Talk:Iraq Survey Group

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Facts and Research[edit]

  • Although it might cost the article some thoroughness - and despite it being very cliche - I can't provide proof about some things, like optempo. If I had them, I could provide the fragos and mission briefs for the MCT missions I went on, but they were secret. It would be an crime to have saved them and a bigger crime to reveal them. Sorry. Do what you have to do... NetSerfer 22:09, 14 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Is the ISG a 1200 member-team or a 1400 member-team?

The term expert ought to be qualified. I know of an officer in his early 20's at the time who led a team searching a huge area of Iraq for WMD who immediately prior to working for the ISG was in fact qualified to be an Officer of the Watch on a warship and whose only training on chemical weapons was the standard package all members of the military get. My point is, they weren't all experts on WMD, which is certainly implied here.

I cleanup up the 'experts' a bit. You're right: there were only a few dozens of WMD experts in ISG. What MCT was your friend with? I worked with most of the team commanders. NetSerfer 23:33, 23 July 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

What EXTRAORDINARY bullsh*t! OOps! not pc. look into it.

is that IYNSHO? =-\ .... JDR 12:51, 24 Jan 2004 (UTC)

I was a member of 2 of the mct teams from dec03 to feb 05 any questions that i might be able to answer direct too, I have pics, awards, and order to for proof. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:07, 30 May 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Anyone following the US news about Iraq and the 2004 presidential election knows that the presence or absence of WMD is a hot issue. One of the biggest justifications (or pretexts?) for the invasion of Iraq -- if not the chief reason -- was WMD.

Initially, both Democrats and Republicans agreed:

  • that Saddam had WMD (or probably did, or soon would, or was trying to get them)
  • that if he didn't prove he was "clean" (no WMD), he ought to be removed from power -- regime change
  • that the US should do the removing, if no one else would
I would generally agree with that Democrats and Republicans agreed upon these ... though I believe there was other factors inadditon to them that were present [Iraq was flaunting international law, disreguarding agreements the country made, continued to show defiance, were concealing the existing programs (saying the country didn't have them) and various other factors (shooting @ UN approved flyovers, comes to mind)] ... JDR

Later, the Democrats shifted their position and derived considerable political capital from constantly repeating:

  • that Saddam obviously never had WMD
  • that Bush knew this
  • that taking out a dictator on such a flimsy excuse as gosh, we thought he had WMD was inexcusable
  • that Bush, having committed an inexcusable act, should be removed (get it? "regime change" - yuk, yuk) at the next election
It does seem that the Democrats do continue that refrain (though the "political capital" they are gaining/losing is relative to your postion I suppose) ... this is in contrast to the _facts_ that Saddam obviously had WMD (eg. the strain [which was known to the Europeans and the UN, as I understand it also (though they both knew Iraq wasn't suppose to have them)]), the US administration found information of the programs that he was hiding, and taking out a dictator on such evidence is "excusable" (eg. Iraq posed a direct and possible danger; showed several times that Iraq was not living up to thier agreements and was not in conformity to the position of the international community) ... Democrats are now calling for a "regime change" at the next election because of thier POV (from what I can tell) ...

Are these bullet points correct and/or relevant? --Uncle Ed 20:32, 30 Jan 2004 (UTC)

 :: "correct and/or relevant? somewhat ... JDR

  • Saddam obviously (looking back) never had WMD stockpiles ... but he did have WMDs ...
  • Some may have known (Ex., Bush, Kerry, Dan Quail, etc. ...) .... but making such allegations is tenious
  • that taking out a dictator any excuse is excusable? YMMV ....
  • Removing Saddam specifically was an inexcusable act? Why don't you ask the Iraqi people. JDR 17:09, 19 November 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Maybe in the 2003 invasion of Iraq entry, as they really have nothing to do with the Iraq Survey Group, considering that it just proved, in the author's words, the Democrats' "Constant Repeating", right. DeathForce

Well they didn´t start repeating it until AFTER the report.. ;) 10:56, 7 December 2005 (UTC) ChristianReply[reply]

Duelfer Report edits[edit]

I made a few changes...

1. The listing of key points buries the lede of the report. The most significant points, from the point of view of Administration justifications for the war, were that there were no WMDs, hadn't been any for years, and Husayn's ability to restart programs had deteriorated, not improved, in the last decade.

I moved the point about buying influence to the bottom. This is because it had the weakest evidence in the report. While it's widely acknowledged that Husayn skimmed money from the program, the only "evidence" of buying influence is the papers that Ahmed Chalabi alleged to have custody of. No independent observer ever saw those alleged papers, and Chalabi's people offered "my dog ate my homework" excuses about multiple hard drive failures when pressed.

On Chalabi being the sole source for evidence of bribery, see:

2. Where the article said "Iraq had planned on restarting all banned weapons programs ...", I changed it to "Iraq hoped to restart...". THis is because the Duelfer report indicates Husayn's *desire* to restart, but that he had, in practical terms, been letting programs deteriorate, rather than been preparing for the end of sanctions.

On the lack of interest in restarting BW, see the key findings, page 1 of the Biological Weapons section:

"ISG found no direct evidence that Iraq, after 1996, had plans for a new BW program or was conducting BW-specifi c work for military purposes. Indeed, from the mid-1990s, despite evidence of continuing interest in nuclear and chemical weapons, there appears to be a complete absence of discussion or even interest in BW at the Presidential level. Iraq would have faced great diffi culty in re-establishing an effective BW agent production capability."

3. In Political Implications, I reworded the Administration claims to appear as allegations, rather than as facts, since multiple reports have disproven them.


It wasn't disproven, sorry.

Hi - I thought it would be best to have one bullet point each about the three main WMD programs, describing what the Duelfer report found about them. There was already one about nuclear weapons, so below that one I've now added two bullet points covering the report's key findings about chemical and biological weapons:

1. "Iraq destroyed its chemical weapons stockpile in 1991, and only a small number of old, abandoned chemical munitions were discovered by the ISG. Saddam never abandoned his intentions to resume a CW effort at a future time, however." -- see the first two key findings of the Duelfer report's section on chemical weapons.

2. "Saddam's regime abandoned its biological weapons program and its ambition to obtain advanced biological weapons in 1995. While it could have re-established an elementary BW program within weeks, ISG discovered no indications it was pursuing such a course. No-itsme (talk) 19:07, 5 March 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

POV problems in the "Political implications" section[edit]

The section on "Political implications" is fairly POV-heavy at the moment. I'm not sure it's really possible to have a section that covers the "political implications" of the ISG's findings without it becoming a football being scrimmaged over aggressively by the pro-Bush/anti-Bush teams. Even the section title, "Political implications", is problematic, in that it commits the article to presenting the political implications -- but those implications are themselves the subject of the controversy, and the things that are being strenuously disagreed about by both sides.

I'd suggest the following changes (which, if someone doesn't object to them, or do them first, I'll probably do myself over the next few days):

  • Rename the section to something like "Controversy regarding findings".
  • Recast the POV-heavy language in more-neutral terms that simply present each side's intrepration of what the ISG results mean. For example, the current language implies that the WMD commission report and the report of the Senate Intelligence Committee showed Bush was not to blame for relying on the flawed intelligence. That position is pro-Bush POV: neither of those reports actually addresses that issue directly, though they are frequently cited as evidence for that position by Bush defenders.

-- John Callender 17:52, 13 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I looked at the section and it really doesn't seem relevant to the subject of the article. Since no one has defended the section since you posted this comment, I removed the section. Warren Dew 00:53, 9 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I'm not sure how to include this without sparking a riot, by ISG's mission was, by its very nature, political. This was common knowledge - and openly acknowledged by our commanders. This is also the reason that operations ended in early November: after the elections were over, there was no need to continue to try to justify the invasion. Bush had his second term and the invasion was, by that point, fait accompli. There was no more need for a smoking gun. Again, this was all open knowledge among those of us doing this work - including our chain of command. NetSerfer 00:19, 10 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

What field commanders think they "know" isn't always true; there are a lot of links in the chain of command. If the idea was to justify the Administration's invasion, the people who wrote the reports did a pretty poor job - the ISG found things (botulinum bacteria, uranium enrichment centrifuge plans) that (a) Saddam had successfully hidden from the U.N. inspectors, and (b) pretty clearly violated the U.N. conditions imposed on Iraq. Those factors were never clearly articulated to the press, which they should have been if the point was to justify the war. Most of the significant findings do seem to have been made early on, so I might believe that continuing the effort past, say, Kay's resignation was an effort to satisfy congressmen who still believed, unrealistically, that large stockpiles would be found. Warren Dew 23:51, 10 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Also keep in mind that Wikipedia is about "verifiability, not truth". Even if all the editors agree on a fact, it shouldn't go into an article unless it is verified by a reputable published source; doing otherwise would be original research, which is prohibited. See Wikipedia:Verifiability and Wikipedia:No original research.

July 15 Vandalism[edit]

I reverted to a July 4 version, which may have stepped on some minor revisions that were made in the interim. I also changed the title of the section on Sector Control Point - Baghdad to the more general 'Organization and Operations'.

-- Netserfer 22:18, 15 JUL 2005 (EST)


Alledgeing that this was only a "Pentagon and CIA" hunt for Saddam's WMD is not a NPOV (and borders on being factually inaccurate). JDR 17:04, 19 November 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The statement reads: It consisted of a 1,400-member team organized by The Pentagon and CIA to hunt for Saddam's suspected stockpiles of WMD. Given that David Kay worked for the Pentagon from '83 to '88. Given that Charles A. Duelfer worked for the agency before being appointed to the group. Given that the title of the findings is "Comprehensive Report of the Special Advisor to the DCI on Iraq’s WMD" [1]. I think it is fair to say that that the Pentagon and CIA organized the hunt. Further, given that the article states a 1,400 member team, I think it is a stretch to suggest the article implies only the before mentioned agencies were involved. Noting a 1,400 member international team ought to remove any lingering doubt, given that there is a whole section on Organization and Operations. Finally, User:Reddi made his comments and NPOV tag on 9 November 2005 , and since that time no one has commented, or made any substantial changes to the article. I am removing the NPOV tag. --Uncle Bungle 23:23, 29 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Related question: In the Duelfer Report section all external links are to the CIA's executive summary of the report. Why are we not using the original source material? ( What the CIA considers to be key findings may not be the key findings of the report. - Amgine 03:09, 22 March 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Text removal[edit]

The following text was removed from the article, and I can't find a reason here or in the edit history:

"The failure to find any stockpiles of chemical, biological or nuclear weapons was embarassing (to - LP) Washington and London, who used intelligence indicating that Iraq did possess WMD stockpiles as one of the primary justifications for the invasion of Iraq. The British government, in particular, placed very heavy emphasis on this intelligence in order to win support for the invasion."

Anyone know why it was deleted?

Lapsed Pacifist (talk) 17:00, 2 January 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I clairfied the end of the Oganizations and Operations part where it talks about the second two soliders that where killed. Only thing I did was add the battery and battalion of the unit. I was in the battalion over there when it happened.

Revcoyote (talk) 01:36, 22 May 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Use of Names of Commanders and Personnel[edit]

I am curious as to the value of specifying who led or worked in various elements. Several of these men are still in military or government service. While their service is not secret, it is not widely circulated as a matter of operational and personal security. I know named individuals who want their names removed for those very reasons, some of whom have little or no internet presence other than this article.

Furthermore, these names are not referenced, which is a violation of Wikipedia policy concerning biographies of living persons (BLP). All names and positions held "must be attributed to a reliable, published source using an inline citation; material not meeting this standard may be removed." Original research is not allowed for BLP. Names of individuals that appeared in the news are one thing, but please remove names of individuals who merely served.

Aravatos (talk) 01:01, 9 August 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Removed unsourced names from article. Did not remove any names of individuals who have full Wikipedia entries of their own.

Aravatos (talk) 01:11, 12 August 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]