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MSNBC analysts

The former weapons inspectors Richard Butler and David Kay shed light on Iraq and the process of inspections.

Richard Butler and David Kay are former weapons inspectors with the U.N. As MSNBC analysts, they shed light on Iraq and the process of inspections. Read their bios, below.


Richard Butler writes and speak extensively on in international peace and disarmament, in particular in light of the current situation in Iraq. He has spent his career on a host of nuclear non-proliferation issues, culminating in 1996 when he managed United Nation’s adoption of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.

Ambassador Richard Butler was a Diplomat in Residence at the Council on Foreign Relations. From 1997 to 1999, he was Executive Chairman of the United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM) charged with the disarmament of Iraq. Prior to that appointment, he served as Australian Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations from March 1992 until June 1997.

He has also written two books “The Greatest Threat: Iraq, Weapons of Mass Destruction, and the Crisis of Global Security,” and “Fatal Choice: Nuclear Weapons and the Illusion of Missile Defense.”


David Kay was the U.N.’s Chief Nuclear Weapons Inspector leading numerous inspections into Iraq following the end of the Gulf War to determine Iraq’s nuclear weapons production capability. He led teams that found and identified the scope and extent of Iraqi uranium enrichment activities, located the major Iraqi center for assembly of nuclear weapons, and seized large amounts of documents on the Iraqi nuclear weapons program, spending four days as a Saddam hostage in a Baghdad parking lot. He also led the analysis of the nature of the Iraqi nuclear program and its implications for non-proliferation and arms control activities.

He has testified frequently before Congress and has written extensively on the Iraqi threat.

Kay build significant practical experience in such issues at San Diego-based Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) where he served as Corporate Senior Vice President and coordinator for Homeland Security. He led programs to support the U.S. government’s counter-terrorism initiatives.

Dr. David Kay joined the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies, an Arlington-based think tank, as a Senior Fellow in October 2002 in to provide in-depth analyses in counter-terrorism and homeland security policy issues.