Survey chief led calls to oust Iraqi dictator

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The Independent Online

When the Bush administration was searching for someone to lead the hunt for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, the name of David Kay quickly surfaced. He seemed the perfect candidate. He had experience in Iraq and, best of all, he was completely in tune with White House thinking.

Mr Kay, 63, once led the United Nations' nuclear weapons inspection unit of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the IAEA. Under his watch the IAEA exposed Iraq's extensive nuclear weapons programmes in the early 1990s.

He was among a group of inspectors held hostage in a car park by Iraqi authorities for four days after being blocked from entering a facility.

What appealed to the White House was not just Mr Kay's experience, but his distrust of the Saddam Hussein regime. And he had long given up on the UN inspection body, Unscom. Even in 1994, after he had left the IAEA, Mr Kay was making arguments the Bush administration used to justify the war.

"There is no ultimate success that involves Unscom. It's got to be a change of regime. It's got to be a change of Saddam," Mr Kay wrote at the time.

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