In reliable intelligence for Iraqi WMDs, Colin Powell believes he had a personal "red line," though the push for war with Iraq was a foregone conclusion. What is actually embarrassing to the Administration's legacy is that the lie - the scam chosen - was so easily falsifiable, despite the history of Saud/Gulf/US arming Iraq with heavy arms to kill off Iranians, and also despite the chemical war genocide commissioned by the US against the Kurds.
The mistrust that the US had for Iraq was so extreme, and so unfounded, that it assumed the criminal arms supplied in the past could not possibly have been completely disposed of, despite documented adherance to enforced standards. According to the preeminent US interpretation of events, a state constantly bombed by the US for 13 years after being a US ally would have been incredibly foolish to give up its weaponry on more than a token basis.
Consequently, the weaponry our victims are keeping to protect themselves from us will be found. They weren't. The real nature of the Saddam administration was one of concession.
In fact, the intelligence community is aware of a more revealing truth: US vassal states concede immediately and comprehensively (states under sanction often do the same, in order to lift the sanctions if possible). That is the documented finding of US handlers managing Pakistani government contacts. That is why states - with power ranging from Indonesia to Israel - concede to US demands, when they are given. Limited sovereignty can be achieved at great cost. It is almost never worth it.