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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 identical'. ... 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 technician.' Best wishes, Gabriel voices uk ***************************************************** WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 19 2001 The Times Bomber met Iraqi chief of intelligence FROM ROLAND WATSON AND DAMIAN WHITWORTH IN WASHINGTON 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 email@example.com CASI's website - www.casi.org.uk - includes an archive of all postings.