SENATOR: WHITE HOUSE WARNED OF IRAQ UAV ATTACK

A Bush administration official told senators last year that "Iraq not only had weapons of mass destruction, but they had the means to deliver them to East Coast cities," Florida Today reports.According to Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL), "about 75 senators got that news during a classified briefing before last October's congressional vote authorizing the use of force to remove Saddam Hussein from power...."Nelson said the senators were told Iraq had both biological and chemical weapons, notably anthrax, and it could deliver them to cities along the Eastern seaboard via unmanned aerial vehicles, commonly known as drones."That echoes public statements from the President, who said at the time, "We're concerned that Iraq is exploring ways of using these UAVs for missions targeting the United States."But this tale of drone attack was beyond unlikely last year - and looks even more absurd now.According to every public report about Iraq's "unmanned air force," Saddam's UAV fleet consisted of, at best, a couple of ancient Czech training drones. These planes have a maximum range of 800 miles or so -- not nearly enough to reach anywhere close to American shores. In fact, only the world's most-advanced UAVs, like the American Global Hawk, could make such a trip.The only realistic way such drones could hit the U.S. and this isnt terribly realistic - is if Saddam packed them onto boats, which would then have to sneak past the U.S. Navy in the Persian Gulf, slip through the Suez Canal, tiptoe through the Mediterranean, and make their way to the middle of the Atlantic. Only then could this unmanned cargo - packed with the chemical or biological arms that have so far proved so elusive be launched from these ultra-stealthy ships.Pretty unlikely stuff.So here's my question: did this "administration official" actually believe the credulity-stretching story he spun for the Senate? Did the President believe it when he warned of UAV attacks?Or did they just flat-out lie?

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