderson, of the Second Brigade of the Army's 101st Airborne Division, has said he was never told the site was considered sensitive, or that international inspectors had visited it before the war began.<<
it would appear that he never gave any orders to do any kind of search, does it? are there any reports that anderson ordered any search?
you talked about everything but this part (the major part):
>>It was the 3rd ID, which reached Al QaQaa six days earlier, that knew the site needed to be searched, and did, indeed, search it.<<
would anderen have known that the 3rd ID had already searched the place?
if so, why would he order another one?
and i, tucabe, appreciate your response. thank you.
and, further, i can appreciate your views on kerry --- can't say i don't share them to some extent.
sad place this great republic is in, isn't it?
i guess the good doctor Franklin was prophetic when, upon leaving the convention way back when in philly he was approached by a woman who asked "what kind of government do we have?", he responded: "a republic, if you can keep it".