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Subject: Three War-Related Angles to Watch; US Officials’ Rhetoric Author: Nathaniel Hurd, consultant on UN Iraq policy, Mennonite Central Committee UN Office Date: 13 December 2002 Angle 1: Iraq's 7 December declaration and US intelligence agency evaluations. Angle 2: UNMOVIC/IAEA's authority to interview Iraqis outside Iraq. Angle 3: US "information" regarding Iraq's non-conventional weapons and the low standard for "proof" that US officials must use to justify a war against Iraq. Below you will find expanded angles, along with relevant newspaper excerpts and quotes from US Officials. Note that source endnote numbers appear in parenthesis. Angle 1: The US "reports" to the Security Council that Iraq's 7 December declaration contains "false Statement or omissions". US officials then use such a "report" to justify using massive force against Iraq. Security Council Resolution (SCR) 1441 permits UN member states to "report" to the Security Council on ostensible "false statements or omissions" in Iraq's recent declaration relating to the biological, chemical, ballistic missile and nuclear fields. SCR 1441 decides in advance that reported noncompliance constitutes a “further material breach”. (1) Relatedly, the press is reporting that "American intelligence agencies have reached a preliminary conclusion that Iraq's 12,000-page declaration of its weapons programs fails to account for chemical and biological agents missing when inspectors left Iraq four years ago, American officials and United Nations diplomats said today." (2) Angle 2: US officials focus on tools that SCR 1441 grants UNMOVIC/IAEA. Specifically, these officials focus on the interview authority. If UNMOVIC/IAEA choose to not utilize the external interview mechanism, then US officials may argue that UNMOVIC/IAEA are unwilling and/or inadequate to verify Iraqi disarmament. US officials might then argue that the US Government has one option: it must use force to disarm Iraq. If UNMOVIC/IAEA choose to utilize the external interview mechanism, and the Government of Iraq fails to cooperate, then US may declare that Iraq is in "further material breach" and the US Government must therefore use massive force to disarm Iraq. A UN source suggested to me that although SCR 1441 grants UNMOVIC/IAEA expanded interview-related authority, it does not order UNMOVIC/IAEA to use this authority. (3) US officials reportedly argue that there is a link between Angle 1 and Angle 2. [begin] The Bush administration believes any failure by Iraqi President Saddam Hussein to produce scientists that United Nations inspectors want to interview outside the country would constitute "noncooperation" by Baghdad with last month's U.N. resolution, a senior administration official said yesterday. The official said the interviews must begin "soon," and should focus on filling gaps of information and "clarifying details" missing in the Iraqi government's 12,000-page declaration of its ballistic missile, chemical, biological and nuclear weapons programs. The official's comments were a clear sign that the administration anticipates the interview process will spark a direct confrontation with Iraq. Several senior officials have made clear in recent days that they see the interviews -- with scientists and technicians who have worked in past and present Iraqi weapons and missile programs -- as the quickest way to declare Baghdad in material breach of the new resolution without going through a lengthy inspections process that may ultimately be inconclusive. [end] (4) Angle 3: US Officials argue that they have "information" demonstrating that Iraq has non-conventional weapons. They might then refuse to publicly reveal said information (and thus open it to evaluation and scrutiny). Subsequently they may state that they primarily only need to assert Government of Iraq "patterns", a "track record", and piece together "disparate" puzzle pieces in order to inform US decision-makers and justify using large-scale force against Iraq. "It is the task of taking these disparate pieces and putting them together so that people can make their own judgment, not for [the US] to prove anything." Below are quotes from Whitehouse Press Secretary Ari Fleischer and US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld regarding Angle 3. Whitehouse Press Secretary Ari Fleischer, 4 December 2002. [begin] MR. FLEISCHER: We have said publicly that based on our information, they indeed have weapons of mass destruction. And this is why I remind you -- the Iraqis don't exactly have a good track record of honesty and truth-telling when it comes to the declaration of what they have. That's why the work of the inspectors is important. And that's why the President insisted on the return of the inspectors. This is why the President refers to this as 10 years of defiance. We've heard Iraqi lies before. After all, when the Iraqis recently said, in the '90s, they had no weapons of mass destruction, how do they explain the fact that they proved that they had them? [end] (5) White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer, 5 December 2002 [begin] MR. FLEISCHER: Let me cite for you something I think you will find constructive. This is July 31, 2002, Senator Biden's committee up on Capitol Hill, and this is a statement by Richard Butler, formerly of the United Nations. Quote -- this is Richard Butler speaking -- "It is essential to recognize that the claim made by Saddam's representative that Iraq has no weapons of mass destruction is false. Everyone concerned, from Iraq's neighbors to the U.N. Security Council to the Secretary of the U.N., with whom Iraq is currently negotiating on this issue -- everyone simply, Mr. Chairman, is being lied to." And Mr. Butler, formerly of the U.N., continued, "From the beginning, Iraq refused to obey the law. Instead it actively sought to defeat the application of the law in order to preserve its weapons of mass destruction capabilities." Two more paragraphs -- "The work of UNSCOM, the body created by the United Nations Security Council to take away Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, had various degrees of success -- varying degrees," said Mr. Butler. "But above all, it was not permitted to finish the job. Almost four years have now passed since Iraq terminated UNSCOM's work, and in that period, Iraq has been free of any inspection and monitoring of its WMD programs." And then Mr. Butler concluded, "This shows two key things. One, Iraq remains in breach of international law, and two, it has been determined to maintain a weapons of mass destruction capability at all costs." President Bush has said Iraq has weapons of mass destruction; Tony Blair has said Iraq has weapons of mass destruction; Donald Rumsfeld has said Iraq has weapons of mass destruction; Richard Butler has said they do; the United Nations has said they do; the experts have said they do. Iraq says they don't. You can choose who you want to believe. Q So -- but if you had this evidence other than what Richard Butler is talking about, why don't you lay it out on the table? Why don't you share it with the American public? MR. FLEISCHER: I think the burden now falls on Saddam Hussein and his opportunity to shed that burden comes this weekend when he will send to the United Nations a declaration of the weapons that he possesses. And I think it will be a very interesting day to see what he says in that document, and we shall see what he says he has. Also we'll see what he says he doesn't have. Q Why can't you present your own evidence, for god sake? Nobody is stopping you. And Butler knows damn well that we pulled the inspectors out. MR. FLEISCHER: I think, Helen, the burden is on Saddam Hussein to comply with the will of the United Nations and demonstrate – [end] [begin] Q There have been moments in American history when Presidents have decided that it was worthwhile to make some intelligence data public to prove the case and not simply make the statement. Adlai Stevenson at the U.N. is a famous one, but there have been others. Is it the administration's intention at this point to attempt that, to provide backup evidence, whether it's in the form of satellite photographs or other intelligence, to indicate areas that you believe that Saddam Hussein is -- MR. FLEISCHER: The burden of proof lies with Saddam Hussein. The world has seen Iraq lie for 10 years, and Iraq continues its ways of lying and deceiving to the world when it says it does not have weapons of mass destruction. When the authorities that I cited earlier, including -- let me read you one additional report because I think this, too, is constructive, and it comes from, frankly, The New York Times. This is April 10, 1998. "A team of independent experts who reviewed Iraq's progress in eliminating biological weapons at Baghdad's request has rejected Saddam Hussein's contention that he no longer has a germ warfare program." And this report was compiled by military and scientific experts from 13 countries, including the United States, Russia, China and France. So given the overwhelming amount of history that the world has had dealing with Saddam Hussein, and his deceptions and lies about whether he does or doesn't have weapons of mass destruction, the burden this time lies with Saddam Hussein. And he can begin to shed that burden with what he reveals when he produces the declaration this weekend. Q The burden of proof may lie on him, but the burden of putting together a coalition, if you believed he has withheld information, obviously lies on the United States. And the way you put together that coalition is providing evidence to back up your claims and the claims of others. The question is -- MR. FLEISCHER: I think the President is -- Q -- are you prepared to do that in public? MR. FLEISCHER: I think in terms of assembling a coalition, the President is very well satisfied that the coalition is already assembling. The President has said that he will assemble a coalition of the willing, and the coalition has access to information and they know what I have just been saying to you, in citing these very public cases, including news reports. Q Why can't the public know? MR. FLEISCHER: We'll know this weekend, won't we, when Saddam Hussein makes his report. Q It's not your intention to make it public, is that where we're -- MR. FLEISCHER: Not make public -- Q It's not your intention to make public intelligence that would contradict whatever is in Saddam's -- MR. FLEISCHER: All events in due course. Let Saddam Hussein make his report this weekend, which is what the United Nations asked to happen, and that is what the President called for. [end] (6) US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumseld, 26 September 2002 [begin] Q: Mr. Secretary, can we follow up on that just a little bit? Much of the criticism, congressional and others, domestically and overseas, is that neither you nor the president have proven the case, so to speak, about a possible attack on Iraq. Do you know something that we don't know, that perhaps you're not willing to share with us -- but do you know possibly -- Rumsfeld: I hope so! (Laughter.) Q: We hope so, too. But do you know of direct linkage between Saddam Hussein and the use of weapons of mass destruction -- (inaudible) -- elsewhere? And further than what you just told us, do you know of any direct linkage between him and the al Qaeda you're not able to share with us? Rumsfeld: Look, the -- I think it's very important for people to think what's taking place right now in the Congress. They're trying to connect the dots after -- what happened before September 11th and how could that information have been pieced together and fashioned into a picture, a road map that said September 11th is coming. It is enormously difficult to do it a year after it happened. It's vastly more difficult to do it before something happens. And the task we have is to try to take all of these pieces of information and draw conclusions that are in the interests of the American people and the people of the world. It is not possible to find hard evidence that something is going to happen two, four, six, eight months or a year down the road. You will have known it happened after it happens. And when you're dealing with weapons of mass destruction and you're dealing with countries like Iraq that have used weapons of mass destruction, and countries like Iraq that have active development programs for those weapons, and have weaponized chemical and biological weapons, you have to recognize that there are -- that the evidence piles up. Now, can anyone -- will be always able to say, even after the fact, that there isn't sufficient evidence, that you don't have proof beyond a reasonable doubt. You'll know an event occurred, but even after it occurs, it's very difficult to get perfect evidence. Our goal is not to go into a court of law and try to prove something to somebody. Prime Minister Blair put out a white paper on this issue. The president of the United States went to the United Nations. Members of the House and Senate have been briefed extensively on this set of issues. And in every case, it is a puzzle. It is the task of taking these disparate pieces and putting them together so that people can make their own judgment, not for us to prove anything. What they have to do is they have to say what does a reasonable person conclude are the risks from this? Are the risks greater of the U.N., for example, trying to enforce their resolution, or are the risks greater of not doing that? Always there are risks on both sides. [end] (7) 1. Operative paragraphs 3, 4, and 12. See also Nathaniel Hurd, "Security Council Resolution 1441 and the Potential Use of Force, 7 December 2002, http://www.cam.ac.uk/societies/casi/info/hurd021206.pdf and http://www.cam.ac.uk/societies/casi/info/hurd021206.doc and http://epic-usa.org/resources/rpt.php?a=e&n=01 2. David E. Sanger with Julia Preston, "Iraq Arms Report Has Big Omissions, U.S. Officials Say", New York Times, 13 December 2002, http://www.nytimes.com/2002/12/13/international/middleeast/13WEAP.html See also Bob Drogin, "CIA Sees Nothing New in Iraq's Arms Disclosure", Los Angeles Times, 12 December 2002, http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-iraq12dec12001437,0,1392357.story?coll=la%2Dheadlines%2Dworld 3. Conversation, mid-November. See SCR 1441, operative paragraph 5. See also See also Nathaniel Hurd, "Security Council Resolution 1441 and the Potential Use of Force, 7 December 2002, http://www.cam.ac.uk/societies/casi/info/hurd021206.pdf and http://www.cam.ac.uk/societies/casi/info/hurd021206.doc and http://epic-usa.org/resources/rpt.php?a=e&n=01 4. Karen DeYoung and Walter Pincus, "U.S. Sees Showdown Over Iraqi Scientists", Washington Post, 13 December 2002. See also Nathaniel Hurd, "Security Council Resolution 1441 and the Potential Use of Force, 7 December 2002, http://www.cam.ac.uk/societies/casi/info/hurd021206.pdf and http://www.cam.ac.uk/societies/casi/info/hurd021206.doc and http://epic-usa.org/resources/rpt.php?a=e&n=01 5. Whitehouse Press Secretary Ari Fleischer, press briefing, Office of the Press Secretary, 4 December 2002, http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2002/12/20021204-5.html 6. Whitehouse Press Secretary Ari Fleischer, press briefing, Office of the Press Secretary, 5 December 2002, http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2002/12/20021205-7.html 7. US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, press briefing, US Department of Defense, 26 September 2002, http://www.defenselink.mil/news/Sep2002/t09262002_t0926sd.html Nathaniel Hurd Consultant, United Nations Iraq policy, Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) United Nations Office 90 7th Ave. Apt. #6 Brooklyn, NY 11217 Tel. (M): 917-407-3389 Tel. (H): 718-857-7639 Fax: 718-504-4224 ************************************************ DISCLAIMER ************************************************ Any views or opinions presented above are solely those of Nathaniel Hurd and do not necessarily represent those of the Mennonite Central Committee. The Mennonite Central Committee has no legal or other responsibility for the contents of this message. _________________________________________________________________ MSN 8 with e-mail virus protection service: 2 months FREE* http://join.msn.com/?page=features/virus _______________________________________________ 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