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Dear Raven and All, > Not a good news. Is this a new smear campaign of > scare-mongering? > "SADDAM GROWING $B!F(BSUPER SMALLPOX' > By NILES LATHEM (Dec 8, 2002)" My apologies for changing the subject line. To me this New York Post article sounds just like _ordinary_ war propaganda - a last-ditch effort. Neither is it new: this was tried in 1998 as a lead-up to "Desert Fox". So at the risk of boring everyone, I am going to rehash some of that. > U.S. intelligence officials say there is ample evidence > developed in the four years since the expulsion of the > weapons inspectors to support the conclusion... The so-called "expulsion" adds a convincing touch to the bio weapons story. It's not only a lie but a contradiction of 1998 coverage. Even CNN once rose to a disclaimer. On September 18, 2002 Richard Roth explained: "On our air, Donald Rumsfeld, secretary of defense... said look, it was Iraq, he said, that booted out, kicked out those weapons inspectors. That's not exactly accurate...." And Richard Butler, who himself perpetuated that lie, owns up when the occasion demands it. For example, on BBC's Talking Point, June 4, 2000, he explained that he withdrew his people for "their safety" on the advice of a "representative of the United States of America". In his book _Saddam Defiant_, he identifies that "representative" as U.S. Ambassador Peter Burleigh. http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/talking_point/newsid_774000/774433.stm Richard Butler, _Saddam Defiant_, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2000, page 224. In an online interview with the CFR and the Washington Post, June 15, 2000, Butler owns up again when he is asked: "How do you respond to those who say that your team withdrew from Iraq before the U.S. bombings to the detriment of others who were in the country on humanitarian missions?" http://www.foreignpolicy2000.org/transcripts/t_butler.html > Before Saddam expelled them in 1998, U.N. weapons > inspectors found evidence that Iraq was bulk-producing and > weaponizing huge amounts of biological agents. The "biological agents" are a repeat. And the 1998 story looks very much like war like war propaganda too. In any case, no "evidence" was produced then either. January 30, 1998: US Ambassador Bill Richardson is on the first leg of a "Presidential mission" to eight member countries of the Security Council. He goal was to drum up support for an attack on Iraq. http://www.un.int/usa/98_11.htm 26 January, 1998: In an interview with the New York Times, Unscom chief Richard Butler claims that Iraq has enough biological weapons to "blow away Tel Aviv." This comment caused a considerable stir, not least because it was news to the Security Council. The Chinese Ambassador Qin Huasun felt it was "inappropriate" for Unscom officials to disclose information not previously reported to the Council. And the Russian Ambassador Sergey Lavrov asked if Butler had in fact any proof that "that Iraq does have the capability to 'blow away Tel Aviv'". At a conference of American Jewish Organizations, Butler elaborates further: "... it was reasonable for us to extrapolate from what we know" that Iraq could have that capability. "I was not saying that I could take you today to a place in Iraq and say, 'there's the missile that could do that thing." ["Security Council furious with Butler", South News Jan 28] http://southmovement.alphalink.com.au/southnews/Jan23update.htm January 31, 1998: Butler retracts that comment, sort of. And the NY Times published his explanation. The NY Times had truncated his quote - left out "or whatever". His full quote had been to "blow away Tel Aviv, or whatever." - A crucial omission, Butler felt: "This omission obscures the fact that I was not implying that Iraq had decided to fire a missile warhead loaded with a biological agent at Tel Aviv. I have no such knowledge." Butler, it appeared, was merely trying to illustrate that the Unscom had "never been able to fully account for 'special warheads" that were once filled with chemical and biological weapons". ["Butler not off the hook yet", South news Jan 31] http://southmovement.alphalink.com.au/southnews/Jan30update.htm (In February 1998, Butler revealed to the press that Iraq Iraq _might_ be hiding these bio weapons in Hussein's "palaces" - an area "as large as Washington". Kofi Annan then had the area measured, so that myth fell flat.) As an aside, Iraq was said to be using "chemical warheads" during the gulf war. That too was apparently PR. Susan Sachs, writing for Newsday's, was a gulf war reporter who tried to dodge the guided "pool". On March 1, 1991, she wrote "No artillery equipped with chemical warheads could be discovered." - Here is an excerpt from her account: "The eager allied troops who descended to the battlefield by helicopter, barrelled through sand in canon-toting tanks, and dropped bombs from sophisticated warplanes, fought, in the end, a phantom enemy. The bulk of the mighty Iraqi army, said to number more than 500,000 in Kuwait and southern Iraq, couldn't be found. Saddam Hussein's supposed chemical-warfare capacity didn't materialize. No artillery equipped with chemical warheads could be discovered. Iraq's defensive trenches and bunkers, described by military experts as heavily fortified, turned out to be reinforced by little more than crumbling bricks and were abandoned days, perhaps weeks, before the allied ground assault began. .... ... And one senior commander agreed that the information about Iraqi defenses, put out before the war, was highly exaggerated. 'There was a great campaign of disinformation surrounding the war,' he said with some satisfaction, this week." (Newsday's hid that article on page 21.) John R. MacArthur, _Second Front: Censorship and Propaganda in the Gulf War_, Hill and Wang, 1992, pp 177-78. > Earlier this year, the CIA also discovered that Iraq has > tried to purchase one million doses of atropine from > Turkey, a drug used to counter the effects of VX nerve gas This too is a repeat: On June 16, 1998 Butler reported to the Security Council that "warhead fragments" analyzed by a US Army laboratory had revealed VX - "significant amounts" reported the Washington Post. "Iraq May Have Used Deadly Nerve Gas" was the Post's headline. "U.N. weapons inspectors have found evidence that Iraq armed missile warheads with VX nerve gas prior the Persian Gulf War", continued the Post. (This article was posted on CASI, June 23, 1998.) But further analyses from French and Swiss laboratories, apparently at Iraq's request, were inconclusive. The Swiss laboratory, AC-Laboratorium Spiez, apparently did not find any "chemical-warfare-related chemicals". And according to the French Foreign Ministry, "The French laboratory, the Bouchet Research Center, found nothing on 39 samples out of 40 that were analyzed. The last sample showed a byproduct of a war agent, but it was impossible to confirm whether it was a VX byproduct." The Foreign Ministry's spokeswoman continued: "Given the wide range of results obtained by each laboratory, and especially the relatively small number of samples that exhibited traces of VX byproducts, these results are not conclusive one way or another, even if the results can be considered reliable and valid." ("France, US differ on conclusiveness of Iraq VX test results") http://www.arabicnews.com/ansub/Daily/Day/981028/1998102844.html Nevertheless, on October 26, 1998 Richard Butler sent a letter to the President of the Security Council stating that some unnamed "international experts" had "judged the [US] results as valid" in July 1998. That the later Swiss and French findings did not validate the US results - that the three analyses in fact differed, he fails to mention. ("UNSCOM Chairman Richard Butler's Letter to UNSC") http://www.meij.or.jp/text/Gulf%20War/19981026.htm And a German paper reported that "Iraq might have enough VX nerve gas to destroy the whole world" - a story that circulated at the time. Citing Butler, the paper said that Iraq might be in the position to produce 200 tons of VX. And 200 tons, according to the experts, was enough to destroy the entire world population. Ergo... (The US _is_ in the position now. But what would be the point?) Then, about eight months later, came the story of the "left behind VX nerve gas". Apparently, Butler had fully expected to lead his team back into Iraq after the attack. So they had left behind their own specimens of VX in the Unscom lab - located in a hotel in Baghdad. "U.S. Blocks Questions About VX Gas" reported AP on August 1, 1999. Security Council members China and France wanted to put questions to the U.N. weapons inspectors to determine "that VX nerve gas left in a Baghdad laboratory wasn't used improperly to contaminate Iraqi missile warheads". The US considered the questions "trivial" and "unfair" on the weapons inspectors. And the inspectors insisted that they had merely used their own specimens of VX to "calibrate equipment used to test for the nerve agent". This VX "posed posed no danger, and should be destroyed", they said. ("U.S. Blocks Questions About VX Gas", August 1, 1999) http://www.ngwrc.org/Archives/Misc/SunAug011000001999.asp The VX had been destroyed in July. After several days of arguing, the Security Council sent a team of independent experts to the Unscom lab in Baghdad. "VX gas destroyed in Iraq", reported the BBC on July 28, 1999. Russia had wanted the VX analyzed but the US and Britain opposed that - as an effort to discredit Unscom. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/404896.stm End of long rehash - with apologies. Back to December 8, 2002: "SADDAM GROWING $B!F(BSUPER SMALLPOX". Perhaps they should hire new screen writers...? --Elga _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email firstname.lastname@example.org All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk