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]
Dear all Many of you will have noticed a number of references in the press over the last few days to a CIA report released last week, an "unclassified Report to Congress on the Acquisition of Technology Relating to Weapons of Mass Destruction and Advanced Conventional Munitions, 1 January Through 30 June 2001". Some journalists have used the report to rachet up the talk of the Iraqi threat, stating that it demonstrates the Iraqi government's abiding interest in acquiring chemical, biological and especially nuclear weapons. The Iraq section is at: http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/bian/bian_jan_2002.htm#4 (Links to the previous twice yearly sections on Iraq can be found at: http://www.cam.ac.uk/societies/casi/info/gov.html#us scroll down to "Central Intelligence Agency") Here are a few comments. The Iraq section is quite short - 9 paragraphs long. Within these paragraphs, I count: 7 "could"s (as in Iraq "could" have dressed half its people as exotic butterflies) 8 "possibly/likely/probably"s 3 "believe"s; and only 2 actual claims. And one of those claims seems to be inaccurate (the other one, about refurbishing trainer aircraft for delivery of chemical or "more likely" biological agents, I can't assess). The seemingly inaccurate one is: 'our concerns increased in September 2000 when Saddam publicly exhorted his "Nuclear Mujahidin" to "defeat the enemy."' This is inconsistent with the transcription of the speech at the time by the BBC monitoring service. The speech was on 10 September 2000, and was about, in part, nuclear energy. It can be read in part via: http://globalarchive.ft.com/globalarchive/article.html?id=000911005132&query=nuclear+mujahidin+Iraq If BBC monitoring is to be believed, Saddam Hussein actually refers to "nuclear energy mujahidin". It doesn't mention the development of weaponry, as the CIA report implies. The part about defeating enemies is in a different part of the speech, directed to the "Air Defence". The only equivalent reference in the nuclear energy part of the speech is about defeating "evil" in a "race for righteousness". The term "mujahidin" is often used in a non-combatant sense, to mean anyone who struggles for a cause. Saddam Hussein, for example, often refers to the mujahidin developing Iraq's medical facilities. Although the speech is banal, obviously, there is nothing in there that indicates that Iraq is attempting to develop or threaten the use of nuclear weapons. Best regards Glen. -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------- 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.