Did Saddam Hussein develop and maintain mobile labs for the purpose of biological and chemical weapon production?

PRO (yes)

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), in a May 28, 2003 report titled "Iraqi Mobile Biological Warfare Agent Production Plants," stated:

"Examination of the trailers [2 found in Iraq after the invasion] reveals that all of the equipment is permanently installed and interconnected, creating an ingeniously simple, self-contained bioprocessing system. Although the equipment on the trailer found in April 2003 was partially damaged by looters, it includes a fermentor capable of producing biological agents and support equipment such as water supply tanks, an air compressor, a water chiller, and a system for collecting exhaust gases.

The trailers probably are part of a two- or possibly three-trailer unit. Both trailers we have found probably are designed to produce BW agent in unconcentrated liquid slurry. The missing trailer or trailers from one complete unit would be equipped for growth media preparation and postharvest processing and, we would expect, have equipment such as mixing tanks, centrifuges, and spray dryers."

May 28, 2003 - Iraqi Mobile Biological Warfare (742 KB)  
Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) 

Colin Powell, MBA, former US Secretary of State, in a June 9, 2003 TIME magazine interview, stated:

"We didn't just make them up one night. Those were eyewitness accounts of people who had worked in the program and knew it was going on, multiple accounts. 'Oh, it was a hydrogen-making thing for balloons.' No, there's no question in my mind what it was designed for."

June 9, 2003 - Colin Powell, MBA 

George W. Bush, MBA, US President, stated the following in a May 29, 2003 interview by TVP, Poland:

"We found the weapons of mass destruction. We found biological laboratories. You remember when Colin Powell stood up in front of the world, and he said, Iraq has got laboratories, mobile labs to build biological weapons. They're illegal. They're against the United Nations resolutions, and we've so far discovered two. And we'll find more weapons as time goes on. But for those who say we haven't found the banned manufacturing devices or banned weapons, they're wrong, we found them."

May 29, 2003 - George W. Bush, MBA 

Paul Wolfowitz, PhD, former US Deputy Secretary of Defense, stated the following the following in a May 31, 2003 interview with Michael Dwyer of Australian Broadcasting:

"We have found those biological vans that the defector in Germany [Curveball] told us about. They seem to be exactly what he said they would be. And I would think that would pretty well corroborate the rest of his story which is they were for the production of chemical weapons."

May 31, 2003 - Paul Wolfowitz, PhD 

CON (no)

The Commission of the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction (CICUSRWMD), a presidential committee, stated the following in their Mar. 31, 2005 final report:

"One of the most painful errors, however, concerned Iraq's biological weapons programs. Virtually all of the Intelligence Community's information on Iraq's alleged mobile biological weapons (BW) facilities was supplied by a source, codenamed 'Curveball,' who was a fabricator.

With respect to mobile BW production facilities, the 'ISG [Iraq Survey Group] found no evidence that Iraq possessed or was developing production systems on road vehicles or railway wagons.' The ISG's 'exhaustive investigation' of the two trailers captured by Coalition forces in spring 2003 revealed that the trailers were 'almost certainly designed and built exclusively for the generation of hydrogen.' The ISG judged that the trailers 'cannot...be part of any BW program.'

Specifically, the Iraqi National Congress (INC) source, handled by Defense Intelligence Agency's (DIA) Defense Human Intelligence (HUMINT) Service, provided information on Iraq mobile BW facilities that was initially thought to corroborate Curveball's reporting. The INC source was quickly deemed a fabricator in May 2002, however, and the Defense HUMINT issued a fabrication notice but did not recall the reporting on mobile BW facilities in Iraq. Despite the fabrication notice, reporting from the INC source regarding Iraqi mobile BW facilities started to be used again several months later in finished intelligence - eventually ending up in the October 2002 nation Intelligence Estimate (NIE) and in Secretary Powell's February 2003 speech to the United nations Security Council."

Mar. 31, 2005 - The Commission of the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction Report (3.32 MB)  
Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction (CICUSRWMD) 

Scott Ritter, former United Nations Weapons Inspector, stated the following in his Sep. 8, 2003 article "Weapons of Mass Destruction in Our Midst; America Can Be Its, Is Its Own Worst Enemy," published by the San Francisco Chronicle:

"The discovery by U.S. forces in Iraq of two mobile 'biological weapons laboratories' was touted by President Bush as clear evidence that Iraq possessed illegal weapons capabilities. However, it now is clear that these so-called labs were nothing more than hydrogen generation units based upon British technology acquired by Iraq in the 1980s, used to fill weather balloons in support of conventional artillery operations, and have absolutely no application for the production of biological agents."

Sep. 8, 2003 - Scott Ritter