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Dear Glen This is actually dynamite - I reckon that Newsnight or Channel 4 news or someone like that could do a MAJOR story on this. Really, this could be important! Have you thought about trying this? Why not email email@example.com (newsnight ed obviously) and a bunch of others Best wishes Eric On 05 Feb 2003 15:53:37 +0000 Glen Rangwala <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote: > A sideways comment: > > In preparation for Powell's presentation at 15:30 GMT today, I had a look > at the third British government's "dossier" released last Thursday, "Iraq - > Its Infrastructure Of Concealment, Deception And Intimidation" (30 January > 2003). The document is at: > > http://www.number-10.gov.uk/output/Page7111.asp > > (references below to page numbers relate to the downloadable Word version). > > The document claims to draw "upon a number of sources, including > intelligence material" (p.1, first sentence). > > Now this is a bit misleading. > > More precisely, the bulk of the 19-page document (pp.6-16) is directly > copied without acknowledgement from an article in last September's Middle > East Review of International Affairs entitled "Iraq's Security and > Intelligence Network: A Guide and Analysis". > > http://meria.idc.ac.il/journal/2002/issue3/jv6n3a1.html > > The author of the piece is Ibrahim al-Marashi, a postgraduate student at > the Monterey Institute of International Studies. He has confirmed to me > that his permission was not sought; in fact, he didn't even know about the > British document until I mentioned it to him. > > It's quite striking that even Marashi's typographical errors and anomolous > uses of grammar are incorporated into the Downing Street document. For > example, on p.13, the British dossier incorporates a misplaced comma: > > "Saddam appointed, Sabir 'Abd al-'Aziz al-Duri as head".. > > Likewise, Marashi's piece also states: > > "Saddam appointed, Sabir 'Abd al-'Aziz al-Duri as head".. > > The other sources that are extensively plagiarised in the document are two > authors from Jane's Intelligence Review: > > Ken Gause (an international security analyst from Alexandria, Virginia), > "Can the Iraqi Security Apparatus save Saddam" (November 2002), pp.8-13. > > Sean Boyne, "Inside Iraq?s Security Network", in 2 parts during 1997. > > None of the sources are acknowledged, leading the reader to believe that > the information is a result of direct investigative work, rather than > simply copied from pre-existing internet sources. > > The fact that the texts of these three authors are copied directly results > in a proliferation of different transliterations (eg different spellings of > Ba'th, depending on which author is being copied). > > There are two types of changes incorporated into the British document. > Firstly, numbers are increased or are rounded up. So, for example, the > section on "Fedayeen Saddam" (pp.15-16) is directly copied from Boyne, > almost word for word. The only substantive difference is that Boyne > estimates the personnel of the organisation to be 18,000-40,000 (Gause > similarly estimates 10-40,000). The British dossier instead writes "30,000 > to 40,000". A similar bumping up of figures occurs with the description of > the Directorate of Military Intelligence. > > The second type of change in the British dossier is that it replaces > particular words to make the claim sound stronger. So, for example, most of > p.9 on the functions of the Mukhabarat is copied directly from Marashi's > article, except that when Marashi writes of its role in: > > "monitoring foreign embassies in Iraq" > > this becomes in the British dossier: > > "spying on foreign embassies in Iraq". > > Similarly, on that same page, whilst Marashi writes of the Mukhabarat: > > "aiding opposition groups in hostile regimes" > > - the British dossier renders this as: > > "supporting terrorist organisations in hostile regimes". > > Furher examples from the section on "Fedayeen Saddam" include how a > reference to how, in Boyne's original text, its personnel are > > "recruited from regions loyal to Saddam", referring to their original > grouping as "some 10,000-15,000 'bullies and country bumpkins.'" > > becomes in the British government's text a reference to how its personnel > are: > > "press ganged from regions known to be loyal to Saddam" ... "some > 10,000-15,000 bullies." > > Clearly, a reference to the "country bumpkins" would not have the > rhetorical effect that the British government was aiming for. > > Finally, there is one serious substantive mistake in the British text, in > that it muddles up Boyne's description of General Security (al-Amn al-Amm), > and places it in its section on p.14 of Military Security (al-Amn > al-Askari). The result is complete confusion: it starts on p.14 by relating > how Military Security was created in 1992 (in a piece copied from Marashi), > then goes onto talk about the movement of its headquarters - in 1990 (in a > piece copied from Boyne on the activities of General Security). The result > is that it gets the description of the Military Security Service wholly > wrong, claiming that its head is Taha al-Ahbabi (whilst really he was head > of General Security in 1997; Military Security was headed by Thabet > Khalil). > > Apart from the obvious criticism that the British government has > plagiarised texts without acknowledgement, passing them off as the work of > its intelligence services, there are two further serious problems. Firstly, > it indicates that the UK at least really does not have any independent > sources of information on Iraq's internal politics - they just draw upon > publicly available data. Thus any further claims to information based on > "intelligence data" must be treated with even more scepticism. > > Secondly, the information presented as being an accurate statement of the > current state of Iraq's security organisations may not be anything of the > sort. Marashi - the real and unwitting author of much of the document - has > as his primary source the documents captured in 1991 for the Iraq Research > and Documentation Project. His own focus is the activities of Iraq's > intelligence agencies in Kuwait, Aug90-Jan91 - this is the subject of his > thesis. As a result, the information presented as relevant to how Iraqi > agencies are currently engaged with Unmovic is 12 years old. > > For reference, here are a few other summary comments on the British > document. > > Official authors are (in Word > Properties) P. Hamill, J. Pratt, A. > Blackshaw, and M. Khan. > > p.1 is the summary. > > pp.2-5 are a repetition of Blix's comments to the Security Council on the > difficulties they were encountering, with further claims about the > activities of al-Mukhabarat. These are not backed up, eg the claim that car > crashes are organised to prevent the speedy arrival of inspectors. > > p.6 is a simplified version of Marashi's diagram at: > http://cns.miis.edu/research/iraq/pdfs/iraqint.pdf > > p.7 is copied (top) from Gause (on the Presidential Secretariat), and > (middle and bottom) from Boyne (on the National Security Council). > > p.8 is entirely copied from Boyne (on the National Security Council). > > p.9 is copied from Marashi (on al-Mukhabarat), except for the final > section, which is insubstantial. > > p.10 is entirely copied from Marashi (on General Security), except for the > final section, which is insubstantial. > > p.11 is entirely copied from Marashi (on Special Security), except for the > top section (on General Security), which is insubstantial. > > p.12 is entirely copied from Marashi (on Special Security). > > p.13 is copied from Gause (on Special Protection) and Marashi (Military > Intelligence). > > p.14 is wrongly copied from Boyne (on Military Security) and from Marashi > (on the Special Republican Guard). > > p.15 is copied from Gause and Boyne (on al-Hadi project / project 858). > > pp.15-16 is copied from Boyne (on Fedayeen Saddam). > > A final section, on the Tribal Chiefs' Bureau, seems to be copied from a > different piece by Cordesman. > > > Glen. > > > _______________________________________________ > 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 email@example.com > All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk > ---------------------- Dr. Eric Herring Department of Politics University of Bristol 10 Priory Road Bristol BS8 1TU England, UK Office tel. +44-(0)117-928-8582 Mobile tel. +44-(0)7771-966608 Fax +44-(0)117-973-2133 firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.bris.ac.uk/Depts/Politics/ http://www.ericherring.com/ Join the Network of Activist Scholars of Politics and International Relations! http://group.yahoo.com/group/naspir/ _______________________________________________ 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 email@example.com All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk