In hindsight, perhaps I shouldn't have started this thread while under muscle relaxants and heavy doses of Naproxen. But I will continue anyhow.
Ron, I agree that I overgeneralized with the 'everyone' comment. It was an open secret that Saddam possessed chemical and biological weapons and was striving for nuclear material.
John, I can't go with that assumption of a global conspiracy. Though I wasn't involved in the process, I have a feeling it went like this:
Saddam, while trying to build reactors for non-peaceful purposes, asserts he has WMDs. As proof, he uses chemical and biological agents against Iran, against Kurds, against coalition forces. He tells his advisors and cabinet members he has them. This gets leaked out to intelligence operatives who report back to their home countries that Saddam has them. Notes are compared and shared among countries that Saddam has them. And so the rumor becomes fact based on Saddam's track record.
And Brad, I could've sworn that Rowley's response said 'no known nuclear plants' which I took to mean no known nuclear plants had been destroyed in Iraq. My mistake. Taking the statement that no known nuclear countries have been attacked is false though. Spain, France, Israel, Russia, and the US, just to name a few. And one thing that some forget is that when an embassy is attacked, the country represented has been attacked. The same goes for military bases, or military equipment, including ships and aircraft. Technically, we've been at war with the terrorists since the late 80's.
I know Saddam was not connected to 9/11. He was, however, directly linked to terrorism. Millions paid out to families of suicide bombers. The willing harboring of terrorists. A 747 fuselage and cockpit used for specialized training, restricted from the Iraqi military. Some will disavow any or all of this, since most will acknowledge only those things which mesh with their own perspective, self included.