(submitted in response to Maureen Dowd's July 13, 2003 New York Times column "National House of Waffles")


Dear Editors,


In yesterday's NYTimes, Maureen Dowd wrote in "National House of Waffles":


"More and more, with Bush administration pronouncements about the Iraq war, it depends on what the meaning of the word 'is' is."


I'm beginning to think instead that it depends on the meaning of "had."


Sec. Rumsfeld on "Meet the Press" said:


"...if you’ll think back, the weapons of mass destruction was always chemical, biological and nuclear, and in no instance did anyone on the administration that I know of suggest that they had a nuclear weapon."


On this program as well as ABC's "This Week," he continually distinguished between nuclear "weapons" and nuclear "program."


Dr. Rice also said on "Fox News Sunday:"


"I believe, if you look back, Tony (Snow), we have never said that we thought that he had nuclear weapons."


Call me a cynic, but in the face of all of this insistence that the State of the Union uranium claim, even though it should have been removed, was factually accurate ("The British said X.."), the following statement bothers me:


"I believe that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction."


Dr. Rice said this on Fox as well as Sec. Rumsfeld on ABC and during various press conferences on Sunday.


We know all that Saddam "had" weapons prior to 1991 and this statement would therefore be "accurate."  The important question will be if the administration admits to beleiveing that Saddam Hussein "had" WMD in April 2003.



Milton Alan Turner