Why does nearly everyone conclude that because no weapons of mass destruction have been found in Iraq they almost certainly didn't exist? Richard Perle (I know, American, neocon . . . but stay with me) speaking at the Hay Festival said that the only way WMD might have been found there would have been by Hans Blix or the Americans being shown precisely where they were. As he repeated, a cache of anthrax is easily 'lost' in a country like Iraq which is about as big as France.
He has a point. The IRA managed to 'lose' their weapons in Northern Ireland in spite of the fact that the police and armed forces who were looking for them had local knowledge, had been searching for many years, and had an area one-thirtieth the size of Iraq to cover.
The store of IRA weapons was never found. How was General de Chastelain able to satisfy all parties to the Good Friday Agreement that the arms had been decommissioned? He was shown where they were.