WASHINGTON (CNN) # It could take years before investigators are able to uncover the details of Iraq’s unconventional weapons programs under Saddam Hussein, according to the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.
“Every day is a new day for the intelligence people. I would say that we are probably a couple of years away from getting through all the material and talking to all the people we need to talk to about exactly what was going on,” said Rep. Porter Goss, R-Florida.
He said that applied to “not only with the Saddam Hussein regime, but with some of the Taliban and some of the things that have been going on in North Korea, Libya, Iran and other places.”
The CIA’s Iraq Survey Group under David Kay continues to search for weapons of mass destruction and evidence that Saddam concealed such programs from the international community. The search is expected to continue for another three to six months.
Kay presented a preliminary report to the House Intelligence Committee in October that said the group found no unconventional weapons, but did uncover evidence that Saddam’s regime planned to manufacture them.
The Bush administration said last year that the Iraqi threat of weapons of mass destruction was a main reason for its decision to launch a U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in March.
In his State of the Union address Tuesday night to Congress and the American people, President Bush cited the Kay report as support for the U.S.-led war in Iraq.
“Had we failed to act, [Saddam’s] weapons of mass destruction programs would continue to this day,” Bush said.