The translated documents from the captured IIS files have even more information on Saddam Hussein’s activity in WMD research and development. BIAP-2003-003057.pdf has the agenda from a January 21, 2003 meeting that involves chemical projects scheduled for implementation in the coming year:
Members of the Chemical Projects Implementation Authority
Below is the 10th session agenda for the Chemical Projects Implementation Authority
held on January 21, 2003 at 0900.
1. To review work progress for the month of December for each project as of
December 31, 2002 according to the approved schedules and it’s indexes.
2. Discuss the implementation plan for the year 2003’s projects, to suggest the
[amount of money to] allocate, and to set out detailed plans to accomplish this.
3. The status of the importation orders.
4. The status of manufactured equipment.
Dr. ‘Alla Abbas Hussein
Chief, Chemical Projects Implementation Authority
Below is a table listing bids for several phases of the “sodium carbonate” project, one which the table shows will cost Iraq over $18 million dollars as well as $2.2 billion Iraqi dinars (see update below). One has to wonder what about sodium carbonate would require such an investment while the US argued for a military invasion of Iraq at the Security Council. This document shows that the Saddam regime not only kept their WMD programs active but were prepared to spend large amounts of money to fund them.
UPDATE: Originally I had this in billions of dollars and trillions of Iraqi dinars. However, one commenter points out that the numbers were probably a literal translation from the document, and that commas in the rest of the world are used as decimal indicators, where we use periods for that purpose. That takes each total down a level of magnitude here into more realistic numbers. Still, $18 million for a sodium carbonate project seems very high.