Washinton, D.C. -- Given a few more months to prepare for the invasion of US backed coalition forces, Saddam Hussein's Iraqi army might have proven far more formidable, Bush Administration officials announced today.
Speaking at a sparsely attended press conference, Assistant Under Secretary of Defense for Illicit Weapons Systems, Wyman Jenkins dropped a bombshell when he admitted that the United States Government had recently located documents hidden in a basement laboratory underneath Iraq's largely destroyed Defense Palace which give credence to the rumors of a secret army of Weapons of Mass Destruction which was designed to counter-attack the Coalition forces.
Holding photo copies of documents, allegedly hand written in Urdu, which purport to provide the basis of the US claims, Jenkins first outlined the steps which brought the US intelligence community to this discovery.
"Prior to the war we were not able to speak to this for fear of giving away a precious advantage. Frankly, we can admit this now, the nuclear threat was utilized as a cover for our concerns over this far more dangerous situation. Unfortunately, it took us longer than we'd hoped just to find the documents we needed before we could announce it. The Defense Palace was hit repeatedly by missiles and bombs over the course of the war. It took us until December just to clear the way into the building. Once in there it took months to locate and then go through the files. Most of our people do not read Urdu, of course, so that added to the delays. However, once we located these documents we were quickly able to verify that, as the administration thought from the very beginning, this plan was very, very real."
The plan, as Jenkins explained, originated in the mid-90s as Saddam Hussein realized that a build up of conventional WMDs was going to be difficult given the inspections then ongoing. It was then that Hussein hit on the idea of importing pneumatic curare delivery systems, and advisors in their use, from South America.
"They were to form a small army of curare delivery specialists based in the western desert. When Iraq was invaded they would attack from the flank and devastate the Coalition forces. They had been given a fleet of vehicles to facilitate their mobility, older US models, perfectly camouflaged just by their very appearance, Ford Galaxies, Chevrolet Impalas, Dodge Darts and the like. They mixed up the WMDs in the trunks of the cars, then would have used the rolling laboratories to attack. These vehicles likely gave rise to the belief that Iraq had mobile labs, and in a sense they did!"
The implementation of the WMD army never came to fruition largely because of logistical problems and the disinclination of those imported from South America to conform to traditional military discipline - Iraqi style. "Apparently, the advisors had issues with the standard Iraqi uniform, especially the pants. In their South American environment they dressed in a far more casual manner."
Jenkins went on to praise US intelligence. "We were prepared for this possibility because of their diligence. The attack on Iraq was timed to short-circuit the Iraqi plans. Another month or two, a little luck with the advisors, and no amount of intelligence could have prevented massive loss of life."