William Webster, director of the CIA, made a frightening disclosure the other day: Libya, a North African country run by a reckless madman, is building a huge plant to produce chemical weapons.

Libya's Moammar Gadhafi is noted for threatening every one of his neighbors at different times and for arming terrorists as far afield as Northern Ireland and the Philippines. He simply should not have the capability to use poison gas.Make no mistake; Gadhafi is just as likely to employ outlawed chemical weapons as was his fellow Arab dictator, Iraq's Saddam Hussein, who dropped mustard and nerve gases on Iranian troops and his own dissident Kurds.

Because Hussein got away with breaking the international treaty against poison-gas use, Gadhafi may conclude that he can too. It is the duty of the United States and its allies to dissuade him from that dangerous thought.