( ) We provide specific comments below, in the form of a scorecard. We flag the draft's strengths as well as weaknesses. This scorecard is pegged to analytic merit, not persuasive power. On a range from one to five starts (asterisks), five denotes a smoking gun in terms of UNSCR 687-prohibited weapon systems. One star denotes a claim we do not consider strong, but which is plausible. A bifurcated score (e.g., "***/WEAK) indicates that parts of the discussion are strong, other parts weak.
-- Page 1-2. ***** Discussion of historical, outstanding issues and Iraq's track record of noncompliance, deception, and denial. There is further discussion at the beginning of the biological, chemical, nuclear, and missile sections. These discussions might be expanded.
Iraq Deception and Denial
-- 4-5/ ***/WEAK. Intercepted conversation of DELETED re hiding vehicle from inspectors. Weak re DELETED Virtually conclusive re hiding prohibited vehicle, presumably involving OFF violation. But it demonstrates Iraq's continuing proclivity to hide proscribed equipment from inspectors-reinforcing our concerns about hidden WMD.
-- 6-7. * Information on Higher Committee: Generally valid, eve though we don't take the source's every claim as Gospel, and the insider's information is very general.
-- 7, last bullet. * Information from senior official in DELETED Okay.
-- 8, first bullet. *** Orders to hide correspondence with OMI: Highly compelling, even though the high-level orders apparently cover sensitive materials not exclusive to WMD.
-- 8, second bullet. WEAK. Qusay order to remove prohibited items from palaces.
-- 8, third bullet. *** Multiple humint reports of hiding prohibited items in various homes. Compelling, even though some reports appear based on rumor and/or circular reporting, and the hidden items presumably include sensitive non-WMD documents as well as WMD items.
-- 8, last bullet. WEAK. Sensitive files being driven around in cars, in apparent shell game. Plausibility open to question.
-- 9, first bullet. * Computer hard drives reportedly removed from "weapons facilities." Such claims are highly credible, even though they apparently extend to non-WMD sensitive files as well. (Note: Draft states claim as fact.)
-- 9, second bullet. WEAK. Plans to hide WMD in DELETED We cannot rule this out, but virtually all of the many reports come from questionable sources. Also, inspectors may have already investigated one or more such reports and found nothing.
-- 9, last bullet. WEAK. Missiles with biological warheads reportedly dispersed. This would be somewhat true in terms of short-range missiles with conventional warheads, but is questionable in terms of longer-range missiles or biological warheads.
-- 10, first bullet. * Missiles hidden DELETED Authenticity of information is questionable, but claim is not implausible.
-- 10-11. ***/WEAK. We support much of this discussion, but we note that decontamination vehicles-cited several times in the text-are water trucks that can have legitimate uses. A safer characterization is, "a vehicle used for chemical weapon decontamination."
-- 11. **WEAK We agree there has been suspicious activity DELETED, including presence of a decontamination vehicle. We caution, however that Iraq has given UNMOVIC what may be a plausible account for this activity-that this was an exercise involving the movement of conventional explosives; presence of a fire safety truck (water truck, which could also be used as a decontamination vehicle) is common in such an event.
-- 12. top. **/WEAK. Much of discussion is valid, but it is unlikely the Iraqis DELETED This paragraph really should describe DELETED
-- DELETED Authenticity of information is questionable, though some of the claims are plausible. Nuclear claims are WEAK, and open to IAEA criticism. (Note: Draft states it as fact.)
-- 13-14. *** Discussion is good and valid.
-- 14, last bullet. **/WEAK. Iraqi intelligence officials posing as WMD scientists. Such claims are not credible and are open to criticism, particularly by the UN inspectorates. (Interviews typically involve such topics as nuclear physics, microbiology, rocket science, and the like; and inspectors tend to be leading scientific or technical experts.) Better to state that some Iraqi intelligence officials have been part of WMD programs for years, filling scientific positions span style="background-color:#000000">DELETED
-- 15, first half. * Saddam reportedly warned scientists of serious consequences if they revealed sensitive information to inspectors. Not clear the information is authentic, but it is generally credible. (Note: Draft states it as fact.)
-- 15, penultimate bullet. * WMD scientists reportedly attended pre-inspection training. Unsubstantiated but credible. (Note: Draft states it as fact.)
-- 15, last bullet. WEAK. Claim of intelligence officials posing as WMD experts. Aside from the question of plausibility, note that such claims arguably are at odds with the above-cited report of pre-inspection training by WMD personnel.
-- 16, first bullet. * Claim that intelligence agents posed span style="background-color:#000000">DELETED Unsubstantiated, but plausible. (Note: Draft states it as fact.)
-- 16, second bullet. WEAK. Alleged false death certificate for scientist. Not implausible, but UN inspectors might question it. (Note: Draft states it as fact.)
-- 16, third bullet. * Iraqi regime prepared to execute key scientists to prevent disclosure of sensitive information. Unsubstantiated, but plausible-at least to the point where a suspiciously high number of scientists start dropping off.
-- 16, bullets four and five. WEAK. WMD personnel leaving Iraq under various circumstances to avoid interviews. Some details are highly questionable, and this reporting is arguably at odds with other claims in the draft.
-- 16-17. WEAK. Experts at one facility being substituted by workers from other facilities. Plausibility open to question.
-- 17, first full bullet. * Some span style="background-color:#000000">DELETED officials reportedly span style="background-color:#000000">DELETED We question report's authenticity, but it is not implausible.
-- 17, second bullet. WEAK. 12 experts reportedly under house arrest, 70 others in prison, to prevent contact with inspectors. Highly questionable.
17, third bullet. * Unidentified scientist reportedly held by authorities to prevent contact with inspectors; family threatened. We question report's authenticity, but it is plausible.
Illegal Procurement of WMD-Related Goods PARAGRAPH DELETED PARAGRAPH DELETED
SENTENCE DELETED the prevailing IC view, with which INR (and many DOE experts in private) disagree.
22-23. ***** We endorse the discussion of outstanding, historical issues. We suggest adding that "UNSCOM reported in 1997 that a panel of 13 experts from member states unanimously found that 'the outstanding problems' in Iraq's BW declarations were 'numerous and grave.'" (Quoted from recent CIA product.)
-- 25, first full para. *** Discussion of MIG-21 and BW delivery. We share the strong concern about Iraqi intentions for recently refurbished MIG-21s for BW purposes. However, the claim that experts agree UAVs fitted with spray tanks are "an ideal method for launching a terrorist attack using biological weapons" is WEAK.
-- 26 - The date of the accident asked for in the text is 1998.
-- 29, end of middle para. ****/WEAK. Smallpox indeed is a great concern: We believe there is an even chance smallpox is part of Iraq's offensive BW inventory. But there is no solid evidence Iraq has researched smallpox for weaponization purposes.
-- 31, third bullet. ***/WEAK. This is a legitimately serious issue, but "marks on his arm" is not compelling and should be deleted; or the text should read, "UN inspectors acquired a photograph of one of the prisoners that showed biological experimentation."
-- Page 32, last para. **/WEAK. Most of the discussion is valid, but the reference to "central" as part of Iraq's battlefield strategy should be deleted. The use of CW was small, but not inconsequential, in comparison to the many strictly conventional attacks that claimed thousands more lives.
-- Page 34, second bullet. ***/WEAK. The text in fact should be strengthened, by deleting the word "laboratory" from the first bullet. This will strengthen our concerns about equipment being used for production.
-- Page 38, second bullet. ***/WEAK The castor oil issue is serious, but the discussion should be modified. SENTENCE DELETED
-- 39-40. **** We support the focus on Saddam's continued intent/ambition to acquire nuclear weapons; track record of deception, denial. We would add that the nuclear weapon program has always been the jewel in the crown for Saddam.
-- 40. ****/WEAK. We support the focus on Iraq's record in the early-to-mid 1990s of deceiving the IAEA. But most of the discussion is overstated, in our opinion, especially the suggestion that only a single defector stood in the way of an IAEA clean bill of health for Iraq, SENTENCE DELETED
-- 41-42. **/WEAK. On the tubes, in addition to our general remarks above, we suggest not playing the cited intercept, as it is taken out of context and is highly misleading. Meantime, we will work with our IC colleagues to fix some more egregious errors in the tubes discussion.
--43-44. **/WEAK. While the discussion of magnet procurements is largely valid, SENTENCE DELETED Nonetheless, this discussion tracks with the majority IC view.
-- 44. ***/WEAK. We support the focus on the fact that Saddam's cadre of nuclear experts remains largely intact. However, some specific claims are WEAK, namely that many key scientists and equipment were "often hidden DELETED and the suggestion that Iraq moved and renamed teams of personnel DELETED
-- 45, last para. */WEAK. While we too are concerned about Saddam's periodic
--45, last para. */WEAK. While we too are concerned about Saddam's periodic meetings with nuclear personnel, we have a more mixed interpretation as to motive.
-- 47, first full para. WEAK. Linkage of specialty trucks to Scuds is unsubstantiated.
-- 47, middle of page. WEAK. Reports of missiles being transported on trucks, or moved into southern Iraq at night, come from questionable sources, in our view.
-- 48. **/WEAK. We support much of the discussion of al-Samouds. For the record, however, we question the claim that Iraq has developed an al-Samoud with a 300 km range. We believe it might be a garbled reference to the wider-diameter, al-Samoud II variant.
-- 49, top of page. **/WEAK We agree the reporting on clandestine work on the Scud-type engine is compelling, though it is unproven and, in our view, at odds with other compelling humint. (Note: The draft states it as fact.) PARAGRAPH DELETED
-- 49, bottom. **/WEAK. While we agree that Iraqi contacts with North Korea are worrisome, we believe the discussion overstates the evidence of any missile link.
-- 50, first full para. ****/WEAK. We agree that the evidence suggests work on large-diameter motor cases, though we do not believe the evidence is necessarily conclusive, contrary to what the draft suggests. (The intercepts are hardly straightforward.)
Page 55, bottom. **/WEAK. While we agree with much of the discussion, we are unconvinced that "...all the bad actors and terrorists who could come through Baghdad and pick-up biological weapons..." is a likely scenario unless Saddam's regime is about to fall.
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