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[casi-analysis] casi-news digest, Vol 1 #24 - 5 msgs

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Today's Topics:

   1. January 29, 2004 No.160 (Muhamed Ali)
   3. Iraqi council demands list of  " bribes" (ppg)
   4. =?iso-8859-1?Q?Spy_chiefs_warn_PM:_don't_blame_us_for_war_?= (ppg)
   5. Blair's statements on Iraq WMD (k hanly)


Message: 1
Subject: January 29, 2004 No.160
Date: Mon, 2 Feb 2004 17:05:09 -0000
From: "Muhamed Ali" <>
To: <>
Cc: <>

[ Presenting plain-text part of multi-format email ]

"The Beneficiaries of Saddam's Oil Vouchers: The List of 270"

Dear sir/madam,

I write with reference to your above article and congratulate you on the
excellent translation of part of the Arabic one in Al-Mada. So much so,
that it inspired me to complement the translation of the last chapter of
the text. Your background notes and annotations were very informative.
However, there are many discrepancies in the figures, quantities of
millions of barrels of oil, between the Arabic and English versions. The
cause of this is that the index numbering in Arabic is written on the
left hand side instead of the right. Consequently, "millions of barrels"
of oil, are preceded by  the figures denoting the respective quantities
on the right and succeeded by the index numbering on the left. Both
versions of the numbers use the international standard numerals and not
the Arabic version. Below are my corrections in parentheses (  ).

Muhamad Tawfiq Ali

Inquiry and Analysis Series - No. 160

January 29, 2004


The Beneficiaries of Saddam's Oil Vouchers: The List of 270

The following report from MEMRI's Baghdad office is a translation of an
article which appeared in the Iraqi daily Al-Mada, [1]
whichobtained lists of 270 companies, organizations, and individuals
awarded allocations (vouchers) of crude oil by Saddam Hussein's regime.
The beneficiaries reside in 50 countries: 16 Arab, 17 European, 9 Asian,
and the rest from sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America.Only a portion of
the 270 recipients are listed and identified.


The following points should be taken into consideration:

First, MEMRI is not responsible for the accuracy of the details with
regard to the names listed or the amount of oil granted.

Second, all names listed in the original were in Arabic. Some of those
are transliterated into English phonetically, and may not be precise.

Third, denials by those whose names appear in this dispatch are

Fourth, the issuing of vouchers by Saddam's regime may have served two
primary purposes:

A: Payments in the form of bribes to individuals and organizations for
their support of the regime.

B: Vouchers may have been issued to pay for goods and services that fell
under U.N. Security Council sanctions and could not be financed under
the "Oil for Food" program. Goods may have included military equipment
or military parts, luxury automobiles that Saddam distributed as gifts
inside and outside Iraq, and general luxury goods for the benefit of
high-ranking officials in the Ba'ath party and government.

Fifth, the voucher recipients sold the vouchers to oil traders, who then
collected the oil against the vouchers from the Kirkuk-Banias (Syria)
pipeline terminal, which was operating in contravention of the Security
Council sanctions. The pipeline carried 200,000 barrels per day of Iraqi
oil, which benefited Syria greatly.

Al-Mada's Article

The following are excerpts from the article:

"Under this professional and electrifying title, there are names that
have nothing to do with oil companies, or the distribution, storage, and
marketing of oil. They are not known for having any interest in oil or
any links to oil companies, such as the Russian Orthodox Church and the
Russian Communist Party.

"As far as the individuals, the situation is even more puzzling. We can
understand that the journalist Hameeda Na'Na',who defended the former
regime, was trying to perpetuate her independent journalistic endeavor
through an oil deal, but it is strange to find the names of Khaled,son
of the late Gamal Abd Al-Nasser,in those lists, or Toujan Al-Faisal,
former member of the Jordanian parliament, or the present Indonesian
president, or the son of the Syrian defense minister, or the son of the
Lebanese president."

Saddam's Exploitation of U.N. Sanctions

"Since the deposed regime endorsed the 'Memorandum of Understanding,'
also known as 'oil for food [program],' it turned it into a despicable
political and commercial game, and used it to finance its clandestine
acquisitions of arms, expensive construction materials for the
presidential palaces and mosques, and frivolous luxury items. It turned
the oil sales agreements into the greatest bribery operation in history,
buying souls and pens, and squandering the nation's resources.

"Since then, rumors were abound about vouchers that Saddam gave to
certain Arab and foreign dignitaries, providing them with crude oil in
exchange for their support to the regime in a period of international
isolation, and as a way to finance the campaign to lift the economic
sanctions against it and to whitewash its image.

"However, the regime itself tarnished the moral and humane ethics of the
international campaign to lift the unjust sanctions, because by the end
of the day the sanctions did not harm it [the regime], but harmed our
poor people and the middle class. We saw that whenever the international
campaign to lift the sanctions got closer to its goals, the regime - by
its behavior and insolence - shoved it again into a dark tunnel, and at
the same time turned our country into a free-for-all richly loaded
dining table, awaiting a stream of hearty eaters and obedient servants.

"One of the traits of our country's fascist regime is that it lacked
decency and was always in need to use others in order to feel superior.
Therefore, it corrupted even those who had good intentions and noble
goals when defending the Iraqi people and trying to lift the siege
imposed on it. The regime was versed only in the politics of the 'open
wallet,' and therefore surrounded itself with people that it could
co-opt and people who would panhandle for it, so that it could feel
moral superiority over them.

"And if one happened to know some of the official Ba'athists, who did
not hesitate - because of their rural values - to boast and to [assume]
moral superiority, one would have heard a lot from them about the
ever-increasing number of visitors to Iraq in recent years, and would
have understood from them that those visitors who came to defend us also
came to cash in the price for that. We can confirm this information
because the Ba'athists themselves, in a moment of 'rural pompousness,'
propagated the rumors about the Arab and foreign visitors. They
mentioned some of the names listed here, among them George Galloway,
member of the [British] Labor party.

"The case of Mr. Galloway is truly distressing. This man, who defended
just Arab causes, became a loser as he got closer to the Iraqi regime.
Galloway, who was banished from the party for this reason and who
defended himself vehemently, and even attacked Tony Blair's and Bush's
policies, will not be able - in my opinion - to refute Iraqi documents
that incriminate him conclusively.

"In addition to the lists mentioned above, Al-Mada also obtained six
requests from the executive director and the associate executive
director of the Oil Marketing Company to the Oil Minister 'to approve
the crude oil agreements.' All of them mentioned the name of Mr.
Galloway, not as a party in the agreement, but as a recipient, since Mr.
Galloway hides behind a company that does not carry his name nor his

"The manner by which these agreements were struck sheds light on the
process of awarding the vouchers and the goodwill of the President of
the Republic [Saddam]. That is why we wish to decipher it, especially
since the lists include some individual names such as 'Samir,' and no
one knows whether it belongs to an individual or to a company."

Below is my contribution:

"1. There is a reference to a Mr Burhan Al-Chelebi and "Fortrum Oil and
Gas-oy", a Finnish purchasing company, in an agreement of 29/12/1999.
And another reference to Mr George Galloway as beneficiary of the amount
of 3   million barrels.

2. Via Mr Fawwaz Zureiqat, who is Jordanian, "Aredio Petrolum", in an
agreement of 10/7/2001, reference to Mr George Galloway as beneficiary
of the amount of 4   million barrels.

3. Similarly, "Middle East Adranced semi con doctor", which is Jordanian
in an agreement of 6/8/2001, . Via Mr Fawwaz Zureiqat, reference to Mr
George Galloway as beneficiary of the amount of 3  million barrels.

4. Similarly, .. 3/5/2001,...
2  million barrels.

5. Similarly, .. 12/12/2002,...
3  million barrels.

6. Similarly, .. 3/6/2002,...
3  million barrels.

Thus, "Mr George Galloway as beneficiary" is cited six times, twice in
the name of Finnish and French companies and the rest Jordanian under
the name of Mr Fawwaz Zureiqat. All these requests were approved by the
minister of oil with his signature, date and the word"agreed". It is
significant that the name of Galloway crops up in the lists during the
stages of the Memorandum of Understanding, together with the amounts of
vouchers received and the name of Fawwaz Zureiqat. What is going on? It
is obvious that Mr Galloway is the one who obtained the famous vouchers
through his political connections and the services rendered to the
regime? His name was referred to in the agreement may be to remind the
minister that the company does not belong to him. This mechanism
probably applied to all the recipients of vouchers, individuals,
political parties or organisations, who have no connections with oil.
The vouchers are signed by the president of the regime and have the
amount to be paid. The rest is left to the purchasing companies, real or
imaginary. The likes of Galloway probably do not obtain from these deals
except nominal portions, such as in commissions or sale of coupons for a
sum of money. The columns in the lists contain the names of the
countries, followed by those of the recipient individuals or  companies.
Written across are the stages of the Memorandum of Understanding and the
amounts allocated to the beneficiaries in millions of barrels. Some of
the names are abbreviated. Some, so much so, that they are surprising.
How can we decode this name: Daughter of president Sukarno. Following
several names listed under Indonesia, we come across the name, Megawati
! In all cases, there are surprising names mentioned in these lists, who
will probably encounter the shame and scandal they deserve. For the sake
of brevity, we deemed it fit to cite the names and the amounts of
vouchers allocated to them, without their distributions through the
stages of the Memorandum of Understanding, which were in the original

Total amounts of crude oil allocated (to intermediary or  companies!) in
the Memorandum of Understanding. "

Muhamad Tawfiq Ali

The List

The following is a partial list and description of individuals and
organizations that MEMRI has been able to identify: [2]

Canada: Arthur Millholland, president and CEO of the Calgary-based
Oilexco company, received 1 (9.6) million barrels of oil.

United States: Samir Vincent received 10.5 million barrels. In 2000,
Vincent, an Iraqi-born American citizen who has lived in the U.S. since
1958, organized a delegation of Iraqi religious leaders to visit the
U.S. and meet with former president Jimmy Carter. Shaker Al-Khafaji,the
pro-Saddam chairman of the 17th conference of Iraqi expatriates,
received 1 (36.5) million barrels.

Great Britain: George Galloway received 1 (19) million barrels. Fawwaz
Zreiqat received 1 million barrels. Zreiqat also appears in the
Jordanian section as having received 6 million barrels. The Mujahideen
Khalq [3] <>
in Britain received 1 (36.50 million barrels.

France: The French-Arab Friendship Association received 15.1 million
barrels. Former French Interior Minister Charles Pasqua received 12
million barrels. [4]
<> Patrick
Maugein of the Trafigura company received 25 million barrels. Michel
Grimard, founder of the French-Iraqi Export Club, received 17.1 million

Switzerland: Glenco Re, the largest commodity trader in Switzerland,
received 12 million barrels. Taurus, which has been associated with Iraq
for 20 years and was the first company to renew its business with Iraq
after the fall of Saddam, received 1 (8) million barrels. Petrogas,
which is listed under three sub-companies - Petrogas Services, Petrogas
Distribution, and Petrogas Resources - and is associated withthe Russian
company Rosneftegazetroy, received 1 (5) million barrels. Alcon, listed
in Lichtenstein and associated with larger oil companies, received 1
(23) million barrels. Finar Holdings, which is listed in Lugano,
Switzerland, and is under liquidation, received 1 (21) million barrels.

Italy: The Italian Petrol Union received 1 million barrels.West Petrol,
an Italian company that trades crude oil and oil products, received 1 (2
tons) million barrels. Roberto Formigoni, possibly the president of
Lombardia, received 1 (24.5) million barrels. Salvatore Nicotra, a
former NATO pilot who became an oil merchant, received 1 (20) million

Spain: Basem Qaqish, a member of the Spanish Committee for the Defense
of the Arab Cause, received 1 (17.5) million barrels. Ali Ballout, a
pro-Saddam Lebanese journalist, received 1 (8.8) million barrels. Javier
Robert received 1 (9.8) million barrels.

Yugoslavia: Four Yugoslav political parties received vouchers: the
Yugoslav Left party received 9.5 million barrels. The Socialist Party
received 1 (22) million barrels. The Italian Party received 1 (16)
million barrels. A nother party, whose name in exact transliteration is
"kokstuntsha" - possibly Kostunica's party - received 1 (6) million

Other political parties: The Romanian Labor Party received 5.5 million
barrels. The Party of the Hungarian Interest received 4.7 million
barrels. The Bulgarian Socialist Party received 1 2 million barrels. The
Slovakian Communist Party received 1 (4) million barrels.

Austria: The Arab-Austrian Society received 1 million barrels.

Brazil: The 8th of October Movement, a Brazilian Communist group,
received 4.5 million barrels. Fuwad Sirhan received 10 million barrels.

Egypt: Khaled Gamal Abd Al-Nasser, son of the late Egyptian president,
received 16.6 (16.5) million barrels. 'Imad Al-Galda, a businessman and
a member of the Egyptian parliament from President Mubarak's National
Democratic Party, received 14 million barrels. Abd Al-Azim Mannaf, [5]
<> editor of
the Sout Al-Arab newspaper, received 6 million barrels. Muhammad Hilmi,
editor of the Egyptian paper Sahwat Misr, [6]
<> received an
undisclosed (4.5) number of barrels. The United Arab Company received 6
million barrels. The Nile and Euphrates Company received 3 million
barrels. The Al-Multaqa Foundation for Press and Publication received 1
(2) million barrels. [7]

Libya: Prime Minister Shukri Ghanem received 1 million barrels.

Sub-Saharan Africa: Chad's foreign minister received 1 (3) million
barrels. [8]
<> Four South
Africans are listed: Tokyo Saxville received 4 million barrels. Montega
received 4 million barrels. Both are associated with the African
National Party.

Palestinians: The Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) received 4
million barrels. The PLO Political Bureau received 5 million barrels.
Abu Al-Abbas received 11.5 million barrels. Abdallah Al-Horani received
8 million barrels. The PFLP received 5 million barrels. Wafa Tawfiq
Al-Sayegh received 4 (3.5) million barrels.

Oman: The Al-Shanfari group received 5 million barrels.

Syria: Farras Mustafa Tlass, the son of Syrian Defense Minister Mustafa
Tlass, received 6 million barrels. 'Audh Amourah received18 million
barrels. Ghassan Zakariya received 6 million barrels. Anwar Al-Aqqad
received 2 million barrels. Hamida Na'Na', the owner of the Al-Wafaq
Al-Arabi periodical, received 1 ( over 9) million barrels.

Lebanon: The son of Lebanese President Emil Lahoud received 4.5 million
barrels. Former MP Najjah Wakim received 3 million barrels. Nasserist
Party head Osama M'arouf received 3 million barrels. National Arabic
Club Chairman Faisal Darnika received 3 million barrels.

Jordan: Former Islamist MP and head of the Engineers Union Leith
Shbeilat [9]
<> received
15.5 million barrels. Former MP and Jordanian Writers Union head Fakhri
Qi'war received 6 million barrels. [10]
<> Former
Jordanian chief of staff Mashhour Haditha received 1 (4) million
barrels. Former MP Toujan Al-Faisal received 3 million barrels. [11]
<> The
Jordanian Ministry of Energy received 5 million barrels. Muhammad Saleh
Al-Horani, the Amman Stock Exchange head and former Minister of
Supplies, received 4 million barrels. Lawyer Wamidth Hussein Al-Majali
received 6 (1) million barrels. [12]

Qatar: Qatari Horseracing Association Chairman Hamad bin Ali Aal Thani
received 14 million barrels. Gulf Petroleum received 2 million barrels.

The Indian Congress Party received 1 (4) million barrels.

Indonesia: Indonesian President Megawati received 1 million barrels as
"the daughter of President Sukarno," and 1 million barrels as Megawati.

Myanmar: Myanmar's Forestry Minister received 1 (5) million barrels.

Ukraine: The Social Democratic Party received 1 (8.5) million barrels.
The Communist Party received 6 million barrels. The Socialist Party
received 1 (2) million barrels. The FTD oil company received 1 (2)
million barrels, as did other Ukrainian companies.

Belarus: The Liberal Party received 1 (6) million barrels. The Communist
Party received 1 (7) ton [sic] of oil. The director of the Belarussian
president's office received 1 (6) million barrels.

Russia: The Russian state itself received 1,366,000,000 barrels. The
list also included the following:

Companies belonging to the Liberal Democratic Party received 79.8
million barrels - t he list notes the name of party president Vladimir
Zhirinovsky. The Russian Communist Party received 1 (137) million
barrels. The Lukoil company received 63 million barrels. The Russneft
company received 35.5 million barrels. Vladimir Putin's Peace and Unity
Party received 34 million barrels - the list notes the name of party
chairwoman Saji Umalatova. The Gazprom company received 26 million
barrels. The Soyuzneftgaz company received 25.5 million barrels - t he
list notes the name Shafrannik. The Moscow Oil Company received 25.1
million barrels. The Onako company received 22.2 million barrels. The
Sidanco company received 21.2 million barrels. The Russian Association
for Solidarity with Iraq received 12.5 million barrels. The Ural Invest
company received 8.5 million barrels. Russneft Gazexport received 12.5
million barrels. The Transneft company received 9 million barrels. The
Sibneft company received 8.1 million barrels. The Stroyneftgaz company
received 6 million barrels. The Russian Committee for Solidarity with
the People of Iraq received 6.5 million barrels - the list notes the
name of committee chairman Rudasev. The Russian Orthodox Church received
5 million barrels. The Moscow Science Academy received 3.5 million
barrels. The Chechnya Administration received 2 million barrels. T he
National Democratic Party received 2 million barrels. The Nordwest group
received 2 million barrels. The Yukos company received 2 million
barrels. One Russian company which phonetically reads as Zarabsneft
received 174.5 million barrels. Vouchers were also granted to the
Russian foreign ministry, one under the name of Al-Fayko for 1 (128.8)
million barrels, and one to Yetumin for 30.1 million barrels. T he
Mashinoimport Company received 1 (83.5) million barrels. The Slavneft
Company received 1 (25.5) million barrels. The Caspian Invest Company
(Kalika) received 1 (8.5) million barrels. The Tatneft Tatarstan company
received 1 (64.5) million barrels. The Surgutneft company received 1 (4)
million barrels. Siberia's oil and gas company received 1 million

In addition, the son of the former Russian Ambassador to Iraq received
19.7 million barrels. Nikolay Ryjkov, a former prime minister of the
USSR, received 13 million barrels. The Russian President's office
director received 5 million barrels.

Oil vouchers were also distributed to companies and individuals from the
Sudan, Yemen, Cyprus, Turkey, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Pakistan,
the UAE, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Panama, Thailand, Chad, China,
Nigeria, Kenya, Ireland, Bahrain, and the Philippines. Two Saudi
companies were also listed.

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Message: 2
From: "ppg" <>
To: <>
Date: Tue, 3 Feb 2004 11:12:42 -0500


Various Russian media, including and, provided new details
on 2 February about an article published in the Baghdad daily "Al-Mada" last
month concerning individuals and organizations that allegedly took bribes
from the regime of deposed Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.

The information came from a translation of the "Al-Mada" article provided by
the Washington-based Middle East Media Research Institute.[MEMRI]

The article, allegedly based on documents obtained from Iraq's former State
Oil Marketing Organization (SOMO), indicated that individuals and
organizations that supported the Iraqi regime had received monetary payments
and/or "vouchers" for oil quotas that were then sold to oil traders, who
then obtained the Iraqi oil in contravention of UN sanctions.

According to "Al-Mada," among those who received Iraqi oil quotas were the
Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR) (63 million barrels) and its
leader, State Duma Deputy Speaker Vladimir Zhirinovskii (1 million); Lukoil
(63 million); Rosneft (35.3 million); Gazprom (26 million); former
Soviet-era Council of Ministers Chairman Nikolai Ryzhkov (13 million);
Sibneft (8.1 million); and Yukos (2 million). JB


The Foreign Ministry said the reports about alleged Iraqi bribes to Russian
oil companies were either the result of ignorance about "the mechanism for
exporting Iraqi oil under the sanctions" or were "deliberate
disinformation," reported on 2 February.

All exports of Iraqi oil were carried out under the UN's oil-for-food
program and were carefully monitored, the ministry said in a statement.
Lukoil sources told on 2 February that it received export quotas from
Iraq exclusively through the oil-for-food program and almost lost its
contract to develop Iraq's West Qurna oil field because the firm refused to
violate the sanctions.

Others on the list, including LDPR leader Zhirinovskii, the Communist Party,
and the Russian Orthodox Church have denied receiving Iraqi payoffs (see
"RFE/RL Newsline," 29 January 2003). Zhirinovskii told "Gazeta" on 29
January that in "an ordinary diplomatic exchange of gifts," former President
Hussein had given him a gold Swiss watch, and he had given the Iraqi leader
a chess set and a sword.


Message: 3
From: "ppg" <>
To: <>
Subject: Iraqi council demands list of  " bribes"
Date: Tue, 3 Feb 2004 16:41:24 -0500

Iraqi council demands list of alleged bribes

Leaders eager to examine newspaper claims that Saddam gave oil contracts to
sympathetic foreigners

Rory McCarthy in Baghdad, Jon Henley in Paris and Owen Bowcott
Friday January 30, 2004
The Guardian

Iraq's governing council has ordered officials to produce documents
published in a newspaper which allege Saddam Hussein bribed more than 260
prominent foreigners with oil contracts.
The US-appointed governing council will meet next week to examine the papers
and determine whether they warrant a formal investigation.

This week al-Mada, a newspaper established in Baghdad after the war,
published a list of more than 260 officials, politicians, journalists and
organisations from 50 countries in the west and the Arab world who, it said,
had received oil from Saddam in return for supporting his regime.

The roll call of those who allegedly benefited from the largesse of the
ousted Ba'ath regime includes prime ministers, presidents' sons, churches
and businessmen.

Some are in neighbouring Middle Eastern states, others live in Egypt, Syria,
Lebanon, Indonesia and Russia. The Russian orthodox church and the Russian
Communist party have been named as beneficiaries, as have companies in
Switzerland and Italy. The PLO is also alleged to have been a recipient.

Al-Mada said the documents - which relate only to the year 1999 - were
recovered from Iraq's state oil marketing organisation, a government-run
department responsible for selling oil.

Mahmoud Othman, a Kurdish member of the governing council, said he believed
there were more lists of names still to come out.

"They seem to be documents taken out of official files," he said.

"We are still studying the list. We haven't yet reached a formal decision on
them. We are still investigating."

Dr Othman said the governing council had asked to see the documents, which
it will review and discuss at a meeting next week.

"Also there are authorities in other countries who will be concerned," he

Jordan and Bulgaria have said they will investigate their citizens who
appear on the list. The Bulgarian president, Georgi Parvanov, has reportedly
launched an inquiry into claims that the Socialist party received money from
Iraq, but described the allegation as "ill-advised black humour".

There are 14 Jordanian citizens and companies on the list.

Forty-six individuals and companies from Russia are named, as are 14 from
Lebanon, 14 from Syria and 11 from France.

"We knew of course that Saddam was spending a lot of money bribing people,"
Dr Othman said. "We didn't know exactly what was going on. Now it looks as
if oil was used for bribes."

Officials in Iraq's oil ministry have said they are collecting information
about the documents. A priority will be to establish their authenticity.

"We are now gathering information on these documents and will sue those who
stole the money of the Iraqi people," said Abdul-Sahib Salman Qutub, an oil
ministry official.

"The interest of the Iraqi people is above all. These documents show that
the former regime spent lavishly Iraq's wealth.

Yesterday a UN spokeswoman defended the work of the UN oil for food
programme, run by Benon Sevan, under which Saddam was allowed to sell a
limited quantity of oil to buy food and medicine.

"We have seen the reports of these unconfirmed allegations," said Marie
Okabe, the spokeswoman. "The oil for food programme has been satisfactorily
audited many times, both internally and externally."

Gilles Munier of a Franco-Iraqi association that promotes French businesses
in Iraq admitted to the French newspaper Le Monde this week that his
organisation had received gifts of oil but said they were perfectly legal
payments under the oil for food programme.

"This is how it worked," he said. "Every company, oil or otherwise, that did
business in Iraq thanks to an introduction from an individual or an
organisation paid that intermediary a commission on the profit margin he
made on the transaction.

"This was not illegal and it did not deprive the Iraqi people of their

India's Congress party dismissed the allegation that the party or its
members had taken oil vouchers from Saddam. The report "is not to be taken
seriously. It is not factually correct," said Anand Sharma, a party


Message: 4
From: "ppg" <>
To: <>
Subject: =?iso-8859-1?Q?Spy_chiefs_warn_PM:_don't_blame_us_for_war_?=
Date: Tue, 3 Feb 2004 16:51:16 -0500

Sunday Herald   JANUARY 25

Spy chiefs warn PM: don't blame us for war
By Neil Mackay, Investigations Editor

BRITISH intelligence chiefs launched a pre-emptive strike against Tony Blair
last night, ahead of the publication of the Hutton report, and blamed the
government for pressurising them into cherry-picking intelligence to justify
the war on Iraq.

The UK's leading spies believe the political fallout from the publication on
Wednesday of the Hutton Inquiry's report will result in an attempt by the
Prime Minister and his senior Cabinet colleagues to blame the intelligence
services for the shoddy information which was used by the government to
convince the British people and parliament that Saddam's weapons of mass
destruction (WMD) were a threat to the UK.

The views of senior members of the intelligence community were passed to the
Sunday Herald. They include those from:
The Defence Intelligence Staff, which helped supply intelligence for Blair's
disputed September 2002 WMD dossier.

The Joint Intelligence Organisation, which includes John Scarlett, the
chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC) - the body which liaises
between the intelligence services and the government and which was supposed
to have sole control of the drafting of the dossier - and the JIC's support

MI6, the Secret Intelligence Service, the main agency responsible for
gathering the intelligence which went into the dossier.
The intelligence community is speaking out now in order to pre-empt any
attack. It is warning the government that it will not be blamed for the
failure to prove the case for war, the death of Dr David Kelly and the lack
of WMD in Iraq.

The key points it wants on the record are:

                    *Many had been openly sceptical about the presence of
WMD in Iraq for years.

                     *The intelligence community was under pressure to
provide the government with what it wanted,
namely that  Iraq possessed WMD and was a danger.

                      *Intelligence was "cherry-picked", with damning
intelligence against Iraq being selectively chosen, while intelligence
assessments, which might have worked against the build-up to war, were
sidelined. lIntelligence work had become politicised under Labour , and
spies were taking orders from politicians. They provided worst-case
scenarios which were used by politicians to make factual claims.

                       *They accept that intelligence was used for political
ends, but believe it is not their job to help politicians justify their
actions, as that distorts the nature of intelligence work.

Britain's senior spies believe they are not in the firing line over Hutton,
but realise that a rethink is needed over the future of British
intelligence. They say they want changes made in order to maintain their

The first attacks on British intelligence, ahead of the Hutton report, came
from Donald Anderson, a Labour loyalist and chairman of the influential
foreign affairs committee.

His attack followed the resignation on Friday of David Kay, the head of the
Iraq Survey Group. Kay, who was appointed by the CIA to lead the hunt for
Saddam's WMD, quit his post saying he didn't think WMD existed in Iraq.

Anderson said Blair and President George Bush had relied on intelligence
regarding Iraq's WMD, adding that Kay's claims "raise very important
questions about the quality of that intelligence".

Kay's successor, Charles Duelfer, said earlier this month that he did not
believe banned weapons would ever be found.

US Secretary of State Colin Powell also conceded yesterday that Iraq may not
have possessed any WMD - even though he gave a presentation to the United
Nations in the run-up to war saying Saddam had large stockpiles of banned


Message: 5
From: "k hanly" <>
To: "newsclippings" <>
Subject: Blair's statements on Iraq WMD
Date: Wed, 4 Feb 2004 00:24:06 -0600

FACTBOX - What Blair said about Iraq's banned weapons
LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Tony Blair has called an
independent inquiry into possible intelligence failings following the
failure to find any weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, the primary reason
he gave for war.

Until recently, the government has maintained evidence of weapons programmes
could yet be found and had refused to hold an investigation into the
inability of Washington and London to find them.

The following is what the prime minister said about those banned weapons,
both before and after the war.


"I wanted to share with the British public why I believe this issue to be a
current and serious threat to the UK national interest."

"Saddam Hussein is continuing to develop WMD, and with them the ability to
inflict real damage upon the region and the stability of the world."

"What I believe the intelligence has established beyond doubt is that Saddam
has continued to produce chemical and biological weapons, that he continues
in his efforts to develop nuclear weapons and that he has been able to
extend the range of his ballistic missile programme."

"I am in no doubt that the threat is serious and current, that he has made
progress on WMD, and that he has to be stopped."

"The document discloses that his military planning allows for some of the
WMD to be ready within 45 minutes of an order to use them."


"We are asked now seriously to accept that in the last few years -- contrary
to all history, contrary to all intelligence -- Saddam decided unilaterally
to destroy those weapons. I say that such a claim is palpably absurd."

"Iraq continues to deny that it has any weapons of mass destruction,
although no serious intelligence service anywhere in the world believes it."


"For me, the jury is not out. I have absolutely no doubt at all that we will
find evidence of weapons of mass destruction programmes."


"I've got no doubt at all that they will find evidence that those programmes
were continuing well after Iraq was saying they'd been discontinued and shut


"The Iraq Survey Group has already found massive evidence of a huge system
of clandestine laboratories, workings by scientists, plans to develop long
range ballistic missiles."

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