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[casi] Mobile Lies by Imad Khadduri

''Mobile lies''
Printed on Tuesday, June 10, 2003 @ 00:05:50 CDT   (  )

By Imad Khadduri
Former Iraqi nuclear scientist Guest Columnist (Canada)

( -- As the swelter of anger bubbles from the machination of
misinformation that led to the faltering WMD casus belli for invading Iraq,
the retreat and half-baked excuses of Bush, Blair, Cheney, Wolfowitz and Powell
further expose the sharp edge of their deceit. Whether it was "intelligence"
failure or "flailing" the intelligence, time will soon tell. In the meantime,
the fig leaves keep falling.

During CNN's Late Edition with Colin Powell, reported by the Toronto Star on
June 9, 2003, Powell claimed that "the two alleged mobile biological weapons
labs, which are being studied by allied inspectors now in Iraq, are the same
ones he described to the world last Feb. 5 at a U.N. presentation which was the
result of four days and four nights of meetings with the CIA." "I stand behind
that presentation," he said.
He further asserted, "I'll give you the killer argument why these vans were
exactly what I said they were. I can assure you that if those biological vans
were not ... what I said they were on the 5th of February, on the 6th of
February Iraq would have hauled those vans out, put them in front of a press
conference, given them to U.N. inspectors to try to drive a stake through the heart
of my presentation."

Only if the Iraqis knew which vans he was talking about.

In an article published on the same day as Powell's interview, Peter Beaumont
and Antony Barnett reported in the Observer that there is mounting
indications that these vans were for "balloons, not germs."

The Iraqis concur.

According to the article, "Senior Iraqi officials of the al-Kindi Research,
Testing, Development, and Engineering facility in Mosul were shown pictures of
the mobile production trailers, and they claimed that the trailers were used
to produce hydrogen chemically for artillery weather balloons. Artillery
balloons are essentially balloons that are sent up into the atmosphere and relay
information on wind direction and speed, allowing more accurate artillery fire.
Crucially, these systems need to be mobile. The Observer has discovered that
not only did the Iraq military have such a system at one time, but that it was
actually sold to them by the British. In 1987, Marconi, now known as AMS, sold
the Iraqi army an Artillery Meteorological System or Amets for short."

Other experts who have examined the evidence agree and have cast doubt over
the Bush administration's assertions. They argue that the lack of any trace of
pathogens found in the fermentation tanks, the use of canvas sides on vehicles
where technicians would be working with dangerous germ cultures, and the lack
of an autoclave for steam sterilization all provide credence to the Iraqi
argument that the labs were merely used for artillery balloons.

In fact, the American experts themselves concede that the van could, at best,
serve only one stage of the process for biological weapons production. There
would need to be three or four other stages in the process, or other
complementary vans, to be able to produce Powell's less than heuristic claim.

Powell is not new to this misinformation game.

In my earlier article, "The demise of the nuclear bomb hoax," published on
February 16, 2003, I referred to Geoff Simons' The Scourging of Iraq in which
"Washington lied persistently and comprehensively to gain the required
international support [for the Gulf war]. For example, the U.S. claimed to have
satellite pictures showing a massive Iraqi military build-up on the Saudi/ Iraqi
border. When sample photographs were later obtained from Soyuz Karta by an
enterprising journalist, no such evidence was discernible."

Simons references an article by Maggie O'Kane, published in the Guardian on
16 December 1995, which revealed that the enterprising journalist was Jean
Heller of the St. Petersburg Times in Florida.

Eventually, the U.S. commander -- none other than Colin Powell himself --
admitted that there had been no massing of Iraqi troops. But by then the
so-called evidence had served its purpose.

So, was Powell really worried that the Iraqis might "try to drive a stake
through the heart of [his] presentation"?

Well, it's never too late.

[Imad Khadduri has a MSc in Physics from the University of Michigan (United
States) and a PhD in Nuclear Reactor Technology from the University of
Birmingham (United Kingdom). Khadduri worked with the Iraqi Atomic Energy Commission
from 1968 until 1998. He was able to leave Iraq in late 1998 with his family.
He now teaches and works as a network administrator in Toronto, Canada. He has
been interviewed by the United Nations, the International Atomic Energy
Agency, FOX, the Toronto Star, Reuters, and various other news agencies in regards
to his knowledge of the Iraqi nuclear program. This article was originally
printed in]

Imad Khadduri encourages your comments:

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