Asked if he would have recommended an invasion knowing Iraq had no prohibited weapons, Powell replied: "I don't know, because it was the stockpile that presented the final little piece that made it more of a real and present danger and threat to the region and to the world." He said the "absence of a stockpile changes the political calculus; it changes the answer you get."Of course, through most of the interview, Powell defended the administration's actions.
Powell's emphasizes on several occasions that Saddam Hussein had the intent to acquire WMD.
I'm sure there are lots of states, terrorists, and gangsters worldwide who might want an atomic bomb. That doesn't mean they can get one.
Hussein had scientists who knew how to make WMD, asserts Powell -- and this is true. But crude chemical and biological weapons are not that difficult to make. A state with a pesticide factory has WMD potential by this standard -- as does a university with a strong chemistry department. Iraq had no nuclear program, had not done anything since 1998, and could not have produced a mushroom cloud this decade.
Heck, assume this -- the intelligence was wrong.
Regardless of why the Bush people believed what they say they believed, Iraq did not have WMD.
But now that the US knows Iraq did not have WMD, why are administration officials still pretending Saddam Hussein was a threat?