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Mar. 1st, 2004 | 10:09 am

MS. STORM: Meanwhile, controversy continues over weapons of mass destruction.
Russia says their intelligence shows no evidence of weapons of mass destruction
in Iraq. They claim that the war was politically motivated.

What's your response to that?

SECRETARY POWELL: The war was not politically motivated. The war was caused by
a dictator who had ignored 12 years worth of UN resolutions, who had the intent
to have weapons of mass destruction, he had the capability, he had the
programs, he had the infrastructure. The only thing that really is in debate is
whether or not there were actual stockpiles there. No stockpiles have been
found yet.

At the time the decisions were made to go to war, all of our intelligence
information and the intelligence information held by other countries, and the
belief of the UN and the belief of Dr. Kay, was that there were stockpiles.

So let the investigations continue, let the work of Mr. Duelfer and the Iraqi
Support Group continue, and we'll answer this question once and for all. But
based on the intelligence and the information that we had at that time, the war
was justified. And based on what we have found since then -- the mass graves,
the nature of this despotic regime, and the promise that is now before the
Iraqi people for democracy -- it was a correct war, just as Dr. Kay said, and
just as I and the President and all of my colleagues have been saying. The
Iraqi people will be better off. The world is going to be better off.

MS. STORM: Secretary of State Colin Powell. Thank you.

SECRETARY POWELL: Thank you.

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