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Iraq: Rumsfeld Says Weapons Intelligence Will Prove Correct

Lisbon, 10 June 2003 (RFE/RL) -- U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld says that the intelligence on Iraq was not politicized and the assessment that Baghdad possessed weapons of mass destruction will ultimately prove correct. A controversy has arisen over whether top U.S. officials took a harder line on Iraq allegedly having weapons of mass destruction -- a main reason given for going to war -- than the intelligence actually supported.

Rumsfeld, speaking in Portugal late yesterday, said all U.S. intelligence agencies were in "broad agreement" and any differences were laid out in National Intelligence Estimate reports.

Rumsfeld's comments come as U.S. military units assigned to track down Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction have reportedly run out of places to look and are getting time off or being assigned to other duties.

U.S. Lieutenant Colonel Keith Harrington, who leads a U.S. search team, told the AP news agency "it doesn't appear there are any more targets at this time."

AP reports the slowdown comes after checks of more than 230 sites -- drawn from a master intelligence list compiled before the war -- turned up no weapons of mass destruction.