|The Top Ten Conservative Idiots (No. 158)
June 7, 2004
Chalabi Damned Edition
We’re back after our holiday break, and it’s certainly been an eventful couple of weeks. George W. Bush (1) went to Europe, but before he left he found time to „distance himself“ from former buddy Ahmed Chalabi after Chalabi apparently passed sensitive information to the Iranians which he received from The White House Mystery Drunk (2). Meanwhile Kelli Arena and John Ashcroft (3) spread some unpleasant propaganda, Enron (4) was thoroughly embarrassed, and Trent Lott (6) weighed in on the Abu Ghraib scandal. Elsewhere, Dana Rohrabacher (7) has lost his mind, Team Bush (9) has really gone negative, and Donald Rumsfeld (10) is getting shit from his wife. Enjoy, and as usual, don’t forget the key! PS. If you’re looking for stories about Ronald Reagan in this week’s edition, he „ended communication“ a little too close to our deadline. Tune in next week for coverage of the fallout of St. Ronald’s passing.
George W. Bush
The White House Mystery Drunk
The Top Ten Conservative Idiots White House Mystery Drunk Fact Sheet
Kelli Arena (and John Ashcroft)
Frank Wisner with the Gangster: Hashim Thaci
Mind you, on September 11 Rohrabacher did stand before a microphone and say „I’ve been begging people to do something about Afghanistan, and I said if we didn’t do anything about the Taliban, we would pay a dear price.“ So there’s always the possibility that’s he’s severely mentally ill. Actually it kinda makes you wonder why they let him go on television.
Der Vorwurf lautete: Verbrechen gegen den Frieden. Das Strafverfahren gegen den ehemaligen US- Präsidenten George W. Bush und den ehemaligen britischen Premierminister Tony Blair vor der Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission (KLWCC) endete mit einem Schuldspruch gegen die Angeklagten.
Bush und Blair werden nun auf die offizielle Liste der weltweit gesuchten Kriegsverbrecher gesetzt.
Die Anhörung hatte insgesamt zwei volle Tage in Anspruch genommen. Zu groß war die Flut an Beweisen, als dass diese in kürzerer Zeit hätten geprüft werden können.
Schlussendlich entschieden die Richter, dass Bush und Blair als verantwortliche Staatsoberhäupter schuldig sind, durch Betrug sowie missbräuchliche und selektive Manipulation internationalen Rechts einen völkerrechtswidrigen Akt der Aggression begangen zu haben, der letztlich zu einem Massenmord an der irakischen Bevölkerung führte.
In ihrem Urteilsspruch beriefen sich die Richter darauf, dass unter Bush Dokumente gefälscht worden seien um den Eindruck zu erwecken, der Irak besitze Massenvernichtungswaffen.
Sie wiesen auch darauf hin, dass die Namen der beiden Schuldigen wie auch die Beweise gegen sie den Mitgliedern des Römischen Statuts überlassen würden, um Bush und Blair in ein internationales Register der Kriegsverbrecher aufzunehmen.
Die Linie des Hauptverteidigers Bushs konnte die Richter nicht überzeugen.
Seine Argumentationslinie: „Hätte George W. Bush (2001 Anm. d. R.) gesagt, wir kennen Euch, wir wissen, was Ihr getan habt und wir verzeihen Euch, dann könnte die Welt heute eine andere sein. Stattdessen folgten jedoch Afghanistan, Irak und Guantanamo.
Aber wir sind fehlbare Menschen. Wir machen eben Fehler.“ Zudem stellte die Verteidigung fest, dass der Angeklagte dennoch ein Mensch sei.
An dieser Stelle warf der Richter ein, die richtige Verteidigung hätte wohl eher ‘vorrübergehender Wahnsinn’ oder ‘Provokation’ lauten sollen. Schließlich sei bereits im Rahmen der Strafverfolgung festgestellt worden, dass der 11. September 2001 (9/11) nur ein Vorwand gewesen sei für einen Krieg, der von bestimmten Persönlichkeiten bereits 1998 gewünscht worden war.
Die Verteidigung ihrerseits stellte fest, „dass das, was passiert sei, die Folge menschlicher Fehlbarkeit gewesen sei“ und dass die kriegsauslösende Information sich eben letztlich als falsch erwiesen habe.
Die Verteidigung bemühte daraufhin ein Video, welches die Zwillingstürme zeigte, kurz nach dem Einschlag der Maschinen. Jedoch ohne Erfolg. Francis Boyle, Professor für Völkerrecht an der University of Illinois im College of Law, hielt entgegen, dass dies nur der Versuch einer Fortführung der Propagandakampagne gegen den Irak unter der ehemaligen Bush Regierung sei.
Das Video sei nicht nur völlig irrelevant, es sei vielmehr der pathologische Versuch, Emotionen beim US- Verteidigungsministerium zu 9/11 zu schüren, obwohl der Irak damit nicht das Geringste zu tun habe.
|Kuala Lumpur tribunal: Bush and Blair guilty
– by Prof. Richard Falk – 2011-12-01
Von petrapez | 6.Mai 2011 um 1:41 Uhr
Kontrolle der Seewege durch eine absaufende Supermacht wichtiger als Menschenleben:
“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America. (Preamble to the United States Constitution)
In Bahrain sind siebenundvierzig Ärzte und Krankenhauspersonal angeklagt, mit den Feinden des Landes kollaboriert zu haben. Im Falle einer Verurteilung durch ein Militärgericht droht ihnen im schlimmsten Fall die Todesstrafe. Weiterlesen »
Bahrain: Regierung geht weiter gnadenlos gegen Opposition vor
Nun klagt die Staatsanwaltschaft Ärzte an
24 Ärzte und 23 Krankenschwestern und medizinische Helfer müssen sich in Bahrain vor Gericht verantworten, weil sie verletzte Demonstranten während der Proteste in Bahrain behandelt haben, berichtet die britische Zeitung Independent, das sich dabei, wie ähnliche Berichte an anderer Stelle, auf Aussagen von Nabeel Rajab, dem Präsidenten des Bahrain Center for Human Rights stützt.
Vorgeworfen wird ihnen Mithilfe bei der „Verschwörung gegen den Staat“, so die offizielle Sprachregelung der Regierung zu den Protesten, die Mitte März mit rücksichtsloser Gewalt niedergeschlagen wurden (siehe Auslöschungskrieg gegen Opposition). Seither führt man – mit Rückhalt der Golf-Kooperationsstaaten – einen gnadenlosen Feldzug gegen alle, die woanders Oppositionelle genannt werden und in Bahrain Verschwörer, Verbrecher und Staatsfeinde. Neuerdings werden also auch Zahnärzte verhaftet, wie die neuesten Anklagen von amerikanischen Nahost-Experten bitter kommentiert werden.
Keine Gnade, kein Entkommen
Die Publikation von Guantánamo-Dokumenten durch den Guardian verweist auf ein Strafsystem, das sich über das Recht stellt und dadurch Unschuldigen keine Chance lässt
Als Metapher für alles, was im Afghanistan-Krieg schief gegangen ist, lässt sich kaum eine bessere Geschichte finden als die der beiden Gefängnisse: In dem einen schafft man es nicht, die Gefangenen loszuwerden, in dem anderen kann man die Insassen nicht halten. Das eine liegt in einer US-Enklave auf Kuba, das andere im afghanischen Kandahar. In beiden Fällen steht das westliche Militärbündnis dumm da.
Im Süden Afghanistans entkamen am Morgen des 25. April 475 Gefangene – fast alle mutmaßliche Taliban – durch einen Tunnel, der offenbar unter den Augen des Wachpersonals gegraben wurde. Während die Taliban gerade ihren Weg in die Freiheit fanden, veröffentlichten Guardian und New York Times Geheimdokumente, die offen legen, wie in jenem anderen berühmten Gefängnis namens Guantánamo Bay mit den Insassen umgegangen wird. Barack Obama war 2008 mit dem Versprechen gewählt worden, er werde das Lager auf Kuba innerhalb eines Jahres nach seinem Amtsantritt schließen. Mittlerweile hat er diesen Vorsatz aufgegeben, obwohl noch 172 Menschen dort festgehalten werden. Bei einigen von ihnen handelt es sich den veröffentlichten Dokumenten zufolge um wirklich gefährliche Zeitgenossen, während andere nach jahrelanger Haft wegen der vielen über sie gesammelten Fehlinformationen entweder nicht strafrechtlich verfolgt werden können oder heimatlos geworden sind wie die chinesischen Uiguren, die schlicht keinen Ort haben, an den sie gehen könnten.
In die Mühlen geraten
Guantánamo verkörpert das Scheitern des Afghanistankrieges, der 2001 mit bombastischem Furor begonnen wurde, aber schon lange planlos verläuft und gescheitert ist. Was die jetzt veröffentlichen Dokumente verdeutlichen, das ist nicht nur die unwürdige, sich selbst über jedes Recht stellende Auslagerung der Inhaftierten in einen rechtsfreien Raum – es sind nicht einmal Folter und Misshandlung der Guantánamo-Insassen, sondern die Willkür und Ineffizienz des Systems. Das Argument der Betreiber des Lagers, es handele sich um ein wirkungsvolles Instrument, die Welt sicherer zu machen, wird von diese Dokumenten widerlegt.
Wer sich durch die interaktive Liste der 779 Gefangenen klickt, die das System durchlaufen haben, findet Leute, die wirklich durch und böse sind, neben profanen Kriminellen und Menschen, die nur aus Versehen in die Mühlen dieses Systems geraten sind. Die Dokumente zeigen, dass Guantánamo gänzlich ungeeignet ist, belastbare Informationen über den Terrorismus zu erhalten und den als Terroristen Angeklagten einen Hauch von Gerechtigkeit widerfahren zu lassen – es wird deutlich, dass die gesammelten Informationen lediglich von einer Handvoll Informanten unter den Gefangenen stammen. Einige davon mögen der Wahrheit entsprechen, andere sind mit Sicherheit falsch. Nach neun Jahren Guantánamo lässt sich das nicht mehr feststellen. Dieses Camp war und ist eine Art Deponie, auf die alle möglichen Leuten abgeschoben werden, und kein Ort – wie die USA einst behaupteten –, an dem die schlimmsten ihrer schlimmsten Feinde festgehalten werden.
Die Schlimmsten der Schlimmen
Unter den durchgestochenen Dokumenten findet sich eine Anleitung für Verhöre, dazu Tipps, worauf man bei der Identifikation eines Terroristen besonders achten sollte. Der Text legt offen, dass ein extremer Mangel an Präzision bestand und er verdeutlicht, dass es für die Insassen nahezu unmöglich war beziehungsweise ist, irgendjemanden von ihrer Unschuld zu überzeugen. Ein vermeintliches Zeichen für terroristische Verbindungen war zum Beispiel eine spezielle Casio-Uhr. Ein anderes die Tatsache, dass jemand nach den Anschlägen vom September 2001 nach Afghanistan gegangen war. Unter den Inhaftierten waren ein 14-jähriger Junge und ein 89 Jahre alter Greis, die beide nichts mit den Taliban zu schaffen hatten. Sie wurden unter Hinwegsetzung über die Rechtsstaatsprinzipen als „feindliche Kombattanten“ inhaftiert, und so Teil eines grausamen und surrealen Systems, das sich durch die eigene Unrechtmäßigkeit aufrecht erhielt…………….
UNSCOM photo of an Iraqi unmanned aerial vehicle. [Source: CIA]The National Intelligence Council, a board of senior analysts that prepares reports on crucial national security issues, completes a National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iraq. The purpose of an NIE is to provide policy-makers with an intelligence assessment that includes all available information on a specific issue so they can make sound policy decisions. The formal document is supposed to be the result of a collaborative effort of the entire intelligence community and is supposed to be untainted by political interests. The decision to produce the assessment on Iraq followed criticisms that the administration had already made a decision to invade Iraq without having thoroughly reviewed all available intelligence on Iraq. Congress wanted the NIE completed prior to voting on a bill authorizing the president to use force against Iraq (see September 5, 2002). NIEs such as this usually take months to prepare, however this document took a mere three weeks. The person in charge of preparing the document was weapons expert Robert Walpole. According to the Independent of London, Walpole has a track record of tailoring his work to support the biases of his superiors. “In 1998, he had come up with an estimate of the missile capabilities of various rogue states that managed to sound considerably more alarming than a previous CIA estimate issued three years earlier,” the newspaper later reports. “On that occasion, he was acting at the behest of a congressional commission anxious to make the case for a missile defense system; the commission chairman was none other than Donald Rumsfeld….” [Independent, 11/3/2003; New York Times, 10/3/2004]
Summary of NIE Conclusions – The NIE says there are potentially links between Iraq and al-Qaeda, but uses cautionary language and acknowledges that its sources—Iraqi defectors and captured al-Qaeda members—have provided conflicting reports. The sections dealing with weapons of mass destruction are also filled with caveats and nuanced statements. In the second paragraph of its “key judgment” section, the NIE states that US intelligence lacks “specific information” on Iraq’s alleged arsenal of weapons of mass destruction. And while the NIE says that Iraq probably has chemical and biological weapons, it also says that US intelligence analysts believe that Saddam Hussein would only launch an attack against the US if he felt a US invasion were inevitable. It also concludes that Saddam would only provide terrorists with chemical or biological agents for use against the United States as a last resort in order to “exact vengeance by taking a large number of victims with him.” [Central Intelligence Agency, 10/1/2002; Washington Post, 6/22/2003; Agence France-Presse, 11/30/2003]
Reconstituted nuclear weapons programs – According to the NIE, “most” of the US’ six intelligence agencies believe there is “compelling evidence that Saddam [Hussein] is reconstituting a uranium enrichment effort for Baghdad’s nuclear weapons program.” The one agency that disagrees with this conclusion is the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR), which says in its dissenting opinion: “The activities we have detected do not, however, add up to a compelling case that Iraq is currently pursuing what INR would consider to be an integrated and comprehensive approach to acquire nuclear weapons. Iraq may be doing so, but INR considers the available evidence inadequate to support such a judgment. Lacking persuasive evidence that Baghdad has launched a coherent effort to reconstitute its nuclear weapons programs, INR is unwilling to… project a timeline for the completion of activities it does not now see happening.” It is later learned that nuclear scientists in the Department of Energy’s in-house intelligence office were also opposed to the NIE’s conclusion and wanted to endorse the State’s alternative view. However, the person representing the DOE, Thomas Ryder, silenced them and inexplicably voted to support the position that Iraq had reconstituted its nuclear weapons program (see Late September 2002). The DOE’s vote was seen as critical, since the department’s assessment was supposed to represent the views of the government’s nuclear experts. [Central Intelligence Agency, 10/1/2002; Washington Post, 7/19/2003; Knight Ridder, 2/10/2004; Knight Ridder, 2/10/2004]
Iraqi attempts to obtain uranium from Africa – According to the NIE, Iraq is “vigorously trying” to obtain uranium and “reportedly” is working on a deal to purchase “up to 500 tons” of uranium from Niger. It reads: “A foreign government service reported that as of early 2001, Niger planned to send several tons of ‘pure uranium’ (probably yellowcake) to Iraq. As of early 2001, Niger and Iraq reportedly were still working out arrangements for this deal, which could be for up to 500 tons of yellowcake. We do not know the status of this arrangement. Reports indicate Iraq also has sought uranium ore from Somalia and possibly the Democratic Republic of the Congo.” But the alternative view—endorsed by the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR)—says that it is doubtful Iraq is trying to procure uranium from Africa. ”(T)he claims of Iraqi pursuit of natural uranium in Africa are, in INR’s assessment, highly dubious,” it reads. [Central Intelligence Agency, 10/1/2002; Washington Post, 7/19/2003]
Iraqi attempts to obtain aluminum tubes – The NIE says that most “agencies believe that Saddam’s personal interest in and Iraq’s aggressive attempts to obtain high-strength aluminum tubes for centrifuge rotors—as well as Iraq’s attempts to acquire magnets, high-speed balancing machines, and machine tools—provide compelling evidence that Saddam is reconstituting a uranium enrichment effort for Baghdad’s nuclear weapons program.” To support its analysis of the tubes, it includes a chart which compares the dimensions of the aluminum tubes sought by Iraq with those that would be needed for a “Zippe-type” centrifuge. The chart’s comparison of the tubes makes it appear that the tubes are similar. But the NIE neglects to say that the aluminum tubes are an exact match with those used in Iraq’s 81-millimeter rocket. The estimate also claims that the tubes are not suitable for rockets. The assertion ignores the fact that similar tubes are used in rockets from several countries, including the United States. [US Congress, 7/7/2004, pp. 84; New York Times, 10/3/2004] It does note however that the 900 mm tubes ordered by Iraq would have to have been cut in half to make two 400 mm rotors, and that the tubes would have needed other modifications as well in order to be used in centrifuge rotors. [The Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction (aka ‚Robb-Silberman Commission‘), 3/31/2005] The NIE’s conclusion about the tubes is challenged by two US intelligence agencies, the DOE’s in house intelligence agency, and the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research. In its dissenting opinion, the DOE says, “It is well established in open sources that bare aluminum is resistant to UF6 and anodization is unnecessary for corrosion resistance, either for the aluminum rotors or for the thousands of feet of aluminum piping in a centrifuge facility. Instead, anodization would likely introduce uncertainties into the design that would need to be resolved before a centrifuge could be operated.” The DOE’s dissenting opinion—written mainly by nuclear physicist William Domke at the Energy Department’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and nuclear physicist Jeffrey Bedell at the Los Alamos National Laboratory—also notes that anodization is a standard practice in missile construction for environmental protection. The Energy Department’s centrifuge physicists suggested more than a year before that the tubes were meant to serve as casings for conventional rockets (see May 9, 2001), but CIA analysts held fast to their theory. [Washington Post, 7/19/2003; USA Today, 7/31/2003; Washington Post, 10/26/2003; US Congress, 7/7/2004, pp. 59] Years later a DOE intelligence analyst will tell two journalists, “[The DOE’s nuclear scientists] are the most boring people. Their whole lives revolve around nuclear technology. They can talk about gas centrifuges until you want to jump out of a window. And maybe once every ten years or longer there comes along an important question about gas centrifuges. That’s when you should really listen to these guys. If they say an aluminum tube is not for a gas centrifuge, it’s like a fish talking about water.” [Isikoff and Corn, 2006, pp. 40] The State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research, similarly writes in its dissenting footnote: “In INR’s view Iraq’s efforts to acquire aluminum tubes is central to the argument that Baghdad is reconstituting its nuclear weapons program, but INR is not persuaded that the tubes in question are intended for use as centrifuge rotors. INR accepts the judgment of technical experts at the US Department of Energy (DOE) who have concluded that the tubes Iraq seeks to acquire are poorly suited for use in gas centrifuges to be used for uranium enrichment and finds unpersuasive the arguments advanced by others to make the case that they are intended for that purpose. INR considers it far more likely that the tubes are intended for another purpose, most likely the production of artillery rockets. The very large quantities being sought, the way the tubes were tested by the Iraqis, and the atypical lack of attention to operational security in the procurement efforts are among the factors, in addition to the DOE assessment, that lead INR to conclude that the tubes are not intended for use in Iraq’s nuclear weapon program.” [Washington Post, 7/19/2003; USA Today, 7/31/2003]
Chemical and Biological Weapons – On the question of chemical and biological weapons, the NIE says: “We judge Iraq has some lethal and incapacitating BW agents and is capable of quickly producing and weaponizing a variety of such agents, including anthrax, for delivery by bombs, missiles, aerial sprayers, and covert operatives.” But the document also highlights the belief that it is unlikely that Iraq has any intention to use these against the US. “… Baghdad for now appears to be drawing a line short of conducting terrorist attacks with conventional or CBW [Chemical/Biological Weapons] against the United States, fearing that exposure of Iraqi involvement would provide Washington with a stronger case for making war.” Iraq would probably only use such weapons against the United States if it “feared an attack that threatened the survival of the regime were imminent or unavoidable, or possibly for revenge.” [Central Intelligence Agency, 10/1/2002]
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles – Citing defectors and exiles, the NIE states that Iraq possesses unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) which can be used to deploy biological and chemical weapons. But the document includes a dissenting opinion by the Air Force’s National Air and Space Intelligence Center. The center, which controls most of the US military’s UAV fleet, says there is little evidence that Iraq’s drones are related to the country’s suspected biological weapons program. Current intelligence suggests that the drones are not capable of carrying much more than a camera and a video recorder. The Air Force believes that Iraq’s unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are for reconnaissance, like its counterparts in the US. The dissenting opinion reads: “… The Director, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance, US Air Force, does not agree that Iraq is developing UAVs primarily intended to be delivery platforms for chemical and biological warfare (CBW) agents. The small size of Iraq’s new UAV strongly suggests a primary role of reconnaissance, although CBW delivery is an inherent capability.” [Associated Press, 8/24/2003; Washington Post, 9/26/2003; Knight Ridder, 2/10/2004] Bob Boyd, director of the Air Force Intelligence Analysis Agency, will tell reporters in August 2003 that his department thought the allegation in the NIE “was a little odd,” noting that Air Force assessments “all along” had said that reconnaissance, not weapons delivery, was the purpose of Iraq’s drones. “Everything we discovered strengthened our conviction that the UAVs were to be used for reconnaissance,” he will explain. “What we were thinking was: Why would you purposefully design a vehicle to be an inefficient delivery means? Wouldn’t it make more sense that they were purposefully designing it to be a decent reconnaissance UAV?” [Associated Press, 8/24/2003; Washington Post, 9/26/2003] The NIE also says that Iraq is attempting to obtain commercially available route-planning software that contains topographic data of the United States. According to the NIE, this data could facilitate targeting of US sites. But Air Force analysts were not convinced by the argument, noting that this sort of information could easily be retrieved from the Internet and other highly accessible sources. “We saw nothing sinister about the inclusion of the US maps in route-planning software,” Boyd will tell reporters. [Washington Post, 9/26/2003] Analysts at the Pentagon’s Missile Defense Agency are said to back the Air Force’s National Air and Space Intelligence Center’s position. [Associated Press, 8/24/2003]
Appendices – Most of the caveats and dissents in the NIE are relegated to a variety of appendices at the end of the document. [Unger, 2007, pp. 266]
Aftermath – After the completion of the National Intelligence Estimate, the Bush administration will continue to make allegations concerning Iraq’s weapons capabilities and ties to militant Islamic groups, but will include none of the qualifications and nuances that are present in the classified NIE. After excerpts from the classified version of the NIE are published in the press in July of 2003 (see 3:09 p.m. July 11, 2003), administration officials will claim that neither Bush, Rice, nor other top officials were informed about the alternative views expressed by the DOE, INR, and the Air Force intelligence agency. They will also assert that the dissenting views did not significantly undermine the overall conclusion of the NIE that Iraq was continuing its banned weapons program despite UN resolutions. [Washington Post, 7/19/2003; New York Times, 7/19/2003; Washington Post, 7/27/2003] But this claim is later disputed in an article by the Washington Post, which reports: “One person who has worked with Rice describes as ‘inconceivable’ the claims that she was not more actively involved. Indeed, subsequent to the July 18 briefing, another senior administration official said Rice had been briefed immediately on the NIE—including the doubts about Iraq’s nuclear program—and had ‘skimmed’ the document. The official said that within a couple of weeks, Rice ‘read it all.’” [Washington Post, 7/27/2003] The official’s account, will in fact be confirmed by Rice herself, who reportedly tells Gwen Ifill at the National Association of Black Journalists Convention in Dallas on August 7, 2003: “I did read everything that the CIA produced for the president on weapons of mass destruction. I read the National Intelligence Estimate cover to cover a couple of times. I read the reports; I was briefed on the reports. This is—after 20 years, as somebody who has read a lot of intelligence reports—this is one of the strongest cases about weapons of mass destruction that I had ever read.” [Daily Howler, 8/11/2003]
Conclusions ‚Overstated‘ – George Bush is also provided with a summary of the NIE’s dissenting views. According to the Robb-Silberman report, released in early 2005, the president’s summary of the NIE notes that “INR and DOE believe that the tubes more likely are intended for conventional weapon uses.” [The Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction (aka ‚Robb-Silberman Commission‘), 3/31/2005] Additionally, senior CIA analyst Stuart Cohen, the acting chairman of the National Intelligence Council at this time, who helped write the document, will tell the Agence France-Presse, “Any reader would have had to read only as far as the second paragraph of the Key Judgments to know that as we said, ‘we lacked specific information on many key aspects of Iraq’s WMD program.’” The Key Judgments section is also where INR’s detailed dissent on the aluminum tubes allegation was located. [Agence France-Presse, 11/30/2003] A Senate Intelligence Committee investigation will determine in July 2004 that “most of the major key judgments in the Intelligence Community’s October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), Iraq’s Continuing Programs for Weapons of Mass Destruction, either overstated, or were not supported by, the underlying intelligence reporting.” [US Congress, 7/7/2004, pp. 59] And in 2006, one of the report’s authors, CIA senior analyst Paul Pillar, will admit the NIE had been written with the intent of “strengthen[ing] the case of going to war with the American public.” [PBS Frontline, 6/20/2006]
NIE ‚Distorted‘ Due to Political Pressures, Author Claims – In 2007, author Craig Unger will write, “At the time, to virtually everyone in Congress, the NIE was still sacrosanct. It was still the last word in American intelligence. Yet it had been distorted thanks to political pressures from the neocons and the White House. If one took it seriously, the Niger documents were real. Curveball had credibility. And the aluminum tubes were part of Saddam’s nuclear program. Only one conclusion could be drawn: Saddam Hussein post an extraordinarily grave threat.” [Unger, 2007, pp. 266]
Iraqi bomb allegedly containing botulism toxin. [Source: CIA]President Bush gives his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress, making several false allegations about Iraq. [US President, 2/3/2003] An empty seat is left open to symbolize the lives lost during the 9/11 attacks. Author Craig Unger will later characterize Bush’s delivery as somber and effective. He will be interrupted some 70 times by thunderous applause from the assembled lawmakers in the House chambers. One of his biggest applause lines is his statement about the US’s war on “international terrorism:” “The war goes on, and we are winning.” [Unger, 2007, pp. 269-270]
African Uranium – He says: “The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa. Saddam Hussein has not credibly explained these activities.… He clearly has much to hide.” [US President, 2/3/2003; White House, 4/18/2003; Independent, 6/5/2003] The British allegation cited by Bush concerns a SISMI (Italy’s military intelligence) report (see Mid-October 2001) based on a set of forged documents. Months after the speech, with evidence mounting that the statement was completely false, the administration will retract this claim (see 3:09 p.m. July 11, 2003).
Aluminum Tubes – Bush alleges that a shipment of aluminum tubes imported by Iraq was intended to be used in the country’s alleged nuclear weapons program. “Our intelligence sources tell us that he has attempted to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes suitable for nuclear weapons production. Saddam Hussein has not credibly explained these activities. He clearly has much to hide.” [US President, 2/3/2003]
Biological Agents – Bush lists a parade of agents: “anthrax, botulinum toxin, Ebola, and plague,” many of which Iraq has never been accused of possessing, and warns against “outlaw regimes that seek and possess nuclear, chemical, and builogical weapons… blackmail, terror, and mass murder.” He then moves from the general to the specific, accusing Iraq of having enough material “to produce over 25,000 liters of anthrax—enough doses to kill several million people… more than 38,000 liters of botulinum toxin—enough to subject millions of people to death by respiratory failure… as much as 500 tons of sarin, mustard and VX nerve agent.” [US President, 2/3/2003; Unger, 2007, pp. 270-271]
False Testimony from Iraqi Scientists – Bush alleges: “Iraqi intelligence officers are posing as the scientists inspectors are supposed to interview. Real scientists have been coached by Iraqi officials on what to say.” [US President, 2/3/2003] But Hans Blix, the chief UNMOVIC weapons inspector, tells the New York Times in an interview that he knows of no evidence supporting this claim. [New York Times, 1/31/2003]
Defector Allegations – Bush, citing intelligence provided by “three Iraqi defectors,” says, “We know that Iraq, in the late 1990s, had several mobile weapons labs… designed to produce germ warfare agents and can be moved from place to a place to evade inspectors.” One of the defectors referred to by Bush is ‘Curveball,’ whom the CIA station chief in Germany warned was not reliable the day before (see January 27, 2003). German intelligence officials watching Bush’s speech are “shocked.” One official later recalls: “Mein Gott! We had always told them it was not proven.… It was not hard intelligence.” [Los Angeles Times, 11/20/2005] Another source for the claim was Mohammad Harith, whom the Defense Intelligence Agency had labeled a “fabricator” the previous May (see May 2002).
Torture, Murder, and 9/11 – Bush accuses Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein of routinely torturing his own people, using such techniques as “electric shock, burning with hot irons, dripping acid on the skin, mutilation with electric drills, cutting out tongues, and rape.” He then connects Hussein, the torturer, murderer, and terrorist supporter, to the 9/11 attacks, saying: “[I]magine those 19 hijackers with other weapons and other plans—this time armed by Saddam Hussein. It would take one vial, one canister, one crate slipped into this country to bring a day of horror like none we have ever known.” He invites “all free nations” to join him in ensuring no such attack ever happens, but notes that “the course of this nation does not depend on the decisions of others.” After another long burst of applause, Bush continues, “Whatever action is required, whatever action is necessary, I will defend the freedom and security of the American people.” [Unger, 2007, pp. 270-271]
‚Direct Personal Threat‘ – Bush states what former ambassador Joseph Wilson later writes can only be interpreted by Hussein “as a direct personal threat,” saying: “Tonight I have a message for the brave and oppressed people of Iraq: Your enemy is not surrounding your country, your enemy is ruling your country. And the day he and his regime are removed from power will be the day of your liberation.” Wilson will later write: “Not simply promising the disarmament of Iraq as he had in his recent speeches, the president now stated outright his intention to rout Saddam from power, and to kill or capture him. It was an unwise thing to say. It made whatever strategy we adopted for Iraq that much more dangerous because it so blatantly telegraphed our next move and our ultimate goal.” [US President, 2/3/2003; Wilson, 2004, pp. 315]
Defending America – To America’s soldiers, he says: “Many of you are assembling in or near the Middle East, and some crucial hours lay ahead. In these hours, the success of our cause will depend on you. Your training has prepared you. Your honor will guide you. You believe in America, and America believes in you.” In 2007, Unger will write: “A few years earlier, Bush had confided that he thought to be a great president meant being a great commander in chief. Now George W. Bush was leading his nation into war.” [Unger, 2007, pp. 270-271]
Colin Powell and George Tenet, at the UN presentation. [Source: CBS News]US Secretary of State Colin Powell presents the Bush administration’s case against Saddam to the UN Security Council, in advance of an expected vote on a second resolution that the US and Britain hope will provide the justification to use military force against Iraq. [US Department of State, 2/5/2003] At the insistence of Powell, CIA Director George Tenet is seated directly behind him to the right. “It was theater, a device to signal to the world that Powell was relying on the CIA to make his case that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction,” Vanity Fair magazine will later explain. [Bamford, 2004, pp. 371-2; Vanity Fair, 5/2004, pp. 232] In his speech before the Council, Powell makes the case that Iraq is in further material breach of past UN resolutions, specifically the most recent one, UN Resolution 1441 (see November 8, 2002). Sources cited in Powell’s presentation include defectors, informants, communication intercepts, procurement records, photographs, and detainees. [US Department of State, 2/5/2003] Most of the allegations made by Powell are later demonstrated to be false. “The defectors and other sources went unidentified,” the Associated Press will later report. “The audiotapes were uncorroborated, as were the photo interpretations. No other supporting documents were presented. Little was independently verifiable.” [Associated Press, 8/9/2003]
Iraq’s December 7 Declaration Was Inaccurate – Powell contends that Iraq’s December 7 declaration was not complete. According to UN Resolution 1441 the document was supposed to be a “currently accurate, full and complete declaration of all aspects” of its programs to develop weapons of mass destruction. But Saddam has not done this, says Powell, who explains that Iraq has yet to provide sufficient evidence that it destroyed its previously declared stock of 8,500 liters of anthrax, as it claimed in the declaration. Furthermore, notes the secretary of state, UNSCOM inspectors had previously estimated that Iraq possessed the raw materials to produce as much as 25,000 liters of the virus. [New York Times, 2/5/2003; US Department of State, 2/5/2003; Washington Post, 2/6/2003]
Iraq Has Ties to Al-Qaeda – Powell repeats earlier claims that Saddam Hussein’s government has ties to al-Qaeda. Powell focuses on the cases of the militant Islamic group Ansar-al-Islam and Abu Musab Zarqawi, a Jordanian-born Palestinian, who had received medical treatment in Baghdad during the summer of 2002 (see December 2001-Mid-2002). [US Department of State, 2/5/2003] However, just days before Powell’s speech, US and British intelligence officials—speaking on condition of anonymity—told the press that the administration’s allegations of Iraqi-al-Qaeda ties were based on information provided by Kurdish groups, who, as enemies of Ansar-al-Islam, should not be considered reliable. Furthermore, these sources unequivocally stated that intelligence analysts on both sides of the Atlantic remained unconvinced of the purported links between Iraq and al-Qaeda (see February 3-4, 2003). [Independent, 2/3/2003; Daily Telegraph, 2/4/2003] Powell also claims that Iraq provided “chemical or biological weapons training for two al-Qaeda associates beginning in December 2000.” The claim is based on a September 2002 CIA document which had warned that its sources were of “varying reliability” and that the claim was not substantiated (see September 2002). The report’s main source, Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, an al-Qaeda operative who offered the information to CIA interrogators while in custody, later recounts the claim (see February 14, 2004). [CNN, 9/26/2002; New York Times, 7/31/2004; Newsweek, 7/5/2005] Larry Wilkerson, Powell’s chief of staff, will later say that neither he nor Powell ever received “any dissent with respect to those lines… indeed the entire section that now we know came from [al-Libi].” [Newsweek, 11/10/2005] Senior US officials will admit to the New York Times and Washington Post after the presentation that the administration was not claiming that Saddam Hussein is “exercising operational control” of al-Qaeda. [New York Times, 2/6/2003; Washington Post, 2/7/2003]
Iraq Has Missiles Capable of Flying Up to 1,200 Kilometers – Describing a photo of the al-Rafah weapons site, Powell says: “As part of this effort, another little piece of evidence, Iraq has built an engine test stand that is larger than anything it has ever had. Notice the dramatic difference in size between the test stand on the left, the old one, and the new one on the right. Note the large exhaust vent. This is where the flame from the engine comes out. The exhaust vent on the right test stand is five times longer than the one on the left. The one of the left is used for short-range missiles. The one on the right is clearly intended for long-range missiles that can fly 1,200 kilometers. This photograph was taken in April of 2002. Since then, the test stand has been finished and a roof has been put over it so it will be harder for satellites to see what’s going on underneath the test stand.” [US Department of State, 2/5/2003; New York Times, 2/5/2003] But according to the Associated Press, “… UN missile experts have reported inspecting al-Rafah at least five times since inspections resumed Nov. 27, have studied the specifications of the new test stand, regularly monitor tests at the installation, and thus far have reported no concerns.” [Associated Press, 2/7/2003] Similarly, Reuters quotes Ali Jassem, an Iraqi official, who explains that the large stand referred to in Powell’s speech is not yet in operation and that its larger size is due to the fact that it will be testing engines horizontally. [Reuters, 2/7/2003; Guardian, 2/15/2003] Several days later, Blix will report to the UN that “so far, the test stand has not been associated with a proscribed activity.” [Guardian, 2/15/2003]
Iraqis Attempted to Hide Evidence from Inspectors – Powell shows the UN Security Council satellite shots depicting what he claims are chemical weapons bunkers and convoys of Iraqi cargo trucks preparing to transport ballistic missile components from a weapons site just two days before the arrival of inspectors. “We saw this kind of housecleaning at close to 30 sites,” Powell explains. “We must ask ourselves: Why would Iraq suddenly move equipment of this nature before inspections if they were anxious to demonstrate what they had or did not have?” [US Department of State, 2/5/2003] But the photos are interpreted differently by others. An unnamed UN official and German UN Inspector Peter Franck both say the trucks in the photos are actually fire engines. [Mercury News (San Jose), 3/18/2003; Agence France-Presse, 6/6/2003]
‚Literally Removed the Crust of the Earth‘ – Another series of photos—taken during the spring and summer of 2002—show that Iraqis have removed a layer of topsoil from the al-Musayyib chemical complex. This piece of evidence, combined with information provided by an unnamed source, leads Powell to draw the following conclusion: “The Iraqis literally removed the crust of the earth from large portions of this site in order to conceal chemical weapons evidence that would be there from years of chemical weapons activity.” [US Department of State, 2/5/2003; Washington Post, 2/6/2003] Showing another series of pictures—one taken on November 10 (before inspections) and one taken on December 22—Powell says that a guard station and decontamination truck were removed prior to the arrival of inspectors. Powell does not explain how he knows that the truck in the photograph was a decontamination truck. [US Department of State, 2/5/2003; Washington Post, 2/6/2003; Washington Post, 2/6/2003] AP reporter Charles Hanley says that some of Powell’s claims that Iraq is hiding evidence are “ridiculous.” Powell says of a missile site, “This photograph was taken in April of 2002. Since then, the test stand has been finished and a roof has been put over it so it will be harder for satellites to see what’s going on underneath the test stand.” Hanley later says, “What he neglected to mention was that the inspectors were underneath, watching what was going on.” [PBS, 4/25/2007]
Communication Intercepts Demonstrate Iraqi Attempts to Conceal Information from Inspectors – Powell plays recordings of three conversations intercepted by US intelligence—one on November 26, another on January 30, and a third, a “few weeks” before. The conversations suggest that the Iraqis were attempting to hide evidence from inspectors. [New York Times, 2/5/2003; US Department of State, 2/5/2003; London Times, 2/6/2003; Sydney Morning Herald, 2/7/2003] Senior administration officials concede to the Washington Post that it was not known “what military items were discussed in the intercepts.” [Washington Post, 2/13/2003] Some critics argue that the intercepts were presented out of context and open to interpretation. [Sydney Morning Herald, 2/7/2003; Sydney Morning Herald, 2/9/2003] Others note that the conversations were translated from Arabic by US translators and were not analyzed or verified by an independent specialist. [Newsday, 2/6/2003]
Biological Weapons Factories – Colin Powell says that US intelligence has “firsthand descriptions” that Iraq has 18 mobile biological weapons factories mounted on trucks and railroad cars. Information about the mobile weapons labs are based on the testimonies of four sources—a defected Iraqi chemical engineer who claims to have supervised one of these facilities, an Iraqi civil engineer (see December 20, 2001), a source in “a position to know,” and a defected Iraqi major (see February 11, 2002). Powell says that the mobile units are capable of producing enough dry biological agent in a single month to kill several thousand people. He shows computer-generated diagrams and pictures based on the sources’ descriptions of the facilities. Powell says that according to the chemical engineer, during the late 1990s, Iraq’s biological weapons scientists would often begin the production of pathogens on Thursday nights and complete the process on Fridays in order to evade UNSCOM inspectors whom Iraq believed would not conduct inspections on the Muslim holy day. [New York Times, 2/5/2003; US Department of State, 2/5/2003; Washington Post, 2/6/2003; Reuters, 2/11/2003] Powell tells the delegates, “The source was an eyewitness, an Iraqi chemical engineer, who supervised one of these facilities. He actually was present during biological agent production runs. He was also at the site when an accident occurred in 1998. Twelve technicians died from exposure to biological agents.” He displays models of the mobile trucks drawn from the source’s statements. [CBS News, 11/4/2007] Responding to the allegation, Iraqi officials will concede that they do in fact have mobile labs, but insist that they are not used for the development of weapons. According to the Iraqis, the mobile labs are used for food analysis for disease outbreaks, mobile field hospitals, a military field bakery, food and medicine refrigeration trucks, a mobile military morgue and mobile ice making trucks. [Guardian, 2/5/2003; ABC News, 5/21/2003] Iraq’s explanation is consistent with earlier assessments of the UN weapons inspectors. Before Powell’s presentation, Hans Blix had dismissed suggestions that the Iraqis were using mobile biological weapons labs, reporting that inspections of two alleged mobile labs had turned up nothing. “Two food-testing trucks have been inspected and nothing has been found,” Blix said. And Ewen Buchanan, spokesman for the UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission, said, “The outline and characteristics of these trucks that we inspected were all consistent with the declared purposes.” [Guardian, 2/5/2003; ABC News, 5/21/2003]
‚Curveball‘ Primary Source of Claims – Powell’s case is further damaged when it is later learned that one of the sources Powell cited, the Iraqi major, had been earlier judged unreliable by intelligence agents at the Defense Intelligence Agency (see February 11, 2002). In May 2002, the analysts had issued a “fabricator notice” on the informant, noting that he had been “coached by [the] Iraqi National Congress” (INC) (see May 2002). But the main source for the claim had been an Iraqi defector known as “Curveball,” who was initially believed to be the brother of a top aide to Ahmed Chalabi. The source claimed to be a chemical engineer who had helped design and build the mobile labs. His information was passed to Washington through Germany’s intelligence service, the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), which had been introduced to the source by the INC. In passing along the information, the BND noted that there were “various problems with the source.” And only one member of the US intelligence community had actually met with the person—an unnamed Pentagon analyst who determined the man was an alcoholic and of dubious reliability. Yet both the DIA and the CIA validated the information. [Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, 8/22/2003; Los Angeles Times, 3/28/2004; Knight Ridder, 4/4/2004; Newsweek, 4/19/2004; Newsweek, 7/19/2004] Powell says that the US has three other intelligence sources besides Curveball for the mobile bioweapons labs. Powell will be infuriated to learn that none of those three sources ever corroborated Curveball’s story, and sometimes their information contradicted each other. One of the three had failed a polygraph test and was determined to have lied to his debriefers. Another had already been declared a fabricator by US intelligence community, and had been proven to have mined his information off the Internet. [Buzzflash (.com), 11/27/2007] In November 2007, Curveball is identified as Rafid Ahmed Alwan. Serious questions about Curveball’s veracity had already been raised by the time of Powell’s UN presentation. He will later be completely discredited (see November 4, 2007).
Further Problems with Mobile Lab Claims – In addition to the inspectors’ assessments and the dubious nature of the sources Powell cited, there are numerous other problems with the mobile factories claim. Raymond Zilinskas, a microbiologist and former UN weapons inspector, argues that significant amounts of pathogens such as anthrax, could not be produced in the short span of time suggested in Powell’s speech. “You normally would require 36 to 48 hours just to do the fermentation…. The short processing time seems suspicious to me.” He also says: “The only reason you would have mobile labs is to avoid inspectors, because everything about them is difficult. We know it is possible to build them—the United States developed mobile production plants, including one designed for an airplane—but it’s a big hassle. That’s why this strikes me as a bit far-fetched.” [Washington Post, 2/6/2003] After Powell’s speech, Blix will say in his March 7 report to the UN that his inspectors found no evidence of mobile weapons labs (see March 7, 2003). [CNN, 3/7/2003; Agence France-Presse, 3/7/2003; CNN, 3/7/2003] Reporter Bob Drogin, author of Curveball: Spies, Lies and the Con Man Who Caused a War, says in 2007, “[B]y the time Colin Powell goes to the UN to make the case for war, he shows the world artists’ conjectures based on analysts’ interpretations and extrapolations of Arabic-to-German-to-English translations of summary debriefing reports of interviews with a manic-depressive defector whom the Americans had never met. [CIA director George] Tenet told Powell that Curveball’s information was ironclad and unassailable. It was a travesty.” [Alternet, 10/22/2007]
‚Four Tons‘ of VX Toxin – Powell also claims that Iraq has “four tons” of VX nerve toxin. “A single drop of VX on the skin will kill in minutes,” he says. “Four tons.” Hanley later notes, “He didn’t point out that most of that had already been destroyed. And, on point after point he failed to point out that these facilities about which he was raising such alarm were under repeated inspections good, expert people with very good equipment, and who were leaving behind cameras and other monitoring equipment to keep us a continuing eye on it.” [PBS, 4/25/2007]
Iraq is Developing Unmanned Drones Capable of Delivering Weapons of Mass Destruction – Powell asserts that Iraq has flight-tested an unmanned drone capable of flying up to 310 miles and is working on a liquid-fueled ballistic missile with a range of 745 miles. He plays a video of an Iraqi F-1 Mirage jet dispersing “simulated anthrax.” [US Department of State, 2/5/2003; New York Times, 2/5/2003; Washington Post, 2/6/2003] But the Associated Press will later report that the video was made prior to the 1991 Gulf War. Apparently, three of the four spray tanks shown in the film had been destroyed during the 1991 military intervention. [Associated Press, 8/9/2003]
Imported Aluminum Tubes were Meant for Centrifuge – Powell argues that the aluminum tubes which Iraq had attempted to import in July 2001 (see July 2001) were meant to be used in a nuclear weapons program and not for artillery rockets as experts from the US Energy Department, the INR, and the IAEA have been arguing (see February 3, 2003) (see January 11, 2003) (see August 17, 2001) (see January 27, 2003). To support the administration’s case, he cites unusually precise specifications and high tolerances for heat and stress. “It strikes me as quite odd that these tubes are manufactured to a tolerance that far exceeds US requirements for comparable rockets,” he says. “Maybe Iraqis just manufacture their conventional weapons to a higher standard than we do, but I don’t think so.” Powell also suggests that because the tubes were “anodized,” it was unlikely that they had been designed for conventional use. [US Department of State, 2/5/2003; Washington Post, 2/5/2003; Washington Post, 3/8/2003] Powell does not mention that numerous US nuclear scientists have dismissed this claim (see August 17, 2001) (see September 23, 2002) (see December 2002). [Albright, 10/9/2003] Powell also fails to say that Iraq has rockets identical to the Italian Medusa 81 mm rockets, which are of the same dimensions and made of the same alloy as the 3,000 tubes that were intercepted in July 2001 (see After January 22, 2003). [Washington Post, 8/10/2003] This had been reported just two weeks earlier by the Washington Post. [Washington Post, 1/24/2003] Moreover, just two days before, Powell was explicitly warned by the US State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research not to cite the aluminum tubes as evidence that Iraq is pursuing nuclear weapons (see February 3, 2003). [Financial Times, 7/29/2003]
Iraq Attempted to Acquire Magnets for Use in a Gas Centrifuge Program – Powell says: “We… have intelligence from multiple sources that Iraq is attempting to acquire magnets and high-speed balancing machines. Both items can be used in a gas centrifuge program to enrich uranium. In 1999 and 2000, Iraqi officials negotiated with firms in Romania, India, Russia and Slovenia for the purchase of a magnet production plant. Iraq wanted the plant to produce magnets weighing 20 to 30 grams. That’s the same weight as the magnets used in Iraq’s gas centrifuge program before the Gulf War.” [US Department of State, 2/5/2003; New York Times, 2/6/2003] Investigation by the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency [IAEA] will demonstrate that the magnets have a dual use. IAEA Director Mohamed ElBaradei said a little more than a week before, on January 27, in his report to the Security Council: “Iraq presented detailed information on a project to construct a facility to produce magnets for the Iraqi missile program, as well as for industrial applications, and that Iraq had prepared a solicitation of offers, but that the project had been delayed due to ‘financial credit arrangements.’ Preliminary investigations indicate that the specifications contained in the offer solicitation are consistent with those required for the declared intended uses. However, the IAEA will continue to investigate the matter….” (see January 27, 2003) [Annan, 1/27/2003 ] On March 7, ElBaradei will provide an additional update: “The IAEA has verified that previously acquired magnets have been used for missile guidance systems, industrial machinery, electricity meters and field telephones. Through visits to research and production sites, reviews of engineering drawings and analyses of sample magnets, IAEA experts familiar with the use of such magnets in centrifuge enrichment have verified that none of the magnets that Iraq has declared could be used directly for a centrifuge magnetic bearing.” (see March 7, 2003) [CNN, 3/7/2003]
Iraq Attempted to Purchase Machines to Balance Centrifuge Rotors – Powell states: “Intercepted communications from mid-2000 through last summer show that Iraq front companies sought to buy machines that can be used to balance gas centrifuge rotors. One of these companies also had been involved in a failed effort in 2001 to smuggle aluminum tubes into Iraq.” [US Department of State, 2/5/2003; New York Times, 2/6/2003]
Powell Cites Documents Removed from Home of Iraqi Scientist Faleh Hassan – Powell cites the documents that had been found on January 16, 2003 by inspectors with the help of US intelligence at the Baghdad home of Faleh Hassan, a nuclear scientist. Powell asserts that the papers are a “dramatic confirmation” that Saddam Hussein is concealing evidence and not cooperating with the inspections. The 3,000 documents contained information relating to the laser enrichment of uranium (see January 16, 2003). [Daily Telegraph, 1/18/2003; Associated Press, 1/18/2003; BBC, 1/19/2003; US Department of State, 2/5/2003] A little more than a week later, in the inspectors’ February 14 update to the UN Security Council (see February 14, 2003), ElBaradei will say, “While the documents have provided some additional details about Iraq’s laser enrichment development efforts, they refer to activities or sites already known to the IAEA and appear to be the personal files of the scientist in whose home they were found. Nothing contained in the documents alters the conclusions previously drawn by the IAEA concerning the extent of Iraq’s laser enrichment program.” [Guardian, 2/15/2003; BBC, 2/17/2003; Associated Press, 8/9/2003]
Iraq is Hiding Missiles in the Desert – Powell says that according to unidentified sources, the Iraqis have hidden rocket launchers and warheads containing biological weapons in the western desert. He further contends that these caches of weapons are hidden in palm groves and moved to different locations on a weekly basis. [US Department of State, 2/5/2003] It will later be suggested that this claim was “lifted whole from an Iraqi general’s written account of hiding missiles in the 1991 war.” [Associated Press, 8/9/2003]
Iraq Has Scud Missiles – Powell also says that according to unnamed “intelligence sources,” Iraq has a few dozen Scud-type missiles. [Associated Press, 8/9/2003]
Iraq Has Weapons of Mass Destruction – Secretary of State Colin Powell states unequivocally: “We… have satellite photos that indicate that banned materials have recently been moved from a number of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction facilities. There can be no doubt that Saddam Hussein has biological weapons and the capability to rapidly produce more, many more.” Elsewhere in his speech he says: “We know that Saddam Hussein is determined to keep his weapons of mass destruction, is determined to make more.” [US Department of State, 2/5/2003; CNN, 2/5/2003]
Governments, Media Reaction Mixed – Powell’s speech will fail to convince many skeptical governments, nor will it impress many in the European media. But it will have a tremendous impact in the US media (see February 5, 2003 and After).
Wenn kriminelle Idioten und Geschäftemacher die Welt regieren.
„Ich schätze persönliche Diplomatie und lege viel Wert auf Vertrauen“, schreibt Bush – und fährt mit Blick auf Schröder fort: „Als dieses Vertrauen verletzt wurde, war es schwierig, noch einmal eine konstruktive Beziehung zu unterhalten.“
Bush schreibt in seinem Buch, Schröder habe ihm bei einem Treffen im kleinen Kreis im Weißen Haus am 31. Januar 2002 die volle Unterstützung für die Irak-Politik zugesagt. Er selbst habe dem Kanzler bei dem Gespräch klar gemacht, dass er als letzte Option auch mit militärischer Gewalt gegen Iraks Machthaber Saddam Hussein vorgehen würde.
Schröder habe daraufhin geantwortet: „Was für Afghanistan richtig ist, ist auch für den Irak richtig. Nationen, die den Terrorismus unterstützen, müssen mit Konsequenzen rechnen. Wenn Sie es schnell und entschieden erledigen, dann bin ich mit Ihnen.“ Bush fährt fort: „Dies habe ich als Erklärung der Unterstützung aufgenommen.“
„Ich war schockiert und wütend“
Bush wirft dem damaligen Kanzler vor, einige Monate später im deutschen Bundestagswahlkampf von der Zusage abgerückt zu sein. „Als die Wahlen in Deutschland bevorstanden, hatte Schröder plötzlich einen anderen Dreh“, schreibt Bush. Schröder habe öffentlich gegen eine Invasion im Irak mobil gemacht.
Besonders beleidigend seien Äußerungen der damaligen Bundesjustizministerin Herta Däubler-Gmelin (SPD) gewesen, die Bush im Wahlkampf in die Nähe von Hitler gerückt hatte. „Ich war schockiert und wütend“, erinnert sich Bush. „Man kann sich kaum etwas Beleidigenderes vorstellen, als von einem deutschen Regierungsvertreter mit Hitler verglichen zu werden.“ Danach habe er seine Kontakte zu Schröder auf das Nötigste reduziert.
Der frühere US-Präsident wirft Schröder außerdem vor, gemeinsam mit dem damaligen französischen Staatschef Jacques Chirac und Russlands Präsident Wladimir Putin eine Achse gebildet zu haben, „um dem Einfluss Amerikas entgegenzuwirken“. Als Gegenleistung hätten Schröder und Chirac dann Putins zunehmend autoritäre Machtausübung verteidigt.
Der Verbrecher und Hitler Nachfolger Bush, verheimlichte Gerhard Schröder von Beginn das er den Irak Krieg plante. Das war wie bei dem inzenierten Kosovo Krieg, eine klare Täuschung, welche bekanntlich über 100.000 tode Zivilisten zur Folge hatte. Man kann deshalb Bush, als Hitler Nachfolger auch bezeichnen. Das war durchaus über Geheimdienste und auch aus Kuvait und dem Balkan, bereits im Mai 2002 bekannt. siehe auch www.globalresearch.ca, wo frühzeitig die Kriegs Pläne veröffentlicht wurden. Antreiber, waren Berufs Verbrecher, wie Henry Kissinger, Richard Perle, Wolfowitz, Cheney, besser bekannt als NeoCons und identische Personen, welche schon 1998, den Irak Krieg planten, aber dann als Ersatz von Bill Clinton im August 1998, den Kosovo Krieg geschenckt bekommen hatten. Es ging immer nur um Geschäfte, und nie um etwas Anderes, bei dieser Verbrecher Bande.
Washington, D.C., September 22, 2010 – Following instructions from President George W. Bush to develop an updated war plan for Iraq, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld ordered CENTCOM Commander Gen. Tommy Franks in November 2001 to initiate planning for the “decapitation” of the Iraqi government and the empowerment of a “Provisional Government” to take its place.
Washington, D.C., September 22, 2010 – Following instructions from President George W. Bush to develop an updated war plan for Iraq, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld ordered CENTCOM Commander Gen. Tommy Franks in November 2001 to initiate planning for the “decapitation” of the Iraqi government and the empowerment of a “Provisional Government” to take its place.
Talking points for the Rumsfeld-Franks meeting on November 27, 2001, released through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), confirm that policy makers were already looking for ways to justify invading Iraq – as indicated by Rumsfeld’s first point, “Focus on WMD.”
This document shows that Pentagon policy makers cited early U.S. experience in Afghanistan to justify planning for Iraq’s post-invasion governance in order to achieve their strategic objectives: “Unlike in Afghanistan, important to have ideas in advance about who would rule afterwards.”
Rumsfeld’s notes were prepared in close consultation with senior DOD officials Paul Wolfowitz and Douglas Feith. Among other insights, the materials posted today by the National Security Archive shed light on the intense focus on Iraq by high-level Bush administration officials long before the attacks of 9/11, and Washington’s confidence in perception management as a successful strategy for overcoming public and allied resistance to its plans.
This compilation further shows:
- The preliminary strategy Rumsfeld imparted to Franks while directing him to develop a new war plan for Iraq
- Secretary of State Powell’s awareness, three days into a new administration, that Iraq “regime change” would be a principal focus of the Bush presidency
- Administration determination to exploit the perceived propaganda value of intercepted aluminum tubes – falsely identified as nuclear related – before completion of even a preliminary determination of their end use
- The difficulty of winning European support for attacking Iraq (except that of British Prime Minister Tony Blair) without real evidence that Baghdad was implicated in 9/11
- The State Department’s analytical unit observing that a decision by Tony Blair to join a U.S. war on Iraq “could bring a radicalization of British Muslims, the great majority of whom opposed the September 11 attacks but are increasingly restive about what they see as an anti-Islamic campaign”
- Pentagon interest in the perception of an Iraq invasion as a “just war” and State Department insights into the improbability of that outcome
Rumsfeld’s instructions to Franks included the establishment and funding of a provisional government as a significant element of U.S. invasion strategy. In the end the Pentagon changed course and instead ruled post-invasion Iraq directly, first through the short-lived Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance and then through Paul Bremer and the Coalition Provisional Authority.
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Notes used by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to brief Central Command chief Tommy Franks during a November 2001 meeting in Tampa to discuss a new plan for war with Iraq.
REVISITING THE DECISION TO GO TO WAR IN IRAQ It is to be expected that national intelligence services will sometimes fail to identify and discover a threat to the nation in a timely fashion. But when intelligence warns of a threat that isn’t really there, and then nations go to war to meet the phantom threat — that is a serious, confounding and deeply disturbing problem. But in a nutshell, that is the story of the war in Iraq, in which the U.S. and its allies attacked Saddam Hussein’s Iraq because of the supposedly imminent threat posed by Saddam’s stockpile of weapons of mass destruction — a threat that proved illusory. A new book published in the United Kingdom called „Failing Intelligence“ provides a remarkable account of the British experience of how intelligence on the Iraqi WMD program was shaped and packaged to support the decision to go to war in Iraq. The book’s author, Brian Jones, was the chief specialist in weapons of mass destruction on the UK Defence Intelligence Staff. He was also a skeptic of the stronger claims made about the existence of Iraqi WMD stockpiles. The book documents his mostly unsuccessful attempts to register that skepticism, to moderate the extreme claims made by government officials, and later to hold those officials accountable for their actions. He provides a detailed first-hand account of how his efforts were consistently deflected in the rush to war, and how intelligence declined into propaganda. It’s a grim but instructive case study in the overlapping failure of intelligence gathering, intelligence production, and intelligence oversight. The National Security Archive has recently published three richly informative collections of declassified U.S. and British government documents on the lead-up to the Iraq war (including several key documents cited or relied upon by Brian Jones). „The more deeply the processes of creating the government reports on the alleged Iraqi threat are reconstructed — on both sides of the Atlantic — the more their products are revealed as explicitly aimed at building a basis for war,“ wrote John Prados of the National Security Archive and journalist Christopher Ames in an analysis of the documents. „In the light of a decision process in which no serious consideration was given to any course other than war, the question of whether American and British leaders set out to wage aggressive war has to be squarely faced,“ they wrote.
THE IRAQ WAR — PART I: The U.S. Prepares for Conflict, 2001
U.S. Sets „Decapitation of Government“ As Early Goal of Combat
Talking Points for Rumsfeld-Franks Meeting in November 2001 Outline Policy Makers’ Aims for the Conflict and Postwar Rule of Iraq
Declassified Documents Show Bush Administration Diverting Attention and Resources to Iraq Less than Two Months after Launch of Afghanistan War
National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 326
Posted – September 22, 2010
For more information contact:
Joyce Battle – 202/994-7000
THE IRAQ WAR — PART II: Was There Even a Decision?
U.S. and British Documents Give No Indication Alternatives Were Seriously Considered
National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 328
Edited by John Prados and Christopher Ames
Posted – October 1, 2010
For more information contact:
John Prados – 202/994-7000
THE IRAQ WAR — PART III: Shaping the Debate
U.S. and British Documents Show Transatlantic Propaganda Cooperation
Joint Drafting & Editing of White Papers “Fixed the Facts”
National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 330
Edited by John Prados and Christopher Ames
Posted – October 4, 2010
For more information contact:
John Prados – 202/994-7000