WHAT'S NEW IN INES?
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
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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)
- Sen. Joseph Lieberman, D-CT, September 4, 2002: Every day Saddam remains in power with chemical weapons, biological weapons, and the development of nuclear weapons is a day of danger for the United States.
- Dick Cheney, August 26, 2002: Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction.
- Sen. Joseph Biden D-Del., September 4, 2002: If we wait for the danger to become clear, it could be too late.
- George W. Bush, September 12, 2002: Right now, Iraq is expanding and improving facilities that were used for the production of biological weapons.
- Ari Fleischer, December 2, 2002: If he declares he has none, then we will know that Saddam Hussein is once again misleading the world.
- Ari Fleischer, January 9, 2003: We know for a fact that there are weapons there.
- George W. Bush, January 28, 2003: Our intelligence officials estimate that Saddam Hussein had the materials to produce as much as 500 tons of sarin, mustard and VX nerve agent.
- Colin Powell, February 5, 2003: We know that Saddam Hussein is determined to keep his weapons of mass destruction, is determined to make more.
- Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-NY, February 5, 2003: Iraq both poses a continuing threat to the national security of the United States and international peace and security in the Persian Gulf region and remains in material and unacceptable breach of its international obligations by, among other things, continuing to possess and develop a significant chemical and biological weapons capability, actively seeking a nuclear weapons capability, and supporting and harboring terrorist organizations.
- George Bush February 8, 2003: We have sources that tell us that Saddam Hussein recently authorized Iraqi field commanders to use chemical weapons -- the very weapons the dictator tells us he does not have.
- Colin Powell March 8, 2003: So has the strategic decision been made to disarm Iraq of its weapons of mass destruction by the leadership in Baghdad? I think our judgment has to be clearly not.
- George Bush, March 18, 2003: Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised.
- Tony Blair, Prime Minister, 18 March, 2003: We are asked to accept Saddam decided to destroy those weapons. I say that such a claim is palpably absurd.
- Ari Fleisher, March 21, 2003: Well, there is no question that we have evidence and information that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction, biological and chemical particularly . . . all this will be made clear in the course of the operation, for whatever duration it takes.
- Gen. Tommy Franks, March 22, 2003: There is no doubt that the regime of Saddam Hussein possesses weapons of mass destruction. As this operation continues, those weapons will be identified, found, along with the people who have produced them and who guard them.
- Kenneth Adelman, Defense Policy Board , March 23, 2003: I have no doubt we're going to find big stores of weapons of mass destruction.
- Pentagon Spokeswoman Victoria Clark March 22, 2003: One of our top objectives is to find and destroy the WMD. There are a number of sites.
- Donald Rumsfeld March 30, 2003: We know where they are. They are in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad.
- Jack Straw, UK Foreign Secretary, 2 April, 2003: Saddam's removal is necessary to eradicate the threat from his weapons of mass destruction
- Neocon scholar Robert Kagan, April 9, 2003: Obviously the administration intends to publicize all the weapons of mass destruction U.S. forces find -- and there will be plenty.
- Ari Fleischer April 10, 2003: I think you have always heard, and you continue to hear from officials, a measure of high confidence that, indeed, the weapons of mass destruction will be found.
- George Bush, April 24, 2003: We are learning more as we interrogate or have discussions with Iraqi scientists and people within the Iraqi structure, that perhaps he destroyed some, perhaps he dispersed some. And so we will find them.
- Tony Blair, 28 April, 2003: Before people crow about the absence of weapons of mass destruction, I suggest they wait a bit.
- Donald Rumsfeld, April 25, 2003: There are people who in large measure have information that we need . . . so that we can track down the weapons of mass destruction in that country.
- George Bush, May 3, 2003: We'll find them. It'll be a matter of time to do so.
- Colin Powell, May 4, 2003: I am confident that we will find evidence that makes it clear he had weapons of mass destruction.
- Donald Rumsfeld, May 4, 2003: I never believed that we'd just tumble over weapons of mass destruction in that country.
- George W. Bush, May 6, 2003: I'm not surprised if we begin to uncover the weapons program of Saddam Hussein -- because he had a weapons program.
- Condoleeza Rice, May 12, 2003: U.S. officials never expected that "we were going to open garages and find" weapons of mass destruction.
- Maj. Gen. David Petraeus, Commander 101st Airborne, May 13, 2003: I just don't know whether it was all destroyed years ago -- I mean, there's no question that there were chemical weapons years ago -- whether they were destroyed right before the war, (or) whether they're still hidden.
- Gen. Michael Hagee, Commandant of the Marine Corps, May 21, 2003: Before the war, there's no doubt in my mind that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, biological and chemical. I expected them to be found. I still expect them to be found.
- Gen. Richard Myers, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff, May 26, 2003: Given time, given the number of prisoners now that we're interrogating, I'm confident that we're going to find weapons of mass destruction.
- Donald Rumsfeld, May 27, 2003: They may have had time to destroy them, and I don't know the answer.
- Paul Wolfowitz, May 28, 2003: For bureaucratic reasons, we settled on one issue, weapons of mass destruction (as justification for invading Iraq) because it was the one reason everyone could agree on.
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.
- In Belgium, a human rights lawyer filed a case with the federal prosecutors whose purpose is to arraign Thomas Franks, the commander of the American troops in Iraq, for crimes against humanity. This may be the only judicial means, anywhere on earth, of holding the US government to account for its actions. The complaint was filed in Brussels on the basis of the Belgian law on "universal jurisdiction" as amended on May 7, 2003. The law, as amended, gives the Belgian government the option of filing a case before the International Criminal Court (ICC) or forwarding it to the country of origin of the accused. For details and updated information, visit: http://stopusa.be
- The article "Blair's Grand Mistake. The war crimes case in Belgium illustrates the folly of Blair's belief that the US is interested in justice", by George Monbiot, (The Guardian, 20 May 03), can be read at: http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article3448.htm
- In Germany, a group of 14 lawyers have filed a lawsuit with the German attorney general. They accuse Bush, as well as members of the German and British governments, of violating international law. The move is technically possible under a new German law which came into effect only last year. It allows the country's authorities to prosecute violations of international law, even if there is no direct connection to Germany.
- Greek lawyers told the BBC that they are going to sue British officials - including Prime Minister Tony Blair - for their role in the Iraq war. The Athens Bar Association said it will file a suit against Britain at the International Criminal Court - the recently created tribunal for cases of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. The lawyers called the attacks by the United States and British forces against Iraq "crimes against humanity and war crimes". They have listed a number of international treaties they say the two countries have violated. These include the United Nations Charter, the Geneva Conventions, the Hague Convention and the International Criminal Court's statute.
Already in April, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) said U.S. attacks on journalists in Iraq are "Crimes of War" that must be punished. The IFJ, which claims to represent more than 500,000 journalists in more than 100 countries, called for an independent international inquiry after an attack on a hotel where journalists are staying in Baghdad and after US troops allegedly destroyed the offices of Al Jazeera Television and Abu Dhabi Television.
"There is no doubt at all that these attacks could be targeting journalists. If so, they are grave and serious violations of international law," said Aidan White, General Secretary of the IFJ. "The bombing of hotels where journalists are staying and targeting of Arab media are particularly shocking events in a war which is being fought in the name of democracy. Those who are responsible must be brought to justice."
The IFJ also said that the global media community, including journalists, media organizations and press freedom campaigners, should join hands under the banner of the newly-formed International News Safety Institute (INSI) to hold a complete and in depth inquiry. The INSI is a coalition of more than 100 organizations campaigning for a global news safety program.
Further readings: Professor Mary Ellen O'Connell: The occupation of Iraq: What international law requires now (17 Apr 03): http://jurist.law.pitt.edu/forum/forumnew107.php
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.
- One of those projects is "Iraq Body Count" which, in mid-June, provided an excellent but, of course, shocking "Survey of Projects Counting Civilians Killed by the War in Iraq": http://www.iraqbodycount.net/editorial_june1203.htm
- The IPPNW offers a study by Osborne Daponte which you can find at: http://www.ippnw.org/MGS/PSRQV3N2Daponte.html
- The UN World Food Programme conducted a survey "The Extent and Geographic Distribution of Chronic Poverty in Iraq's Center/South Region" which comes to the conclusion that "one in five Iraqis suffers from chronic poverty": http://www.reliefweb.int/library/documents/2003/wfp-irq-31may.pdf
- Further references: (Source: Iraq Body Count, 12 June 03) Colorado Campaign for Middle East Peace (CCMEP):
- Project US Bombing Watch: http://www.ccmep.org/usbombingwatch/2003.htm
- Center for Defence Information, Washington (CDI): Operation Iraqi Freedom Total Casualty Report: http://www.cdi.org/iraq/casualties.cfm
- Casualties of the 2003 Iraq War: http://www.wagner.edu/faculty/users/pjani/casualties_of_iraq_war.htm
- Commonwealth Institute Project on Defense Alternatives (INES member organisation): Civilian casualties in the 2003 Iraq War: A Compendium of Accounts and Reports: http://www.comw.org/pda/0305iraqcasualtydata.html
- Spanish Brigade Against the War; Arab Cause Solidarity Campaign: Evaluation of the attacks on the civilian population of Baghdad: http://www.nodo50.org/csca/agenda2003/con_iraq/informe-brigadas_eng.pdf
- Campaign for Innocent Victims in Conflict (CIVIC): Survey of civilian deaths in Iraq: http://iraqvictimsfund.org/action.htm
- Mines Advisory Group (MAG) UK: Survey of deaths through unexploded ordnance in Northern Iraq: http://www.mag.org.uk/magtest/deadlygame/all.htm
- MedAct (IPPNW): The short, medium and long-term health effects of war on Iraq: http://www.medact.org/tbx/pages/sub.cfm?id=607
Shedding some light on what is called the reconstruction of Iraq (Main source: MoveOn Bulletin, 23 May 03)
- Salon.com reports on the fight between Pentagon neo-conservatives, State Department realists, and the UN to select and train the interim government. Includes a thorough discussion of Project for the New American Century participants Paul Wolfowitz, James Woolsey, and Ahmad Chalabi. You can visit the following URL only after registration: http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2003/04/14/reconstruction/
- Human Rights Watch explicates international humanitarian law related to belligerent occupation: http://www.hrw.org/campaigns/iraq/ihlfaqoccupation.htm
- Foreign Policy in Focus characterizes the possibilities for governing postwar Iraq, including the neo-conservative model, the Afghan model, and the Iraqi exile model: http://www.fpif.org/papers/iraqgov2003.html
- Kevin Murray, executive director of Grassroots International: Iraq: The Challenge of Humanitarian Response: http://www.fpif.org/commentary/2003/0306humane.html
- US Labor Against the War: The Corporate Invasion of Iraq: Profiles of US Corporations Awarded Contracts in US/British Occupied Iraq (13 June 03): http://www.uslaboragainstwar.org
- Iraqi Reconstruction and Development Council (IRDC): http://middleeastreference.org.uk/irdc.html
- USAID Iraq Page: http://www.usaid.gov/iraq/
- US Iraq Reconstruction Task Force: http://www.export.gov/iraq/
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: