Spying on the Bomb by Jeffrey T. Richelson
In February 2003, Secretary of State Colin Powell went before the United Nations Security Council and laid out the case for using force against Saddam Hussein. The stakes were extraordinary. The United States wanted to do more than remove a megalomaniacal despot with a history of violating UN resolutions and developing and using weapons of mass destruction. In the aftermath of September 11, the Bush administration was seeking to create a domestic and international consensus for dealing vigorously with an emerging nexus: rogue states like Iraq, international terrorists, and weapons of mass destruction, especially nuclear ones.
Powell’s presentation relied heavily on highly classified information, including overhead photographs, communications intercepts, defector reports, and evidence of clandestine purchases of banned equipment. It all pointed to a single conclusion—namely, that “Saddam Hussein [was] determined to get his hands on a nuclear bomb.”
About the Author
Patrick J. Garrity, a new contributor, is a research associate at the Miller Center of Public Affairs at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.