One thousand US experts will scour Iraq for weapons of mass destruction, a US defence official said amid questions about the US failure to find banned weapons and mounting calls for the return of UN inspectors.
"Digging it out, ferreting it out is going to take some time," said the official, who asked not to be identified. "It's going to be difficult, it's not going to be a cakewalk."
The White House, however, has said it was not yet time to discuss the return of UN inspectors, and the large-scale US effort signalled that the United States wants to conduct its own search. Thirty to 40 former UN arms inspectors have been asked to join the team, which also includes former and current US government experts and officials.
"In this organisation there are going to be about 1,000 people," he said. "They are going to be involved in document exploitation, (Will someone please tell the Amerkins that the rest of the world is having a hard time keeping up with their obfuscatory blights on the English language!) in interrogations, in weapons of mass destruction, the whole soup to nuts kind of things (See previous interpolation) ," he said.
Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld highlighted concern that the US might be accused of planting evidence of weapons of mass destruction inside Iraq. But he insisted controls were in place to ensure evidence is untainted.
"That will not stop certain countries, and certain types of people from claiming, inaccurately, that it was planted," he said.
"It is not like a treasure hunt, where you just run around looking everywhere hoping you find something," Mr Rumsfeld said. "The (UN weapons) inspectors didn't find anything, and I doubt that we will. What we will do is find the people who will tell us."
Excuse me, but did I read that correctly? Where were your doubts before the Shock and Awe festivities, Donny boy? You will find people who will tell you WHAT? Tell you that there aint no sanity clause? Tell you that you were wrong and you should go and stand in the corner? The Rant of the Week's Information Minister is proud of you, albeit a little put out that he has been one-upped big time.