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[casi] Interview with Scott Ritter, Radio Five.

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Radio five live with Simon Mayo, 17.7.02 2pm-3pm.
Interview with Scott Ritter.
Ritter says that a democratic nation has every right for pre-emptive strikes
but the trouble with Iraq is that Blair has no evidence.  SH is a brutal
dictator but there is no justification for war unless it is a threat to
Bush has influenced Blair; dictating acquiescence to UK.
Bush regime dominated by far right conservatives who are dedicated to regime
removal. Political careers on the line. 59% of US citizens support war on
Ritter described his job as weapons inspector, frustrating, but by 1996 the
inspectors knew of all of Iraqi capability.  Iraqis tried to intimidate him
but he was "alpha dog".  He was an "in the face" sort of inspector.
Said that US had tried to link Iraq with Al-Qaeda and failed, with Anthrax
and failed, and was now trying to link them to WMD but Scott believes they
still have little evidence, but they just want an excuse for regime change.
Why did you change?
Ritter said he hasn't changed.  He has always acted throughout the same.
You know Iraqis are liars, so why do you call Blair a liar?
Ritter knows the way the media and government in US work against him
personally, he knows ways that the media is manipulated.  He got info from
Israel, best security intelligence in the world.  If they said the world said
there was no info on Iraq when there was, the Israelis would provide a
dossier of evidence if it was there, in order to disprove it. The fact that
Israel doesn't provide evidence makes Ritter think that there is no evidence
to suggest that Iraq has recovered its capability.
What about the person who defected 2 yrs ago who said there was WMD.
Ritter said the person who defected is a fraud, he was fired from his
position and tried to peddle misinformation as a new career.  (Heeba
Hamza???)  He was known as an embezzler.
(Not clear what questioner was saying but something about return visit in
Ritter went to Iraq to make a film, this was difficult at first because he
was described as a spy for US when he first worked in Iraq. He had to be seen
in a different light on later visit.  He refused to do any weapons inspecting
for Iraq because he didn't want to be seen as an Iraqi tool.  But he did talk
to government departments and officials.
Are you 100% certain you are right.
Ritter said the inspectors in UNISCOM were human, they did a very good job,
but he was not totally certain, but his dept dealt with substantive facts
rather than hypothesis.  He thinks he achieved 90-95% level of clearance of
weapons and to build again, Iraq would have to build new buildings but there
is no information this has happened from any source.
Are you patriotic
Yes, very, but to USA not to Bush, the patriotic duty is to speak out when
the government is wrong.  He thinks the UK system is more accountable.
The questioner had a fear that Iraq can get weapons from other rogue states,
even though he is not a supporter of Bush.
He might, he might not.  But Bush MUST have evidence before he strikes.
Everyone must ask their elected representatives: HOW DO YOU KNOW?
This is all about oil, oil is the hidden agenda.
This is a simplified account, the oil problem is solved because we have
access to Iraq's oil, this proposed strike is about unilateralism and this is
very dangerous.
How has the government suddenly got new information, why didn't they let us
know at the start of the new build up of wmd - this is worrying.
If Iraq was doing what US government claims, it would be on the front page of
every newspaper.

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