Those elusive WMD in Iraq?

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
The "justification" for Bush to attack Iraq has been the allegations of WMD. This piece reveals how the Bush Administration is concealing and distorting proof that Iraq has destroyed at least most of its weapons of mass destruction. Although Newsweek came out with a watered-down aspect of the story, it also tried to minimize the implications.





From FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting).



MEDIA ADVISORY:

Star Witness on Iraq Said Weapons Were Destroyed:

Bombshell revelation from a defector cited by White House and press



February 27, 2003



On February 24, Newsweek broke what may be the biggest story of the Iraq crisis. In a revelation that "raises questions about whether the WMD

[weapons of mass destruction] stockpiles attributed to Iraq still exist," the magazine's issue dated March 3 reported that the Iraqi weapons chief who defected from the regime in 1995 told U.N. inspectors that Iraq had destroyed its entire stockpile of chemical and biological weapons and banned missiles, as Iraq claims.



Until now, Gen. Hussein Kamel, who was killed shortly after returning to Iraq in 1996, was best known for his role in exposing Iraq's deceptions

about how far its pre-Gulf War biological weapons programs had advanced. But Newsweek's John Barry-- who has covered Iraqi weapons inspections for more than a decade-- obtained the transcript of Kamel's 1995 debriefing by officials from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the U.N. inspections team known as UNSCOM.



Inspectors were told "that after the Gulf War, Iraq destroyed all its chemical and biological weapons stocks and the missiles to deliver them," Barry wrote. All that remained were "hidden blueprints, computer disks, microfiches" and production molds. The weapons were destroyed secretly, in order to hide their existence from inspectors, in the hopes of someday resuming production after inspections had finished. The CIA and MI6 were told the same story, Barry reported, and "a military aide who defected with Kamel... backed Kamel's assertions about the destruction of WMD stocks."



But these statements were "hushed up by the U.N. inspectors" in order to "bluff Saddam into disclosing still more."



CIA spokesman Bill Harlow angrily denied the Newsweek report. "It is incorrect, bogus, wrong, untrue," Harlow told Reuters the day the report

appeared (2/24/03).



But on Wednesday (2/26/03), a complete copy of the Kamel transcript-- an internal UNSCOM/IAEA document stamped "sensitive"-- was obtained by Glen Rangwala, the Cambridge University analyst who in early February revealed that Tony Blair's "intelligence dossier" was plagiarized from a student thesis. Rangwala has posted the Kamel transcript on the Web:



<a href="http://casi.org.uk/info/unscom950822.pdf."; target="_blank">http://casi.org.uk/info/unscom950822.pdf.</a>;



In the transcript (p. 13), Kamel says bluntly: "All weapons-- biological, chemical, missile, nuclear, were destroyed."



Who is Hussein Kamel? Kamel is no obscure defector. A son-in-law of Saddam Hussein, his departure from Iraq carrying crates of secret documents on Iraq's

past weapons programs was a major turning point in the inspections saga.



In 1999, in a letter to the U.N. Security Council (1/25/99), UNSCOM reported that its entire eight years of disarmament work "must be divided into two parts, separated by the events following the departure from Iraq, in August 1995, of Lt. General Hussein Kamel."



Kamel's defection has been cited repeatedly by George W. Bush and leading administration officials as evidence that 1) Iraq has not disarmed; 2) inspections cannot disarm it; and 3) defectors such as Kamel are the most reliable source of information on Iraq's weapons.



Bush declared in an October 7, 2002 speech: "In 1995, after several years of deceit by the Iraqi regime, the head of Iraq's military industries defected. It was then that the regime was forced to admit that it had produced more than 30,000 liters of anthrax and other deadly biological agents. The inspectors, however, concluded that Iraq had likely produced two to four times that amount. This is a massive stockpile of biological weapons that has never been accounted for, and capable of killing millions."



Secretary of State Colin Powell's February 5 presentation to the U.N. Security Council claimed: "It took years for Iraq to finally admit that it had produced four tons of the deadly nerve agent, VX. A single drop of VX on the skin will kill in minutes. Four tons. The admission only came out after inspectors collected documentation as result of the defection of Hussein Kamel, Saddam Hussein's late son-in-law."



In a speech last August (8/27/02), Vice President Dick Cheney said Kamel's story "should serve as a reminder to all that we often learned more as the result of defections than we learned from the inspection regime itself."



Deputy National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley recently wrote in the Chicago Tribune (2/16/03) that "because of information provided by Iraqi defector and former head of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction programs, Lt. Gen. Hussein Kamel, the regime had to admit in detail how it cheated on its nuclear non-proliferation commitments."



The quotes from Bush and Powell cited above refer to anthrax and VX produced by Iraq before the 1991 Gulf War. The administration has cited various quantities of chemical and biological weapons on many other occasions-- weapons that Iraq produced but which remain unaccounted for.



All of these claims refer to weapons produced before 1991. But according to Kamel's transcript, Iraq destroyed all of these weapons in 1991.



According to Newsweek, Kamel told the same story to CIA analysts in August 1995. If that is true, all of these U.S. officials have had access to Kamel's statements that the weapons were destroyed. Their repeated citations of his testimony-- without

revealing that he also said the weapons no longer exist-- suggests that the administration might be withholding critical evidence. In particular, it casts doubt on the credibility of Powell's February 5 presentation to the U.N., which was widely hailed

at the time for its persuasiveness. To clear up the issue, journalists might ask that the CIA release the transcripts of its own conversations with Kamel.



Kamel's disclosures have also been crucial to the arguments made by hawkish commentators on Iraq. The defector has been cited four times on the New York Times op-ed page in the last four months in support of claims about Iraq's weapons programs--never noting his assertions about the elimination of these weapons. In a major Times op-ed calling for war with Iraq (2/21/03), Kenneth Pollack of the Brookings Institution wrote that Kamel and other defectors "reported that outside pressure had not only failed to eradicate the nuclear program, it was bigger and more cleverly spread out and concealed than anyone had imagined it to be." The

release of Kamel's transcript makes this claim appear grossly at odds with the defector's actual testimony.



The Kamel story is a bombshell that necessitates a thorough reevaluation of U.S. media reporting on Iraq, much of which has taken for granted that the nation retains supplies of prohibited weapons. (See FAIR Media Advisory, "Iraq's Hidden Weapons:

From Allegation to Fact,"



<a href="http://www.fair.org/press-releases/iraq-weapons.html"; target="_blank">http://www.fair.org/press-releases/iraq-weapons.html</a>; .)



Kamel's testimony is not, of course, proof that Iraq does not have hidden stocks of chemical or biological weapons, but it does suggest a need for much more media skepticism about U.S. allegations than has previously been shown.



Unfortunately, Newsweek chose a curious way to handle its scoop: The magazine placed the story in the miscellaneous "Periscope" section with a generic headline, "The Defector's Secrets." Worse, Newsweek's online version added a subhead that

seemed almost designed to undercut the importance of the story: "Before his death, a high-ranking defector said Iraq had not abandoned its WMD ambitions." So far, according to a February 27 search of the Nexis database, no major U.S.

newspapers or national television news shows have picked up the Newsweek story.



Read the Newsweek story:



<a href="http://www.msnbc.com/news/876128.asp"; target="_blank">http://www.msnbc.com/news/876128.asp</a>;



Read Glen Rangwala's analysis of the Kamel transcript:



<a href="http://middleeastreference.org.uk/kamel.html"; target="_blank">http://middleeastreference.org.uk/kamel.html</a>;



FAIR's website:



<a href="http://www.fair.org/media-contact-list.html"; target="_blank">http://www.fair.org/media-contact-list.html</a>;
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 124
    They forgot one Weapon of Mass Destruction...







    ...No, not the sword...the asshole welding it.



    This madman's mind and actions are WOMD. Go in. Find him. Kick his ass out. That is my only logical reasoning I have for backing this "War".



    We have to remove him. Our ways and means may be outrageous...but I'm tired of him and it all. We have a pygmy in NOKO to fry next.
  • Reply 2 of 124
    artman...let's strap some explosives onto rummy, turn him into a suicide bomber and see if he can get this close again....



    two pricks down and a better world for all...g
  • Reply 3 of 124
    groveratgroverat Posts: 10,872member
    So they already destroyed the missiles they are supposed to destroy now?



    Or are we supposed to trust only certain defectors?



    Silly people reading SJO's posts.
  • Reply 4 of 124
    [quote]Originally posted by groverat:

    <strong>So they already destroyed the missiles they are supposed to destroy now?



    Or are we supposed to trust only certain defectors?



    Silly people reading SJO's posts.</strong><hr></blockquote>



    Read? I knew all this. But don't expect most of America to know or of it. That's why I don't care anymore about this mess. We HAVE to get Saddam out. He's not leaving on his own. And if he doesn't have WOMD...if we keep him there, he will get more. Blow the [email protected] away. Collateral damage be damned. Finish the job we (well, the UN) [email protected] up the first time. The Iraqis will love us for it too.
  • Reply 5 of 124
    [quote]Or are we supposed to trust only certain defectors?<hr></blockquote>



    That defector, Hussein Kamal, is the person that the Bush Admin has quoted in support of its "reason" to go to war. Be consistent...
  • Reply 6 of 124
    alcimedesalcimedes Posts: 5,486member
    what, no baby pictures this time?



  • Reply 7 of 124
    groveratgroverat Posts: 10,872member
    So in 1995 Kamel tells us that Iraq destroyed all their missiles in 1991. It is now the year 2003. This is essentially 12-year-old information.



    Yet today we are in a tussle over 100+ al-Samoud long-range missiles.



    This kind of old news is useless except to make political gripes.



    This would've been compelling in 1996 or even in 1998 maybe when Clinton was pushing for attacks. Not now, though... funny that FAIR only mentions it now... hmmm
  • Reply 8 of 124
    buonrottobuonrotto Posts: 6,368member
    I think it's absolutely critical to find out not only if has gotten rid of their baned weapns, but also how they got rid of them. Were they destroyed safely? Were they buried? Were they sold? Were they stolen? Were they dismantled, but they kept the parts?



    The worst-case scenario is that Iraq got rid of their weapons, but they weren't destroyed, they were sold or stolen. They might have sold them in pieces to slip under the radar more easily. If Iraq is incapable of giving full disclosure about everything, then we have to find other avenues of getting this information.
  • Reply 9 of 124
    [quote]Originally posted by groverat:

    <strong>So in 1995 Kamel tells us that Iraq destroyed all their missiles in 1991. It is now the year 2003. This is essentially 12-year-old information.<hr></blockquote>



    And not reported in the mainstream media until Glen Rangwala uncovered it. Mr Rangwala is the one who exposed the plagiarized undergraduate paper containing 12 year old material that both Powell and Blair claimed was "current intelligence".



    [quote]Yet today we are in a tussle over 100+ al-Samoud long-range missiles.<hr></blockquote>



    Those missiles were tested 40 times, and on 27 occasions they fell short of the UN proscribed limit. The ones that exceeded the limit (by some 20 miles) had neither guidance systems nor warhead. To Bush, the missiles are a big deal if Iraq refuse to destroy them, but no big deal if they comply. Iraq has said that they will destroy them under UN supervision starting tomorrow. Some tussle!







    [quote]This kind of old news is useless except to make political gripes.<hr></blockquote>







    Since Kamel is the backbone of the Bush "justification" to go to war, anything that he has said is significant. And since this report was not aired in the US popular media, most Americans have no idea of its existence. If this material received wide coverage, support for Bush's war would dwindle still further.



    [quote]This would've been compelling in 1996 or even in 1998 maybe when Clinton was pushing for attacks. Not now, though... funny that FAIR only mentions it now... hmmm </strong><hr></blockquote>



    Perhaps FAIR wasn't aware of this until now? Since we now have 200000 troops and a potential expenditure of $1 Trillion for a war, clean up and occupation (projected until 2010), it is compelling right now, in 2003.



    Bush and co. have commanded unlimited media time access to push this war based on Iraq's supposed WMDs. So far, there has been no evidence, no proof, garbage intelligence, lies, fabrications and distortions, inspectors have been there 4 months and have found nothing. Statistically speaking, 300 inspectors, with the right intelligence and unfettered access to whatever sites they want to look at, should have found something by now for chrissakes! Saddam wants to stay on as Iraq's leader, and he could have accomplished that if he had unearthed these WMDs as soon as the inspectors arrived. Saddam's an arch schmuck for sure but if he doesn't have these weapons, then he can't declare what he doesn't have.



    We hear that Hussein Kamel, Bush's ace card, said that Iraq destroyed the WMDs in 1991. Possibly this simplest of explanations is the true one. If it looks like a duck....
  • Reply 10 of 124
    If Blix cain't find'it, they must not exist!



    If the glove don't fit, you must acquit! <img src="graemlins/lol.gif" border="0" alt="[Laughing]" />
  • Reply 11 of 124
    buonrottobuonrotto Posts: 6,368member
    You know, the bottom line of this thread is that Hussein cannot and should not be defended. Have your objections to the war. Declaring Hussein & Co. as innocents in any capacity only hurts the arguments against war because it undermines legitimate reasons for alternatives to military action. This is denial at its most desperate.
  • Reply 12 of 124
    jimmacjimmac Posts: 11,898member
    [quote]Originally posted by groverat:

    <strong>So they already destroyed the missiles they are supposed to destroy now?



    Or are we supposed to trust only certain defectors?



    Silly people reading SJO's posts.</strong><hr></blockquote>



    At least she can reply to the topic at hand.



  • Reply 13 of 124
    scottscott Posts: 7,431member
    [quote]Originally posted by BuonRotto:

    <strong>You know, the bottom line of this thread is that Hussein cannot and should not be defended. Have your objections to the war. Declaring Hussein & Co. as innocents in any capacity only hurts the arguments against war because it undermines legitimate reasons for alternatives to military action. This is denial at its most desperate.</strong><hr></blockquote>





    Is this my que to go on a rant about the pro-Saddam left?



    Anyway SJO is in la la land again. As if this one guy is the one reason that's used to "justify" war.



    I think debate class should be added in (back in for some) to the public schools.
  • Reply 14 of 124
    jimmacjimmac Posts: 11,898member
    [quote]Originally posted by Scott:

    <strong>





    Is this my que to go on a rant about the pro-Saddam left?



    Anyway SJO is in la la land again. As if this one guy is the one reason that's used to "justify" war.



    I think debate class should be added in (back in for some) to the public schools.</strong><hr></blockquote>



    I agree! For instance I was just in this other thread and you know the opposition couldn't respond to the topic other than to try to discredit with off topic remarks........







    [ 03-01-2003: Message edited by: jimmac ]</p>
  • Reply 15 of 124
    Maybe they were just sick of the repetition? I guess just being the last guy to not run out of breath can be a real debate strategy.
  • Reply 16 of 124
    jimmacjimmac Posts: 11,898member
    [quote]Originally posted by Randycat99:

    <strong>Maybe they were just sick of the repetition? I guess just being the last guy to not run out of breath can be a real debate strategy.</strong><hr></blockquote>



    Nope. Sorry, it was that way from the begining. Starting around the fifth post I believe.



    That's what they would do in a senate hearing. One side would insist that the other not resort to obscuring the topic with other issues and reply to the topic at hand.



    As far as the not running out of breath well, there is the filibuster.









    [ 03-01-2003: Message edited by: jimmac ]</p>
  • Reply 17 of 124
    tulkastulkas Posts: 3,742member
    [quote]Originally posted by Samantha Joanne Ollendale:

    <strong>



    That defector, Hussein Kamal, is the person that the Bush Admin has quoted in support of its "reason" to go to war. Be consistent...</strong><hr></blockquote>

    So, because he believed that the weapons were destroyed makes it true? Yes, he was a fountain of knowledge about the weapons programs, but does that mean he knew all of Saddams actions? No. Perhaps part of his report was denied, because a)it was deemed unreliable, as his was a single person and could not reasonably be expected to know that all WMD were indeed destroyed, b)there was some reason to believe he was being deceptive on this point, c)the people taking the report and in charge of releasing the information in it, saw that some would foolishly take it to mean that Iraq had certainly, even likely destroyed their WMD.



    Even is you take that portion of his debriefing as being 100% true and reliable, you then have to accept the part about them keeping all the plans, instructions, equipment and mold in order to recreate the weapons once inspectors were fooled and convinced that Iraq was safe. Or perhaps once inspectors left the country. I mean they were gone for years, does anyone one think Saddam wouldn't use this time to implement his plan to reestablish a WMD stockpile?



    Since inspectors had been in the country for a few years at the time of the debriefing, it could actually be construed that it was in Saddams interest for this man to defect and spill certain information. If Iraq developed a plan to destroy the WMD but keep the ability to restart and rebuild it's weapons program, what better way to expediate the inspections than to 'leak' a lot a valuable information along with the idea that the inspections had worked and forced Saddam to destroy the weapons. The guys returns later after a job well done convining the west that Iraq was disarmed, only to be permanently silenced. You can't tell me this guy, knowing Saddam, returned willing to Iraq and figured everything would be forgiven if he was a true traitor.



    In short, that portion of the briefing is worthless as an arguement against war. Even if true, it implies they maintained the capability to build WMD and have had 4 years (9 since the actual debriefing) to implement the plan mentioned in the debriefing. Even if the man had extremely extensive knowledge, it doesn't mean it was complete. Even if the man provided much valuable information, it doesn't mean there weren't ulterior motives for providing the information. And even if the man was 100% sincere and 100% correct, that simply serves to confirm that Iraq still maintained (years ago) the ability to quickly restart and rebuild it's WMD programs and have had ample opportunity since.
  • Reply 18 of 124
    randycat99randycat99 Posts: 1,919member
    [quote]Originally posted by jimmac:

    <strong>



    Nope. Sorry, it was that way from the begining. Starting around the fifth post I believe.</strong><hr></blockquote>



    Riiiight, this is the very, very, very first topic or discussion on this issue, evah. Pages and pages and pages of words have not been spent on this topic prior to today... Having lost your breath on those occurrences don't count until...wait for it...today. Lemme guess, the topic springs anew now that good ole SJO has struck onto this nugget of breaking info! At last, we have clear and present proof that war is indeed unnecessary! Hooray!



    [ 03-01-2003: Message edited by: Randycat99 ]</p>
  • Reply 19 of 124
    groveratgroverat Posts: 10,872member
    All this time I've never even heard of this guy and he was my reason for going to war.



    Thanks for telling me what I think SJO, where would I be without you!?
  • Reply 20 of 124
    sondjatasondjata Posts: 308member
    So here were are a year later and NO WMD.

    Bill Clinton got blown in the Oval office (while on the phone no less) lied about it and nearly got impeached.



    Bush, Cheney, Powel and Rumsfeld have clearly lied to the American people and there isn't a single big time inquiry going on. Where are all the same republicans who salivated at the mouth for getting Clinton? Where are the Ken Star independent councils?



    Some heads should be rolling.
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