The Independent reports that there's a bit of skepticism about the Iraqi who's identified himself as the source of the WMDs-in-45-minutes claim in Britain's dossier about Saddam:
Officials within the Iraqi occupation authorities are puzzling over a British newspaper's interview with a man purporting to be an Iraqi colonel who said he believed he was the source of the Government's claim that Saddam Hussein could launch weapons of mass destruction within 45 minutes.
...The interviewee was identified only as Lt-Col al-Dabbagh, 40, who was the "head of an Iraqi air defence unit in the western desert". He was also interviewed by the American network channel, NBC....
...sections of the transcript of the NBC interview that the network did not broadcast were aired on the ITV News Channel, which has a partnership with NBC. In one, the colonel was asked by NBC's Baghdad correspondent why he was so sure that these were chemical or biological weapons. His reply suggests that he was not, in fact, sure at all.
"We cannot determine exactly, but the procedures taken show that these were indeed WMD," he said. "It might have been chemical or biological but it was definitely unconventional weapons."
In another section, broadcast by ITV, the colonel says: "The instructions from Saddam were clear. When you get to a critical point where the survival of the country is at stake then you can use these weapons. All weapons starting from the common knife all the way up to nuclear weapons can be used.That was the instruction."
As it has long been known that Iraq's armed forces did not possess nuclear weapons, this raises further doubts about the unnamed "colonel's" credibility....
Please recall that before this story broke there was intelligence, attributable to one unnamed Iraqi source (but otherwise unverified), that Saddam's forces could launch battlefield (not long-distance) chemical or biological weapons on 45 minutes' notice -- and now there's intelligence, attributable to one named Iraqi source (but otherwise unverified), that Saddam's forces could launch battlefield (not long-distance) chemical or biological weapons on 45 minutes' notice. So there's not much new here. Yet the New York Post gave the story a front-page banner headline and other conservatives are treating it as big news.
Incidentally, as Sadly, No! notes, The Independent reported yesterday that Colonel al-Dabbagh has been identified as "an advisor to the Iraqi Governing Council." Think this guy does anything useful for the Iraqi people when he's not pumping self-aggrandizing stories to the British and American press?