WASHINGTON - US lawmakers criticized the George W. Bush administration for what they said was a failure to keep tabs on Iraqi scientists with expertise in creating weapons of mass destruction.
In a sharply worded letter written to US national security adviser Condoleezza Rice, three US lawmakers called for a detailed plan for monitoring and redirecting the activities of Iraq's weapons experts.
"In making the case for war, the President and Administration officials repeatedly warned Congress and the American people that Iraq possessed chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons, intended to produce more, and might export the weapons or the expertise needed to produce them to hostile regimes and terrorists," the lawmakers wrote.
"Although hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent in searching for weapons of mass destruction, we understand that the administration has only recently begun contemplating efforts to keep Iraq's weapons scientists -- who may be the only extant element of an Iraqi unconventional weapons program -- from putting their knowledge to use elsewhere," Representatives George Miller, Ellen Tauscher and Adam Schiff wrote.
The three lawmakers -- all Democrats representing California -- called on the administration to explain why a monitoring program was not put in place long ago, and asked Bush administration officials to determine whether information on building illicit weapons might been leaked by Iraqi scientists to other nations.
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