WHAT'S NEW IN INES?

No.18/2003

Dateline: June 19, 2003


This is the weekly electronic information service of the International Network of Engineers and Scientists for Global Responsibility

Editor: Tobias Damjanov, e-mail: 
WNII is archived at: http://inesglobal.org/archive.htm    
INES homepages: http://inesglobal.org       http://www.inesglobal.com/
INES International Office   
INES Chair: Prof. Armin Tenner    [Please note that the first "1" in q18 is the number one, while the last "l" is an "L"]


CONTENTS of WNII No. 18/2003



THE US-UK WAR AGAINST IRAQ

Weapons of Mass Destruction

"There are no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq " (Source: Imad Khadduri, former Iraqi nuclear scientist: "Iraq's free fall", YellowTimes.org, 23 May 03)

"There are no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. This apparently became the case a few months after the end of the 1991 war when Hussain Kamel, the man in charge of the nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programs, ordered the destruction of the chemical and biological materials and their warheads. The nuclear weapons program had already come to a halt on the first night of bombing in January 1991. The weapons were destroyed secretly, in order to hide their existence from inspectors, in the hopes of someday resuming production after inspections had finished. Hussain Kamel even disclosed the location of the hidden documents relating to the remnants of the chemical and biological programs during his futile escape to Jordan in 1995.

()

"In addition to the non-existent nuclear weapons program, the 1995 interview with Hussain Kamel, which was suppressed for eight years, and the final declarations of Amer al-Saadi, the senior Iraqi scientific advisor, before surrendering to the American forces in mid-April 2003, have both alleged the destruction of all chemical and biological weapons and their warheads soon after the end of the 1991 war. These claims are holding true due to recent non-findings. "


Who Said What When (Source: CounterPunch Wire, 29 May 03)


The man who knows more: Tony Blair (Source: The Observer, 1 June 03)

In an interview with Sky TV on 31 May, the British Prime Minister insisted he had secret proof that weapons of mass destruction will be found in Iraq in his strongest signal yet that coalition forces believe they may have begun to uncover leads to Iraq's alleged deadly arms cache. Stung by claims that the Government exaggerated the threat from Saddam, Blair said he was waiting to publish a "complete picture" of both intelligence gained before the war and "what we've actually found".

Asked if he knew things he could not yet reveal, he said: "I certainly do know some of the stuff that has been already accumulated as a result of interviews and others... which is not yet public, but what we are going to do is assemble that evidence and present it properly."


Were they lying? (Source: Sunday Herald, 1 June 03)

By the end of May, still not one weapon of mass destruction (WMD) has been found. A couple of possible mobile bio-weapons labs have been located, but a close examination showed they hadn't seen so much as a speck of anthrax or nerve gas.

US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld let the cat out of the bag when he said on May 28: "It is possible Iraqi leaders decided they would destroy (WMDs) prior to the conflict." If that was true then Saddam had fulfilled the criteria of UN resolution 1441 and there was absolutely no legal right for the US and UK to go to war. Rumsfeld's claim that Iraq might have destroyed its weapons makes a mockery of the way the US treated the UN's chief weapons inspector Dr Hans Blix. The US effectively told him he wasn't up to the job and the Iraqis had fooled him.

Paul Wolfowitz, US deputy defence secretary and the man credited with being the architect of the Iraqi war, told American magazine Vanity Fair by the end of May that the Bush administration only focused on alleged WMDs because it was a politically convenient means of justifying the removal of Saddam. "For bureaucratic reasons we settled on one issue, weapons of mass destruction, because it was the one reason everyone could agree on".

Then to cap it all, a secret transcript of a discussion between US Secretary of State Colin Powell and Foreign Secretary Jack Straw came to light on May 30 showing that, even while they were telling the world that Saddam was armed and dangerous, the pair were worried that the claims about Iraq's WMD programme couldn't be proved. Powell reportedly told Straw he hoped that when the facts came out they wouldn't "explode in their faces".

The most sensational part of a dossier Blair presented to MPs last September claimed that Iraq could deploy chemical and biological weapons within 45 minutes -- a claim based on one single Iraqi defector. A British intelligence source said: "The information had been lying around for ages. The problem was we didn't really trust the defectors as they were working in their own self-interest and really doing their master's bidding -- by that I mean us, the UK. They also had one eye to the future and their role in any new Iraqi government."

The British intelligence source also said: "French intelligence was telling us that there was effectively no real evidence of a WMD programme. That's why France wanted a longer extension on the weapons inspections. The French, the Germans and the Russians all knew there were no weapons there -- and so did Blair and Bush as that's what the French told them directly. Blair ignored what the French told us and instead listened to the Americans."

Another intelligence source was quoted as telling the BBC that they had been asked to rewrite the dossier as well to make it "sexier". The intelligence source said the dossier had been "transformed" a week before publication. Blair has rejected each and every one of these claims as "completely absurd".

In a further curious twist, an intelligence source claimed the real "over-arching strategic reason" for the war was the road map to peace, designed to settle the running sore of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The source said: "I believe that Britain and America see the road map as fundamental. They were being told by Ariel Sharon's government that Israel would not play ball until Saddam was out of the picture. That was the condition. So he had to go."

Frustrated by the failure of conventional spying organisations such as the CIA to come up with proof that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction and was linked to Osama bin Laden, US defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld set up a new intelligence agency in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks: the Office of Special Plans (OSP) which cherry-picked intelligence from mountains of raw data to build the intelligence picture its political masters required. With Afghanistan under US control after the first major battle in the seemingly endless war on terror, Bush and Blair were able to topple Saddam using the OSP intelligence to take the public with them. With Iraq occupied, the hawks have turned their attentions to Iran, with claims that the 'Mullahcracy', in the words of the neo-conservatives, had a weapons of mass destruction programme and was tied to al-Qaeda. Sound familiar?

See also: John W. Dean (former Counsel to the US President): Missing Weapons Of Mass Destruction. Is Lying About The Reason For War An Impeachable Offense? (FindLaw, 6 June 03). This article is available from the WNII Editor as an rtf-formatted email attachment.


War crimes complaints

In some European countries, lawyers have announced war crimes complaints or already filed charges against leading US-UK politicians or military personnel for having violated international humanitarian law in Iraq.


The human cost of the war

A number of initiatives, organisations, and projects have tried and are trying to evaluate the human consequences of the war.


Shedding some light on what is called the reconstruction of Iraq (Main source: MoveOn Bulletin, 23 May 03)


WHISTLEBLOWERS

Correction re: Whistleblower Conference

In WNII 16/2003, the Whistleblower Conference "Between Greed and Conscience: When Whistleblowing Becomes Dangerous" was introduced (Starnberg near Munich, Germany; 5-7 September 2003).

Unfortunately, a wrong email address was given with regard to the conference registration. For registration, as well as other information, contact only:  


INES WEB AND E-MAIL SERVICE

No new or changed email or web addresses in this issue.  All INES e-mail addresses and homepages are available upon request from: