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[casi] Maj. Scott Ritter on the phantom WMDs, etc.

Dear Colleagues,

   Why has Scott Ritter, the only Weapons Inspector who was proven correct
disappeared from CASI and ALMOST everywhere else?  San Mateo is a small
bedroom community of San Francisco. Wonder if ANY other paper or listserv
picks this up?

   Published on Monday, June 30, 2003 by the San Mateo County Times
One Republican Against Bush
by Amelia Hansen

SAN MATEO -- The keynote speaker at Sunday's 2003 Peninsula Symposium
and Benefit for Peace, Justice and Human Rights railed against
President Bush and left the audience with a straightforward message
for the 2004 presidential election: "Remember the A-B-C's -- Anything
but Bush and Cheney." The message was met with unsurprising enthusiasm
from the crowd. But the speaker himself had a bit of a surprising
background: Scott Ritter, former U.N. chief weapons inspector, is a
self-professed conservative Republican who admitted to the audience he
voted for Bush three years ago.

Since then, Ritter said, Bush has lied to the American public about
the true situation in Iraq, particularly in regard to the weapons of
mass destruction, which American forces, to date, have failed to

"I leave the door open that they still may find something," Ritter
said to the group of 100 or so people gathered in the darkened
auditorium at the San Mateo Performing Arts Center on Sunday. "But
even if anything is found, it won't be anywhere near what they said it
was -- thousands of tons of biological weapons."

Ritter's new book, "Frontier Justice: Weapons of Mass Destruction and
the Bushwhacking of America," published by Context Books, is due out
next week.

A 12-year veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps and an intelligence officer
who served as a central weapons inspector between 1991 and 1998,
Ritter said if no weapons are found, Bush's decision to wage war on
Iraq should be condemned -- whether he lied or made an honest mistake.

"If Iraq is in possession of weapons of mass destruction, they are in
violation of international law," Ritter said. "If they aren't, then we
are in violation of international law."

Ritter resigned from the U.N.'s special commission in charge of
inspections -- UNSCOM -- in 1998, citing interference from the U.N.
Security Council as well as members of the Clinton administration.

Ritter, who now lives in Albany, N.Y., flew out at the invitation of
the Peninsula-based lobby "The 100 Year March" to speak on Iraq, as
well as his beliefs on the importance of active citizenship and of
fighting for constitutional rights.

At Sunday's event -- which featured speakers from other peace and
human-rights groups, including the NAACP and Peace Action of San Mateo
County -- Ritter urged members of the audience to use the upcoming
Fourth of July celebration as an occasion to think about what it truly
means to be an American citizen.

"Are you citizens or something else?" he asked, gesturing to the
audience. "If you are consumers, you will wrap yourself in comfort, do
what you can to not rock the boat. If you are citizens, you will
interest yourselves in forming a community, preserving the

After his speech, Ritter met activists and peace lobbyists, some
wearing colorful hats and beaded jewelry, who waited to thank him for
his words.

Ritter, wearing a gray suit, bright blue shirt, and yellow tie, sat
near a table with John Kerry election posters. He acknowledged if
someone had told him three years ago he would be speaking at a peace
symposium attended largely by left-wing liberals, he wouldn't have
believed it.

"In college I was a Reagan Republican," Ritter said. "I thought it was
the government's responsibility to serve the people."

Ritter stated he's still a conservative Republican, but in his
estimation, the current government has stopped serving the people.

"I may even vote for that guy," Ritter said smiling and pointing to
the John Kerry signs.


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