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General confident weapons of mass destruction will be found


WASHINGTON, May. 27 - The chairman of the military Joint Chiefs of Staff said Monday he believes it's "just a matter of time" before U.S. military forces find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

"We knew going in that a regime that had spent over a decade trying to deny and deceive the United Nations and others about its weapons of mass destruction program, that this would be very, very tough," said Air Force Gen. Richard Myers.
But Myers, appearing on morning television shows from Arlington National Cemetery, site of Memorial Day ceremonies, said he thinks that as U.S. forces continue to capture members of Saddam Hussein's ousted regime, the chances of finding weapons will improve.
Twenty-five people on a list of 55 top-ranking Iraqis who were part of Saddam's regime are in U.S. custody, and Myers said on ABC's "Good Morning America" that these people were "deeply involved" in a weapons program.
The Bush administration charged that Saddam held weapons of mass destruction and was seeking to develop more sophisticated weapons ? and that was cited as the principal reason for invading Iraq.
But in the weeks following the crushing of Saddam's regime, little has been found, although U.S. forces have discovered two tractor-trailers that authorities suspect were mobile biological weapons laboratories.

The CIA and other intelligence agencies are reviewing the accuracy of information they supplied the administration in the weeks preceding the mid-March invasion of Iraq, said a senior U.S. intelligence official speaking on condition of anonymity.
Asked Monday what he thinks of the quality of that intelligence, Myers told NBC"s "Today" show he has "high confidence in the intelligence data that we had before we went into Iraq."
Discovering weapons of mass destruction "is a matter of time," he said.
"We have two of the mobile laboratories" that Secretary of State Colin Powell cited in a United Nations presentation to justify the war, Myers said.
"I think we're going to find what we were told we were going to find," he said. " ... Given time, given the number of prisoners now that we're interrogating, I'm confident that we're going to find weapons of mass destruction."
Myers noted that the United States now has roughly 140,000 troops in Iraq and that the number could rise to 160,000 as the military works to bring about stability there.
"The stabilization phase that we're in right now is a very, very tough phase," he told NBC. "You have to adapt very quickly to what you find on the ground."
"When they opened up the prisons," he added, "they let out tens of thousands of murderers and others into society. You've got to deal with that."
Myers said the work by coalition forces to bring order to Iraq is already "paying dividends" and said "the trend lines on almost everything you can measure are up."
But Myers he quickly added that much work remains to be done.

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