Iraq Embraced Just-In-Time WMD Production To Keep Inventories

Iraqi Scientist Links Weapons to ‘Dual Use’ Facilities, White House Says (washingtonpost.com)
The nay-sayers will never buy it, but it’s completely in keeping with the mobile facilities we recently found and it makes sense for a number of reasons. Maintaining inventories of biological weapons and chemical weapons is dangerous and can also be easily found. Better to just maintain the facilities to produce them on an as-needed basis — dual-use facilities in many cases — and the means to deliver them, as with the empty chemical warheads we found recently.

The Bush administration says it has been told by an Iraqi scientist that Saddam Hussein in past years decentralized the chemical and biological weapons programs by putting production equipment within commercial facilities so that it would not be discovered but could be used when needed to produce deadly agents.

The scientist, in a May 7 White House document made available to The Washington Post, describes Iraq as having “carefully embedded its [weapons of mass destruction] infrastructure in dual-use facilities” with chemical weapons production “on demand” or “just in time.”

The document noted that “facilities for making deadly nerve agents were also producing legitimate products like pesticides,” but “such sites also could employ ‘just in time’ manufacturing and delivery systems to reduce the need for stockpiles.” It said the Iraqi tractor-trailer seized in northern Iraq in April and outfitted with equipment that could be used to manufacture biological agents represented “physical evidence of such an approach.”

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, who recently said it was possible Hussein destroyed his chemical and biological weapons, referred to this approach Friday, saying there was “speculation” Iraq had arranged the weapons programs so that it “could do what in business you would call ‘just-in-time delivery.’ ” Rumsfeld, during an Infinity radio town hall meeting, said Iraq then would not have to maintain “large stocks [of chemical or biological agents] which are dangerous and can be a problem, but in fact have things like this mobile laboratory which can produce things in a rapid way and have them when you need them.”

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