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[casi] Blix and ElBaradei vs Powell

Hi All

I've put a full analysis of how Blix and ElBaradei's reports today
contradict Powell's line on 5 February (as well as Blair on 2 February) at:

I hope it's useful. I've reproduced it below, though the formatting won't
come out well, I fear.




Powell: "The gravity of this moment is matched by the gravity of the threat
that Iraq's weapons of mass destruction pose to the world."

Blix: "So far, UNMOVIC has not found any such weapons, only a small number
of empty chemical munitions, which should have been declared and


a) CLAIM Blair dossier, p.3: "Journeys are monitored by security officers
stationed on the route if they have prior intelligence. Any changes of
destination are notified ahead by telephone or radio so that arrival is
anticipated. The welcoming party is a give away." Powell: "This sequence of
events raises the worrisome suspicion that Iraq had been tipped off to the
forthcoming inspections at Taji"

REALITY Blix: "Since we arrived in Iraq, we have conducted more than 400
inspections covering more than 300 sites. All inspections were performed
without notice, and access was almost always provided promptly. In no case
have we seen convincing evidence that the Iraqi side knew in advance that
the inspectors were coming."

b) CLAIM Blair dossier, p.3: "Escorts are trained, for example, to start
long arguments with other Iraqi officials ?on behalf of UNMOVIC? while any
incriminating evidence is hastily being hidden behind the scenes."

REALITY Blix: "we note that access to sites has so far been without
problems, including those that had never been declared or inspected, as
well as to Presidential sites and private residences."


a) CLAIM Powell: "We believe Saddam Hussein knows what he did with
[chemical weapons] and he has not come clean with the international
community. We have evidence these weapons existed. What we don't have is
evidence from Iraq that they have been destroyed or where they are."

REALITY Blix: "a letter of 12 February from Iraq?s National Monitoring
Directorate may be of relevance. It presents a list of 83 names of
participants 'in the unilateral destruction in the chemical field, which
took place in the summer of 1991'. As the absence of adequate evidence of
that destruction has been and remains an important reason why quantities of
chemicals have been deemed 'unaccounted for', the presentation of a list of
persons who can be interviewed about the actions appears useful and
pertains to cooperation on substance."

b) CLAIM Blair dossier, p.2: "The Regime has intensified efforts to hide
documents in places where they are unlikely to be found, such as private
homes of low-level officials and universities." Powell: "Thanks to
intelligence they were provided, the inspectors recently found dramatic
confirmation of these reports. When they searched the homes of an Iraqi
nuclear scientist, they uncovered roughly 2,000 pages of documents. You see
them here being brought out of the home and placed in UN hands. Some of the
material is classified and related to Iraq's nuclear program."

REALITY ElBaradei: "The IAEA has completed a more detailed review of the
2000 pages of documents found on 16 January at the private residence of an
Iraqi scientist. The documents relate predominantly to lasers, including
the use of laser technology to enrich uranium. [...] While the documents
have provided some additional details about Iraq's laser enrichment
development efforts, they refer to activities or sites already known to the
IAEA and appear to be the personal files of the scientist in whose home
they were found. Nothing contained in the documents alters the conclusions
previously drawn by the IAEA concerning the extent of Iraq's laser
enrichment programme."

c) CLAIM Powell: " Iraq has a high-level committee to monitor the
inspectors who were sent in to monitor Iraq's disarmament -- not to
cooperate with them, not to assist them, but to spy on them and keep them
from doing their jobs."

REALITY Blix: "The Iraqi side also informed us that the commission, which
had been appointed in the wake of our finding 12 empty chemical weapons
warheads, had had its mandate expanded to look for any still existing
proscribed items. This was welcomed. A second commission, we learnt, has
now been appointed with the task of searching all over Iraq for more
documents relevant to the elimination of proscribed items and programmes.
It is headed by the former Minister of Oil, General Amer Rashid, and is to
have very extensive powers of search in industry, administration and even
private houses."


a) CLAIM Powell: " you will see the type of concealment activity Iraq has
undertaken in response to the resumption of inspections. [...] We must ask
ourselves: Why would Iraq suddenly move equipment of this nature before
inspections if they were anxious to demonstrate what they had or did not

REALITY Blix: "intelligence has led to sites where no proscribed items were
found. Even in such cases, however, inspection of these sites were useful
in proving the absence of such items and in some cases the presence of
other items ? conventional munitions. It showed that conventional arms are
being moved around the country and that movements are not necessarily
related to weapons of mass destruction."

b) CLAIM Powell: "This one is about a weapons munition facility, a facility
that holds ammunition at a place called Taji. This is one of about 65 such
facilities in Iraq. We know that this one has housed chemical munitions.
[...] Here you see 15 munitions bunkers in yellow and red outlines. The
four that are in red squares represent active chemical munitions bunkers.
[...] Now look at the picture on the right. You are now looking at two of
those sanitized bunkers. The signature vehicles are gone, the tents are
gone. It's been cleaned up. And it was done on the 22nd of December as the
UN inspection team is arriving, and you can see the inspection vehicles
arriving in the lower portion of the picture on the right. The bunkers are
clean when the inspectors get there. They found nothing."

REALITY Blix: "The presentation of intelligence information by the US
Secretary of State suggested that Iraq had prepared for inspections by
cleaning up sites and removing evidence of proscribed weapons programmes. I
would like to comment only on one case, which we are familiar with, namely,
the trucks identified by analysts as being for chemical decontamination at
a munitions depot. This was a declared site, and it was certainly one of
the sites Iraq would have expected us to inspect. We have noted that the
two satellite images of the site were taken several weeks apart. The
reported movement of munitions at the site could just as easily have been a
routine activity as a movement of proscribed munitions in anticipation of
imminent inspection."


a) CLAIM Powell: "The pattern is not just one of reluctant cooperation, nor
is it merely a lack of cooperation. What we see is a deliberate campaign to
prevent any meaningful inspection work."

REALITY ElBaradei: "The Government of Iraq reiterated last week its
commitment to comply with its Security Council obligations and to provide
full and active co-operation with the inspecting organizations. Subject to
Iraq making good on this commitment, the above measures will contribute to
the effectiveness of the inspection process."

b) CLAIM Powell: "Just imagine trying to find 18 trucks among the thousands
and thousands of trucks that travel the roads of Iraq every single day. It
took the inspectors four years to find out that Iraq was making biological
agents. How long do you think it will take the inspectors to find even one
of these 18 trucks without Iraq coming forward as they are supposed to with
the information about these kinds of capabilities."

REALITY Blix: "It is our intention to examine the possibilities for
surveying ground movements, notably by trucks. In the face of persistent
intelligence reports for instance about mobile biological weapons
production units, such measures could well increase the effectiveness of


a) CLAIM Powell: "The regime only allows interviews with inspectors in the
presence of an Iraqi official, a minder."

REALITY ElBaradei: " The IAEA has continued to interview key Iraqi
personnel. We have recently been able to conduct four interviews in private
- that is, without the presence of an Iraqi observer."

b) CLAIM Powell: "Iraq did not meet its obligations under 1441 to provide a
comprehensive list of scientists associated with its weapons of mass
destruction programs."

REALITY ElBaradei: "In response to a request by the IAEA, Iraq has expanded
the list of relevant Iraqi personnel to over 300, along with their current
work locations. The list includes the higher-level key scientists known to
the IAEA in the nuclear and nuclear related areas."


a) CLAIM Powell: "These quantities of chemical weapons are now unaccounted
for. [...] Saddam Hussein has chemical weapons."

REALITY Blix: "To take an example, a document, which Iraq provided,
suggested to us that some 1,000 tonnes of chemical agent were ?unaccounted
for?. One must not jump to the conclusion that they exist."

b) CLAIM Powell: "As part of this effort, another little piece of evidence,
Iraq has built an engine test stand that is larger than anything it has
ever had. Notice the dramatic difference in size between the test stand on
the left, the old one, and the new one on the right. Note the large exhaust
vent. This is where the flame from the engine comes out. The exhaust vent
on the right test stand is five times longer than the one on the left. The
one of the left is used for short-range missiles. The one on the right is
clearly intended for long-range missiles that can fly 1,200 kilometers.
This photograph was taken in April of 2002. Since then, the test stand has
been finished and a roof has been put over it so it will be harder for
satellites to see what's going on underneath the test stand."

REALITY Blix: "The experts also studied the data on the missile engine test
stand that is nearing completion [...]. So far, the test stand has not been
associated with a proscribed activity."

c) CLAIM Powell: "it strikes me as quite odd that these [aluminium] tubes
are manufactured to a tolerance that far exceeds U.S. requirements for
comparable rockets. Maybe Iraqis just manufacture their conventional
weapons to a higher standard than we do, but I don't think so.

REALITY ElBaradei: "Iraq has been asked to explain the reasons for the
tight tolerance specifications that it had requested from various
suppliers. Iraq has provided documentation related to the project for
reverse engineering and has committed itself to providing samples of tubes
received from prospective suppliers."

d) CLAIM Powell: "Intercepted communications from mid-2000 through last
summer showed that Iraq front companies sought to buy machines that can be
used to balance gas centrifuge rotors. [...] there is no doubt in my mind.
These illicit procurement efforts show that Saddam Hussein is very much
focused on putting in place the key missing piece from his nuclear weapons

REALITY ElBaradei: "IAEA inspectors found a number of documents relevant to
transactions aimed at the procurement of carbon fibre, a dual-use material
used by Iraq in its past clandestine uranium enrichment programme for the
manufacture of gas centrifuge rotors. Our review of these documents
suggests that the carbon fibre sought by Iraq was not intended for
enrichment purposes, as the specifications of the material appear not to be
consistent with those needed for manufacturing rotor tubes. In addition, we
have carried out follow-up inspections, during which we have been able to
observe the use of such carbon fibre in non-nuclear-related applications
and to take samples."


Dr. Hans Blix, Executive Chairman of UNMOVIC, "Briefing to the Security
Council" (14 February 2003), at:

Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei, IAEA Director General, "The Status of Nuclear
Inspections in Iraq" (14 February 2003), at:

Tony Blair, "Iraq - its infrastructure of concealment, deception and
intimidation" (2 February 2003), via:

Secretary of State Colin Powell, "Remarks to The United Nations Security
Council" (5 February 2003), at:

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