The following is an archived copy of a message sent to a Discussion List run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.

Views expressed in this archived message are those of the author, not of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.

[Main archive index/search] [List information] [Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Article from today's Times.

The following article appeared in today's Times.

Obviously, one has to treat 'intelligence' reports with considerable
caution. Back in 1993 the US launched cruise missile attacks on Baghdad,
killing eight civilians, in 'response' to an alleged assasination plot
against former US President George Bush that US 'intelligence' had linked to
the Iraqi Government.

One of the key claims linking the alleged plot to the Iraqi Government was
that the remote-control firing device found in the Kuwaiti car bomb
(supposedly intended for George Bush) had the same "signature" as previously
recovered Iraqi bombs.'

Here I'll let Seymour Hersh take up the story ('A Case Not Closed', New
Yorker magazine, 1993):

'In making its case, the Administration released a series of colour
photographs comparing, among other things, the circuit boards of the
radio-controlled firing devices seized in Kuwait and the circuit boards of
what was said to be a similar Iraqi device. The photographs were made public
by Ambassador Albright. 'Even an untrained eye can see that that these are
identical except for the serial numbers,' she said, holding up photographs
of the two devices. 'Next we have a similar comparison of the insides of the
two firing devices ... As you can see, the selection of the components and
the construction techniques in the two devices - including soldering, the
use of connectors, and the wiring techniques et cetera - are also

... Most reporters - and the public - found the photographs, with their
obvious similarity convincing.'

'One notable exception,' writes Hersh, was an editorial in the New York
Times stating that the information presented by Albright was 'not convincing
enough for a reasonable citizen to join her in being 'highly confident' that
force ... was the wisest course.'

However 'The [New York] Times editorial led to no reassessment by the public
or by the newspaper's Washington Bureau ... There is no published evidence
known to me of any effort by the [New York] Times to verify independently
the Administration's specific claims against Iraq.'

Hersh asked seven independent experts in electrical engineering and bomb
forensics to look at the photographs.

They all told him 'essentially the same thing: the remote-controlled devices
shown in the White House photographs were mass-produced items, commonly used
for walkie-talkies and model airplanes and cars, and had not been modified
in any significant way. The experts, who included former police and
government contract employees and also professors of electrical engineering,
agreed, too, that the two devices had no "signatures". They said that  there
was no conceivable way way that the Clinton Administration, given the
materials made public at the United Nations, could assert that the
remote-controlled devices had been put together by the same Iraqi

Best wishes,

voices uk

The Times

Bomber met Iraqi chief of intelligence


A LINK between Iraq and one of the World Trade Centre attackers was
disclosed last night amid British concerns that Washington might use
President Bush’s war on terrorism as a pretext to topple Saddam Hussein.

American intelligence officials said that Mohammed Atta, who is believed to
have been at the controls of the first jet to crash, met the head of Iraqi
intelligence this year.

They stopped short of saying the meeting demonstrated that Saddam’s hand lay
behind the attacks. But some leading figures in the Bush Administration
believe that they could yet build a case for Iraq’s involvement.

Donald Rumsfeld, the US Defence Secretary, refused to rule out the
possibility that a state had sponsored the hijacks, which have claimed more
than 5,000 lives. John Ashcroft, the Attorney-General, declined to comment
on reports of Iraqi involvement.

Mr Rumsfeld made clear yesterday that the US was not ready to share with the
Taleban evidence of Osama bin Laden’s involvement, despite requests to do so
from Pakistan. He said it would compromise the US’s intelligence sources,
adding: “Does it make sense to begin releasing intelligence information? Of
course not.”

Mr Ashcroft said that the FBI had received 96,000 leads in the past seven
days. He also said that there may have been more than four aircraft intended
for last week’s attacks.

FBI chiefs also raised the possibility of a second wave of violence. They
said that evidence collected during the past seven days pointed to September
22 as a significant date.

Bob Graham, chairman of the Senate intelligence committee, said that the
attacks on September 11 were “part of a larger plan with other terrorism
acts, not necessarily hijacking of airplanes. Those acts were going to occur
in the United States and elsewhere in the world.”

The suggestion of possible Iraqi involvement will heighten British concerns
that the more hawkish voices in Washington could drag the US into hasty
moves towards settling “unfinished business” in Baghdad.

British officials fear that any such action would destabilise the Middle
East and hinder the campaign to bring bin Laden to justice.

Richard Cheney, the Vice-President, said that the US would have no
reluctance in pursuing Saddam if he was harbouring terrorists. He said that
Saddam was “bottled up” at the moment, but that he was linked to “some
activities related to terrorism”.

Richard Perle, the chairman of the Defence Policy Board, said that a
“primary goal” of the war on terrorism should be to overthrow Saddam.

This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq
For removal from list, email
CASI's website - - includes an archive of all postings.

[Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]