February 05, 2004

Missing Aluminum Tubes

More on Tenet's speech:

Regarding prohibited aluminum tubes, a debate laid out extensively in the estimate and one that experts still argue over, were they for uranium enrichment or conventional weapons? We have additional data to collect and more sources to question. 

Moreover, none of the tubes found in Iraq so far match the high- specification tubes Baghdad sought and may never have received the amounts needed. Our aggressive interdiction efforts may have prevented Iraq from receiving all but a few of these prohibited items. 

If the tubes were for conventional munitions that were legal, why have they not been found? On the one hand, they could be in the parts of Iraq's conventional military arsenal and not inventoried yet. But if that were true, there could be a great many other sanctions prohibited things hidden there and waiting to be found. On the other hand, these tubes could have been spirited away as part of Iraq's emergency exit plan in case of imminent invasion in accordance with Soviet doctrine (let's not forget that Iraq was a Soviet client state and generally followed Soviet military doctrine).

So which is it? Who knows yet. Eventually we'll figure it out.

Posted by TMLutas at February 5, 2004 11:00 PM