Robert Novak is adding fuel to the “we’ve found them but not telling you” thesis:

Former international weapons inspector David Kay, now seeking Iraqi weapons of mass destruction for the Pentagon, has privately reported successes that are planned to be revealed to the public in mid-September.

Kay has told his superiors he has found substantial evidence of biological weapons in Iraq, plus considerable missile development. He has been less successful in locating chemical weapons, and has not yet begun a substantial effort to locate progress toward nuclear arms.

Senior officials in the Bush administration believe Kay’s weapons discoveries should have been revealed as they were made. However, a decision, approved by President Bush, was made to wait until more was discovered and then announce it — probably in September.

I’ll believe it when I see it. While I continue to believe that there was a program in place, and even think we could still find something that has been well hidden, the utility of saving this up for September eludes me. It would be more likely in an election year, but it makes little sense for 2003.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. John says:

    Not to be argumentative, but withholding WMD evidence until an election year is probably the most blatant use of the war for politics I could ever imagine. I absolutely agree it would have a devastating effect on election, but man-o-man. . . Do you really see the “utility” of waiting ’till an election year to spring the evidence?

  2. James Joyner says:


    No-I’m saying that, if this were August 2004, I could understand why they’d hold the info until September. I don’t even understand what the advantage would be now.

  3. Zogby Blog says:

    If he can hide two dozen warplanes in the sand, he can certainly hide WMD, as well. If this is true, it’s got Karl Rove written all over it. Let the 9 dwarves scream “Bush lied” and come mid-September, they’ll be looking more idiotic than they do now.

  4. Jaxon says:

    Hmmm…wouldn’t the best time for this kind of announcement be right around the 11th of September?

  5. Ian S. says:

    The “utility” is to give the Nine Dwarves/IndyMedia/etc more time to say retarded things for our entertainment before giving them the final smackdown.

  6. Leroy says:

    The most likely explanation is to make certain that the evidence is really concrete. Personally I would interpret the evidence I have heard so far as being that the Iraqi WMD programs were relagated to a hold and wait position, until the current crisis was passed by again (a poor choice as it turns out). Burying parts in gardens, hiding plans, along with the fact that most any chemical factory is in potential a dual use facility may make it very hard to find a real cache of ready-to-hand WMDs of any sort. That doesn’t make the threat any less real, just that it was hidden better than supposed.

  7. Kathy K says:

    Leroy’s got a good point. Considering all the earlier ‘we found WMD’ reports that turned out to be something else, or at least not positively proved to be WMD, I suspect they want to make any announcements pretty ironclad.
    They might also want to come out with a lot at once, rather than a little here and a little there, which could more easily be ignored or buried by the media.

  8. John says:

    Jaxon: Yea, that would really reinforce all that fantastic intelligence we have linking Saddam and 9/11. Geesh. You dropped your tinfoil hat.