When the United States led the invasion of Iraq in 2003, it was justified by claims that Saddam Hussein’s regime had weapons of mass destruction that threatened United States interests.
It is widely believed that the invaders didn’t find any WMDs, and that the whole thing was a hoax to justify the invasion. In fact, however, there were a lot of WMDs in Iraq; it had been sold to Saddam by the United States and other countries in the 1980s. It included means for developing missiles in addition to chemical weapons, anthrax and other biotoxins. However, the infamous yellowcake uranium that the U.S. government and mainstream media claimed was being refined into nuclear weapons by Saddam was never found; no evidence to support the veracity of such claims was ever found either.
Before the invasion, all of the WMDs were under control of United Nations inspectors. But the inspectors were kicked out by the invaders, who seemed to only be interested in guarding the oil fields, so the WMD sites were left unguarded and then systematically looted. The UN, which continued to monitor the sites via satellite imagery, observed that over 100 of those sites were plundered, and in a very sophisticated manner.
As The New York Times reported in 2005: “In the weeks after Baghdad fell in April 2003, looters systematically dismantled and removed tons of machinery from Saddam Hussein’s most important weapons installations, including some with high-precision equipment capable of making parts for nuclear arms, a senior Iraqi official said this week in the government’s first extensive comments on the looting. The Iraqi official, Sami al-Araji, the deputy minister of industry, said it appeared that a highly organized operation had pinpointed specific plants in search of valuable equipment, some of which could be used for both military and civilian applications, and carted the machinery away.”
There’s no telling who ended up with these weapons of mass destruction, or how and when they might be used. All this was reported in the mainstream media at the time, but it was quickly dispatched to the memory hole, which is why most people don’t know that there really were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq in 2003, and that the invaders apparently didn’t care.