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Sources and claims

Dear Dirk, Per, Philippa, Colin, Tim and List

The original claim that provoked this discussion was from the Iraqi
Minister of Transport and Communications, who said (in the article Dirk
"the contracts [on hold at the 661 committee] reached to 252 that worth
$821 million".

It's slightly unclear what he is claiming: cumulative totals since 1991
(ie including those that have now been released) or the current amount on
hold? From the use of the present tense in the remainder of the article,
I presume the latter. Also, from the summation of different sectors that
the Minister presents, we can assume that he is only talking about holds
in the transport & communication sector.

I've put up on the CASI site, the Office of the Iraq Program's
sector-by-sector analysis of holds, as of 22 October 2001. It's at:

Comparing the two claims:-

Iraqi Minister : 252 holds worth $821m
OIP (row 2)    : 99 holds $286m

There's four possibilities: either the minister is discussing
cumulative totals of holds, the majority of which have now been
released; or he has a broader definition of what "communications and
transport" involves than the OIP's "communications and transportation"; or
I've misinterpreted what the table purports to show; or the minister is
exaggerating considerably.

I'd appreciate any clarifications to the above points.

Glen Rangwala

Faculty of Social and Political Sciences
Free School Lane
Tel: 44 (0)7930 627944
Fax: 44 (0)7092 330826

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