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News, 30/7-6/8/03 (3) THE PRETEXT * U.S. Official Says 'Solid Progress' on Iraq Weapons * Aide: Saddam Did Get Rid of Iraq WMD * Did David Kay Engineer WMD Evidence for Bush I -and Now Bush 2? * David Kelly: Model weapons inspector in Russia and then in Iraq * Speculation, fact hard to separate in story of Iraq's 'nuclear' tubes * Meet the Real WMD Fabricator A Swede Called Rolf Ekeus * US Tells Niger to Shut Up in Iraq Uranium Row * No 10 dismisses Kelly as a 'Walter Mitty' THE PRETEXT http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=564&ncid=716&e=13&u=/nm/2003 0731/ts_nm/iraq_usa_weapons_dc * U.S. OFFICIAL SAYS 'SOLID PROGRESS' ON IRAQ WEAPONS by Tabassum Zakaria Yahoo, 31st July WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. official who is leading the hunt for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq on Thursday said the search was making "solid progress" but it would take time to unwrap the hidden programs. David Kay, a former U.N. weapons inspector, however, sidestepped questions about whether actual banned weapons had been found. "There is solid evidence being produced. We do not intend to expose this evidence until we have full confidence that it is solid proof," he told reporters after a closed-door Senate Armed Services Committee briefing. "We are making solid progress. It is going to take time," said Kay, who recently returned from Iraq where he was sent by the CIA as a special adviser to develop a strategy for finding biological and chemical weapons and evidence of a restarted nuclear weapons program. Iraqi scientists and freshly unearthed documents have led the WMD hunting team to new, previously unknown sites in Iraq, Kay said. "We have Iraqi scientists who were involved in these programs who are assisting us in taking them apart. They are collaborating and cooperating," he said. The United States went to war in March saying Iraq posed an imminent threat because it possessed weapons of mass destruction, but no such weapons have been found since the government of Saddam Hussein was toppled in April. U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Keith Dayton, who heads the Iraq Survey Group of about 1,500 coalition experts that took over the search for banned weapons in June, testified alongside Kay. "Every week, it is phenomenal what we're finding, and I am much more optimistic and confident every week that we're going to come to a very good resolution of this in due time," Dayton told reporters afterward. Senators emerged from the briefing with optimistic comments that evidence of banned weapons would emerge down the road. "I think in view of a lot of criticism, I would not be surprised if there is a surprise that would end up changing a lot of people's minds," Sen. Pat Roberts, a Kansas Republican who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee, said. Sen. John Warner, a Virginia Republican who chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee, urged patience. "Good, solid progress is being made, but these two leaders of the team are employing a methodology which I support entirely and that is to have each case thoroughly documented by sound facts and information, whether it's human information or document interpretation, before going public." The Iraqi government had actively shielded its weapons programs and so it was "not something that is easy to unwrap," Kay said. "The active deception program is truly amazing once you get inside it. We have people who participated in deceiving U.N. inspectors now telling us how they did it," he added. Kay and Dayton have not found actual weapons of mass destruction, or the so-called "smoking gun," in Iraq but have uncovered documents pointing to a program to develop such weapons, other U.S. officials said on condition of anonymity. In the Iraq Survey Group, the Australians are leading the document review, while British military officer John Deverell serves as Dayton's deputy. "Certainly the case is being built that, no doubt in anybody's mind, they had a program," the defense official said. "We have good documents. We have come across documentation of their program." URL ONLY * AIDE: SADDAM DID GET RID OF IRAQ WMD by Slobodan Lekic Associated Press, 2nd August BAGHDAD, Iraq - A close aide to Saddam Hussein says the Iraqi dictator did in fact get rid of his weapons of mass destruction but deliberately kept the world guessing about it in an effort to divide the international community and stave off a U.S. invasion. The strategy, which turned out to be a serious miscalculation, was designed to make the Iraqi dictator look strong in the eyes of the Arab world, while countries such as France and Russia were wary of joining an American-led attack. At the same time, Saddam retained the technical know-how and brain power to restart the programs at any time. Both Pentagon officials and weapons experts are considering this guessing-game theory as the search for chemical, biological and nuclear weapons continues. If true, it would indicate there was no imminent unconventional weapons threat from Iraq, an argument President Bush used to go to war. Saddam's alleged weapons bluff was detailed by an Iraqi official who assisted Saddam for many years. The official was not part of the national leadership but his job provided him daily contact with the dictator and insight into the regime's decision-making process during the past decade and in its critical final days. The official refused to be identified, citing fear of assassination by Saddam's paramilitaries who, he said, remain active throughout Iraq. But in several interviews, the former aide detailed what he said were the reasons behind Saddam's disinformation campaign - which ultimately backfired by spurring, rather than deterring a U.S. invasion. According to the aide, by the mid-1990s "it was common knowledge among the leadership" that Iraq had destroyed its chemical stocks and discontinued development of biological and nuclear weapons. But Saddam remained convinced that an ambiguous stance about the status of Iraq's weapons programs would deter an American attack. "He repeatedly told me: 'These foreigners, they only respect strength, they must be made to believe we are strong,'" the aide said. Publicly Saddam denied having unconventional weapons. But from 1998 until 2002, he prevented U.N. inspectors from working in the country and when they finally returned in November, 2002, they often complained that Iraq wasn't fully cooperating. Iraqi scientists, including those currently held by the U.S. military, have maintained that no new unconventional weapons programs were started in recent years and that all the materials from previous programs were destroyed. Both Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair have come under fire in recent weeks as weapons hunters come up empty and prewar intelligence is questioned. The White House acknowledged recently that it included discredited information in Bush's State of the Union speech about alleged Iraqi attempts to purchase uranium - a key ingredient for nuclear weapons. More importantly, no chemical, biological or nuclear weapons have been found. Before the invasion, the British government claimed Saddam could deploy unconventional weapons within 45 minutes. The Bush administration insisted the threat was so immediate that the world couldn't afford to wait for U.N. inspectors to wind up their searches. Despite the warnings, Iraqi troops never used such weapons during the war. Intelligence officials at the Pentagon, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said some experts had raised the theory that Iraq put out false information to persuade its enemies that it retained prohibited chemical, biological and nuclear weapons programs. "That explanation has plausibility," said Robert Einhorn a former assistant secretary of State for nonproliferation. "But the disposition of those missing weapons and materials still has to be explained somehow." Iraq's claims that it destroyed stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons materials could never be verified by U.N. inspectors who repeatedly requested proof. However, U.N. inspectors, who scoured Iraq for three and a half months before the war, never find any evidence of renewed weapons programs. "The longer that one does not find any weapons in spite of people coming forward and being rewarded for giving information, etc., the more I think it is important that we begin to ask ourselves if there were no weapons, why was it that Iraq conducted itself as it did for so many years?" Hans Blix, the former chief U.N. weapons inspector, told The Associated Press in June. Saddam's aide suggested the brinkmanship ultimately backfired because U.S. policy switched in the aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001, from containing the Iraqi leader, to going after those who could supply terrorists with deadly weapons. He described Saddam as almost "totally ignorant" of how Western democracies functioned and attributed his failure to grasp the impact of Sept. 11 to the fact that he increasingly surrounded himself with yes-men and loyalists who were not qualified to give him expert advice on economic, military or foreign policy matters. EDITOR'S NOTE: Associated Press reporter John Lumpkin in Washington D.C., contributed to this report. http://baltimore.indymedia.org/newswire/display_any/4430 * DID DAVID KAY ENGINEER WMD EVIDENCE FOR BUSH I -AND NOW BUSH 2? by Cheryl Seal Baltimore Indymedia, 17th July [.....] 1983-1988: Kay worked under Ronald Reagan as a chief scientist in the Pentagon. 1983-1992: Kay was on the staff of the UN International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), under the direction of Hans Blix. Both Reagan and Bush I sought an excuse to invade oil-rich Iraq, and viewed 'evidence' of nukes the best motivator for the American public. Blix, however, was a man of integrity who could not be bought, and refused to be pressured, marking him forever as an 'enemy' of the Neocon hawks. European experts, both before and during Gulf War I, support Blix's conclusions that Iraq does not have nuclear weaponry, and that WMD programs, if they exist, are limited in scope. [.....] 1990-1992: His popularity in the wake of the war and the economy he has trashed, Bush seeks to gain stature in the run up to election 1992 by magnifying, retroactively, the threat posed by Saddam Hussein. David Kay is named to head UNSCOM's nuke search. One of the other inspectors on UNSCOM's teams was biological weapons expert David Kelly. Kay's job: go into Kuwait and Iraq and produce evidence of WMDs . Kay now claims Saddam had a 'horrifyingly' huge WMD program, including nukes in the making - that he had been, in fact, just MONTHS away from being able to launch a nuclear weapon. The message, of course: "Reelect Bush - just think what an awful fate he saved us all from!". Much of Kay's case relied on cutting tenuous deals with Iraqi "scientists" of dubious credentials and CIA operatives and with producing astoundingly (insanely, in fact) detailed documents on the alleged weapons program that had just been left laying conveniently around (sound familiar?). Although Kay produces a report that includes the allegations on Saddam's nuke program, he is removed from his position with the UN for his unethical behavior. 1995:the IAEA reveals that documents supplied to them earlier by Khirid Hamza, who claimed to be a key scientist on Sadam's nuclear program, were faked. It is also revealed that Hamza's claims about his own background were grossly exaggerated. 1992-2002: Kay begins to make the lecture circuit, whipping up the case against Saddam Hussein, keeping the "threat" alive through the Clinton years while the GOP sets its NeoCon machinery (driven by Newt Gingrich in its first stage) in motion. 1993-2002: Kay becomes the VP of Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), the same company that Stephen Hatfill, a WMD expert, worked for until March 2002. Fall 2001:SAIC is commissioned by the Pentagon to create a replica of a mobile WMD "laboratory", alleged to have been used by Saddam (was there ever such a thing - or was the "replica" created to fix an image in the mind of the military and later the public?) . The Pentagon claims the trailer is to be used as a training aide for teams seeking weapons of mass destruction in Iraq....even though Afghanistan had not yet been invaded. The primary designer/advisor of the replica? Stephen Hatfill. Early 2002: As soon as the replica is completed, Stephen Hatfill becomes a "person of interest" to the FBI in the anthrax case. They begin to hound his every step -without ever bringing any charges or even declaring him a suspect. With suspicion for such a horrendous crime thrown on him, Hatfill is put in a position of never being able to creditably reveal any potentially damning information on the activities of SAIC or the Pentagon to light. March 4 2002:SAIC fires Hatfill as a 'liability.' March 2002: the Bush administration awards SAIC a massive defense contract, potentially worth at least $1 billion. October 2002: Kay leaves SAIC and becomes a 'senior fellow' at the Potomac Institute for Policy Research, where he is thus positioned to become an 'objective expert' for nuclear weapons for the Bush administration in its run up to the war. In all of Kay's citations in the news and before interviews, he is invariably referred to as "David Kay, former chief UN weapons inspector and senior fellow at the Potomac Instsitute for Policy Research. The SAIC connection is neatly omitted. Sept. 2002: Khidir Hamza is brought in by the Bush administration to testify before Congress to whom he makes a long list of allegations, including Saddam's closeness to weapons production, his ties to Al Queda, etc. Despite Hamza's earlier exposure as a liar, his testimony was still taken seriously by Congress and the media, and trumpeted as some of the most compelling cause for war. February 2003: The Iraqi Reconstruction and Development Council is created. A disproportionate number of the "Iraqi nationals" on this council are employees of SAIC,. including Khidir Hamza. May 2003:Khidir Hamza is sent by the Pentagon to Iraq to head the nuclear industry there - a nice big fat reward for 'services rendered.' June and early July 2003: pressure on Bush to find WMD 'evidence' grows. A statement made by Bush in his state of the Union address in October 2002 about Saddam's attempts to buy uranium from Africa is revealed as false. George Tenet takes the blame. Meanwhile, he has hired David Kay to lead a team of inspectors in Iraq to produce evidence of WMDs...including nukes. And so we come full circle....back to 1992. Same game. Same players. Same lies. UPDATE: July 18: David Kelly, former member of UNSCOM who has been to Iraq 37 times on weapons inspections and was believed to be in the process of presenting evidence that showed that Blair doctored his "Iraq dossier," is found dead. Anyone who seriously believes this was a "suicide" probably still believes in the tooth fairy, too. BIBLIOGRAPHY Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity - article details Bush I's fabrication of evidence http://www.commondreams.org/views03/0425-11.htm Ex-CIA Officers Reveal Bush I Fabrication of Evidence http://baltimore.indymedia.org/newswire/index.php?function=edit&id=4388 Worldnet Interview with James Gordon Prather on David Kay http://18.104.22.168/search?q=cache:SOzBnivPSu0J:www.wanniski.com/showartic le.asp%3Farticleid%3D2728+%22David+Kay%22+Reagan&hl=en&ie=UTF-8 David Kay Comments at Middle East Institute in 1997 when still VP of SAIC http://www.wrmea.com/Washington-Report_org/www/backissues/0497/9704057a.html "Kill them Before they can Kill Us" : Comments by David Kay and Paul Bremer in Israel Forum, Dec. 2002 http://www.israelforum.com/board/showthread.php3?s=b2544078faa563e41f537197c 15b2f9c&postid=38711#post38711post38711 A Detailed, Highly researched "dossier" on David Kay http://22.214.171.124/search?q=cache:s R1uOZk048J:xymphora.blogspot.com/2003_06_01_xymphora_archive.html+%22David+K ay%22+SAIC&hl=en&ie=UTF-8 Pentagon rewards Khidir Hamza, accused author of forged nuke documents, with position as head of post-war Iraqi nuclear industry http://globalresearch.ca/articles/HUG306A.html Example of David Kay anti-Iraq/nuke scare lecture circuit spiel http://www.wrmea.com/Washington-Report_org/www/backissues/0497/9704057a.html See also: http://126.96.36.199/search?q=cache:s R1uOZk048J:xymphora.blogspot.com/2003_06_01_xymphora_archive.html+%22David+K ay%22+SAIC&h http://globalresearch.ca/articles/HUG306A.html http://news.independent.co.uk/people/obituaries/story.jsp?story=429180 * DAVID KELLY: MODEL WEAPONS INSPECTOR IN RUSSIA AND THEN IN IRAQ Obituary by Terence Taylor Independent, 31st July David Christopher Kelly, microbiologist and weapons inspector: born Llwynypia, Glamorgan 17 May 1944; CMG 1996; married 1967 Janice Vawdrey (three daughters); died near Longworth, Oxfordshire 18 July 2003. David Kelly was a scientific civil servant of the highest calibre who became the UK's leading authority in the effort to prevent the development and proliferation of biological weapons around the world. He had been my friend and professional colleague for over 16 years up to his untimely death. As someone who was involved in the policy aspects of the scientific and technological issues related to biological weapons programmes, I looked to him as my mentor. His lucid and objective explanations of complex matters in relation to this subject were invaluable. Born in the Rhondda Valley in South Wales in the penultimate year of the Second World War, the son of a schoolteacher, Kelly was educated at the County Grammar School for Boys, Pontypridd, and had degrees in bacteriology (BSc, Leeds) and virology (MSc, Birmingham) and iridoviruses (DPhil, Oxford). He carried out research work at Warwick and Oxford universities - taking his doctorate at Linacre College in 1973 with the thesis "The Replication of Some Iridescent Viruses in Cell Cultures" - and was for a spell a Chief Scientific Officer at the Natural Environment Research Council working in the agricultural sphere, principally on insect viruses. He came to defence and international security issues in mid- career when, in 1984, at the age of 40, he joined the Chemical and Biological Defence Establishment at Porton Down in Wiltshire. There he was appointed Director of the Microbiology Division, working on research into defensive measures against biological weapons. This is where I met him for the first time and found someone who was clearly enjoying his work in an environment where his inquisitive and meticulous approach was much needed and appreciated. One of his early tasks was to oversee his department's work in the successful decontamination of Gruinard Island in Scotland, where the UK had conducted tests with anthrax as a possible weapon during the Second World War. The contaminated island, just off the coast of Wester Ross not far from Ullapool, was a legacy of a weapons programme abandoned soon after the end of the war. The biological defence work at Porton Down was expanded and energised by Kelly's leadership, scientific competence and dedicated enthusiasm. As a result of his work, according to Graham Pearson, Director-General of the Chemical and Biological Defence Establishment during most of Kelly's tenure, "the UK was able to deploy a limited biological defence capability at the time of the 1991 Gulf War" and there was a longer-term legacy in that, thanks to his efforts, "Porton Down today has world-class facilities" for work on defence against biological attack. Two near-simultaneous developments were to bring to even greater prominence Kelly's scientific and analytical talents. These were, first, the startling revelations about the existence of a clandestine biological weapons programme in the former Soviet Union and, second, the search for Iraq's nuclear, biological, chemical and missile programmes in the aftermath of the 1991 Gulf War. With regard to the former, Kelly made an immense contribution in the scientific understanding of information passed to the UK and US governments by defectors. This required a great deal of UK and US co-operation and delicate negotiations on very sensitive matters between senior officials from the policy and intelligence worlds. Here, as a Ministry of Defence official involved in the policy aspects of this issue, I was able to witness and benefit from David Kelly's astute understanding of international and inter-departmental interactions at the interface between science, technology and high-level policy matters. The former Soviet Union, with the UK and the US, subscribed to the 1972 Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (a ban on the research, development and possession of these weapons), which made the revelations of this hidden programme of one of the three "guardians" of the treaty all the more egregious. It was more than two years later before the, by then, Russian government admitted to the existence of the illegal programme and in April 1992 declared it to have ended. Given the enormous scale and scope of the programme, involving thousands of scientists, many civilian and military facilities and a wide range of biological agents (including anthrax and smallpox) and delivery means ranging from field artillery to intercontinental ballistic missiles, the UK and US governments demanded more information and clarifications to be confident that the massive programme had truly been dismantled. Interventions by the then US President George Bush and the British prime minister Margaret Thatcher, first with Mikhail Gorbachev and later with his successor Boris Yeltsin, resulted in a trilateral agreement between Russia, the US and UK being signed in September 1992 under which visits were to be made to civilian and military biotechnological facilities suspected of being involved in a biological weapons programme. David Kelly played a leading role in the Anglo-American teams that visited a range of civilian facilities in Russia. This was a challenging task that demanded the absorption and understanding of massive amounts of information and investigations of equipment and questioning of Russian personnel, none of whom admitted to working on biological weapons. As a fellow participant, I recall Kelly's patient and persistent questioning that wrong-footed the other side. This effort, along with his subsequent analytical work of the information gained, made a major contribution to confirming the veracity of the information gleaned from the defectors. Unfortunately, this work remains incomplete, since in 1994 the Russian side balked at allowing visits to military facilities. Playing a leading role in the investigation of the biological weapons programme in Russia was a forbidding enough task for anyone but by 1991 Kelly was the natural choice for the UK to play a leading role in the UN inspections in Iraq arising from the ceasefire arrangements under UN Security Council Resolution 687. In the first of their obligatory "Full, Final and Complete Declarations" of the prohibited programmes in 1991, the Iraqis said that they had no biological weapons programme. In the face of continuing denials and an elaborate concealment plan, Kelly was the key person to keep the investigative effort going during the first three years when the UN Special Commission (Unscom) was unable to uncover convincing evidence of a biological weapons programme. When I was appointed one of the Commissioners in 1993, I found among my colleagues serious doubts that such a programme existed at all or, if it did, perhaps it was simply a limited research effort. However, encouraged by Kelly's dogged determination and analysis, the Executive Chairman of Unscom, Ambassador Rolf Ekeus, reinforced the biological team. The intensified work finally brought results, and hard evidence of an offensive biological weapons programme was brought to light, forcing the Iraqis on 1 July 1995 to admit to its existence. As a fellow Chief Inspector with David Kelly I, like others, benefited enormously from his scientific and technical skills that he willingly shared. He was no prima donna - he was above all a team player with a fine sense of loyalty to his colleagues and to the mission. For me he was a model of a Chief Inspector, on top of the technical aspects of the task, incisive in his interrogation technique and, above all, cool under pressure. Sadly, as in Russia, Kelly's work on the Iraqi programme was to remain incomplete. Despite the forced admissions and some additional information as a result of the defection of the Iraqi General Hussein Kamal Hassan in August 1995, the Iraqis continued to conceal substantial information on the biological and other prohibited weapons programmes. By 1998 the Iraqis had ceased any effective co-operation with Unscom and that resulted in the withdrawal of the inspectors by the end of that year. Kelly was now employed as the adviser on biological defence matters to the Ministry of Defence's Proliferation and Arms Control Secretariat; the demands of his work on the Iraqi and former Soviet weapons programmes were too great for him to retain his position at Porton Down. His expertise was also drawn upon for other work in international arms control negotiations. In recognition of his important contribution in the international sphere, in 1996, when deputy chief scientific adviser to the MoD, he was accorded the unusual distinction for a scientific civil servant of appointment as CMG. While he was not the kind of person to seek out such honours, he was immensely and justly proud of this recognition of his work. In November 2002, when the new UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (Unmovic) was sent to Iraq, Kelly, in common with other former Unscom Chief Inspectors, was not included in this new mission. However, he played an important role in the training of the new inspection teams and in advising the Ministry of Defence and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office as the events unfolded leading to the invasion of Iraq in March 2003. In my discussions with him, it was clear that he believed that the Iraqis continued to conceal important elements of a biological weapons programme and that the Unmovic inspection process was unlikely to uncover much new information within a few months or even longer. On 18 July Kelly apparently committed suicide after being named as a source for BBC reports over the existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and appearing, three days before he died, before the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Select Committee investigating whether the Government gave accurate information to Parliament and the public in the run up to the 2003 Gulf War. No doubt the inquiries in progress will reveal more about his final days. To someone who has known him for many years, seen him in a number of stressful situations and witnessed his capacity for a high volume of work, the tragic circumstances of his death are beyond comprehension. It is most important that the extraordinary public attention and political fallout arising from the events of the past month do not mask the extraordinary achievements of a scientist who loyally served not only his government but also the international community at large. But David Kelly never sought the limelight and I salute his professionalism, his humility and his warm loyalty as a true friend. For his wife and three daughters the loss of a husband and father in such circumstances is inestimable. http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/iraq/2003-07-31-nuclear-tubes-iraq-usat_x .htm * SPECULATION, FACT HARD TO SEPARATE IN STORY OF IRAQ'S 'NUCLEAR' TUBES by Bill Nichols and John Diamond USA Today, 2nd August WASHINGTON: President Bush has been under heavy criticism for 16 disputed words in his State of the Union address about Iraq's attempts to buy uranium in Africa. Far less attention has been paid to the next 20 words he said that night - the administration's other prime piece of evidence alleging that Saddam Hussein was trying to build a nuclear bomb. "Our intelligence sources tell us that he has attempted to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes suitable for nuclear weapons production," Bush told the nation. Bush's assertion sounded straightforward. In fact, though, it glossed over serious internal disagreements about what the tubes were for and may have been as shaky as the uranium from-Africa charge. Interviews with administration officials, weapons experts, critics of the administration and members of Congress reveal deep doubts about the claims and emphasize the ambiguity of even the best intelligence information. Behind the scenes, U.S. intelligence professionals disagreed strongly about why Iraq wanted the tubes. It's not unusual for intelligence experts to argue about complicated topics. But in the case of Iraq, where the evidence was ambiguous and experts were divided, the White House consistently downplayed the uncertainty and backed the interpretation most likely to support the case for war. And at crucial moments, such as the president's nationally televised speech to Congress on Jan. 28, the White House presented hotly disputed assertions as if they were indisputable fact. Since the fall of Saddam's regime, no new evidence has emerged to support the conclusion that the aluminum tubes were destined for the manufacture of nuclear weapons. If the allegation about the tubes falls through, two key pillars of the administration's claim that Iraq was aggressively pursuing nuclear weapons will have been undercut. "In speech after speech, TV appearance after TV appearance, the most senior administration officials left the impression with the American people that Iraq was on the verge of reconstituting nuclear weapons," Sen. Joseph Biden, D-Del., said Thursday at the Brookings Institution in Washington. "The truth is that there was an ongoing debate within our intelligence community about each of these allegations." NO DEFINITIVE EVIDENCE Administration officials point out that a week after Bush's speech, in a presentation to the United Nations Security Council, Secretary of State Colin Powell acknowledged "controversy" and "differences of opinion" about the tubes. The administration continues to support its tubes claim, and even critics acknowledge that there is no definitive evidence on the issue. White House Communications Director Dan Bartlett told reporters last week that "there was a very open discussion about that. It is an assessment which (CIA Director George Tenet) and the CIA stand by to this day." The tubes in question were intercepted in Jordan in 2001 on their way to Iraq. The shipment, which originated in China and contained about 60,000 tubes, was intercepted by a means that U.S. intelligence officials have declined to identify. Iraq kept trying to get tubes; at least one more shipment was blocked in 2002. The CIA argued, in an October 2002 intelligence paper on Iraq, that the tubes were destined to become part of a uranium-enrichment plant, a key tool for making high-grade material for nuclear bombs. But British intelligence questioned whether the tubes were intended for a nuclear use. And experts at the Department of Energy, which oversees uranium enrichment and nuclear bomb production in the United States, said the tubes were too long and too thick for such use. State Department intelligence officials backed up that analysis and concluded the tubes were the right size and shape for conventional battlefield rockets. Iraqi officials, in public statements and interviews with U.N. weapons inspectors, insisted the tubes were meant for use in rockets. Iraq had imported similar tubes earlier to make rockets, and some of the new tubes even bore an inscription that included the word "rocket." Those concerns were delivered to the White House by the CIA in classified reports four months before the State of the Union address. Yet Bush made no mention of the concerns or of the doubts that British intelligence had about the tubes. In the case of the uranium charge, Bush directly cited British intelligence as the source. For the most part, the divisions within the Bush administration about the intelligence on Iraq's weapons remained secret until after the war. Confronted with differences of opinion, as in the case of the tubes, the administration repeatedly adopted the interpretation that advanced the case for war. Other examples: ‹ British intelligence said Iraq sought uranium in Africa. The CIA repeatedly raised doubts about that charge. Bush sided with the British, though the White House later said that was a mistake. ‹ The CIA concluded that Iraq was developing unmanned aerial vehicles primarily for use in delivering chemical and biological weapons. But recently declassified CIA documents show that the Air Force's intelligence chief, Maj. Gen. Ronald Sams, disagreed. He said the small size of Iraq's fleet of such aircraft "strongly suggests a primary role of reconnaissance." The White House sided with the CIA position. ALLEGATION, THEN DOUBT Iraq's efforts to buy aluminum tubes came to light on Sept. 8, 2002, four days before Bush delivered a much-anticipated speech on Iraq to the U.N. General Assembly. A front-page story in The New York Times disclosed the administration's suspicion that shipments of aluminum tubes intercepted earlier that year and in 2001 were intended for use in uranium enrichment. Enrichment is a large-scale industrial process that involves the introduction of a gaseous form of uranium into a fast-spinning metal drum. The idea is to separate bomb-grade uranium, known as U-235, from a far more abundant kind, U-238. The newspaper article appeared the same day Vice President Cheney and national security adviser Condoleezza Rice spoke on Sunday talk shows. "We do know with absolute certainty that (Saddam) is using his procurement system to acquire the equipment he needs in order to enrich uranium to build a nuclear weapon," Cheney said on NBC's Meet The Press. The tubes "are only really suited for nuclear weapons programs, centrifuge programs," Rice said on CNN's Late Edition. Rice sticks to that claim today. She says the key judgment that the tubes were for uranium enrichment was made not at the White House but at the CIA. In Powell's presentation to the Security Council on Feb. 5, he acknowledged disagreements about the intended use of the tubes but said "most U.S. experts think they are intended to serve as rotors in centrifuges used to enrich uranium." A former U.S. intelligence official, speaking on condition of anonymity, says Powell made that statement after having been warned on two occasions by the State Department Bureau of Intelligence and Research that the tubes were more likely to be used in rockets. The former official helped prepare the briefings for Powell. The doubts Powell mentioned to the U.N. had actually coalesced months earlier in a CIA coordinated intelligence overview, which was given in classified form to high-level administration officials in October. The public, however, got only a partial window into the document's findings. A summary of the overview released in October said: "All intelligence experts agree that Iraq is seeking nuclear weapons and that these tubes could be used in a centrifuge enrichment program. Most intelligence specialists assess this to be the intended use, but some believe that these tubes are probably intended for conventional weapons programs." A classified version of the intelligence estimate released to the public last month offers a fuller account. The main text says the Energy Department "agrees that reconstitution of the nuclear program is underway but assesses that the tubes probably are not part of the program." A lengthy footnote notes that Energy Department technical experts concluded "that the tubes Iraq seeks to acquire are poorly suited for use in gas centrifuges to be used for uranium enrichment." State Department intelligence specialists concurred and added reasons of their own: The large numbers of tubes that Iraq tried to buy, the way Iraq planned to test them, and an "atypical lack of attention to operational security" in the way Iraq went about trying to buy them all indicated an intended use far less sensitive than nuclear arms production. SCIENTIFIC DETAILS The tubes confiscated in Jordan were about 1 meter long and 81 millimeters in diameter (about 39 inches by 3 inches). They closely match the specifications for a conventional rocket on the international market for more than two decades. Iraq imported the same type of tube in the 1980s. The CIA's opinion was heavily influenced by an investigation conducted by the U.S. Army National Ground Intelligence Center. This organization concluded that the engineering tolerances on the tubes in the 2001 shipment were so tight as to rule out any use other than centrifuges. The tolerances demanded by the Iraqis on these tubes exceeded the Pentagon's strict requirements for Army multiple-launch rocket systems. The Energy and State departments argued a different case, an opinion supported by many private experts. In a March 10 paper on the topic, former U.N. nuclear inspector David Albright said that although the tubes could be modified for use in a centrifuge, their thickness and diameter would make that very difficult. Albright, who heads the Institute for Science and International Security in Washington, wrote that "the vast majority of gas centrifuge experts in this country and abroad who are knowledgeable reject the CIA's case and do not believe the tubes are specifically designed for gas centrifuges." On March 8 — 11 days before the war in Iraq started — Mohamed ElBaradei, director of the International Atomic Energy Agency, told the Security Council that investigators had found no evidence that Iraq intended to use the tubes for any project other than rockets. To this day, the impasse over the tubes continues. "We know the administration's best technical experts concluded that the tubes were 'poorly suited' for nuclear weapons production," says Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., a leading administration critic. "I don't understand why the president ignored their expertise and objections." http://www.counterpunch.org/cockburn08022003.html * MEET THE REAL WMD FABRICATOR A SWEDE CALLED ROLF EKEUS by Alexander Cockburn Counterpunch, 2nd August Week after week Bush and his people have been getting pounded by newly emboldened Democrats and liberal pundits for having exaggerated the threat posed by Saddam Hussein and his still-elusive weapons of mass destruction. One day CIA director George Tenet, is hung out to dry; the next it's the turn of Paul Wolfowitz's platoon of mad Straussians. The other side of the Atlantic, the same sort of thing has been happening to Tony Blair. They deserve the pounding, but if we're to be fair there's an even more deserving target, a man of impeccable liberal credentials, well respected in the sort of confabs attended by New Labor and espousers of the Third Way. I give you Rolf Ekeus, former Swedish ambassador to the United States and, before that, the executive chairman of the United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM) on Iraq from 1991 to 1997. These days he's chairman of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, a noted dovecote of the olive branch set. In the wake of the first Iraq war it was UNSCOM chief Ekeus, exuding disinterested integrity as only a Swede can, who insisted that Saddam Hussein was surely pressing forward with the manufacture of weapons of mass destruction. It was Ekeus who played a pivotal role in justifying the continued imposition of sanctions, on the grounds that these sanctions were essential as a means of applying pressure to the tyrant in Baghdad. In 1996 Ramsey Clark, former US Attorney General, and a leading critic of the indiscriminate cruelty of these sanctions, wrote an open letter to Ekeus beginning thus: "Dear Mr. Ekeus, How many children are you willing to let die while you search for 'items' you 'are convinced still exist in' Iraq? Every two months for the past half year, and on earlier occasions, you or your office have made some statement several weeks before the Security Council considers sanctions against Iraq which you know will be used to cause their continuation This cruel and endless hoax of new disclosures every two months must stop. The direct consequence of your statements which are used to justify continuation of the sanctions against Iraq is the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent and helpless infants, children and elderly and chronically ill human beings." Despite many such furious denunciations, till the day he handed over his job as UNSCOM chief to the more obviously suspect and disheveled Australian, Richard Butler, Ekeus continued in the manner stigmatized by Clark and others. US ambassador to the UN Madeline Albright notoriously said to Lesley Stahl of CBS, of the lethal sanctions which killed over half a million Iraqi children, "we think the price is worth it", but Ekeus was the one who furnished the UN's diplomatic cover for that repulsive calculus. It's fortunate for Ekeus's reputation among the genteel liberal crowd that public awareness of what he really knew about Saddam's chemical, biological and nuclear weapons is still slight. In fact Ekeus was perfectly well aware from the mid-l990s on that Saddam Ussein had no such weapons of mass destruction. They had all been destroyed years earlier, after the first Gulf war. Ekeus learned this on the night of August 22, l995, in Amman, from the lips of General Hussein Kamel, who had just defected from Iraq, along with some of his senior military aides. Kamel was Saddam's son-in-law and had been in overall charge of all programs for chemical, biological and nuclear weapons and delivery systems. That night, in three hours of detailed questioning from Ekeus and two technical experts, Kamel was categorical. The UN inspection teams had done a good job. When Saddam was finally persuaded that failure to dispose of the relevant weapons systems would have very serious consequences, he issued the order and Kamel carried it out. As he told Ekeus that night, "All weapons, biological, chemical, missile, nuclear, were destroyed." (The UNSCOM record of the session can be viewed at http://www.fair.org/press-releases/kamel.pdf). In similar debriefings that August Kamel said the same thing to teams from the CIA and MI6. His military aides provided a wealth of corroborative details. Then, the following year, Kamel was lured back to Iraq and at once executed. Did Ekeus immediately proclaim victory, and suggest that sanctions could be abated? As we have seen, he did not. In fact he urged that they be intensified. The years rolled by and Iraqi children by the thousand wasted and died. The war party thumped the drum over Saddam's WMDs, and Kamel's debriefings stayed under lock and key. Finally, John Barry of Newsweek unearthed details of those sessions in Amman and in February on this year Newsweek ran his story, though not with the play it deserved. I gather that when Barry confronted Ekeus with details of the suppressed briefing, Ekeus was stricken. Barry's sensational disclosure was mostly ignored. And Ekeus's rationale for suppressing the disclosures of Kamel and his aides? He claims that the plan was to bluff Saddam and his scientists into further disclosures. Try to figure that out. For playing the game, the way the US desired it to be played, Ekeus got his rewards: a pleasing welcome in Washington when he arrived there as Swedish ambassador, respectful audiences along the world's diplomatic circuits. To this day he zealously burnishes his "credibility" with long, tendentious articles arguing that Bush and Blair had it right. He betrays no sign of being troubled by his horrible role. He will never be forced to squirm in hearings by Democratic senators suddenly as brave as lions. He won't have to wade through raw sewage to enter the main hospital in Baghdad and watch children die or ride in a Humvee and wait for someone to drop a hand grenade off a bridge and blow his head off. Today he grazes peacefully in the tranquil pastures of the Stockholm Peace Research Institute. But if we're going to heap recriminations on Bush and Blair and the propagandists who fashioned their lies, don't forget Ekeus. He played a worse role than most of them, under the blue flag of the UN. http://www.arabnews.com/?page=4§ion=0&article=29761&d=4&m=8&y=2003&pix=w orld.jpg&category=World * US TELLS NIGER TO SHUT UP IN IRAQ URANIUM ROW Arab News (Saudi Arabia), 4th August LONDON/WASHINGTON, 4 August 2003 ‹ The United States has warned Niger to keep out of a row over disputed claims that Iraq sought to buy uranium from the west African state, the Sunday Telegraph reported. Quoting senior Niger government officials, the British newspaper said Herman Cohen, a former US assistant secretary of state for Africa, called on Mamadou Tandja, Niger's president, in the capital Niamey last week to relay the message from Washington. One official told the Telegraph: "Let's say Mr. Cohen put a friendly arm around the president... but then squeezed his shoulder hard enough to convey the message, 'Let's hear no more about this affair from your government'. Basically he was telling Niger to shut up." The American intervention reflects growing concern about the continuing row over claims that the US and Britain distorted evidence to justify the war against Iraq launched in March, according to the right-wing British weekly. The Telegraph recalled that Hama Hamadou, Niger's prime minister, last week told it that the Niger government had never had discussions with Iraq about uranium, and called on British Prime Minister Tony Blair to produce the "evidence" he claims to have to confirm that Iraq sought uranium from Niger. US officials denied that there had been any attempt to "gag" the Niger government, the Telegraph said. But the Niger official said that Washington's warning was likely to be heeded. "Mr. Cohen did not spell it out but everybody in Niger knows what the consequences of upsetting America or Britain would be. We are the world's second-poorest country and we depend on international aid to survive." On a visit to Washington last month, Blair maintained the accuracy of British intelligence on Iraq's alleged purchase of nuclear material from Niger, saying "we know for sure" that it bought 270 tons of the material from the African country in the 1980s. Iraq's attempt to procure nuclear material from Niger has become the focus of a political furor in both the US and Britain after the Central Intelligence Agency publicly acknowledged the allegation should never have been in US President George W. Bush's State of the Union address in January. That link was cited as one justification for the US-British invasion of Iraq. Cohen's intervention in Niger suggested that Washington was keen to draw a line under the "uranium from Africa" affair, the Telegraph said, but added it had also learned that senior US soldiers were in Iraq last week to investigate movements of Niger's uranium. [.....] http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/politics/story.jsp?story=430354 * NO 10 DISMISSES KELLY AS A 'WALTER MITTY' by Paul Waugh, Deputy Political Editor The Independent, 4th August Downing Street will seek to defend itself over the death of David Kelly by portraying the scientist as a Walter Mitty character who exaggerated his role in the Government's intelligence case against Iraq. Coming shortly before Dr Kelly's funeral on Wednesday, the description of one of Britain's most respected weapons experts as a fantasist is certain to spark fury among friends and former colleagues. But, in what appears to be a change of tactics by the Government, a senior Whitehall source told The Independent that Dr Kelly had misled the Ministry of Defence and the BBC journalist Andrew Gilligan over claims that a dossier used to justify war against Saddam Hussein had been "sexed up". According to the insider, Dr Kelly told Mr Gilligan more than he knew and then failed to tell his employers the whole truth of his contacts with journalists. "This guy was a Walter Mitty," he said. Once his name became public and he was questioned by MPs over the affair, Dr Kelly became worried about his statements to the BBC, the insider said. A reason for his suicide was the decision by the Foreign Affairs Select Committee to recall Mr Gilligan to comment on his own evidence, the source added. Dr Kelly went missing at about the time the journalist gave evidence. His body was found a day later near his Oxfordshire home. The Downing Street version of events is sure to be seized on by the BBC as an admission that Dr Kelly had indeed given Mr Gilligan good reason to make his claims about "sexing up" intelligence. But the scientist's family and friends are sure to be appalled at the Walter Mitty description of a man who was nominated for the Nobel prize and who was about to join the US-led Iraq survey group's hunt for weapons in Baghdad. MoD sources have also revealed that Dr Kelly was being investigated for his contacts with journalists long before the dispute over Mr Gilligan's broadcast began. Downing Street will also seek to persuade the Hutton inquiry, which begins its formal hearings next week, that it and the MoD had been forced to publicise Dr Kelly's name by a parliamentary committee. With Tony Blair, Geoff Hoon, the Defence Secretary, and Alastair Campbell, Downing Street's director of communications, all due to give evidence, the stakes could not be higher for the Government. But a main plank of its defence will be that the Intelligence and Security Cabinet Committee (ISC), which is holding its own inquiry into the intelligence case on Iraq, left it with no option but to confirm Dr Kelly's identity. Sir Kevin Tebbit, the permanent secretary at the MoD, and Sir David Omand, No 10's head of intelligence and security, approached the committee's chairwoman, Ann Taylor, on 8 July to suggest she might want to call Dr Kelly as a witness. But Ms Taylor is understood to have told them that while the committee would be willing to question the scientist, it could not act "blind". The MoD would first have to issue a public statement that an unnamed official had approached his line manager and was claiming to be the potential source for Mr Gilligan's report. The committee was worried that it might be accused of a cover-up if Dr Kelly's approach was to be made public late. After the ISC's response, Mr Hoon and Sir Kevin decided on the infamous "confirmation strategy", in which the MoD would issue a statement saying that an employee had come forward and given clues to Dr Kelly's identity. By the next day, it had confirmed his name to journalists. Since Downing Street also issued its own clues about the identity of the official, a crucial part of Lord Hutton's inquiry will be to discover exactly who authorised such statements. _______________________________________________ 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