"In June, Hoekstra And Santorum Insisted ‘We Found WMD In Iraq,’ Hoekstra Now Says ‘I Don’t Know’"
In June, Hoekstra unequivocally claimed that WMD had been found in Iraq. From a press conference with Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA), 6/21/06:
Congressman Hoekstra and I are here today to say that we have found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, chemical weapons.
Hoekstra and Santorum went on a media blitz, telling anyone who would listen that WMD’s had been found. (The pair seized on a report describing abandoned, degraded pre-1991 munitions that were already acknowledged by the White House’s Iraq Survey Group and dismissed.) Yesterday, Hoekstra reversed course, saying it he didn’t know whether there was WMD or not. CNN, 11/5/06:
HOEKSTRA: Well, you know, there’s 48,000 boxes of documents that we’ve acquired. I think it’s important to declassify as much of the information. I don’t know whether there was WMD or not. But what we should do is make sure that we go through the process and fully explore what Saddam was capable of doing.
It was Hoekstra’s insistence on declassifying documents found in Iraq that lead to the publication of a document describing how to build a nuclear weapon on a government website.
The truth is that there has been an exhaustive search for WMD in Iraq. None were found. Nevertheless, “Hoekstra is still pressing U.S. intelligence agencies to look for possible weapons of mass destruction in Iraq–even though intelligence officials say further work is unlikely to reveal anything new about Saddam’s WMD programs.”