Frontpage has this interesting interview with Bill Tierney, former military intelligence officer, who worked at Guantanamo and in Baghdad. He was also an weapons inspector for UNSCOM in Iraq.
FP: Ok, so where did the WMDs go?
Tierney: While working counter-infiltration in Baghdad, I noticed a pattern among infiltrators that their cover stories would start around Summer or Fall of 2002. From this and other observations, I believe Saddam planned for a U.S. invasion after President Bush’s speech at West Point in 2002.
Powerline notes that this period was immediately preceded by Bush’s West Point Speech and Senator Rockerfeller’s private visits with middle east leaders where he let slip that it was his opinion that Bush made up his mind to invade Iraq just after 9/11 in 2001. Seeing as Rocky was a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee at the time, I’m sure they took this seriously.
It means that Saddam might have been preparing for a US invasion as early as 8 months before the actual conflict. He could have waged his bets that the US really wouldn’t invade or that he could hold them off if they did, he could have considered using his illegal weapons against the US if they invaded, or he could work on hiding the weapons out of country. He seems to have wisely chosen the last option.
I say wisely with the caveat that the other two options would have been monumentally stupid. Option one was a long shot in either case, and option two would have confirmed to the world everything he had been trying to hide for 10 years.
Since intelligence found weapons with serial numbers indicating that they had at one time been in Iraq in Belgium, and then quite a few Iraqi Scud missiles in Sudan in 2004, I would think that option 3, above, was actually put into effect, and you can reasonably argue that Saddam did, in fact, have WMD contrary to UN mandates.