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President Bush wants the facts on WMD

By Wolf Blitzer
CNN


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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- It was a candid statement from the president. Even he is now no longer sure whether Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction just before the U.S.-led invasion.

"I want the American people to know that I, too, want to know the facts. I want to be able to compare what the Iraq Survey Group has found with what we thought prior to going into Iraq," the president told reporters at the White House Friday.

It was in sharp contrast to the categorical statements he and his top aides made about Iraq's weapons before the war -- statements his former top weapons hunter, David Kay, now says were based on faulty intelligence.

That has led many Democrats and even some Republicans to call for an outside commission to investigate.

But even as that pressure mounts, President Bush so far isn't saying whether he will support such an inquiry -- though he isn't backing away at all from his decision to go to war.

"Saddam Hussein was a danger. He was a growing danger ... We deal with the danger. And as a result, the world is a better place and a more peaceful place and the Iraqi people are free," the president said.

Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, among those making the strongest case for the war, isn't backing down either.

"We didn't mislead the world. What we have been saying, what we were saying all along, was the unanimous conclusion of our various intelligence services," Secretary Wolfowitz said in an interview with CNN Turk.

Wolfowitz insists the jury is still out on the issue.

"So there are still some things there that we don't understand fully. But you have to act based on what you know ahead of time, not on what you're going to learn later," Wolfowitz said.


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