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A top congressional Democrat on Wednesday slammed President George W. Bush's Iraq policy
A top congressional Democrat on Wednesday slammed President George W. Bush's Iraq policy, now that US inspectors have formally acknowledged that their exhaustive search has yielded no weapons of mass destruction there. "After a search that has consumed nearly two years and millions of dollars, and a war that has cost thousands of lives, no weapons of mass destruction have been found -- nor has any evidence been uncovered that such weapons were moved to another country," House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said in a statement. "President Bush has refused to concede what has been obvious for months -- the primary justification for the invasion of Iraq was not supported by fact," she said, as Turkish Press reported. According to the New Zealand Herald, the 1700-strong Iraq Survey Group, responsible for the hunt, last month wrapped up physical searches for weapons of mass destruction, and its mission is now refocussed on gathering information to help US forces in Iraq win a bloody guerrilla war, officials said. "You can only search so many places for WMD," said a defence official, who added that the ISG continues to review documents and interview people knowledgeable about deposed President Saddam Hussein's arms programmes for possible leads. Charles Duelfer, the CIA special adviser who led the ISG's weapons search, has returned home and is expected next month to issue a final addendum to his September report concluding that prewar Iraq had no WMD stockpiles, officials said. There has been plenty of political fallout already from the non-appearance of weapons, for both Washington and London. In essence, both had accepted that weapons weren't going to be found, and that the pre-war intelligence was wrong. But there are likely to be more ripples now from the fact that the hunt is now over, and particularly the way that fact emerged in a press report. One senior long-time Democratic critic of the administration, Nancy Pelosi, has already said the president needs to explain to the American people why he was so wrong, says BBC News.
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