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News, 11-18/6/03 (1) ADMINISTRATIVE PROBLEMS * US-led coalition pushes for early privatization in Iraq * CPA announces $100 million in reconstruction projects in Iraq * UN hopes of big influence over postwar Iraq fade * U.S. Sets Up Iraq Court, Plans Baathist Purge PROBLEMS WITH THE 'ALLIES' * U.S. troops raid SCIRI, KDP offices * Iraqi royal returns to Baghdad... * 'Dodgy dossier' still posted on Downing Street website * [Jeremy Greenstock] PROBLEMS WITH THE PAST * Forensic experts say mass grave in Iraq is recent * Iraqi Kurds discover another mass grave of Saddam's victims: report * Remains of second Kuwaiti PoW found in Iraq ‹ minister * Ex-Iraqi ambassador says Saddam deserved to be overthrown PROBLEMS WITH THE PRETEXT * CIA Rejects Blame for Bush's Iraq Uranium Claim * Successor named to head UN inspections team * Democrat Henry Waxman, Asks Condoleezza Rice "Why did President Bush cite forged evidence about Iraq" * Documentation Waxman: 'Explain Why You Cited Forged Evidence' * Levin Seeks Release of WMD Intelligence ADMINISTRATIVE PROBLEMS NO URL * US-LED COALITION PUSHES FOR EARLY PRIVATIZATION IN IRAQ Yahoo, 12th June BAGHDAD (AFP) - The US-led coalition plans to privatize the first of Iraq's 100 or so state-owned firms within a year as it begins overhauling the centralized economy of Saddam Hussein without waiting for a new government. Tim Carney, senior adviser to the Iraqi ministry of industry and minerals, said the coalition had decided to go back on an earlier pledge to leave any decision to an elected Iraqi government, and planned to start privatizations as soon as an interim administration was in place. "Privatization is the right direction for 21st century Iraq," Carney said. "Yes, it could happen certainly with the creation of some sort an interim Iraqi authority." He admitted the change of heart could spark suspicions among some Iraqis that their national assets were being sold off for the benefit of foreigners, particularly as the coalition has now said it plans to lead the consultations that will appoint the promised interim administration. "That's why the issue (of privatization) has to be totally transparent and broadly discussed because there are suspicions that foreigners are just coming to rip the country off," he said. "The way to allay their suspicion is to make sure the facts are all out." Carney insisted that it had been Iraqis who had pressured the coalition to bring forward the rationalization of the bloated and moribund state sector here. "The discussion of privatization is being driven by Iraqis. Iraqis are genuine entrepreneurs and traders," he said. "I think they see privatization as a means towards prosperity ... They've lived with this command economy and they know that it doesn't work." Of some 100 state-owned enterprises (SOEs) in Iraq, the industry ministry controls 48 -- which employ some 96,000 people -- in eight sectors including food, textiles, engineering and chemicals. To kick off the privatization process, the coalition plans to divide SOEs into three categories -- fast-track, medium-track and long-track. Some fast-track SOEs would be sold off "within a year," he said, adding that the privatization of medium-track firms would not begin for at least a year. "I think it is the right direction. I don't have any doubt about it," the US advisor said. Among the SOEs likely to be regarded as fast-track, Carney cited glass and ceramics firms because their output was high-quality and competitive with other firms around the region, and they had no debts. Money-losing firms, regarded as long-track candidates, were likely to be dissolved, merged or sold into foreign ownership, he said. Iraqi textile companies were also seen as unlikely to survive because of China's domination of the global market, he added. Carney gave no details of foreign interest in buying up Iraqi SOEs, but he said the coalition had already received a string of inquiries from overseas companies wanting to set up joint ventures with Iraqi businesses. Requests for information had been received from Saudi Arabia, Japan and Jordan, he said. RFE/RL IRAQ REPORT, Vol. 6, No. 26, 12 June 2003 * CPA ANNOUNCES $100 MILLION IN RECONSTRUCTION PROJECTS IN IRAQ 'CPA head Bremer has announced that $100 million in Iraqi funds will be used to jumpstart the economy, including the employment sector, by initiating reconstruction projects, Reuters reported on 10 June. "This will pay for much-needed investment in Iraq's infrastructure.... Modernizing the infrastructure is essential to modernizing the economy," Bremer told reporters. "At the same time, this fund will create jobs for thousands of Iraqi workers on important projects across the country," he added. Bremer said the funds will go to Iraqi-owned construction companies. According to Reuters, the three administrative regions set up by the United States -- the north, south-central, and south -- will each receive $15 million for urgent reconstruction projects. Another $20 million will go to repairing ministry buildings damaged during the recent conflict, while $35 million will be set aside to complete unfinished public-works projects. "The $100 million will come from Iraqi funds," Bremer said. "We have a number of sources of Iraqi funds -- vested funds, seized funds, and of course funds in the central bank." (Kathleen Ridolfo) http://news.ft.com/servlet/ContentServer?pagename=FT.com/StoryFT/FullStory&c =StoryFT&cid=1054966163899&p=1012571727172 * UN HOPES OF BIG INFLUENCE OVER POSTWAR IRAQ FADE by Mark Turner at the United Nations Financial Times, 17th June Hopes that the United Nations and other international monitors might over time win substantial influence over Iraqi reconstruction were fading yesterday, as detailed proposals for the management of Iraqi oil receipts threatened to leave multilateral institutions with only minor powers. Draft US proposals for an International Advisory and Monitoring Board, established by the UN to oversee spending through an Iraqi Development Fund (DFI), would give the board powers to approve the fund's auditor (after making recommendations on its selection and terms of reference), review its reports, and monitor internal control systems. But they did not appear to give the IAMB, which comprises representatives from the IMF, the UN, the World Bank and the Arab Development Bank, the power directly to monitor spending through the fund, which will receive 95 per cent of proceeds from all Iraqi oil and gas sales and leftover millions from the oil-for-food programme. That would be left to an independent public accounting firm, whose selection was already under way by the US before the monitoring board's establishment, according to an official. At the same time, proposals to establish a "Program Review Board", which would recommend expenditures from the fund in a way that would further the interests of Iraqi citizens, would give voting rights to a raft of US officials, and to one representative each from the UK, Australia, and Iraq's ministry of finance. The UN's special representative, by contrast, is not even given a non-voting seat, instead designated as an "observer". The proposal would appear to confirm fears that the UN will be given somewhat less than the "vital" role originally promised. One official said, however, that the proposals were not in final form, pointing out that the mandate of the international monitoring board needed to be approved by its four members. That could take place by June 25. http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/nm/20030617/wl_nm/iraq_court_ dc&cid=574&ncid=1480 * U.S. SETS UP IRAQ COURT, PLANS BAATHIST PURGE by Michael Georgy Yahoo, 17th June BAGHDAD (Reuters) - The U.S.-led administration ruling Iraq said on Tuesday it would set up a special court to try the country's most serious offenders, and planned to purge the judiciary of all officials with ties to Saddam Hussein. Paul Bremer, the top American official in Iraq, told a news conference the new Central Criminal Court would be used for trials of Saddam loyalists who had committed crimes against occupying U.S. and British forces. "One of the main reasons for my establishing this court is so that we can try people, in particular senior Baathists...who may have committed crimes against the coalition, who are trying to destabilize the situation here, and so we can do it rather quickly," Bremer said. "It could evolve into a tribunal to try people for crimes against humanity. That is a decision that the (future) Iraqi government should make." Bremer said the new court would operate until Iraq's collapsed judicial system was operational again. He said a committee would be set up to remove all judicial officials with links to Saddam's Baath party. "The committee will review every judge and prosecutor in Iraq for membership in the Baath party, complicity in human rights violations or corruption," he said. "If the committee finds any judge or prosecutor to be in violation of these standards, the committee will dismiss him or her from office." Under Saddam, all senior judges were Baath party members, and most legal officials were at least nominal members. Officials in the U.S.-led administration say their "deBaathification" campaign focuses on senior active Baath party members. Seventy-five percent of Iraq's courts were destroyed during the war, mostly by looting. Officials in the U.S. administration in Iraq said U.S. and British troops were detaining about 1,300 people, mostly at a holding center at Baghdad International Airport. The new court, expected to open in about a month, will deal with crimes committed after the war broke out on March 19. Ten Iraqi judges and three prosecutors will be chosen to run the court, the officials said. Bremer said rebuilding the judicial system would take time, which was why the new court was being set up in the meantime. He said the goal was an independent and transparent judiciary. "No longer will evidence obtained by torture be admissible. And no longer will defendants have to appear in court without defense lawyers," he said. Bremer also said the U.S.-led administration had issued a decree banning Iraqis from inciting violence against the forces occupying Iraq. "We have issued an order which makes it against the law to incite political violence," he said. The administration says that as the occupying power in Iraq, it has the right to issue orders which carry the force of law, and to try those who attack its forces as criminals. But the United States has not officially declared the war over, raising potential confusion over whether attacks on occupying troops are governed by international rules of war. PROBLEMS WITH THE 'ALLIES' RFE/RL IRAQ REPORT, Vol. 6, No. 26, 12 June 2003 * U.S. TROOPS RAID SCIRI, KDP OFFICES U.S. forces raided SCIRI's Baghdad offices on 7 June, Reuters reported the same day. The raid came one day after Bremer told returned exile groups that they will not be included in a post-Saddam Hussein government. SCIRI announced on 7 June that it would not join the U.S.-planned Iraqi advisory council unless such a council is elected, not appointed, as under the current plan. Reuters reported that around 35 U.S. troops, armed with assault rifles and machine guns, entered the SCIRI offices in a Baghdad villa and confiscated documents and a safe. No arrests were made. Guards at the villa told the news agency that the building houses the personal guards of Abd al-Aziz al-Hakim, brother of SCIRI head Muhammad Baqir al-Hakim. Meanwhile, Al-Jazeera reported that U.S. forces arrested 20 SCIRI members on 7 June, including cleric Shaykh Ali al-Mu'allah. Meanwhile, U.S. forces also raided the offices of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) in Baghdad, prompting the KDP to issue a statement on 10 June condemning the move. "We would like to make clear that the office [in the Al-Mansur district] was among a number of offices opened with the knowledge of and agreement and encouragement by the U.S. forces," the statement read. "In light of the security meeting held previously [presumably with U.S. officials] in Baghdad, there was absolutely no justification for taking such a tyrannical measure. We were taken aback by such conduct that could have been settled through understanding and consultation without harming the security of the offices of the party, which will not accept such affronts," the statement added. (Kathleen Ridolfo) RFE/RL IRAQ REPORT, Vol. 6, No. 26, 12 June 2003 * IRAQI ROYAL RETURNS TO BAGHDAD... Sharif Ali bin al-Husayn, the cousin of Iraq's last king, returned to Baghdad on 10 June after 45 years in exile, AP reported. Some 1,500 tribal shaykhs and monarchists turned out to welcome al-Husayn, who told the crowd, "After so many years outside Iraq, I have come home to my country." Al-Husayn is the cousin of the late King Faysal II, who was assassinated during the 1958 "Free Officers" coup in Iraq. A London investment banker by training, he is also the head of the opposition group-cum-political party, the Constitutional Monarchy Movement (CMM). The group was active in U.S.-supported meetings among opposition groups before the war in Iraq. Al-Husayn has long vowed that he would not seek to reinstate the monarchy in Iraq unless it were sanctioned by the Iraqi people, but it appears that he has returned to Iraq with an agenda. According to a 10 June report by Al-Jazeera, al-Husayn advocates a monarchy that does not enjoy executive powers, but rather would oversee politics among disparate Iraqi groups. While al-Husayn called for a dignified, free, and democratic Iraq in Baghdad on 10 June, he also appeared critical of the U.S. administration in Iraq, saying, "It is a shame that in a rich country like Iraq, people don't get their salaries." Al-Husayn's CMM backed Muhammad Muhsin al-Zubaydi, the exile who returned to Iraq in mid-April and appointed himself mayor of Baghdad before being forcibly removed by coalition forces (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 25 April and 2 May 2003). (Kathleen Ridolfo) http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/politics/story.jsp?story=415554 * 'DODGY DOSSIER' STILL POSTED ON DOWNING STREET WEBSITE by Tania Valdemoro and Raymond Whitaker The Independent, 15th June Alastair Campbell, the Prime Minister's director of communications, has apologised to the intelligence services for claiming that a dossier on Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction, mostly plagiarised from specialist magazines and a 12-year-old student thesis, was compiled from intelligence sources. Yet the "dodgy dossier", which Mr Campbell admitted "had not met the required standard of accuracy", is still posted on the Downing Street website. Nearly five months after its publication, there is no indication that its contents have been copied - inaccurately in a number of cases - from published sources or that numbers were rounded up and the language hardened. "I'm absolutely surprised that the document is still up there," said Ibrahim al-Marashi, the Oxford PhD student whose work was copied. In September 2002 a chapter on Iraqi security from his undergraduate dissertation was published in the Middle East Review of International Affairs and lifted without acknowledgement by a Downing Street team under Alison Blackshaw, Mr Campbell's personal assistant. "They're shooting themselves in the foot if they are still standing by this document," said Mr Marashi. "The Blair government has lost trust among the British public and the world over this plagiarism scandal." Earlier this month Mr Campbell wrote to Sir Richard Dearlove, head of MI6, the foreign intelligence service, and Eliza Manningham-Buller, head of MI5, responsible for internal security, to apologise for the way the document, "Iraq - its infrastructure of concealment, deception and intimidation", was put together. Despite its claim to draw upon intelligence material, it was not cleared by the Joint Intelligence Committee, the top clearing-house for secret information. Dr Glen Rangwala, a Cambridge University expert on the WMD issue who first spotted the plagiarism, said: "What the Government hasn't done is to admit there were mistakes." The Downing Street team took information from one source and mixed it in with different information from another, he said. "For example, they copied the first two paragraphs about the al-Amn al-Askari, or Military Security Service, from Marashi's thesis, but then took the rest from a 1997 article in Jane's Intelligence Review about the al-Amn al-Aam, or Directorate of General Security." Dr Rangwala said the compilers of the dossier made the language stronger than the original. A "lifted" section on Iraq's secret police, the Mukhabarat, said their duties included "monitoring foreign embassies in Iraq" and "aiding opposition groups in hostile regimes". In the dossier this became "spying on foreign embassies in Iraq" and "supporting terrorist organisations in hostile regimes". Sean Boyne, whose Jane's article was plagiarised, said: "I wouldn't like to think that anything I wrote justified the war. If they were using materials from other sources, they should have acknowledged them." Mr Marashi said he supported the war, but added: "The research is meant to inform, not to advance a political agenda. The Government's act of plagiarism made me wonder: how much did they know about Iraq before going into this war?" NO URL OR SOURCE OR HEADLINE * [JEREMY GREENSTOCK] 16th June UNITED NATIONS - The new British envoy to Iraq said Monday he wants to put the country back in the control of the Iraqi people and focus on improving their lives and promoting reconciliation through justice. Jeremy Greenstock, who has been Britain's U.N. ambassador since 1998, said the Security Council should also deal with helping bring to justice those responsible for genocide, war, crimes or crimes against humanity. "This should start with the people of Iraq and what they want by way of justice for their own victimization by the previous regime," he said after London announced his new posting Monday. "We should discuss whether the international community can help Iraq with that." The United Nations has established courts to try those responsible for the most heinous crimes in former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, and it created a joint tribunal with the government in Sierra Leone. The world's first permanent war crimes tribunal, the International Criminal Court, is expected to start operating shortly in The Hague , Netherlands. "But as we've seen from South Africa, from Sierra Leone, and in some other places, the people who suffered want to take things into their own hands and that's the best form of reconciliation," Greenstock said. "But they want help from the international community. They often need funding and resources." Greenstock said he was "very pleased" that Prime Minister Tony Blair asked him "to try and help bring Iraq back to the control of the Iraqi people and to improve the circumstances on the ground." A fluent Arabic speaker, Greenstock will serve under Iraq's American administrator, L. Paul Bremer, from mid-September through the winter. He will replace Britain's former Egypt ambassador, John Sawers, as special representative to Baghdad. "We are making a lot of progress actually ... but life is still quite difficult for Iraqis," Greenstock said. U.S. deputy ambassador James Cunningham and Greenstock briefed the council on the U.S. and British occupation of Iraq. Richard Grenell, spokesman for the U.S. Mission to the United Nations, said the coalition is "nearing completion of the first phase," including restoration of utilities, basic services and law and order. "Certainly there's more to do with the security situation, but it clearly is improving," he said. "Our next goal is to create jobs and get the economy turned around." PROBLEMS WITH THE PAST RFE/RL IRAQ REPORT, Vol. 6, No. 26, 12 June 2003 * FORENSIC EXPERTS SAY MASS GRAVE IN IRAQ IS RECENT U.S. and British forensic experts have reportedly determined that a mass grave found at the Salman Pak site, located approximately 35 kilometers southeast of Baghdad, contains the bodies of victims killed by the Hussein regime in the final days or weeks before it was toppled, "The Washington Post" reported on 10 June. "This is the first grave we've found of such recent vintage," U.S. Army Colonel Ed Burley told the daily. The site, located inside a former Iraqi security-forces compound, is just outside the village that bears the same name. Burley said witnesses from the village said the grave contained around 100 bodies, some of which have already been removed by family members for burial. Two witnesses from Salman Pak told "The Washington Post" that they found 115 bodies in a ditch inside the compound on 10 April, one day after the Iraqi capital fell to coalition forces. Some of the victims were wearing military uniforms and are thought to be army deserters, while others were dressed in striped pajamas -- the "uniform" of prisoners. They were found with their hands bound behind their backs and some had bags tied over their heads. All had been shot in the head, "The Washington Post" reported. Meanwhile, London's "The Guardian" interviewed Iraqi locals on 9 June, one of whom said that he saw the victims arrive at the site on 4 April. "We were sitting in a cafe on the main road when we saw three dark red buses come past heading in this direction," Sayed Sloumi told the daily, adding, "We could see prisoners in the bus. Their eyes were covered with blindfolds from their shirts." He said that there appeared to be seven guards on each of the buses that entered the grounds of Salman Pak. According to "The Guardian," the bodies had not been covered with earth and were partly decomposed when residents broke into the site on 10 April. The daily reported that more than 150 bodies had been found. Salman Pak was a training site for Iraqi Special Forces and a base for the Mukhabarat Intelligence Agency. (Kathleen Ridolfo) http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/afp/20030613/wl_mideast_afp/i raq_kurds_grave&cid=1514&ncid=1478 * IRAQI KURDS DISCOVER ANOTHER MASS GRAVE OF SADDAM'S VICTIMS: REPORT Yahoo, 13th June ARBIL, Iraq (AFP) - Kurdish residents of northern Iraq have discovered another mass grave of victims of the ousted regime of Saddam Hussein, a Kurdish newspaper reported. Khabat, which speaks for the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) of Massoud Barzani, said hundreds of Kurds had been digging up at the site since Wednesday to unearth remains of their loved ones. The paper claimed that the remains of 3,000 civilians, including women and children, had been unearthed at the site west of the oil-rich city of Kirkuk on the road to Baiji. The victims had gone missing in two stages -- during the anti-Kurd campaign in 1988-1989, which Kurds refer to as Anfal and which includes the infamous chemical gas attack on Halabja, and when the Saddam regime crushed a Kurdish uprising in the wake of the 1991 Gulf War. Dozens of mass graves have been uncovered all over Iraq since Saddam's ouster by invading US-led forces on April 9. http://www.jordantimes.com/Sun/news/news10.htm * REMAINS OF SECOND KUWAITI POW FOUND IN IRAQ ‹ MINISTER Jordan Times, 15th June KUWAIT CITY (AFP) ‹ The remains of a second Kuwaiti prisoner of war (PoW) who disappeared from the emirate during Baghdad's occupation have been found in a mass grave in Iraq, it was announced Saturday. DNA testing revealed the remains were Ahmed Abdullah Al Qalaf, according to an official statement quoted by the state news agency KUNA. He was found at a site near Samawa, 200 kilometres south of Baghdad. Al Qalaf, born in March 1970, was a defence ministry employee when he was taken prisoner by the Iraqi army in November 1990, said the statement from the committee investigating the fate of the PoWs. The emirate's deputy premier and minister of state for Cabinet affairs, Mohammad Diefallah Sharar, announced last Sunday that the remains of another missing Kuwait had been found in Iraq at the same grave Saad Mishaal Al Enezi had also been taken prisoner by the Iraqi army in November 1990. He was shot dead between 1991 and 1992, the minister said. Kuwaiti officials have said the mass grave in Samawa could contain the remains of other Kuwaitis. Forensic teams from Kuwait are in Iraq to track down information on the 605 people that the emirate says disappeared 12 years ago during Iraq's seven-month long occupation. Apart from Kuwaiti nationals, those missing or taken prisoner include 14 Saudis, five Egyptians, five Iranians, four Syrians, three Lebanese, one Bahraini, an Omani and an Indian, according to Kuwaiti authorities. The government of Saddam Hussein insisted it lost track of any prisoners from Kuwait during an uprising in southern Iraq that erupted after its ouster from the emirate in the 1991 Gulf War. A Kuwaiti government official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the remains of Enezi were not the first to be identified. "In 1995, Iraq returned the remains of Misfar Al Mutairi to Kuwait via the Red Crescent," the official told AFP. "Kuwait is currently testing around 60 samples of remains taken from several mass graves in Iraq. DNA testing is done in Kuwait, Britain and the United States," he said. http://www.jordantimes.com/Tue/news/news8.htm * EX-IRAQI AMBASSADOR SAYS SADDAM DESERVED TO BE OVERTHROWN Jordan Times, 17th June CAIRO (AP) ‹ Iraq's UN ambassador during the dying days of Saddam Hussein's regime now says that his government deserved to be overthrown. But Mohammad Al Douri argued in a television interview broadcast by BBC World Monday that Iraqis ‹ not the US-led coalition ‹ should have toppled Saddam. Douri said that right up until the last moment, Saddam's government did not believe the United States and Britain would invade Iraq. "Naji Sabri (The foreign minister), he told me: 'Don't be anxious. This war will never happen'." Douri said he advised Baghdad the threat of war was serious and he still cannot explain why they refused to accept it. The BBC asked him about the mass graves of hundreds of executed Iraqis that have been uncovered since the fall of Saddam. "Those are Iraqi people, my brothers, so I regret that and I hope that all people responsible for that, for these graves have to be presented to the trial, to the judgement and to be judged by Iraqi people, not by British or American," Douri said. Interviewer Tim Sebastian asked him if he was now prepared to condemn the regime that he served. "Not I now, but I condemn always ‹ not now ‹ I condemn always any kind of killing in Iraq or outside Iraq," Douri replied. Asked if he were not ashamed of having served Saddam's regime, he said: "No, I'm never ashamed that I have been involved because I'm always considering myself as serving my country, my people and not the government." Douri was the first senior Iraqi official to acknowledge that the war was lost after US troops overran Baghdad on April 9. He has not returned to Baghdad, contrary to orders issued to all Iraqi ambassadors last month, and is believed to be in the United Arab Emirates. The BBC said the interview took place in the Gulf. He said he thought Iraqis were glad Saddam was gone, "but they are not glad at having the Americans and the British there." Asked if Saddam's regime deserved to be toppled, Douri said: "Not by you, (not) by American and British, but by the Iraqi people." PROBLEMS WITH THE PRETEXT http://dailynews.att.net/cgi bin/news?e=pri&dt=030612&cat=news&st=newsiraqintelligencedc * CIA REJECTS BLAME FOR BUSH'S IRAQ URANIUM CLAIM by Jim Wolf Reuters, 12th June WASHINGTON: The CIA rejected any blame on Thursday for the use of a faulty intelligence report by President Bush as he built his case for war against Iraq. A spokesman, Bill Harlow, voiced confidence that "a careful reading" of documents supplied to congressional oversight committees would show the spy agency "did not withhold information from appropriate officials" about Iraq's purported attempt to buy uranium in Niger. The Central Intelligence Agency, he said, had shared hundreds of pages of material with the panels looking into charges, from lawmakers and others, that the administration and the intelligence community oversold the weapons threat to foster public support for ousting President Saddam Hussein. The latest challenge to the CIA involved a claim in Bush's State of the Union address that Saddam had been trying to buy "significant quantities of uranium from Africa." Bush aides have given somewhat conflicting accounts of how this claim made it into the speech. White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said intelligence officials declared the charge incorrect "as the information was received." On Sunday, national security adviser Condoleezza Rice said "someone may have known" the information was false 11 months before Bush's speech, but the White House believed it to be true at the time. But she said the claim, attributed in the speech to the British government, was what "the intelligence community said we could say." The uranium tale had been disputed by a CIA-directed mission to Niger early last year, the Washington Post reported in its Thursday edition. The CIA did not pass on the results of this mission to the White House or other government officials, the Post reported, citing unnamed senior administration officials and a former government official. Any such CIA failure to share fully what it knew would have helped keep the uranium story alive until the eve of the March invasion of Iraq. The supposed uranium quest in Africa first surfaced in a now widely contested Sept. 24, 2002, report on Iraq released by British Prime Minister Tony Blair. The claim was quickly embraced by the Bush administration, though many mid-level intelligence officials knew it was bogus, several people with first-hand knowledge told Reuters. "I remember being told to discount the information about uranium purchases in Africa in our own assessments of Iraq's nuclear weapons capabilities," said David Albright, a nuclear physicist and former U.N. nuclear weapons inspector in Iraq who heads the Washington based Institute for Science and International Security. He said he had been told the story was wrong in late September by people who had access to classified intelligence information. The CIA declined comment on the Washington Post report, which said the spy agency sent a retired U.S. ambassador to investigate in February 2002 the purported Iraqi bid to buy uranium in Niger. After returning, the envoy reported to the CIA the uranium purchase attempt story was false, based on talks with Niger officials purportedly involved, said the Post. Thirteen months later, on March 7, Mohamed El Baradei, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), told the Security Council his agency had reached the same conclusion and that the underlying documents were "not authentic," an assessment that U.S. officials have not disputed. But the spy agency put out the denials by Niger officials in a March 2002 intelligence report that was "widely disseminated throughout the U.S. government," a U.S. intelligence official, who asked not to be named, told Reuters. Rep. Henry Waxman, a California Democrat seeking to pin down why Bush cited forged evidence about Iraq, said: "We must find out whether the CIA deceived the president ... or whether it is deceiving the public now to protect the president and the vice president." RFE/RL IRAQ REPORT, Vol. 6, No. 26, 12 June 2003 * SUCCESSOR NAMED TO HEAD UN INSPECTIONS TEAM The UN has named Demetrius Perricos as acting head of UNMOVIC, Reuters reported on 9 June. Perricos will succeed Blix, the current executive chairman of UNMOVIC, who is to retire at the end of June. Perricos has served as UNMOVIC deputy executive chairman and director of planning and operations, heading UN inspections in Iraq from November until March. He previously spent 16 years as the head of the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Reuters reported. It appears that the UN will not appoint a permanent successor to Blix until the future of UNMOVIC is made explicitly clear. The United States has objected to the return of UNMOVIC weapons inspectors to Iraq and appears to have replaced it with its own Iraq Survey Group to hunt for alleged weapons of mass destruction (see "RFE/RL Iraq Report," 6 June 2003). (Kathleen Ridolfo) http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article3758.htm * DEMOCRAT HENRY WAXMAN, ASKS CONDOLEEZZA RICE "WHY DID PRESIDENT BUSH CITE FORGED EVIDENCE ABOUT IRAQ" June 10, 2003 The Honorable Condoleezza Rice Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs The White House Washington, DC 20500 Dear Dr. Rice: Since March 17, 2003, I have been trying without success to get a direct answer to one simple question: Why did President Bush cite forged evidence about Iraq's nuclear capabilities in his State of the Union address? Although you addressed this issue on Sunday on both Meet the Press and This Week with George Stephanopoulos, your comments did nothing to clarify this issue. In fact, your responses contradicted other known facts and raised a host of new questions. During your interviews, you said the Bush Administration welcomes inquiries into this matter. Yesterday, The Washington Post also reported that Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet has agreed to provide "full documentation" of the intelligence information "in regards to Secretary Powell's comments, the president's comments and anybody else's comments." Consistent with these sentiments, I am writing to seek further information about this important matter. Bush Administration Knowledge of Forgeries The forged documents in question describe efforts by Iraq to obtain uranium from an African country, Niger. During your interviews over the weekend, you asserted that no doubts or suspicions about these efforts or the underlying documents were communicated to senior officials in the Bush Administration before the President's State of the Union address. For example, when you were asked about this issue on Meet the Press, you made the following statement: We did not know at the time -- no one knew at the time, in our circles -- maybe someone knew down in the bowels of the agency, but no one in our circles knew that there were doubts and suspicions that this might be a forgery. Of course, it was information that was mistaken. Similarly, when you appeared on This Week, you repeated this statement, claiming that you made multiple inquiries of the intelligence agencies regarding the allegation that Iraq sought to obtain uranium from an African country. You stated: George, somebody, somebody down may have known. But I will tell you that when this issue was raised with the intelligence community... the intelligence community did not know at that time, or at levels that got to us, that this, that there were serious questions about this report. Your claims, however, are directly contradicted by other evidence. Contrary to your assertion, senior Administration officials had serious doubts about the forged evidence well before the President's State of the Union address. For example, Greg Thielmann, Director of the Office of Strategic, Proliferation, and Military Issues in the State Department, told Newsweek last week that the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) had concluded the documents were "garbage." As you surely know, INR is part of what you call "the intelligence community." It is headed by an Assistant Secretary of State, Carl Ford; it reports directly to the Secretary of State; and it was a full participant in the debate over Iraq's nuclear capabilities. According to Newsweek: "When I saw that, it really blew me away," Thielmann told Newsweek. Thielmann knew about the source of the allegation. The CIA had come up with some documents purporting to show Saddam had attempted to buy up to 500 tons of uranium oxide from the African country of Niger. INR had concluded that the purchases were implausible - and made that point clear to Powell's office. As Thielmann read that the president had relied on these documents to report to the nation, he thought, "Not that stupid piece of garbage. My thought was, how did that get into the speech?" Moreover, New York Times columnist Nicholas D. Kristof has reported that the Vice President's office was aware of the fraudulent nature of the evidence as early as February 2002 - nearly a year before the President gave his State of the Union address. In his column, Mr. Kristof reported: I'm told by a person involved in the Niger caper that more than a year ago the vice president's office asked for an investigation of the uranium deal, so a former U.S. ambassador to Africa was dispatched to Niger. In February 2002, according to someone present at the meetings, that envoy reported to the C.I.A. and State Department that the information was unequivocally wrong and that the documents had been forged. The envoy reported, for example, that a Niger minister whose signature was on one of the documents had in fact been out of office for more than a decade.... The envoy's debunking of the forgery was passed around the administration and seemed to be accepted - except that President Bush and the State Department kept citing it anyway. "It's disingenuous for the State Department people to say they were bamboozled because they knew about this for a year," one insider said. When you were asked about Mr. Kristof's account, you did not deny his reporting. Instead, you conceded that "the Vice President's office may have asked for that report." It is also clear that CIA officials doubted the evidence. The Washington Post reported on March 22 that CIA officials "communicated significant doubts to the administration about the evidence." The Los Angeles Times reported on March 15 that "the CIA first heard allegations that Iraq was seeking uranium from Niger in late 2001," when "the existence of the documents was reported to [the CIA] second- or third-hand." The Los Angeles Times quoted a CIA official as saying: "We included that in some of our reporting, although it was all caveated because we had concerns about the accuracy of that information." With all respect, this is not a situation like the pre-9/11 evidence that al-Qaeda was planning to hijack planes and crash them into buildings. When you were asked about this on May 17, 2002, you said: As you might imagine... a lot of things are prepared within agencies. They're distributed internally, they're worked internally. It's unusual that anything like that would get to the president. He doesn't recall seeing anything. I don't recall seeing anything of this kind. That answer may be given more deference when the evidence in question is known only by a field agent in an FBI bureau in Phoenix, Arizona, whose suspicions are not adequately understood by officials in Washington. But it is simply not credible here. Contrary to your public statements, senior officials in the intelligence community in Washington knew the forged evidence was unreliable before the President used the evidence in the State of the Union address. Other Evidence In addition to denying that senior officials were aware that the President was citing forged evidence, you also claimed (1) "there were also other sources that said that there were, the Iraqis were seeking yellowcake - uranium oxide - from Africa" and (2) "there were other attempts to get yellowcake from Africa." This answer does not explain the President's statement in the State of the Union address. In his State of the Union address, the President referred specifically to the evidence from the British. He stated: "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa." Presumably, the President would use the best available evidence in his State of the Union address to Congress and the nation. It would make no sense for him to cite forged evidence obtained from the British if, in fact, the United States had other reliable evidence that he could have cited. Moreover, contrary to your assertion, there does not appear to be any other specific and credible evidence that Iraq sought to obtain uranium from an African country. The Administration has not provided any such evidence to me or my staff despite our repeated requests. To the contrary, the State Department wrote me that the "other source" of this claim was another Western European ally. But as the State Department acknowledged in its letter, "the second Western European government had based its assessment on the evidence already available to the U.S. that was subsequently discredited." The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) also found no other evidence indicating that Iraq sought to obtain uranium from Niger. The evidence in U.S. possession that Iraq had sought to obtain uranium from Niger was transmitted to the IAEA. After reviewing all the evidence provided by the United States, the IAEA reported: "we have to date found no evidence or plausible indication of the revival of a nuclear weapons programme in Iraq." Ultimately, the IAEA concluded: "these specific allegations are unfounded." Questions As the discussion above indicates, your answers on the Sunday talk shows conflict with other reports and raise many new issues. To help address these issues, I request answers to the following questions: 1. On Meet the Press, you said that "maybe someone knew down in the bowels of the agency" that the evidence cited by the President about Iraq's attempts to obtain uranium from Africa was suspect. Please identify the individual or individuals in the Administration who, prior to the President's State of the Union address, had expressed doubts about the validity of the evidence or the credibility of the claim. 2. Please identify any individuals in the Administration who, prior to the President's State of the Union address, were briefed or otherwise made aware that an individual or individuals in the Administration had expressed doubts about the validity of the evidence or the credibility of the claim. 3. On This Week, you said there was other evidence besides the forged evidence that Iraq was trying to obtain uranium from Africa. Please provide this other evidence. 4. When you were asked about reports that Vice President Cheney sent a former ambassador to Niger to investigate the evidence, you stated "the Vice President's office may have asked for that report." In light of this comment, please address: (a) Whether Vice President Cheney or his office requested an investigation into claims that Iraq may have attempted to obtain nuclear material from Africa, and when any such request was made; (b) Whether a current or former U.S. ambassador to Africa, or any other current or former government official or agent, traveled to Niger or otherwise investigated claims that Iraq may have attempted to obtain nuclear material from Niger; and (c) What conclusions or findings, if any, were reported to the Vice President, his office, or other U.S. officials as a result of the investigation, and when any such conclusions or findings were reported. Conclusion On Sunday, you stated that "there is now a lot of revisionism that says, there was disagreement on this data point, or disagreement on that data point." I disagree strongly with this characterization. I am not raising questions about the validity of an isolated "data point," and the issue is not whether the war in Iraq was justified or not. What I want to know is the answer to a simple question: Why did the President use forged evidence in the State of the Union address? This is a question that bears directly on the credibility of the United States, and it should be answered in a prompt and forthright manner, with full disclosure of all the relevant facts. Thank you for your assistance in this matter. Sincerely, Henry A. Waxman Ranking Minority Member http://www.larouchepub.com/other/2003/3023waxman_ltr.html * DOCUMENTATION WAXMAN: 'EXPLAIN WHY YOU CITED FORGED EVIDENCE' Executive Intelligence Review, 13th June The President, The White House, Washington, DC 20500 Dear Mr. President: Increasing questions are now being raised within the United States and around the world about whether you and other senior U.S. officials misrepresented the evidence regarding Iraq's nuclear weapons capability. In response, investigations have been launched and your spokesman has stated that everything you said was "valid." As these investigations move forward. I urge you to explain why you cited forged evidence about Iraq's efforts to obtain nuclear materials in your State of the Union address on January 28, 2003. I first wrote to you about this matter on March 17, before the Iraq war had begun. As I explained in that letter, your own intelligence experts at the CIA questioned the veracity of the nuclear evidence at the same time that you and other senior Administration officials were repeatedly using the evidence as a major part of the case against Iraq. Yet despite the seriousness of this matter, the only response I received was an ambiguous one-page letter from the State Department that raises far more questions than it answers. News reports this weekend were filled with accounts of how carefully Secretary Powell prepared for his February 5 address to the United Nations, spending nearly a week at CIA headquarters going over his remarks to ensure their accuracy. But there is no speech given by any government official that is more carefully constructed than a State of the Union address. The State of the Union address takes weeks‹not days‹to prepare, and every line is reviewed by a myriad of high-ranking officials. That a President could cite forged evidence in such an address on a matter as momentous as impending war should be unthinkable. There are many complex issues that are now being raised by our failure to date to discover weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. These need to be examined closely in the coming months. But explaining your statements in the State of the Union should not take months of investigation‹just candor. With the credibility of the United States being called into question around the world, I urge you to address this vital matter without further delay. The Evidence in Question The allegation that Iraq sought to obtain nuclear material from an African country was first made publicly by the British government on September 24, 2002, when Prime Minister Tony Blair released a 50-page report on Iraqi efforts to acquire weapons of mass destruction. As the New York Times reported in a front-page article, one of the two "chief new elements" in the report was the claim that Iraq had "sought to acquire uranium in Africa that could be used to make nuclear weapons." According to the Washington Post, the evidence included "a series of letters between Iraqi agents and officials in the central African nation of Niger." It is now conceded that these letters were rudimentary forgeries. Recent accounts in the news media explain that the forgers "made relatively crude errors that eventually gave them away‹including names and titles that did not match up with the individuals who held office at the time the letters were purportedly written." The world did not learn that this evidence was forged, however, until March 7, 2003, when the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Mohamed ElBaradei, released the results of his analysis of the evidence. Reportedly, it took IAEA officials only a matter of hours to determine that these documents were fake. Using little more than a Google search, IAEA experts discovered indications that should have been evident to novice intelligence officials. As a result, Director ElBaradei reported to the U.N. Security Council that the documents were "in fact not authentic." We also now know that the CIA was not incompetent in this matter‹it had consistently expressed significant doubts about the validity of these documents. Press reports are replete with statements by CIA officials who warned about the lack of credibility of this information. As the Washington Post reported on March 22, CIA officials "communicated significant doubts to the administration about the evidence." According to another CIA official, "it's not fair to accuse the analysts for what others say about our material." Indeed, New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof revealed that Vice President Cheney's office became aware of the evidence early in the process and dispatched a former U.S. ambassador to Niger to investigate. On February 22, 2002‹nearly a year before your State of the Union address‹the ambassador "reported to the CIA and State Department that the information was unequivocally wrong and that the documents had been forged." The Use of the Forged Evidence Despite the doubts of your own intelligence experts, you and your most senior advisers asserted repeatedly over a period of months that Iraq attempted to obtain nuclear material from Niger. The State Department featured the evidence in its written response to the Iraqi weapons declaration in December. National Security Adviser Condoleeza Rice made this allegation again on January 23, 2003,1 Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld repeated this allegation on January 29, 2003, and senior officials continued to repeat this claim in contacts with press outlets. As a result of the emphasis given the evidence by senior Administration officials, the nuclear evidence was featured on national network news and front-page articles in major national newspapers.. The most prominent use of the forged nuclear evidence occurred during your State of the Union address to Congress. You stated: "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa." As I wrote you on March 17, your statement was worded in a way to suggest that it was carefully crafted to be both literally true and deliberately misleading at the same time. The statement itself may be technically accurate, since this appears to have been official British position. But given what the CIA knew at the time, the implication you intended‹that there was credible evidence that Iraq sought uranium from Africa‹-was simply false. This was not the only time you emphasized Iraq's nuclear threat. Just four days before Congress was scheduled to vote on a resolution authorizing the use of force against Iraq, you claimed that Iraq could have a nuclear weapon in less than a year. You also raised the ominous specter of a "mushroom cloud" if the war resolution was not adopted. On March 17, just days before the war began, Vice President Cheney said: "We know he's been absolutely devoted to trying to acquire nuclear weapons, and we believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons. These statements played a pivotal role in shaping congressional and public opinion about the need for military intervention in Iraq. I voted for the congressional resolution condemning Iraq and authorizing the use of force. Like other members, I was particularly influenced by your views about Iraq's nuclear intentions. Although chemical and biological weapons can inflict casualties, no threat is greater than the threat of nuclear weapons and no subject requires greater candor. The Ambiguous State Department Response In order to obtain information about your Administration's reliance on the forged nuclear evidence, I wrote to you on March 17, 2003. As I stated in that letter, it is hard to imagine how this situation could have developed. The two most obvious explanations‹knowing deception or unfathomable incompetence‹both have immediate and profound implications. Consequently, I urged you address the matter without delay and provide an alternative explanation, if there was one. Unfortunately, to date I have received only a cursory, one-page response from the State Department's Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs. Although this April 29, 2003, letter asserts that the Administration acted "in good faith," the letter in fact further confuses the situation and raises additional questions. The State Department letter makes clear that the nuclear evidence from Britain that you cited in your State of the Union address was the evidence that was "discredited" as a forgery. The letter also indicates that this evidence was "available to the U.S." The response thus appears to rule out the unlikely explanation that the CIA did not know the basis of the British evidence when you gave your State of the Union address. But the letter does not begin to explain why you used the obviously forged evidence in your State of the Union address. The letter says that another Western European nation relayed similar information about Iraq's nuclear program to the United States privately. But the letter acknowledges that the United States did not know the basis of this information until March 4, over a month after the State of the Union, at which time the United States learned that the information was based on the same forged documents. Moreover, the letter reveals that during the period prior to March 4, U.S. intelligence officials were aware that the information might be based on the same discredited information provided by the British and "sought several times to determine the basis for the ... assessment, and whether it was based on independent evidence not otherwise available to the U.S." No explanation is offered for why it took so long to learn the basis of the reporting from this "Western European ally." At its core, the argument in the State Department letter is ludicrous. U.S. intelligence officials knew that the available Niger evidence was unreliable and based on forged documents. Despite this, the State Department argues that it was acceptable for the United States to use this information as a central part of the case for military action in Iraq, because the United States received reporting from another nation. In essence, the argument seems to be that it is permissible to use fake evidence so long as the evidence can be attributed to another source. The State Department response also raises questions about the CIA's role in reviewing and clearing various Administration statements relating to the Niger allegation. The letter states that the written information about the forged nuclear evidence provided to the United Nations on December 19 "was a product developed jointly by the CIA and the State Department." But this is contradicted by other published accounts. Just last weekend, the Washington Post quoted a senior intelligence official as saying that the "only" statement that was "reviewed by the intelligence agencies in detail and backed by detailed intelligence" was Secretary Powell's February 5 speech before the United Nations. In fact, according to one administration official, when the State Department document was issued on December 19, "people winced and thought, 'Why are you repeating this trash?' "19 Conclusion Mr. President, I recognize that you have many demands on your time and that there are many issues that you cannot address. But this issue should be different. The credibility of the United States is now in question. To date, you have offered no explanation as to why you and your most senior advisers made repeated allegations based on forged documents. Yet your entire pre-emption doctrine depends on the ability of the United States to gather accurate intelligence and make honest assessments. This matter raises fundamental issues that cannot be ignored. So I again request that you respond to my March 17 letter and the additional questions raised in this letter. Sincerely, Henry A. Waxman Ranking Minority Member  The White House, Press Briefing by Ari Fleischer (May 29, 2003) (online at www. whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/05/20030529-4.html) (" [R]ewind the tapes, and you'll see what the administration said before the war and you'll find a series of statements, all of which are valid").  "Blair Says Iraqis Could Launch Chemical Warheads in Minutes," New York Times (Sept. 25, 2002).  "Some Evidence on Iraq Called Fake; UN. Nuclear Inspector Says Documents on Purchases Were Forged," Washington Post (Mar. 8, 2003).  Id. See also "U.N. Saying Documents Were Faked," CNN American Morning with Paula Zahn (Mar. 14, 2003). ("One of the documents purports to be a letter signed by Tandjia Mamadou, the president of Niger, talking about the uranium deal with Iraq. On it [is] a childlike signature that is clearly not his. Another, written on paper from a 1980s military government in Niger, bears the date of October 2000 and the signature of a man who by then had not been foreign minister of Niger for 14 years.")  IAEA Director General Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei, The Status of Nuclear Inspections in Iraq: An Update (Mar. 7, 2002) (online at www.iaea.org/worldatomfPress/Statements/ 2003/ebsp2003nOO6.shtml).  See, e.g., "Italy May Have Been Misled by Fake Iraq Arms Papers, US Says," Los Angeles Times (Mar. 15, 2003) (quoting a CIA official as saying: "We included that in some of our reporting, although it was all caveated because we had concerns about the accuracy of that information"); "FBI Probes Fake Evidence of Iraqi Nuclear Plans," Washington Post (Mar. 13, 2003) ("The CIA... had questions about 'whether they were accurate,' said one intelligence official, and it decided not to include them in its file on Iraq's program to procure weapons of mass destruction").  "CIA Questioned Documents Linking Iraq, Uranium Ore," Washington Post (Mar. 22, 2003).  "Tenet Defends Iraq Intelligence," Washington Post (May 31, 2003).  Nicholas D. Kristof, "Missing in Action: Truth," New York Times (May 6, 2003).  U.S. Department of State, Illustrative Examples of Omissions from the Iraqi Declaration to the United Nations Security Council (Dec. 19, 2002).  Dr. Condoleeza Rice, "Why We Know Iraq is Lying" (Jan. 23, 2003) (online at www.whitehouse. gov/news/releases/2003/0 1 /print/20030 123-1 .html).  Press Conference with Donald Rumsfeld, General Richard Myers, Cable News Network (Jan. 29, 2003).  See, e.g., "U.S. Accuses Iraqi Weapons Report of Failing to Meet U.N. Demands," NBC Nightly News (Dec. 19, 2002); "Threats and Responses: Report by Iraq; Iraq Arms Report Has Big Omissions, U.S. Officials Say," New York Times (Dec. 12, 2002); "U.S. Issues a List of Shortcomings in Iraqi Arms Declaration," Los Angeles Times (Dec. 20, 2002); "Iraqi Weapons Declaration Full of Holes, U.S. Officials Say," Associated Press (Dec. 12, 2003).  The President, State of the Union Address (Jan, 28, 2003) (online at www.whitehouse. gov/news/releases/2003/0 1/20030128-1 9.html).  The White House, "President Bush Outlines Iraqi Threat" (Oct. 7, 2002) (online at www. whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2002/10/20021007-8 .html); see also "Matters of Emphasis," New York Times (Apr. 23, 2003) (noting that President Bush cited an IABA report for this assertion, but that no such report exists).  The White House, supra note 15.  "U.S. Officials Make It Clear: Exile or War," Washington Post (Mar. 17, 2003).  "Tenet Defends Iraq Intelligence," Washington Post (May 31, 2003).  "CIA Questioned Documents Linking Iraq, Uranium Ore," Washington Post, (Mar. 22, 2003). http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=540&ncid=736&e=1&u=/ap/20030 616/ap_on_re_mi_ea/iraq_weapons * LEVIN SEEKS RELEASE OF WMD INTELLIGENCE by Ken Guggenheim Yahoo, 16th June WASHINGTON (AP): A Democratic senator urged the CIA on Monday to release information that he said would prove the United States withheld from U.N. inspectors key information on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., has said for months that CIA Director George Tenet's open statements about how much intelligence was shared with inspectors contradict classified information. The contradictions show the need for a Senate investigation into whether U.S. intelligence on Iraq's weapons programs was "shaded or exaggerated," he said. "If Director Tenet said that we have done something in terms of sharing information with the U.N. which was not factually accurate, that is part of the same question," said Levin, top Democrat on the Armed Services Committee and a member of the Intelligence Committee. Republican leaders of both committees have rejected Democrats' calls for a formal investigation, contending there is no sign of wrongdoing, and said the committees will review the intelligence as part of their regular oversight processes. In the House, Democrats and Republicans on the Intelligence Committee have agreed to hold a review. Levin said of 550 suspected weapons sites, 150 were considered "top suspect sites," according to recently declassified figures. Of those 150, a secret number were considered high and medium priority sites. Tenet told lawmakers in February and March that U.N. inspectors were briefed on all the "high value and moderate value sites." Levin said classified figures show that wasn't true and has urged Tenet to declassify the number of those sites and the number of sites that had been provided to the United Nations. In a May 23 letter to Levin, Tenet refused to release the figures, citing a need to maintain secrecy in its relationships with international organizations. By releasing the data, "we risk undermining our credibility with other international organizations with whom we continue to interact," Tenet wrote. Levin released Monday a letter dated last Wednesday that he received from chief weapons inspector Hans Blix, saying he had no objection to making the information public. "In light of Dr. Blix's letter to me, I know of no legitimate reason for keeping those numbers classified any longer," Levin said. A CIA spokesman would not comment. Levin said if Americans had known that not all information about top weapons sites had been shared with inspectors, "there could have been greater public demand that the inspection process continue." He said his main concern is whether future U.S. intelligence would be viewed as objective and accurate. "It undermines the credibility of the director of intelligence to be making public statements relative to intelligence which are not factually accurate," Levin said. _______________________________________________ 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