High-ranking Iraqi prisoners are uniformly denying Saddam Hussein's government had any weapons of mass destruction before the war, U.S. officials familiar with their interrogations said Tuesday, according to AP.
American officials stand by their belief that Iraq possessed prohibited weapons and the means to make more, although none have turned up since the war started on March 19. The Bush administration has cited intelligence pointing to prohibited Iraqi weapons programs as a justification for war.
US officials now claim the weapons are either well hidden or were destroyed in the run-up to the war.
Saddam's government denied having any unconventional weapons until the end, saying it had destroyed them years before.
Secretary of State Colin Powell, under questioning before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Tuesday, predicted prisoners would yet help U.S. forces find the alleged weapons. "They will be found," he said.
Former Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz is among the Iraqis in custody who says his government had no prohibited weapons, officials said. So is Lt. Gen. Amer al-Saadi, Saddam's alleged point man on chemical and biological agents.
One unidentified scientist cooperating with American interrogators has contended the government destroyed its weapons in the run-up to the war. But his information has not been verified, officials said. (Albawaba.com)
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