By: Sherrie Gossett*

Part 1: Beginnings

Author’s Note:

The debate over Iraq’s nuclear capabilities and whether or not they were a serious threat to the US, has polarized the world, and American politics. The central issue at stake is whether or not war on Iraq was justified and whether or not the American people were lied to. While biological and chemical weapons were also at issue, Bush administration officials presented the distinctly alarming specter of an imminent nuclear threat, which could arrive in the form of a "mushroom cloud" if America hesitated to take action.

Dr. Imad Khadduri was a top scientist involved in Iraq's nuclear program from 1968 until the end of 1998, when he was able to escape. He now serves as a network administrator in Toronto, Canada. This is his life story, and the story of what really happened inside the Iraqi nuclear program as told by Khadduri and other officials in interviews, and in the advance release of Khadduri’s memoirs, which will be available in American bookstores in December.


It was on a mild autumn evening in 1968 that Imad Khadduri first received the invitation that would change his life. Sitting in an open-air café near the Tigris River, Khadduri was absorbed in a game of backgammon, when Basil al-Qaisi, a close friend from high school, approached him. Basil had already heard that Khadduri recently returned from the United States where he had been studying nuclear physics. Basil sipped his tea then asked, "Why don’t you join us here at the Nuclear Research Center? Our friends are already working there, Jafar Dhia Jafar, Nazar Al Ouraishi and others."

Khadduri was intrigued: "I was not aware that the Russians had built a two Mega Watt research reactor at Tuwaitha, twenty kilometers east of Baghdad that went critical in 1965."


After taking a look at the research projects underway, Khadduri joined his former high school colleagues who were working with several International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) sponsored scientists in the group.

The Nuclear Research Center was headed by the Iraqi scientist Jafar Dhia Jafar who had finished his nuclear physics PhD in record time from the University of Birmingham, England just a few years earlier.

Ghazi Darwish, a prominent chemist, directed the meetings of the Nuclear Research Center (NRC), whose membership numbered around 120.

Khadduri recalls the meetings, which included scientific lectures and managerial planning, as having an atmosphere "fragrant with enthusiasm, drive and high hopes."

Early in the summer of 1969, after spending several months doing research, Khadduri decided it was time to complete his PhD.

He then planned to return to the United States to rejuvenate his doctoral work in nuclear physics, that he had dropped earlier in 1967. Khadduri had been studying at Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York.

A turn of events would mean that Khadduri would resume his studies in England instead.

Young scholar in Britain

During a London stopover, he headed to University of Birmingham to visit with friends, including Mohammed Mikdashi, a Lebanese friend with whom Khadduri had shared housing during his last years at the University of Michigan.

Mikdashi had followed his PhD supervisor’s transfer to the University of Birmingham and was working on completing his own thesis there.

"Why don’t you stay here at the University of Birmingham?" Mohammed suggested. "They have recently opened a new Masters of Science course in Nuclear Reactor Technology, and it does have reputable professors"

The next day, Khadduri met with Dr. T. Derek Beynon, lecturer in the Reactor Physics Group in the (then) Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Birmingham.

Dr. Beynon was particularly impressed with a letter of recommendation from Jafar Dhia Jafar that Khadduri was carrying in his coat pocket.

Beynon explained that Jafar had finished his PhD at the same Physics and Astronomy Department four years ago, and had made a lasting impression with his completion of a PhD thesis in minimum time. The subject? Strong nuclear interactions.

A year later, Jafar, who was at that time was the head of the Physics Department at the Nuclear Research Institute and a member of the top level Iraqi Atomic Energy Commission, was offered a job at the Physics Department at the University of Birmingham, by Professor Burcham, the Head of the Physics and Astronomy Department.

Jafar instead returned to Baghdad but left shortly thereafter to join an international research team of scientists embarking on a complex nuclear physics experiment at CERN, the European Center for Nuclear Research in Geneva, Switzerland.

Khadduri was quickly accepted into the University of Birmingham PhD program, his immediate supervisor being Malcolm Scott, the Senior Lecturer and Supervisor of the Masters of Science course in Reactor Physics and Technology.

Four Iraqi students were enrolled for the Reactor Technology Masters course in 1969: Tariq al-Hamami, Abdallah Kendoush, Riyadh Yahya Zaki and Khadduri, all on Iraqi government scholarships.

Khadduri wound up the sole choice of the university to continue on to a PhD, which he earned in December 1973.

Peaceful nuclear research

Khadduri then rejoined the Nuclear Research Center at Tuwaitha in the first week of January 1974.

On the same day, Khalid Said, a PhD physicist who had studied in the England, had also started his work there and was immediately assigned to be the head of the Nuclear Research Center, reportedly due to his prominent Ba’athist status.

Khadduri had severed his own party connection in 1962.

Muyasser al-Mallah, a fellow University of Michigan physicist, was by then head of the Iraqi Atomic Energy Commission.

Eager to focus on research rather than administration, Khadduri joined Mansoor Ammar and Muqdam Ali in the Reactor Department.

It was at a scientific conference later that year (1974) that Khadduri would discover the detectors he worked on in England could be used to locate subterranean uranium deposits.

He immediately proposed a project to search for uranium in Iraq.

Khalid Said approved, and provided Omran Mousa -a "faithful and devoted" driver, a vehicle, communication equipment, official papers, soldiers and finance.

A Bedouin guide later joined the entourage, as it ventured into more remote terrain.

Searching for uranium in the mountains


Khadduri began his search in the northeast mountains near the Iranian border, close to a Kurdish village called Hero.

"I would have 50 soldiers spread around in a circular formation, with me at the center, fanning along with me as I planted the [detectors]," he recalls. "The yellow uranium ore was even visible on the surface."

The group then headed south and spent several months in the barren desert of Jil, on the Iraqi-Saudi border Siroor Mirza, the head of the geology department at the Nuclear Research Institute, accompanied Khadduri’s entourage and provided detailed maps indicating possible uranium deposits in the middle of the desert.

Later, near the city of al-Qaim near the Syrian border Khadduri and company "struck it rich."

The results of preliminary tests indicated heavy uranium concentrations near an area called Akashat.

A city then arose around a phosphate production plant that was built there.

One of the plant’s buildings was for the extraction of uranium ore in the form of yellowcake.

"The extracted by-product would later be transported by rail north to the al-Jazeera nuclear site, near Mosul," Khadduri recalls.

There, a processing plant was located, which required yellowcake as feed material in order to produce pure nuclear grade uranium dioxide, which in turn was chlorinated to produce uranium tetrachloride.

This was the "feed material" for the "Baghdatrons" -a name derived from Calutron (which in turn derives from the contraction of CALifornia University cyclotRON).

The "Baghdatrons" were central parts of a machine process used primarily for production of Iraq’s weapon grade uranium 235.

Many months later, Khadduri returned to the Nuclear Research Center with his findings, which he summarized in a report titled, On the Use of Cellulose Nitrate Film in Uranium Exploration.

Jafar returns

At the urging of Khalid Said, Khadduri wrote a letter to Jafar Dhia Jafar, urging him to return to Iraq.

Jafar was still working in Switzerland with over a hundred nuclear scientists on the nuclear physics project being implemented at CERN, Geneva.

He agreed to quit his post at CERN, return to Iraq with his English wife Phyllis, and rejoin the Iraqi Atomic Energy Commission.

The first Iraqi International Conference on the Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy was held in Baghdad in the spring of 1975, under the coordination of Hamid Auda, a nuclear biologist.

Khadduri, who was in charge of the reactor technology sector, oversaw the evaluation of the submitted papers and allotted the time for them.

His attention was immediately drawn to Yehya al-Meshad, Egyptian nuclear reactor scientist, whose expertise in nuclear reactor technology and gift for expressing complex principles with clarity was evidenced in ten papers submitted for the conference.

Al-Meshad was on sabbatical leave from Alexandria University in Egypt and was seeking a teaching position at the University of Technology in Baghdad.

He subsequently won a 2-year contract, which ended in1977 -at which point he was hired by the Iraqi Atomic Energy Commission and became a prime mover in the program.

Meanwhile, Malcolm Scott suggested that the Iraqis start a one-year Reactor Technology Master of Science course based on the material that he had developed for his course at Birmingham University in England.

Scott said that he would be willing to accept any graduate student of the course, for a PhD program at Birmingham University –solely on Khadduri’s recommendation.

Coordinating with the University of Baghdad, the Master of Science course in Nuclear Reactor Technology debuted the following fall with two enrollees.

"The students were completely under our guidance at the Nuclear Research Institute, but their degrees would be conferred by the Physics Department at the University of Baghdad," said Khadduri.

Dabbling with critical mass

"I also engaged [al-Meshad] in developing a computer program, or code, to calculate the burn-up of the reactor’s nuclear fuel instead of depending on the simplified hand calculated formulas that were left to us by the Russians," Khadduri said.

"Our code and calculations opened up the possibility of calculating critical mass, the correct density at which a highly enriched uranium 235 sphere would undergo a self-sustaining chain reaction; this could become a reactor, if controlled, and an atomic bomb, if uncontrolled."

The duo’s work on code yielded yet another co-authored report: CORELOAD: A Computer Code for Calculating the Evolution of the Operation History of the IRT-2000 Reactor.

Khalid Said and Jafar Dhia Jafar were supportive of the efforts.

Implosion scenarios

Khadduri and Yehya al-Meshad also started dabbling with different "implosion scenarios" that would start with a smaller spherical sphere of uranium but would increase its density to a critical value.

"This fissioning process is rapidly repeated, in a very short time, in a self-sustained chain reaction. The bomb explodes, releasing intense amounts of energy and radioactive fission products, "said Khadduri.

Khadduri’s and al-Meshad’s calculations matched the experimental results carried out in the forties for the Manhattan Project, and were then written up in report No. NR-14: The Use of Multigroup Transport Method for Criticality Calculations of Some Fast Spherical Assemblies.

Plutonium 239

Having mastered the tools for calculating the burn-up rate of the nuclear fuel in the reactor Jafar and Khadduri then jointly carry out a detailed calculation on the possible production of weapons grade fissionable plutonium 239 from the operation of the Russian reactor’s fuel –"a long shot" according to Khadduri.

Plutonium 239 constitutes the core of another type of atomic bomb.

"With our low power research reactor, it would have taken decades to obtain the required amount of nuclear weapon grade plutonium," states Khadduri, "The relevance of the work, however, was the knowledge of the required calculations."

Those calculations would form yet another Khadduri nuclear report: The Possible Production of Pu239 from the IRT-5000 Reactor, co-authored with Jafar.

Power generating plant


Iraq moved forward in 1976 and 1977, with its intentions of acquiring a nuclear electric power generating plant.

The Iraqi team visited several nuclear power plants in Japan (Mitsubishi), Sweden (ASEA Atom) and West Germany (Kraftwerk Union AG).

Khadduri was part of the team that met with and negotiated with the suppliers’ delegations.

Negotiations with Mitsubishi at their headquarters in Tokyo, Japan, seemed particularly promising.

"We were nearing the end of it, when…Mr. Ito, the head of the Japanese delegation, excused himself after [someone whispered] in his ear. He went out for five minutes, and returned to declare the end of the negotiations," said Khadduri.

Westinghouse, American supplier for nuclear fuel for most Western and Japanese nuclear power stations, had just called to refuse supply of nuclear fuel to Iraq.

The scientists would soon head to Paris in a top-level government delegation, to negotiate the purchase of two nuclear reactors from France. The purchase would lead to a number of international intrigues including an assassination in Paris, and the eventual bombing of the reactors by Israeli jets, in what was the first strike against Iraq based on the politically controversial doctrine of "preemption."

Photos copyrighted and supplied by Dr. Imad Khadduri

Next up - Part 2: Assasination in Paris, Israel attacks, Hurtling towards the bomb

* * * * * *

Note: Dr. Khadduri's new book, titled Iraq's Nuclear Mirage: Memoirs and Delusions should be available in American bookstores at the end of December.

The author has agreed to ship copies out himself to Etherzone readers who want to obtain a copy of the book now. Signed copies are also available and inquiries should be directed to Dr. Khadduri via his website: Iraq’s Nuclear Mirage.

Part 2: Hurtling towards the bomb

Author’s Note:

The debate over Iraq’s nuclear capabilities and whether or not they were a serious threat to the US, has polarized the world, and American politics. The central issue at stake is whether or not war on Iraq was justified and whether or not the American people were lied to. While biological and chemical weapons were also at issue, Bush administration officials presented the distinctly alarming specter of an imminent nuclear threat, which could arrive in the form of a "mushroom cloud" if America hesitated to take action.

Dr. Imad Khadduri was a top scientist involved in Iraq's nuclear program from 1968 until the end of 1998, when he was able to escape. He now serves as a network administrator in Toronto, Canada. This is his life story, and the story of what really happened inside the Iraqi nuclear program as told by Khadduri and other officials in interviews, and in the advance release of Khadduri’s memoirs, which will be available in American bookstores in December.

In 1974, a top level Iraqi government delegation, lead by Saddam Hussein, arrived in Paris to discuss the purchase of two research nuclear reactors.

The delegation was headed by Abdul Razzak al-Sashimi (known as Chouqi) and consisted of Jafar Dhia Jafar, Hussain al-Sharastani and Humam Abdul Khaliq

Al-Sharastani, a prominent chemist, was later tortured, jailed, and pressured to help build an Iraqi nuclear bomb. He managed to escape from Iraq in a jailbreak at the end of the 1991 war.

Abdul Razzak al-Hashimi was nicknamed Chouqi, because of his propensity for generating sheer chaos. The term is a derivative of the slang Chouqqa, which refers to a large ’breaker’ marble used to ‘shoot’ and scatter smaller marbles in every direction.

An entourage of Iraqi chefs and special firewood were flown to Paris to prepare an Iraqi fish delicacy known as masgoof. "The fish were cooked in full regalia, held vertically on flat sticks in front of a bonfire" Khadduri recalls.

The visit became known as the "Masgoof Visit."

By 1976, a $300 million deal had been completed for two reactors—one a 40 Megawatt (MW) reactor that the French dubbed OSIRIS and a smaller reactor called ISIS, both named after the Egyptian gods.

OSIRIS was a relatively large research reactor and ISIS was a one Megawatt mock-up of OSIRIS employed to test the functionality of the experimental setups before bringing them in for proper irradiation at OSIRIS.

The designs for the reactors were to be prepared at Saclay Nuclear Research Institute near Paris.

Iraq named the reactors TAMMUZ 1 and TAMMUZ 2. "All major revolutions in modern Iraq occurred in the very hot month of July, which is Tammuz in Arabic," explained Khadduri.

The French later referred to the entire project as OSIRAK.

The training for the operation of the two reactors (and on the six experimental rigs that were the prime reason for buying them), was to be held at Saclay, France.

Mahdi Shukur Ghali Obeidi, a solid state materials scientist, was in charge of putting together the scientific and engineering team. In early 1980, about 60 scientists, engineers and technicians were sent to the research center at Saclay to take an accelerated French language course followed by a year of training on the operation of the two reactors and the six experimental rigs.

Mahdi was later assigned to head the centrifugal enrichment process team in the eighties. This is the same Mahdi Obeidi, who at the end of June 2003, led Americans troops to some hidden documents and centrifugal parts buried under a rosebush in his back yard. Little media play was given in the US to Obeidi’s accompanying statement indicating Iraq had not rebuilt its nuclear weapons program after 1991.

In France, rifts and serious disagreements soon came to the surface.

The French had suddenly switched the type of the nuclear fuel that would be used in the two reactors. Instead of the 80% enriched cylindrical elements, specified three years earlier in the purchase contract, the Iraqis were stunned to hear they would instead be getting an 18% "caramel" type fuel.

In fact as soon as the initial contract had been signed, the French immediately started to design the 18% ‘caramel’ fuel.

The low enriched "caramel" fuel was designed solely for the Iraq project and to make sure that Iraq would not be able to use the sought-after highly enriched fuel for nuclear weapon use.

Assasination in Paris

Iraq, irked at the change, dispatched the Egyptian Dr. Yehya El Meshad, to renegotiate the terms of the contract.

"The Mossad, smashed Yehya’s head with a copper rod as he entered his hotel room in Paris," recounts Khadduri.

"The only witness, a French woman, was ‘mysteriously’ run over by a car and killed a few days later. "

The date was June 13, 1980.

Adding to the mounting difficulties, Khadduri had criticized some of the Ba’ath party team members for their incompetence.

His criticism soon reached Baghdad via the team administrator’s (Basil al-Saati) paper pipeline accompanied by his notorious "awaiting your instructions" stamp.

Khadduri was ordered to return to Baghdad.

It was the first of several clashes between Khadduri and Saddam’s political-military -intelligence network, which would eventually make Khadduri’s escape from Iraq in 1998 difficult and dangerous.

Basil al-Saati along with a few loyal party members escorted Khadduri, his wife, and their three-month old daughter Y to the airport, following at close range in order to prevent any defection.

Khadduri returned to the Nuclear Research Center in January 1981, ensconced himself in a small archive room of the library along with an Arabic coffee machine, Havana cigars and Samuel Glasston’s book "The Effects of Nuclear Weapons."

Not one to waste time, he started translating it into Arabic.

Khadduri continued this self-imposed intellectual regimen until what he calls the "genuine start" of the Iraqi nuclear weapons program, which he dates to September 3, 1981.

Towards the Nuclear bomb

In early 1981, unknown to Khadduri at the time, events were already in motion behind the scenes concerning the "fumbling goal" of obtaining a nuclear bomb, even as the Iraqi government began harassing some of the country’s top scientists.

Hussain al-Shahrastani, the brilliant chemist who went to Paris with the initial delegation, was jailed and tortured in December 1979. He was later pressured to help build a nuclear bomb.

After Hussain’s arrest, Jafar appealed to Chouqi in his defense.

True to his nickname, Chouqi then rushed to Saddam and made false accusations against Jafar.

Saddam ordered the house arrest of Jafar in January 1980

In 1981, after hearing of Jafar’s arrest, Khadduri began to visit and comfort Jafar’s distraught mother. She had been confiding in Khadduri’s father, who was her medical doctor.

Humam Abdul Khaliq, head of the Iraqi Atomic Energy Commission, called Khadduri to his office: "If you do not stop visiting Jafar’s mother, they will fry onions on your ass", he warned.

Khadduri disregarded the warning.

Israel destroys OSIRAK

Years of Iraqi scientific endeavor came to an end on the evening of June 7, 1981 when Israel jets streaked across the Iraqi sky, bombing and destroying the Tammuz 1 and Tammuz 2 reactors.

"We heard the blasts and ran to the rooftops. We could see the cloud plumes even tens of kilometers away," Khadduri recalls, calling the act "belligerent."

He describes Iraq’s reaction: "Get the nuclear bomb covertly and in spite of Israel."

Hurtling towards the bomb

Saddam took the political decision to initiate a full-fledged weapons program immediately afterwards, according to Khadduri.

This meant the dispersed team had to be resurrected and reunited.

Jafar had to be released from jail. Chafing and humiliated from the experience, Jafar was slow to agree to the plan.

"I believe that he wrote, while still interned, several technical reports on the matter to Saddam to that effect," Khadduri said.

Jafar was then released and arrived at the Nuclear Research Center on the morning of September 3, 1981, signaling what Khadduri identified as the start of the nuclear weapons program.

Khadduri was soon called for, leaving his library sanctuary behind.

Basil al-Qaisy , (Khadduri’s childhood friend who had initially invited him into the atomic program,) Munqith al-Qaisy, Munqith al-Bakir, Zuhair al-Chalabi, Nabil Karnik, Imad Ilyia and a few others were called into a meeting with Jafar.

"Department 3000"

At first, the secret organization that Jafar set up for the nuclear weapons program was called "Department 3000, Research and Development."

  • Department 1000 was the office of the Deputy Chairman of the Iraqi Atomic Energy Commission under Humam Abdul Khaliq (Saddam Hussein was the Chairman, then).
  • Department 2000 was International Relations headed at the time by the physicist Rahim Kittel. He was later appointed as the Iraqi ambassador to Austria, close to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna.
  • Department 4000 was Administration under Dhafir Selbi.
  • Department 5000 was Projects.
  • Department 6000 was the Nuclear Research Institute under Khalid Said.

All the departments were still carrying on with peaceful nuclear research under the watchful eyes of the IAEA -except for Department 3000.

Covert purchases, overt gleaning

Advancement was fueled by an abundance of publicly available American research materials and the ease with which covert procurements were made.

San Diego, California in 1982 : Khadduri, accompanied by a young intelligence officer, paid $200 to obtain critical research reports from an unquestioning librarian.

He also cut a deal on the west coast to obtain two lasers needed for experiments in uranium enrichment.

The lasers were picked up at the Miami airport, where Khadduri swapped suitcases with an Indian sales representative. The Indian walked away with a suitcase containing $30,000 in cash.

Khadduri soon moved to a small planning group that was working directly with Jafar on the nuclear weapons program

Part of the planning was the assignment of scientists and engineers to attend relevant and worthwhile conferences and symposiums abroad in order obtain needed information.

At the end of 1983, he was transferred to the nuclear electric power plant project, which was put on a higher priority level, under the direction of Khalid Said.

In the winter of 1987, Khadduri attended a high-level meeting chaired by Humam Abdul Khaliq, the Head of the Iraqi Atomic Energy Commission, in which the top priorities were outlined.

Khadduri left the meeting with the realization that the nuclear electric power plant project was no longer a priority and was instead to become a façade for the IAEA to focus on and follow, while the real nuclear weapons program would remain undetected, advancing rapidly.

"What had actually transpired at the time was a crucial turning point in the Iraqi nuclear weapons program. I was not aware then of a shake up that happened behind the scenes," Khadduri recalls.

The secret PC3

The shake up was instigated by a letter by Khidir Hamza sent early in 1987 to Saddam Hussein.

Khadduri notes that Khidir Hamza, referred to in the west by his self-given title, "Saddam’s Bomb Maker," had either failed in his assignment to make progress with the gaseous diffusion enrichment process or had coveted Jafar’s position as head of the program. Khadduri leans towards the former theory, noting Hamza’a alleged lack of leadership skills.

"He was a loner, only adept at working on his theoretical ‘three-body’ problem for more than two decades. He did not have the charisma or the courage to lead a team. His distaste of any experimental scientific work provided a focal point for many humorous puns."

Hamza had written an inflammatory report to Saddam Hussein accusing Jafar of procrastination and wasting resources.

Saddam was furious and demanded an explanation.

Jafar’s administrative load was soon lightened with the arrival of Dhafir Selbi, the previous head of the administration department at the Nuclear Research center, and an old high school friend of Khadduri’s.

Selbi had been asked to join the top management team of the nuclear weapons program, and he soon transformed the program by a thorough restructuring.

Selbi, who refers to himself now simply as "Haj, visitor to Mecca," calls this

breakthrough his "brainchild" and "Perestroika."

Selbi used zumras, an Arabic metaphor for "teams" that would be comprised of engineers and scientists, delegated by their various scientific and engineering departments, to tackle specific design proposals.

Khadduri and Selbi explained that the zumra would work through and materialize the designs through collective interactive thought encompassing all related scientific and engineering activities.

This was in radical contrast to the previous mode of work where the design was put forth by one department, then shuffled back and forth between the various groups who would just attach their notes individually, with no significant interaction.

The nuclear weapons project in its entirety came to be known as the Petrochemical 3 (PC3) project and in the summer of 1987, replacing "Department 3000."

The resulting restructuring resulted in the following organization of the nuclear program:

Group 1: The centrifugal enrichment process, which was assigned to Mahdi Shukur Ghali Obeidi. Several months later, Hussein Kamel, Saddam’s son-in-law, took direct responsibility for that group.

Group 2: The PIG and TIG enrichment processes was assigned to Jafar Dhia Jafar. [PIG and TIG would soon to be dropped and replaced by the Electromagnetic Isotope Separation (EMIS) enrichment process per Dhafir Selbi.

Group 3: The "administrative support" group that would lighten Jafar’s administrative chores was assigned to Dhafir Selbi. This group was responsible for covert purchasing, the provision of scientific and engineering information, the documentation of the scientific reports, the mechanical and electrical manufacturing activities and in a later stage the supervision of their design activities. Khadduri was incorporated into that group in September of that year, 1987.

Group 4: Khidir Hamza was asked to drop the diffusion process and was assigned to gather a team for the design of the nuclear bomb. However, Khadduri reports that Hamza was soon kicked out after a few months and the nuclear weapon design group was assigned instead to Khalid Said.

As previously reported by WND  and Newsweek, United Nations documents recording the debriefing of Hussein Kamel in Jordan in 1995 quote him referring to Hamza as a "professional liar."

Said Kamal, "He worked with us, but he was useless and was always looking for promotions. He consulted with me but could not deliver anything."

The same document indicates the UN concluded a document produced by Hamza was a fake.

Khadduri said, "There is not a single documented scientific report of any work by Khidir Hamza relating to critical mass or a nuclear bomb in the archive of the Nuclear Research Center for that period. His book would give an otherwise impression."

Hamza’s testimony to Congress on Iraq’s imminent nuclear threat was unquestioned by politicians and most of the mainstream American media.

Hussein Kamel takes charge

In October 1987,Saddam appointed Hussein Kamel, who was already the Head of the Military Industrialization Corporation (MIC) to be in charge of Groups 2, 3, and 4.

In addition, Kamel took a direct and separate leadership of Group 1 that was distanced from Groups 2, 3 and 4. Group 1 was to work on the centrifuge enrichment process under the continued direction of Mahdi Shukur Ghali Obeidi.

The activities of these four groups would be made completely invisible from the International Atomic Energy Agency.

In January 1989, PC3 was established within the Ministry of Industry and Military Industrialization (MIMI) under Hussein Kamel and included the whole of the Iraqi national nuclear program (enrichment and weapons). Petrochemical 1 and Petrochemical 2 were established large-scale refinery projects undertaken by MIMI during the eighties.

"In contrast to Khidir Hamza’s false claims, Jafar Dhia Jafar, Humam Abdul Khaliq and Dhafir Selbi, were, in my opinion, the true dynamic prime movers of the nuclear weapons program," Khadduri said.

In 1987, with Khidir Hamza kicked out of the role of the head of the weapon design team, Khalid Said took over the role.

Dr. Said won't be giving any testimony now about the nuclear program though. He died in a hail of bullets after he failed to stop fast enough at an American checkpoint in Baghdad on April 8, 2003.

Meanwhile, Dr. Hamza is currently working for the US in Iraq, in charge of gathering information about the state of nuclear activity or lack thereof.

"Activity 3W"

Dhafir Selbi cancelled the work on PIG and TIG enrichment research, deciding that the Electromagnetic Isotope Separation (EMIS) method that employed huge magnets, referred to as Calutrons (or Baghdatrons) was the best approach.

The EMIS method was implemented during the World War II in the Manhattan Project to produce the first American atomic bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan.

The decision was made to go forward with the enrichment process as fast as possible.

Dhafir called for Khadduri the following day. "Jafar’s scientists are not doing their abc’s of scientific research," he complained. "They are tiring a bit after six years and are not properly researching published articles on their new assignment. I want you to flood them with proper scientific and engineering information. I also want you to take hold again of the documentation procedure. The scientific quality of some of our reports that I have seen should have been thoroughly reviewed and reworked before being approved and distributed." He assigned Khaddar one employee, Khawla. Khadduri then added Salam Toma, a close friend, to his team. Khadduri now headed Dhafir’s Activity 3W, in Group 3, labeled Information and Documentation.

Information avalanche

Khadduri immediately headed to the large research library of the Iraqi Atomic Energy Commission.

He soon found the complete set of the United States’ Nuclear Science Abstracts (NSA) from 1947 until its demise in 1976 when the National Technical Information Services (NTIS) became the US Department of Energy (DOE).

Iraq had received the first few years of the series as part of the gift that was offered in 1956 under the "Atoms for Peace" program promoted by President Eisenhower. They were part of a complete library of published literature on Atomic Energy at the time. The library of the Iraqi Atomic Energy Commission had subsequently subscribed to the NSA until the end of that series in 1976.

Khadduri quickly set about pouring over the yearly indexes of the NSA trove, searching for certain keywords: critical mass, Manhattan Project, Calutron, critical assemblies.

Salam Toma and Khawla went to work digging through the volumes.

Two weeks later, they brought had compiled more than fifty pages of relevant citations.

How many of the cited works were already present in the library?

Almost all -ninety six percent.

In one dusty box that had not opened since the sixties Khadduri found the Manhattan Project books and reports.

Over 160 patents related to the Manhattan Project, were then obtained from the World Intellectual Property Organization in Geneva.

"It probably cost us no more than $100," he remarked.

Next came the hunt for a microcard reader.

Some of the key documents were on microcard, a predecessor of the microfiche and the microfilm.

One crucial and important report, TID 5232 in Division 1,Volume 12 on the "Chemical Processing Equipment: Electromagnetic Separation Process" was on one of these microcards.

"Dhafir instructed me to find, hell or heaven, a microcard reader that can print the images, thirty years after the demise of that technology," said Khadduri.

An Egyptian in Texas directed Khadduri to a female employee of Bell and Howell in Chicago, who gladly sold him 2 microcard readers and three years of spare parts for each.

Due to Khadduri‘s efforts, four months later, by the end of 1987 the scientists and engineers had their hands full of critical scientific information on the Calutron process.

They quickly set to work on the "Baghdatron." 

It was just the beginning of the information avalanche though.

Since the mid-seventies, Khadduri had been in charge of accessing Dialog -the world’s first online information retrieval system - from the Nuclear Research Center.

Khadduri used a special small isolated room on the outskirts of the Nuclear Research Center equipped with a dumb terminal, modem, long distance telephone line, and a line printer.

Some obstacles still stood in the way. First, it was expensive to have an open line from Baghdad to California using a dumb terminal and a slow modem. Secondly, by the mid eighties, there were about 600 available databases; and a few of the critical ones were restricted to searches from the US, Canada and certain NATO countries only.

A station was set up in Madrid, Spain so that Khadduri could access Dialog’s restricted databases from there.

In order to secure the supply of special books, reports and hard-to-get articles, Khadduri saw to it that several accounts were opened with various information suppliers. These included the British Lending Library, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the University of Michigan’s UMI (University Microfilms International), Blackwell, a book supplier in London, and Micro Info in the UK.

A positive report was submitted by Jafar in the summer of 1990 to Hussein Kamel on the remarkable progress Khadduri’s team made in securing, organizing and disseminating large amounts of critical nuclear information .

Jafar proposed to make the benefits of Khadduri’s research and archiving activities widely available.

Hussein Kamal approved of the idea and ordered Khadduri’s department to go public, and serve all Iraqi ministries, research centers and universities, free of charge.

It was the first department from PC3 to become public. The new name of Khadduri’s enterprise was the "Center for Specialized Information," part of the Ministry of Industry.

Notra Trulock III, knows all too well the pivotal role dissemination of American scientific data played in the Iraqi nuclear weapons program. Trulock is the former director of intelligence for the Department of Energy (DOE) in the Clinton administration.

According to Trulock the best reports on the Iraqi’s exploitation of US nuclear weapons secrets were done within the DOE, but were suppressed by the department’s arms controllers and have never seen the light of day.

"I had a bootleg copy of one such report on the Iraqis’ acquisition of nuclear information from the national labs, but I was never able to get it widely distributed to the intelligence community," said Trulock. An Energy Department intelligence officer told Trulock that all existing copies of the report were destroyed after he left the department.


Khadduri had also been set to work on proper documentation of the activities of PC3.

This included insuring the scientific quality of research reports, and documenting reports submitted by scientists and engineers after returning from abroad to attend scientific conferences.

It also included documenting covert purchases.

The originals were kept in Building 61 at the Nuclear Research Center, which was the Electronics Department under Basil al-Qaisi, Khadduri‘s childhood friend who had invited him into the nuclear program in 1968.

The second set was at the Trade Union building in front of al-Rasheed Hotel, the location that was targeted by David Kay in September 1991.

The third location was al-Hayat building, an intelligence adjunct near the presidential palace. Hamid and a staff of ten worked in the basement of building 61, to maintain the records, making microfilm copies of the engineering drawings and producing the required number of copies of the reports to be distributed to scientists and engineers.

Soon, the storm clouds of war were gathering, and Khadduri’s team rushed to copy the nuclear program reports onto optical disks and find an appropriate place to hide the originals.

Next Up - Part III: War, reconstruction and escape.

Part 3: The gathering storm

Author’s Note:

The debate over Iraq’s nuclear capabilities and whether or not they were a serious threat to the US, has polarized the world, and American politics. The central issue at stake is whether or not war on Iraq was justified and whether or not the American people were lied to. While biological and chemical weapons were also at issue, Bush administration officials presented the distinctly alarming specter of an imminent nuclear threat, which could arrive in the form of a "mushroom cloud" if America hesitated to take action.

Dr. Imad Khadduri was a top scientist involved in Iraq's nuclear program from 1968 until the end of 1998, when he was able to escape. He now serves as a network administrator in Toronto, Canada. This is his life story, and the story of what really happened inside the Iraqi nuclear program as told by Khadduri and other officials in interviews, and in the advance release of Khadduri’s memoirs, which will be available in American bookstores in December.

As the threat of Gulf War I approached, Khadduri and his staff hurriedly set about storing and hiding the documents of the nuclear program.

In early 1990, Khadduri chose Canon’s new CanoFile 150 as the means of duplication - a scanning machine that could capture and store the image of both sides of a scanned document on a high-capacity magneto-optical disc.

Khadduri ordered two along with five empty disks. Canon’s representative offered the sixth disk, which Khadduri kept for backup and which later play a critical part in hiding documents from UN inspectors after Gulf War I.

The first CanoFile was shipped out of Japan in June 1990. The second CanoFile arrived on the last plane from Japan on the night Iraqi troops invaded Kuwait: August 2, 1990.

With both devices ready, and with war approaching, the whole documentation staff set to work scanning and saving the 1600 reports that represented ten years of work and development.

Khadduri saw to it that the scanned documents were properly indexed.

Hiding nuclear documents

Salam and Khadduri then went to the bazaar near al-Mustansiryah Street and bought three large aluminum trunks to place the records in. A nearby German-built secondary technical school was chosen as the hiding place.

Inside the school they found the ideal hiding location: a windowless room that could only be accessed by going through two other rooms.

This became the place where the reports of the Iraqi nuclear weapons program were hidden.

Not trusting intelligence and security staff, Khadduri recommended Selbi not let them know the location of the trunks. Selbi agreed.

Salam and Khadduri then carried out the delivery of the trunks alone.

Heavy locks were installed in all three rooms.

Dhafir got a set of keys, and Salam and Khadduri kept the only other two sets.

Khadduri also kept the magneto-optical disks that stored the 1600 reports of the secret PC3 program.

A week later, an enraged Khadduri found a cardboard carton belatedly dumped on his desk with reports from Khalid Said’s Group 4. Said had stubbornly refused to adhere to Khadduri’s strict documentation and indexing procedures, and had been allowed to make his own arrangements, but had apparently failed to do so.

It was too late to properly index the papers with those already locked away in the aluminum trunks. Beside himself with anger, Khadduri sent Salam to take the carton to the technical school. An upset Salam, just left the cardboard box atop the trunks.

One year later, David Kay would find the cardboard box, which would result on the destruction of the al-Athir site by UNSCOM inspectors.

In the autumn of 1990, the research gurus of Khadduri’s Center for Specialized Information set up shop at on the mezzanine floor of the Ministry of Industry.

His deputy at department 3W, Mashkoor Haidar, took over the documentation responsibility for PC3. Mashkoor and the staff of the documentation group in turn answered to Adil Fiadh.

Khadduri handed Mashkoor the keys to the three rooms where the aluminum trunks were stored, but kept the magneto-optical disks.

Jafar demanded that Khadduri also hand over the disks to Abdul Halim al-Hajjaj, Khalid Said’s associate.

Khadduri strongly objected, not trusting anyone else to keep the data secure, but Jafar insisted.

"With a broken heart, and spirit, I handed over the three full magneto optical disks to Halim," he said.

Jafar was still looking for them seven years later.

The gathering storm

With Gulf War I hovering on the horizon, Khadduri, along with other select scientists and executive members of the management team were assigned alternate living quarters in the event of attack.

Khadduri took his family to the city of Sharqat, north of Baghdad. Sharqat is where the al-Fajir (the Dawn) site was located. It was an exact replica of the al-Safa (The Tranquil) site at Tarmia that housed the EMIS process and the Baghdatrons.

Khadduri heard that not a single foreigner was employed in the construction due to its secrecy.

"Most of the portable trays of microfiche and catalogues were taken to our homes. We dispersed the racks of microfilms in different locations so as not to suffer from a single hit," Khadduri said, "At home, personal suitcases were prepared, official personal

papers gathered and dozens of batteries were purchased," he recalls.

At dawn, with electricity and telephone systems down the Khadduri family packed the two cars; Niran’s and Imad’s government assigned one, and then drove off to Sharqat with his mother and Lisa, their dog.

Khadduri recalls worrying about whether American "smart bombs" might accidentally target and breach the Russian reactor at Tuwaitha, releasing devastating radioactivity.

Bombs did fall on Tuwaitha while the reactor was still operational, Khadduri says.

"The operators first fled the building when the bombs first fell close to them but then returned, shut down the reactor and put a steel cover over the open pool as the bombs exploded tens of meters from the building. Fortunately, that steel cover was not breached neither was the concrete containment of the reactor holding the water that cooled the reactor."

The Iraqi nuclear weapons program stopped dead in its tracks that morning, and was never rejuvenated, Khadduri said.

How close was Iraq to obtaining a nuclear bomb after ten years of its program?

Khadduri’s summary:

  • The team at Tarmiah under the guidance of Jafar and Dhafir had managed to collect, at most, about 5 grams of weapon grade uranium 235 with the Baghdatrons. The core of the bomb, along with its casting, would have required 18-20 kilograms.
  • The actual design of the bomb among the Group 4 departments at al-Athir was still under consideration. There still remained some scientific considerations regarding the total weight and a few tests of the extremely accurate electronic explosive triggers that would form the shock lenses that would implode the uranium core into the right density to sustain a nuclear chain reaction.
  • A preliminary investigation was just beginning to find a site in the desert to test the bomb, once it would be readied. This test would also have doubled the amount of the required weapon grade uranium.
  • Delivery and guidance systems were still being considered and not fully developed.

"In total, we were, in my estimate, about 10-20 percent of where we should have been had Iraq had a nuclear weapon. It would have required further several years," the scientist remarked.

Through the war 

The Khadduri’s temporary home shook from shock waves that they attributed to ammunition depots exploding miles away.


His family made frequent use of a crude underground shelter that they dug in front of the house.

Intermingled with the hard times the scientist recalls fond memories:
Dhafir and his two brothers cooking fish, Masgoof style, in front of their house as war planes flew overhead and bombs exploded in the distance; Niran and Imad spending evenings playing cards with the families of Sabah Abdul Noor and Mahir Sarsam, two senior scientists from Group 4 of the PC3 nuclear project.

Late at night, Khadduri recalls, they would walk home with a lantern, shooing away stray dogs.

Khadduri’s family also received news of war casualties. A housing complex belonging to al-Badir electrical establishment, south of Sharqat near Samara, was bombed by with a reported 50 women and children killed. Similar news reached them of more civilian casualties in an attack on the Ishtar housing complex near the Tuwaitha Research Center which had previously housed the French contingent that were building the French reactors, and now housed Iraqi scientists and their families.

Rebellion against Saddam

During the war, Khadduri ventured into Baghdad on business with Mahir Sarsam, a close friend and the physicist who was assigned the task of locating a test site for a nuclear weapon test.

Khadduri, fearing a violent reaction of the Iraqi people to "our abject defeat," whispered to Sarsam, "Allah Yustir (God protect us)!"

"Little had I known of the Basra uprising that was taking place just then and the smashing of Saddam’s picture there that had signaled a more widespread revolt among the Shiites in the South of Iraq," Khadduri said.

"Only a year or two later did I learn of the extent of the brutal repression inflicted by the Ba’athist stalwarts on the revolting people, the heroic popular extent of the uprising, the extensive damage to the holy Moslem shrines in Karbala and al-Najjaf and the horrendous mass grave yards. "

Khadduri and his friends also heard of anger at the Americans who had allowed the helicopters of the Republican Guards to fly freely and participate in the repression.

"The Kurds in the North, like the Arabs in the South, had naively believed Bush senior’s call for an uprising, only to be let down, left unaided and be slaughtered," Khadduri recalls.

"Coming down from Sharqat, we saw some of the Republican Army’s modern tanks heading north, unhindered, to quell the Kurdish uprising."

Seeing the failure of the uprisings, and fearing a strengthened Saddam, Khadduri moved swiftly to obtain up-to-date passports for his wife and children.

Khadduri himself was forbidden to obtain a passport, since he was part of the nuclear team. The only exceptions were for official business as approved by the Intelligence Agency.

It was the first step in a long and arduous ordeal of secretly escaping from Iraq, which Khadduri’s family finally managed in 1998.

In the meantime, numerous attempts to retire from government service were rejected by the Iraqi government.


Extensive damage to the Iraqi infrastructure and subsequent rebuilding would occupy the nuclear scientists and engineers for years.

During the war, Khadduri learned America had dropped special nets embedded with graphite pea-sized pellets that caused extensive electric shorts, shutting down the electrical grid.

A week after the war ended, Jafar gave Khadduri his first post-war assignment.

He was to convene an Electricity Rehabilitation Symposium in Baghdad which would assess damage and coordinate rebuilding.

A third of Iraq’s electric power supply was re-established within four to five months.

Passing along a highway south of Sharqat during the war, Khadduri remembers seeing miles-high walls of fire from spilled oil engulfing the Baiji oil refinery plant.

Khadduri along with other nuclear scientists and engineers later supervised the rebuilding of oil refineries, which were up and running again within a few months as well.

In the summer of 1991, as the telecommunications infrastructure was being repaired, Khadduri undertook an enterprise of his own initiative: networking all of the research centers and universities throughout Iraq.

Over a period of two years, Khadduri and Ayad Muhaimid used external Hayes modems, to network about sixty research centers and universities with a telephone dial-up service allowing them access to the many databases on CD-ROMs that were located at the Center for Specialized Information in the Ministry of Industry in Baghdad.

Khadduri’s research center back in business

At the same time the electrical symposium was held, one week after the war ended, work had resumed at the Center for Specialized Information.

Khadduri’s center had accumulated about twenty scientific and engineering databases, including all five million US patents, the entire textual PhD thesis holdings of all American universities and many international ones dated from the nineteen-thirties on.

Additional holdings included PhD theses abstracts extending back to 1864, and the microfilm ‘treasure" of industrial and US military standards and industrial catalogues.

"Within a few months after the war, we would normally open our offices at eight in the morning to a waiting line of twenty to thirty government engineers, students and university researchers eager to get information, for free, for the rehabilitation of their sectors or for writing their theses," Khadduri said.

The center’s staff also wrote their own computer program to distribute their monthly salaries: "The department responsible for that in the now slowly disintegrating PC3 was incapable of running their own program on the relocated and dismembered mainframe computer," Khadduri explains.

Prison and interrogation

As the UN inspectors were beginning to arrive, a memo was written in April/May 1991 by Jafar Dhia Jafar and Naman al-Niami, a top level chemist in the nuclear weapons program, to Hussain Kamal, outlining all of the nuclear sites.

The list was submitted before the adoption of Resolution 687 (1991) by the United Nations Security Council. Kamal ordered the disclosure of selected activities and sites and the concealment of the others from the list – notably the al-Athir weapon design center and its activities.

Nuclear scientists and engineers went to Jafar to ask for access to their reports to aid in the UN interviewing process.

Jafar, at that time, was appointed Head of the MIC, under Hussain Kamal’s authority, in return for having led the successful rebuilding of the electricity sector.

Jafar decided to hand over the contents of one documentation center to the UN inspectors. These encompassed the reports of the declared activities only.

In late summer of 1991, Jafar then gave a "fatal order" to Adil Fiadh to retrieve the hidden documents and reports.

All of the documents that had been hidden in the technical school, had been placed in a train wagon -its doors then welded shut- that kept shuttling between Basra in the south and Mosul in the north.

After Jafar’s order went out to return the documents, the train car was halted and the welded doors pried open. The aluminum trunks, boxes of microfiche of design drawings and the cardboard box containing the reports of the undeclared activities of Group 4 (that were dumped on Khadduri‘s desk at the last minute) were all returned to the documentation center at the Labor Union building, next to the MIC building.

"Within a few days later, the UN inspector David Kay and his colleagues unexpectedly raided the Labor Union building and retrieved the documents, including the cardboard box, leading to heated verbal exchanges and face-to- face confrontation between David Kay and Jafar, which was videotaped and broadcast," Khadduri recounts.

"A week later, the inspectors raided the al-Khairat Building in Sa’adoon [situated in front of the now famous Meridian Hotel and near the Firdaws square where Saddam’s statue was toppled by American troops] which was the temporary location of the PC3 staff, scientists and engineers. There, they found even more documents and detailed computer information on the personnel and activities of PC3."

Hussain Kamel suspected a security leak, and immediately ordered the arrest of about twelve people connected with documentation, including Adil Fiadh, Mashkoor Haidar, and Khadduri.

They were individually interrogated by a committee headed by the Deputy Head of MIC, Amer al-Ubaidi -who later became the Oil Minister in 1996 and was captured by US forces in May 2003.

The group was incarcerated incommunicado for eighteen days at the Fao Establishment building on Palestine Street.

"Some of the interned suffered psychologically, broke down and cried heavily, realizing that our lives were at the whim of Hussain Kamel’s mood," Khadduri recalls.

After concluding that no security breach had occurred, the interned were released after being demoted, Khalid Said included.

Jafar was removed as director of MIC with Amer al-Ubaidi taking over the past. Jafar then became "scientific advisor" to the palace court of Saddam (an insignificant post) and took on full responsibility for the continued rehabilitation of the electricity sector.

"Jafar also dabbled in fanciful irrigation projects to divert water from the Tigris near Mosul to irrigate the fertile desert near the ancient town of Hathar about 100 kilometers southwest of Mosul," Khadduri recalls.

Meanwhile back at Khadduri’s research center, he was made aware of the activities of PC3 and some military activities of the MIC, since the researchers had to go past him in order to access databases of the Center of Specialized Information.

Khadduri was in that post until 1994 when he left for the Foreign Ministry.

Ever since his imprisonment, Khadduri was kept under innervating, close surveillance by Saddam‘s intelligence agencies. Some friends risked their own safety by telling Khadduri they had been approached to give information on the scientist. The constant watching and the pressure put on his friends would soon send Khadduri spiraling into anxiety and depression.

The 6th disk: scientific innuendo

Meanwhile, Jafar contacted Khadduri, asking for his help in storing highly sensitive documents he kept at his home. David Kay’s searches were worrying Jafar.

Khadduri had stored one of the CanoFiles at his home, and had kept the complimentary sixth disk which had been given by Canon has part of the initial purchase deal. He set to work storing and archiving Jafar’s highly sensitive documents.

"I glimpsed the monitor, whenever I had the chance, to see what was being archived," Khadduri recalls, "I was not that pleased with some of it. It was plainly a blatant exaggeration, or promising extrapolation, of what we were achieving using the Baghdatrons in 1990, signed by Jafar and presented by Hussain Kamal to Saddem. It would have been misleading as to the true progress of the work, if you do not grasp scientific innuendo. "

After 5 hours, Jafar’s trusted driver Omran, (the same driver who accompanied Khadduri on his uranium searches) left with a filled magneto-optical disk and the box of documents.

Meanwhile the IAEA was singly concerned with Group 4’s activities that entailed the design of the bomb, and did not ask for or show interest in the uranium enrichment activities of PC3.

The copied magneto-optical disc of Group 4’s activities was handed over to them.

Says Khadduri, " I am not sure whether they knew of, or even now have, the other two discs."

Those two disks contained the images of the rest of PC3’s reports, that Khadduri had kept separate from the cache that was found by David Kay in September 1991. It was these disks that Khadduri had objected to handing over to Abdul Halim al-Hajjaj, Khalid Said’s associate.

Into "Baghdad Bob’s" Foreign Ministry

Following the prior imprisonment and interrogation, Khadduri soon found intelligence services had sent a plant to work at his research center.

False accusations followed and Khadduri found himself increasingly harassed.

Enter Mohammad al-Sahhaf, the Foreign Minister at the time, and the famed Information Minister ("Baghdad Bob") during the 2003 war.

Al-Sahhaf wanted Khadduri to bring his expertise to the Foreign Ministry with the goal of networking its departments, and creating an efficient electronic management of the ministry’s daily communications, as well as archiving its historical files.

Within a period of three years, the project was completed, and the new computer center was staffed by five people.

Khadduri’s staff trained about 250 diplomats on the use of word processing.


Butting heads with a "rabid" intelligence officer

Khadduri, ever more eager to get his family out of Iraq, then had a fateful run in with the man in charge of the Iraqi intelligence on the US: Salah Abdul Rahman al-Hadithi.

The controversy began when "Baghdad Bob" appoved Khadduri’s idea to assign 80 diplomats, including 5 intelligence officers, a mundane typing assignment: compiling electoral lists for a 1995 parliament election.

The 80 had just graduated from a word processing class, and there was little time to compile the task.

When Khadduri told al-Sahhaf about 5 intelligence officers who had not accepted their assignments, he was angry.

"The Intelligence bastards" al-Sahhaf shouted, picking up the phone.

Intelligence officer Salah Abdul Rahman al-Hadithi was indignant over receiving the pedestrian typing assignment. "I retorted with a quote from Saddam that curtly shut him up," Khadduri said.

Three years later, Khadduri found out the intelligence officer had immediately filed a report to Saddam, detailing how Khadduri’s name was mentioned in a New York Times article, as having a possible connection to the Israeli Mossad. Ever since the officer filed the vengeful report, Khadduri had been under additional secret investigation.

The report also referred to al-Sahhaf’s attempt to secure a diplomatic post for Khadduri abroad. Al-Sahhaf had been sensitive to Khadduri’s desire to get his family out of Iraq.

In the intelligence file however, Saddam had scribbled in red ink that Khadduri "shall not see the Iraqi border" in his lifetime.

Planning escape

Within a few years after the end of the 1991 war, Niran, Khadduri’s wife, noticed that colleagues at the private al-Mansoor University College, where she was teaching computer languages, were disappearing - escaping Iraq, legally or illegally, including Khidir Hamza who lectured there.

It was after the sudden and unexpected 1994 disappearance of Niran Khadduri' close friend, Samira Katoola and her husband Tawfiq, both former Atomic Energy Commission PhDs, along with their children, that the Khadduri family decided it was time to find a way to escape, despite the risk involved.

"Since there was no air travel due to sanctions throughout the nineties, the escape routes were limited through the risky north to Turkey or the dangerous border point of Traibil to Jordan," Khadduri recalls.

Difficulties abounded, including the fact that Niran’s and the children’s names were

linked to Khadduri’s name in government intelligence and security databases, especially at the passport offices.

Trying to obtain an exit visa for them would set off alarms.

Khadduri’s wife Niran, was the first to escape to Jordan, where she took a job teaching at a university, and waited long months to be reunited with her family.

On the eve of one planned escape, Saddam’s personal assistant and trusted secretary, Abid al- Hamid Mahmood Himood, (Abid Himood) issued a hand-written order signed by himself and delivered by a messenger, ordering the confiscation of the passports of Khadduri’s daughters Y and Nofa, and his son Tammam

Two years later, after many heartbreaking attempts and trials, and betrayal by either a Ba’athist neighbor or a university colleague, the Khadduri’s met their helpmeet for espape in a Christian named Bassim YshoPutrus, referred to in Khadduri’s book by his traditional name, Abu Diyar.

"Abu Diyar would only help Christians to escape, due to an unsavory religiously discriminating experience he had endured in the early nineties," Khadduri explains, "he could only trust Christians to not expose him."

Abu Diyar obtained passports and exit visas for the children.

In the meantime, Khadduri was called into yet another meeting with Jafar. This time they were in the midst of preparing the final declaration for the United Nations on the scope of the nuclear weapons program, before and after the 1991 war.

"We were about to submit the total gamut of our activities in that report to the IAEA," Khadduri explains, "Many meetings were held with all of our colleagues in the now defunct PC3, some of whom I had not seen for several years. We would spend countless hours in the secret house in Jadiriyah district going over reports, papers and faint memories. One sticking point was the fate of the magneto-optical discs that Jafar had made me hand over to Abdul Halim al-Hajjaj before the start of the 1991 war. The disappearance of the two discs that contained Groups 1, 2 and 3 reports angered Jafar."

Three hours later the group still had not gotten to the bottom of who had or what happened to the magneto optical discs.

Betting on Canada

In the meantime, Khadduri completed the single page form to apply for a Landed Immigrant application to Canada.

The filled form was secretly sent in 1995 to the Canadian Consulate in Amman, Jordan via Subhi Ayyoub, a trusted Jordanian friend.

More than a year of tense waiting followed.

The sinister machinations of Abid Himood haunted Khadduri. The scientist knew his phones were tapped, and was cautious about what he said. Friends felt threatened by aggressive intelligence grilling. No matter what Khadduri did, Himood seemed to find out about it, thwarting every plan.

Khadduri began to slide into chronic depression.

Abu Diyar and Khadduri suspected that there was a "super Intelligence Agency," higher than the known eighteen intelligence agencies, controlled by Abid Himood and whose personnel were unknown to the rest of the intelligence and security services.

Al-Sahhaf tried to help by contacting Mohammad al-Douri (Abu Omar) at the Intelligence headquarters to intercede on Khadduri’s behalf. Abu Omar invited Khadduri to meet with him at their headquarters, next to the Mansoor restaurant that was bombed in the US’s second attempt this year to kill Saddam.

The US believed Saddam was having a meeting there with his two sons, Uday and Qusay. Saddam was not found at the location though, and 17 civilians were killed in the attack. One woman arrived at the scene to find the decapitated torso of her college-age daughter.

Khadduri explains: "It is told that Saddam did enter that meeting place with his sons, leaving his personal guard at the front of the building. They then proceeded

to leave the building immediately through the back door minutes before the exploding bunker busters. He apparently had purposely arranged to hold that meeting as a bait. He intended to confirm to himself the information that was reaching him indicating that the head of his guard entourage was in fact informing the Americans on his movements and location. It is rumored that Saddam summarily executed him after the failed attack. "

During Khadduri’s escape planning, Abid Himood, the shadowy head of the "super intelligence" agency, fed up with al-Sahhaf’s (Baghdad Bob) continued nagging about Khadduri’s case, upped the ante by ordering Khadduri to be arrested if he set foot in the Foreign Ministry again.

Abu Diyar finally successfully got Khadduri a passport with another name on it. "By doing that, he would be able to get all of us out of Iraq smoothly and together," Khadduri said.


Khadduri and his children would make a successful escape after midnight, at 3 in the morning, with Abu Diyar and a trusted Jordanian driver: they were headed for Traibil, a city at the Jordanian border.

Twenty-four hours later, a suspicious Abid Himood dispatched five senior presidential palace staff members to Traibil, but it was too late to stop the family.

The Khadduris had made it across the border into Jordan, after several close calls.

Exhiliration and catharsis

Khadduri recalls the "exhilarating reunion" with his wife Niran on Sunday August 2.

"An impromptu feast was thrown by the neighbors in the building where she had rented an apartment," he recalls.

They were summoned the next morning to the Canadian Embassy in Amman.

"During that first week in Amman, I experienced several nightmares of volcanic suppressed fears," Khadduri recalls, "I would wake up drenched in sweat and trembling as I dreamt that I was somehow back in Iraq and being asked to report to Intelligence. I was beginning to unwind."

Dhafir Selbi, Khadduri’s life long friend and previous boss at PC3, had managed, after seven years of waiting after his retirement, to obtain his passport. He met up with the family in Jordan to visit.

Six months later, a senior Canadian diplomat traveled to Damascus, Syria to deliver the Khadduri’s long-awaited Landed Immigrant visas.

They left for Toronto, Canada.

Arriving in a snowstorm, twelve years old Nofa broke out in tears, "I don’t have any friends here," she said. "I don’t know how to speak English. I want to go back to Baghdad".

"She persevered and flourished," her father reports. Nofa later wrote an account of her childhood experience during Gulf War I that has been posted in the Internet.

Khadduri went on to land a job as a network administrator at a small college in Toronto, living quietly until hearing the Bush administration claims of an active Iraqi nuclear program jolted him into action.

Late in August 2002, after hearing President Bush utter what Khadduri described as "an ominous deliberate misinformation campaign" he turned to his wife Niran and announced the end of his "low profile slumber." Khadduri would soon take leave from his network administrator job to complete his memoirs, and write for an independent news site, while ‘big’ media and government in America virtually ignored him.

Next up Part IV: "Coming out fully"

Part 4: "Coming out Fully"

Author’s Note:

The debate over Iraq’s nuclear capabilities and whether or not they were a serious threat to the US, has polarized the world, and American politics. The central issue at stake is whether or not war on Iraq was justified and whether or not the American people were lied to. While biological and chemical weapons were also at issue, Bush administration officials presented the distinctly alarming specter of an imminent nuclear threat, which could arrive in the form of a "mushroom cloud" if America hesitated to take action.

Dr. Imad Khadduri was a top scientist involved in Iraq's nuclear program from 1968 until the end of 1998, when he was able to escape. He now serves as a network administrator in Toronto, Canada. This is his life story, and the story of what really happened inside the Iraqi nuclear program as told by Khadduri and other officials in interviews, and in the advance release of Khadduri’s memoirs, which will be available in American bookstores in December.

In presenting its case for war, the Bush administration insisted the U.S. had to disarm Saddam's regime of alleged weapons of mass destruction quickly, before it could pass them onto al-Qaida terrorists eager to make 9-11 pale beside the nightmarish specter of a possible "mushroom cloud."

The President stated that the regime posed a "direct and growing threat" to America, justifying preemptive invasion and regime change.

An imminent nuclear threat was repeatedly mentioned by administration officials in the media and in speeches.

Secretary of State Colin Powell stated, "We have no indication that Saddam Hussein has ever abandoned his nuclear weapons program" and Vice-President Dick Cheney told media that Saddam Hussein had reconstituted his nuclear weapons program.

Dr. Khidir Hamza, a former physics professor from Iraq, who claimed to be "Saddam’s Bombmaker," gave testimony before a Congressional subcommittee about Iraq’s nuclear capability, warning that the regime could have three nuclear bombs within three years.

"One thing is clear: These weapons must be must be dislodged from Saddam, or Saddam must be dislodged from power," said Sen Joe Biden, D-Delaware.

The hearings, he added, were "not designed to prejudge any particular course of action."

On October 6, 2002 President Bush addressed the nation, warning that the Iraqi dictator must not be permitted to threaten America and the world with atomic weapons. "If the Iraqi regime is able to produce, buy, or steal an amount of highly-enriched uranium a little larger than a single softball," Bush said, "it could have a nuclear weapon in less than a year. And if we allow that to happen, a terrible line would be crossed."

National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice told media, "We don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud."

Both Bush and Cheney warned of the threat of "nuclear blackmail."

Disturbed by what he called a deliberate misinformation campaign, Khadduri turned to his wife Niran in August 2002, and announced that he was going to "come out fully:" a reference to leaving his quiet life behind and telling what he knew about the nuclear program.

Two hours later, his first article, Iraq’s nuclear non-capability, was finished. In it, Khadduri raised serious doubts about the credibility of British and American intelligence, upon which, the White House said its claims of a nuclear threat were founded.

"Bush and Blair are pulling their public by the nose," Khadduri wrote, "covering their hollow patriotic egging on with once again shoddy intelligence. But the two parading emperors have no clothes".

Khadduri recounted the dismal condition of Iraq’s nuclear scientific community, many of whom were unemployed and scrounging for work, the lack of managerial leadership, and the lasting consequences of the bombings of Gulf War I, including the lack of appropriate buildings and an infrastructure for such an enterprise.

Scientist ignored by ‘big media’

Khadduri’s article was sent to several major newspapers, including the New York Times, The Guardian, The Washington Post, The Independent and The Times.

No one was interested.

A UN official later emailed Khadduri, "A lot of people are doing their homework. Not the press."

Enter Erich Marquardt, editor of online journal Yellow Times. The editor and the scientist established a strong rapport, leading to the publishing of several articles.

Soon the Toronto Star was calling and Canadian TV was battling for a first interview with Khadduri. Other interviews followed, including one with Reuters, but Khadduri was largely ignored by the American newspapers and television, and remained relegated to the less-trafficked independent pages of Yellow Times.

A plan for CBS‘ "60 Minutes" to carry the first American interview of Khadduri was reportedly scrapped at the last minute, because an American consultant to CBS believed (but had no proof) that the American government probably had secret data proving a nuclear program.

Then came a call from CNN. Khadduri reports an Arabic-named CNN representative, called from CNN headquarters in Atlanta, after reading one of the Yellow Times articles authored by Khadduri. Two months of discussions about an interview followed, with the representative objecting to Khadduri’s desire to mention a neo-conservative role in the disinformation campaign. Khadduri would not relent, and CNN never called back.

CNN senior foreign correspondent Christiane Amanpour later made general statements suggesting her own network kowtowed to the Bush administration in its war reporting.

The statement was an interesting bookend to CNN’s Eason Jordan’s famous mea culpa describing how his network kowtowed to Saddam.

"Swallowed up by the politicians"

Meanwhile, prior to the war, Khadduri was contacted by and corresponded with a member of the Iraqi Action Team at the IAEA (referred to here, as "B") who was scouring Iraq for weapons of mass destruction in the fall of 2002.

"B" had concurred with the articles written by Khadduri and published on Yellow Times.

"We established an immediate rapport," Khadduri said, "He wondered whether I would be willing to have an interview with the IAEA and ultimately by UNSCOM, in accordance with the Security Council recommendations. I agreed on the condition that the interview would be carried out in Toronto, as I did not feel safe enough outside Canada."

A fascinating email trail between the scientist and the WMD hunter ensued.

"If America is going to war over a proven fraud then there is a huge problem," wrote B.

"It would appear this is all a game and that no one is really serious about preventing a war. I have tried to be technically rigorous. I guess we will be swallowed up by the politicians."

He also referred to the strong US reliance on the testimony of Khidir Hamza, referred to commonly in the west as "Saddam’s Bombmaker."

"A professional liar?"

B continued: "Hamza left the country in 1995 with government permission. He was interviewed and allowed to leave. He knew nothing and they knew it. He lies all the time…If Hamza can influence Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz, and Donald Rumsfeld with access to the office of the secretary of defense, then the US is bankrupt. To rely on this guy when you have all of the CIA and NSA etc. getting data and the secretary listens to Hamza instead?

We need to do something."

The email was dated February 8, 2003.

Three weeks later, WorldNetDaily and Newsweek broke stories on the "sensitive" documents of 1995 Hussein Kamel debriefing in Jordan, with WND revealing far more of the contents.

In the UN interview, Kamel stated that all weapons had been destroyed, and no nuclear program was underway. He also characterized Hamza as a "professional liar" who could not deliver, and was let go. The debriefing also indicates that the UN assessed a document given to them by Hamza as a fake.

Khadduri said, "Kamel’s testimony was suppressed for eight years until it’s ferreting out in February 2003."

It was in fact, former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter, who was popping up across the globe like a vexing jack-in-the-box, offering sensitive UN documents to interested reporters, of which there were few.

Ritter offered Fox and Friends the documents live on the air, but the hosts ignored the offer.

This reporter, Newsweek and later Glen Rangwala, the Cambridge University analyst who in early February revealed that Tony Blair's "intelligence dossier" was plagiarized from a student thesis, obtained the sensitive UN documents.

Media watchdog called the revelation of the documents, "biggest story of the Iraq crisis," but the story was largely left unexplored by the rest of the media.

Kamel’s name had been repeatedly invoked by administration officials as they sought to convince the public Iraq posed an imminent threat.

Colin Powell, who said there was no indication that Iraq had ever abandoned its nuclear weapons program, was especially fond of using Kamel’s name prior to the revelation that Kamel actually said all such weapons were destroyed and there was no program underway.

Meanwhile, an exception to the aforementioned American media blackout of Dr. Khadduri, was Fox News Channel.

In February of this year Khadduri appeared on John Kasich’s show, the very week that the story revealing Hussein Kamel’s debriefing documents broke.

An ignorant Kasich, apparently unaware of the stories, talked over the top of Khadduri, and insisted there definitely was a post-Gulf War nuclear program because Kamel had said so.

He also asked Khadduri if he was a Saddam sympathizer.

‘In all fairness," Khadduri notes, "Kasich did hold another interview and he courageously did correctly quote a few damning lines from my articles."

Aluminum tubes, uranium discounted

On February 16, B wrote on the notorious aluminum tubes that the Bush administration insisted were proof of a reconstituted nuclear program: "Fact. The aluminum tubes have been used to build tens of thousands of rockets. Hypothesis. The tubes might be diverted for centrifuges. Can’t people understand the difference between fact and hypothesis?"

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) concluded that the aluminum tubes were not intended for nuclear weapons development but for the reverse engineering of 81- millimeter rockets

In other "B" emails, he advised, "I cannot approach the press or write articles," adding "I thought the Powell speech was the bottom of the barrel. They have no useful evidence. The aluminum tubes are a joke. They are parts for rockets that Iraq has had for 17 years and now the US is trying to coach them on how to divert them to poor centrifuges!"

Faleh’s house, Blix blunders

One issue that Khadduri found especially provoking was the UN search of Faleh Hamza’s house.

Falih (or Faleh) Hamza, is a laser physicist who Khadduri says had no part in Iraq’s nuclear weapons program.

"They claimed that the documents they had found in his home indicated that Iraq had a hidden laser enrichment process for uranium," Khadduri commented, "Falih did carry out such research in the eighties. It did not bear any promise and he terminated the effort in 1988. We, the Iraqi nuclear team, even included that scientific experience in our final report to the IAEA in October 1997 in which we laid out the complete history of the nuclear weapons program. The documents and reports were neither secret nor related to the nuclear weapons program. "

A friend of Khadduri’s in the Iraqi Action Team in Vienna then informed him of a "revealing fact" just one day before Blix’s report to the Security Council on January 27, 2003.

"Upon Blix’s insistence, the teams had obtained from the American and British Intelligence a list of about twenty five sites, one of which was ultra hush-hush," Khadduri said, "The inspectors duly visited and inspected each one of these sites in December 2002 and had found absolutely no evidence of any rejuvenated nuclear weapons program. In fact, some of them even came out stating that US Intelligence was providing them with nothing but "garbage after garbage after garbage.‘"

Khadduri complains that in his report to the Security Council on January 27, 2003 Blix failed to mention the lack of findings of the secret Intelligence information provided by the American and British Intelligence.

B wrote Khadduri: "Yes, a finding of ‘no finding,’ especially in a place where something was specifically alleged is a major finding."

Khadduri faults Blix on another point, accusing him of intentionally spreading misinformation: "[Blix] also promoted the case of Falih Hamza as being another belated uranium enrichment attempt by Iraq, hence adding fuel to the misinformation campaign. In all fairness, Mohamed el-Baradei, the head of the IAEA, did chide Blix the following day for not taking into account IAEA’s knowledge on this matter, which was that the 3000 pages of documents were financial statements and Faleh’s own lifetime research work, and had nothing to do with the nuclear weapons program."

On the Faleh issue, B wrote to Khadduri, "Notice how Powell softened his talk on Faleh’s house? A big softening. I hope you still feel it’s worth talking to me. Someone made that softening happen."

On March 8, Jacques Baute, head of the Iraqi Action Team of IAEA inspectors, flew to Toronto for a meeting with Khadduri.

(Note: Baute is not the identity of "B")

"We knew each other from Baghdad, as he was an inspector in Iraq for many years," Khadduri said, "We spent seven hours reminiscing mostly about the nuclear weapons program before 1991, as he was well versed on its non-rejuvenation after that time. "I still had with me a few bits of information on that period that fitted in his jigsaw puzzle. He encouraged me to persuade other colleagues to come forward to bolster the IAEA’s position that it had interviewed senior scientists in the program."

Signing your own "death warrant"

Khadduri was particularly irked by Powell’s claim that Iraqi scientists were asked to sign confessional declarations, with a death penalty clause.

They were allegedly used to force the scientists to promise not to reveal their secrets to the IAEA inspection teams.

"Exactly the opposite was true," says Khadduri, "The four or five, as I recall, such declarations, the last of which was in 1997, held us to the penalty of death in the event that we did not hand in all of the sensitive documents and reports that may still be in our possession!"

"One would have thought that had Powell’s Intelligence services provided him with a copy of these declarations," he added, " and not depended on ‘defectors’ testimonies who are solely motivated by their self-promotion …and availed himself to a good Arabic translation of what these declarations actually said,…"

On this issue, B wrote: "What did you think of the Powell talk? Is it really that desperate?….For example, everyone with a security clearance in the US has an annual 'refresher.' It is noted that criminal acts of divulging information are punishable by death and you have to sign this form. I don’t do it anymore because I am not in the US…I’ll bet Powell himself has signed such a form in the last twelve months."

B added, "I was, personally, very influenced by the terrorism part, because the nuclear part was a joke. If Saddam is harboring [al-]Qaida, then there is plenty of reason to act. If it is aluminum tubes, then the US has a ten year attack window!"

How key officials steered the course toward war

Key facts regarding Bush administration claims about a reconstituted Iraqi nuclear program have been uncovered by investigative reporter Paul Sperry of WorldNetDaily, and are as follows:

  • Former Energy Department intelligence chief Thomas Rider, who agreed with the White House claim that Iraq had reconstituted its defunct nuclear-arms program was awarded a total of $20,500 in bonuses during the build-up to the war. As acting director of Energy's intelligence office for nine months preceding the war, Rider, a human resources bureaucrat with no intelligence experience, overruled senior intelligence officers on his staff in voting for the position at a National Foreign Intelligence Board meeting at CIA headquarters last September. Rider ordered the officers to "shut up and sit down," according to sources familiar with the meeting. As a result, State was the intelligence community's lone dissenter in the key National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction. Rider stepped down in February, a month before the war.
  • The conclusion formed the cornerstone of last fall's 90-page Top Secret intelligence report used to justify preemptive war on Iraq. Sources familiar with the NIE meeting say Rider was not a strong advocate for the position held by many lab engineers and physicists, some former inspectors in Iraq, that not only were the aluminum tubes more likely intended for conventional artillery rockets, but that Baghdad was not in fact reconstituting a nuclear weapons program.
  • State's intelligence arm, INR, ended up writing the dissenting opinion in the report asserting,: "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." It added that it "accepts the judgment of technical experts at the U.S. Department of Energy who have concluded that the tubes Iraq seeks to acquire are poorly suited for use in gas centrifuges to be used for uranium enrichment." State concluded that the evidence Baghdad was rekindling a nuke program was "inadequate" and didn't "add up to a compelling case."
  • David Albright, director of the Institute for Science and International Security in Washington, told Sperry that at the time the NIE was being drafted he talked to centrifuge experts at the labs who strenuously objected to the administration's claims that the aluminum tubes could not be used for anything but centrifuges. The result was a political, not a properly reasoned, decision about Baghdad's nuclear-bomb ambitions, Albright said.
  • The tubes argument, which was first leaked to the New York Times by the CIA and Pentagon early last September, was subsequently voiced by National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney in speeches and media interviews. Albright says Energy officials were forbidden from sharing with their skepticism with the press. "When I talked to some of the scientists at the labs, there was just this reaction of: 'We just don't believe there's a nuclear weapons program.' " Albright said.
  • Albright told Sperry that CIA Director George Tenet, who chaired the meeting, "made up his mind – and who's going to stand up and fight a Cabinet official?" adding, "The CIA's been playing games because their butt's on the line and they're not going to go down easily on these aluminum tubes." Sperry: "He said it was the linchpin in the administration's withering argument that Iraq posed an exigent threat to America, particularly since its companion allegation that Iraq recently sought uranium from Africa was largely discredited in the wake of its belated admission that supporting documents were discovered to be forgeries." "On the uranium, they can say, 'Aw, it's one piece of information, but the rest holds together,'" Albright said. "But if the aluminum tubes goes down, they're finished. I mean, that was the centerpiece of their argument that Iraq had reconstituted a nuclear weapons program and posed an imminent threat."
  • The Bush administration waited a month-and-a-half to turn over evidence backing its uranium charge against Iraq to a U.N. nuke group that had requested it – and only after the president amplified the charge in his prewar State of the Union speech. Just 10 days after finally receiving the evidence in February, the International Atomic Energy Agency discovered it was a fraud. The letters alleging a sales agreement between the African nation of Niger and Iraq for more than 500 tons of uranium were easily identified as forgeries. The IAEA, which was conducting nuclear inspections in Iraq, made its findings public in a report to the U.N. Security Council in early March. In a recent letter to Congress, the State Department, for one, acknowledged it learned the embarrassing truth at that time. Yet it didn't correct an Iraq "fact sheet" it put out in December that included the charge. The White House also remained silent. The next week, President Bush gave the order to invade Iraq. WND Washington bureau chief Paul Sperry detailed the uranium scandal in "Chronology of a Cover-up".

The buried centrifuge parts


The Bush administration, it’s case for a revived nuclear program crumbling, latched onto Baghdad scientist Mahdi Obeidi, who had led American troops to centrifuge parts he had buried under his rose garden 12 years ago.

The administration failed to mention, that Obeidi, the previous head of the centrifuge enrichment process, himself stated that Iraq’s nuclear program was never revived after 1991.

Jacques Baute, chief U.N. nuclear inspector for Iraq, concurred with the scientist’s statement. 


A source who declined to be named said Obeidi and his family are beingheld incommunicado in Baghdad. "No green card for him. They’re probably afraid he’ll go on Fox News and say there never was a nuclear program after 1991," quipped the source.

WND’s Paul Sperry commented, "That the CIA would invite CNN over to Langley to videotape the old dug-up parts shows just how little proof the administration has to support its pre-war claims, and how desperate it is to spin the public away from its burgeoning Weaponsgate scandal."

Sperry also stated, "Congress needs to call White House and CIA aides to testify in formal and open hearings – unless, of course, it intends to abdicate its oversight powers along with its power to declare war."

Dead scientists don’t talk

David Kay, head of the 1200-member Iraqi Survey Group charged with searching for WMD in Iraq, told the US Congress recently that he had found no evidence of weapons stockpiles or active production facilities. He suggested he had found evidence of aspirations and desire to continue work in fields of chemical and biological weapons, which findings were declared a victory and vindication by President Bush.

Kay’s statement indicates there was no evidence of a nuclear program, although he repeatedly mentioned suspicious and uncharacterized "projects" by Dr. Khalid Said, the leader of the secret PC3’s Group 4.

Dr. Said won’t be giving testimony about Iraq’s nuclear program though.

According to Khadduri and others, Said had taken over as leader after Dr. Khidir Hamza ("Saddam’s Bombmaker") was kicked out in 1987 for inferior performance, after only six months in the position.

Kay referred to scientists being afraid to testify, and difficulties in investigating the area of nuclear issues because Dr. Said is now deceased.

Dr. Said died in a hail of bullets when he failed to stop quickly enough at a US checkpoint on April 8, 2003.

And as previously reported in this series, the US has now sent Dr. Hamza back to Iraq, to report on the state of the nuclear program, in what appears to be a strange case of usurpation of the mantle of expert authority.

The choice of Hamza is troubling given his credibility problems which have received almost no press in America. Hussein Kamal in his defection debriefing by the UN called Hamza a "professional liar" and both Kamel and UN official, Prof. Maurizio Zifferero, a former Deputy Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) concluded that a document provided by Hamza was a "fake."   Britain’s Sunday Times later revealed that documents provided to them by Hamza were ruled to be "fake" also.

The documents claimed reconstitution of Iraq’s nuclear weapons program. 

Last year, David Albright told Australia's Lateline, "I must apologize that we no longer can in any way recommend Dr. Hamza. I unfortunately now believe he is deliberately distorting both his past credentials and his statements about Iraqi nuclear capabilities then and now."

Albright is a physicist, and President of the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) in Washington, D.C.

Albright cooperated actively with the IAEA Action Team from 1992 until 1997 and questioned members of Iraq's former uranium-enrichment programs about their statements in Iraq's draft Full, Final, and Complete Declaration. After leaving Iraq, Hamza worked in the US for ISIS for two years.

Albright said, "I believe that his statements are often inaccurate, they're inconsistent," adding, "I think he's distorted his title dramatically."

Ironically, Hamza is quoted as an authoritative source on a White House web page on Iraq, called "Apparatus of Lies."

This reporter asked Dr. Imad Khadduri if his testimony had ever been sought by US government officials, or if he had ever been asked to testify before Congress.

"Never, " he replied.

The lack of interest in questioning Khadduri, who has been available for questioning for five years, and whose experience in the program was according to interviewed officials, far more extensive and recent than "Saddam’s Bombmaker," raises serious questions about the motivation, competency and thoroughness of "intelligence" presented to the American public on Iraq and of David Kay’s investigatory processes.

In addition to the lack of evidence of a nuclear program, Sperry's investigations for WorldNetDaily led to the following reports:

  • U.S. intelligence services unanimously agreed last fall that "no specific intelligence information" tied Iraq to U.S. terrorist attacks, including the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. Their findings were presented to the president Oct. 2 in a still-secret report on Iraq. The summary, or "key judgments" section, of the 90-page National Intelligence Estimate was recently declassified. WorldNetDaily obtained a copy from the National Security Council. (The report is different from the unclassified 25-page white paper the CIA made public on its website last October.) Page 4 of the report  states: "... [W]e have no specific intelligence information that Saddam's regime has directed attacks against U.S. territory." WND’s Sperry stated that the statement appeared to undercut a popular theory among Iraq hawks that Baghdad conspired with al-Qaida operatives to try to blow up New York's Twin Towers in 1993, and possibly sponsored the repeat attack on them in 2001. He points out that since the Sept. 11 attacks, Iraq hard-liners – including Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz and former CIA Director James Woolsey – have openly embraced the theory, first published in the book "The War Against America: Saddam Hussein and the World Trade Center Attacks." "In fact, Woolsey wrote the foreword to the book, authored by Laurie Mylroie, an adjunct fellow at the Washington-based American Enterprise Institute. Woolsey, who has argued for starting ‘World War IV’ in the Middle East, called the book ‘brilliant and brave," Sperry said.
  • In addition, Paul Wolfowitz The Pentagon's No. 2 official also backtracked from a recent nationally televised claim that "a great many of [Osama] bin Laden's key lieutenants are now trying to organize in cooperation with old loyalists from the Saddam regime to attack in Iraq." Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz made the remark on ABC's "Good Morning America." Challenged the next day by a news wire to provide evidence to back the shocking revelation, Wolfowitz said he had misspoken. Sperry added, "In addition, the administration has linked Abu Musab al-Zarqawi to al-Qaida, and repeatedly cited him in asserting prewar links between al-Qaida and Iraq. U.S. intelligence officials, however, have not confirmed a link, and have noted he may have acted independently of bin Laden's network. The administration has produced no credible evidence of direct Iraqi sponsorship of al-Qaida attacks on America or its interests abroad – an alleged conspiracy the U.S. intelligence community dismissed before the war in a 90-page classified report to the president, though he still suggested otherwise in public speeches and remarks."

Other administration officials have backpedaled also, and language appears to have softened to include adjectives like Iraqi "aspirations" or "desires" for WMD, and "programs" of WMD, which could arguably include intent and paperwork, rather than actual weapons.

Imad Khadduri contends that Bush, Blair and their senior officials waged a criminal invasion based on misinformation.

"Is this the democracy model for a "liberated" Iraq?" he asks.

Meanwhile, well-known law professor Francis Boyle, politicians, journalists and even some US cities are sabre-rattling, demanding investigations and even impeachment. The motivations are mixed and are said by academic observers to range from those seeking justice to politicians scrambling to "cover their ass" by accusing the President of lying while feigning ignorance of true intelligence in order to explain their own vote for war in Iraq.

Next up: Part V: ‘Weaponsgate

 Part 5: Weaponsgate

Author’s Note:

The debate over Iraq’s nuclear capabilities and whether or not they were a serious threat to the US, has polarized the world, and American politics. The central issue at stake is whether or not war on Iraq was justified and whether or not the American people were lied to. While biological and chemical weapons were also at issue, Bush administration officials presented the distinctly alarming specter of an imminent nuclear threat, which could arrive in the form of a "mushroom cloud" if America hesitated to take action.

Dr. Imad Khadduri was a top scientist involved in Iraq's nuclear program from 1968 until the end of 1998, when he was able to escape. He now serves as a network administrator in Toronto, Canada. This is his life story, and the story of what really happened inside the Iraqi nuclear program as told by Khadduri and other officials in interviews, and in the advance release of Khadduri’s memoirs, which will be available in American bookstores in December.

"And ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free. John VIII-XXXII"
---Inscription in main lobby of CIA headquarters

As former Iraqi nuclear scientist Dr. Imad Khadduri, a Canadian resident, continues to be ignored by the Bush administration officials and mainstream American media, David Kay, who is in Iraq reportedly working hard to uncover the truth about the alleged Iraqi nuclear program, repeatedly cited only a dead scientist in his recent report to media -Dr. Khalid Said.

As mentioned earlier in this series, Dr. Said cannot report on the nuclear issues raised by the Bush administration because was killed by American troops on April 8, 2003 when he failed to stop quickly enough at a Baghdad checkpoint.

Adding to the omission of ignoring the "live" scientist, Khadduri was very familiar with the work of Khalid Said’s Group 4 activities under the secret PC3 group (see previous installments of this series) and at one point carried and concealed the only magneto-optical disk of Said’s group work with him.  

The omission is more ironic given that behind the scenes, an IAEA official (referred to here simply as "B") is currently in the process of questioning Khadduri about Said.

"Many of us questioned Oeidi saying that Khalid was behind centrifuges because dead men can't defend themselves," writes "B." "Frankly, we were not impressed with Khalid as a manager and as a technician. Would you be willing to share your candid opinion with me of Khalid as a leader and as a technical visionary?"

And referring to Jacques Baute, chief International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), nuclear inspector in Iraq, "B" writes, "I would share anything you say with Jacques, naturally, but I would not cite you in any public place."

A "Faustian bargain?" 

Dr. Gordon Prather, a physicist who was the army's chief scientist during the Reagan years, notes the reports that Kay was fired from his position as deputy director of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Iraq Action Team in the early 1990s because of his contacts with the U.S. intelligence community.


One Pentagon source indicated Kay was not seen or heard of at the Pentagon in the 1980’s when he was on staff. The source believes from as far back as the ‘80’s Kay may have been a CIA operative.

Khadduri told this reporter, "We were informed by our Security/Intelligence - since the day that David Kay was put in Baghdad in 1991 -that he was a CIA operative. When
he set-up his communication trailer in front of the Khairat building -where the inspectors were encircled for a week- in September 1991, he beamed the scanned reports gleaned from that building directly to the CIA in Langley, and then to the UN/IAEA."

David Kay went on to later tell media, "I realize it was always a bargain with the Devil -- spies spying. The longer it continued, the more the intelligence agencies would, often for very legitimate reasons, decide that they had to use the access they got through cooperation with UNSCOM to carry out their missions."

"Both Hamza and Kay are snakes, and I don’t mind going on record saying that," Prather commented.

Objective reports?

David Kay is presently tasked with uncovering the actual objectives, scope, and dimensions of Iraq's WMD activities at the time of Operation Iraqi Freedom. It is an investigation that Kay and 1,500 agents from the Pentagon's Iraq Survey Group have been conducting for three months now.

Kay gave media a short unclassified report on Oct. 2, the same day that he gave behind-closed-doors "interim report" to a panel of several congressional committees.

Kay’s report is notable for its subtle and sophisticated omissions which are characteristic of the language of political propaganda and persuasion and not merely a function of the unfinished nature of the work.

The report is peppered with linguistic vagaries expansive enough to drive a hypothetical biological weapons trailer through - including phrases and words like "may have," "research," " plans," "could be applied to," "indications" of, "interest, "laboratory possibly used for," "can be used to produce " (vs. was used to produce) "searching for" and "capacity."

It is a report impossible for journalists to corroborate because of the vagaries and the lack of names of scientists interviewed -except for the dead one.

There is said to be "no proof" the notorious two trailers President Bush said were "weapons of mass destruction," were used for biological weapons production, but Kay instead uses a ‘reverse-logic’ stating, "nothing we have discovered rules out their potential use in BW production."

The mere realm of possibility thus becomes sufficient cause for a hypothesis reaffirmed, and for the endless and impossible proving of a negative - a hallmark of the administration’s war arguments.

The case of the mysterious "mushroom cloud"

Unnamed Iraqi officials allegedly told Kay that Saddam would have resumed nuclear weapons development at "some future point" putting the nuke activity reiterated by the administration prior to the war, as well as an important pre-war rationale, in the realm of Steven Spielberg’s "Department of Pre-Crime."

Others allegedly told Kay that Saddam "wanted" to restart the nuclear program, but no proof has been uncovered that there was capability or operation of even the most elemental activity of such.

Evidence of renewed nuclear weapons research has not been found, not even esoteric doodling on the back of a Tigris café napkin.

Kay reported that Dr. Khalid Ibrahim Said (the "dead scientist") "began several small and relatively unsophisticated research initiatives that could be applied to nuclear weapons development."

Could be applied in what way? Were they directly related to nuclear weapons research or were they research initiatives in another field with unavoidable "dual" applications common to the field of nuclear physics? Were these initiatives done for the government or his own enjoyment and exercise as a scientist?

These and other important basic questions are not answered in the vague language of the report.

The villainous vial

Among the "finds" of the report, was a vial of live C. botulinum Okra B. (from which a biological agent can be produced) hidden in the back of an Iraqi scientist’s refrigerator.

The tube was touted as a vindication of war, but it raises another question: was a bombing campaign and the deaths of over 10,000 people, and the dropping of napalm the only way the technologically superior and intelligence-equipped US could get to a vial of crunk hidden in the back of a lone scientist’s refrigerator?

Said Kay, "This discovery -- hidden in the home of a BW scientist -- illustrates the point I made earlier about the difficulty of locating small stocks of material that can be used to covertly surge production of deadly weapons."

However the report gives no evidence of any capability of biological weapons production.

Glen Rangwala of Cambridge University points out that botulinum type B can also be used for making an antidote for common botulism poisoning and for that reason many countries and military laboratories keep sample strains, including the UK who calls them "seed banks."

"Throughout the report, Kay kicks up a sandstorm of suggestiveness, but no more," wrote Fred Kaplan in MSNBC’s Slate.

Kaplan called Kay’s report, a "shockingly lame piece of work."

The ‘compassionate war’

WMD and terrorist connections were not the only themes that were and continue to be exposited as pretext for the preemptive war.

In his address before Australian parliament, President Bush invoked a familiar theme of the inhumane brutality of Saddam Hussein, suggesting that it was a vindication of war.

"Who can possibly think that the world would be better off with Saddam Hussein still in power?" Bush asked as he wrapped up a six-nation lobbying campaign addressing Asian and Pacific allies.

Administration officials have repeatedly referred to Saddam Hussein’s hideous atrocities including victim’s tongues being cut out, brutal rapes and persons being fed head-first into a shredding machine.

They were powerful emotional appeals to a compassionate America.

The references to brutality though beg a question related to the second presidential debate of the 2000 campaign, regarding the genocide in Rwanda.

In 1994, 600,000 people were hacked to death with machetes and otherwise brutally murdered in a frenzy of violence so horrific one African missionary said, "There are no more devils in Hell. They are all in Rwanda."

Aerial photographs showed an apocalyptic scene of rivers running red with blood while clogged with the bloated corpses of tens of thousands of people.

Former President Clinton did not intervene, and later apologized for "missing" the genocide.

During the presidential debate, Bush was asked if he would've done anything differently.

Bush indicated he would not have acted differently, adding, "I thought they made the right decision not to send U.S. troops into Rwanda."

The fact that the brutality in Rwanda was just as horrific as that of Hussein’s regime and that Bush would not have intervened to stop the genocide, raises questions about Bush's rationale when invoking brutality suffered by a civilian population as genuine part of a strategic pretext for preemptive war in Iraq.

Calling for investigations

Meanwhile journalists, politicians and academics as well as two California cities and grassroots citizen groups , are calling for investigations, and even impeachment.

WorldNetDaily Washington bureau chief Paul Sperry commented, "Congress needs to call White House and CIA aides to testify in formal and open hearings – unless, of course, it intends to abdicate its oversight powers along with its power to declare war. "

The New York Times’ Paul Krugman argued, "If that claim was fraudulent, the selling of the war is arguably the worst scandal in American political history - worse than Watergate, worse than Iran-contra."


John Dean, former White House counsel to Richard Nixon said, "Krugman is right to suggest a possible comparison to Watergate. In the three decades since Watergate, this is the first potential scandal I have seen that could make Watergate pale by comparison. If the Bush Administration intentionally manipulated or misrepresented intelligence to get Congress to authorize, and the public to support, military action to take control of Iraq, then that would be a monstrous misdeed. "

Dean, in his previous legal analysis for, was careful to add that there needed to be proof that President Bush knowingly lied.

Supporters of the President consider such suggestions outrageous, and even traitorous, citing the need for the nation to be unified in the face of the enemy of terrorism.

Administration officials have previously suggested that media if too critical in its coverage, could in effect be aiding the enemy –terrorists.

Calling for impeachment : "We told you so!"

Meanwhile, law professor Francis Boyle of the University of Illinois, continues to spearhead calls for impeachment of Bush, Cheney, Ashcroft and Rumsfeld.

Boyle leads the Impeach Bush Now campaign, which is largely run by "hard-working and idealistic students."

Responding to Khadduri’s revelations, Boyle said, "I and others in the American peace
movement were saying this months ago when a crisis was first developing - that there were no weapons of mass destruction (WMD) over there, and it was all just propaganda to generate a war," Boyle said.

"Now for the legal and constitutional aspect, if we take a look at the resolution passed in October authorizing the use of military force, the ‘whereas’ clauses are filled with statements that were wrong. They were propaganda at the time and drafted into legislation by Alberto Gonzalez - then sent to Congress.

We are in a situation where the White House procured a de facto declaration of war on a basis of fraud and misrepresentation.

The point is, if President Clinton can be impeached for lying about sex, what about President Bush for lying about war?"

Bush "cooked" over "conspiracy?"

Boyle agrees with John Dean who has said that the situation may fall under the "conspiracy to defraud" statue, which if applied to Nixon, is also applicable to Bush.

"To put it bluntly, if Bush has taken Congress and the nation into war based on bogus information, he is cooked," Dean said, "Manipulation or deliberate misuse of national security intelligence data, if proven, could be ‘a high crime’ under the Constitution's impeachment clause. It would also be a violation of federal criminal law, including the broad federal anti-conspiracy statute, which renders it a felony ‘to defraud the United States, or any agency thereof in any manner or for any purpose.

Boyle observes, "We’ve seen Congressman Conyers say the administration absolutely lied about these WMD, now Sen. Kennedy has said the war was procured in the basis of fraud."

But is it credible that Democrats really were in the dark when it came to intelligence questions, including those Democrats who sat on intelligence committees? And if they were, why did they not speak out vigorously before the war?

"I think they knew all along," said Boyle, "knew it was propaganda concocted by the spin-cons at the Pentagon."

On a possible congressional reaction, Boyle speculated, "They will say they did vote for war, but were lied to. They might act to protect themselves, by sponsoring a bill of impeachment."


"I think it will become clearer as time goes on, about the assertions regarding WMD -WMD that aren’t there - regretfully for everyone involved, including those serving so bravely in our military, the killed, wounded and the 10,000 Iraqi civilians killed."

"It’s a terrible mess."

He adds that impeachment comes down to citizen participation: "The Congress is empowered to impeach a sitting President, but will only do so in response to
overwhelming public pressure"

"Iraq’s nuclear mirage"

Meanwhile, as American anti-war demonstrators plan another march on the Capitol and San Francisco on October 25th, Imad Khadduri says he weeps over Iraq, which he says has served as fodder for the political ambitions of both Saddam Hussein and President Bush, with the Iraqi people a mere afterthought.

Khadduri, like so many others, has suffered at the hands of Saddam, yet says he fears Iraq and the Iraqi people will be cast into a state of free fall, "dropping into a deeper abyss, with Turkey, Iran and Israel… all eyeing pieces of Iraqi flesh to bite off. The oil has already been marked."

"Bush, Blair and their senior officials lied to their people, knowingly, and waged a criminal invasion …Is this the democracy model for a ‘liberated’ Iraq?" he asks

The scientist was motivated earlier this year to compile his notes on the Iraqi nuclear program, and review information with his former associates as well as release documents pertaining to covert operations of the pre-Gulf War program.

The author generously shared much of that information with this writer over a period of months starting in February 2003, in the form of phone interviews, email interviews, emails sent to him from other Iraqi nuclear officials on the history of the program, -all information that would wind up forming critical parts of his new book, "Iraq’s Nuclear Mirage." In addition, this writer received a rough draft of chapter four, the fascinating email trails between the IAEA’s "B," and the scientist, and finally an advance electronic copy of the book prior to its release.

The availability of the book, originally slated to be in American bookstores in December or January, has now been accelerated due to demand generated by the publication of this series. The Washington Post has expressed interest in Khadduri’s information, and investigative reporter Seymour Hersh of the New Yorker recently completed a one-hour interview with the scientist.

The "Lion of Babylon"

Meanwhile, Khadduri predicts that the Iraq war may have unintended consequences of steeling antagonism against the US:

"The Lion of Babylon will rise again," he predicts

Khadduri’s comments were mirrored by statements made by US intelligence experts who previously warned administration officials that Saddam posed no imminent threat to the US and that attacking would likely galvanize a desperate Saddam into joining forces with al-Qaida as the only way to strike back at the US. Hussein also currently has billions of dollars at his disposal.

Classic military strategy theory often counsels against backing an opponent who is not an imminent threat into a "corner" and allowing him no "way out," warning that such a controversial move may create a greater danger than previously existed, thereby complicating military decision-making.

That type of counsel also appeared in a still-secret report given to the President on Oct. 2 2002. The summary, or "key judgments" section, of the 90-page National Intelligence Estimate was recently declassified. WorldNetDaily obtained a copy from the National Security Council. (The report is different from the unclassified 25-page white paper the CIA made public on its website last October.) Page 4 of the report said Iraq would probably attempt clandestine attacks on the Homeland if Baghdad feared an attack that threatened the survival of the regime were imminent or unavoidable or possibly for revenge.

"Saddam if sufficiently desperate might decide that only an organization such as al-Qaeda –with worldwide reach and extensive terrorist infrastructure, and already engaged in a life-or-death struggle with the United States could perpetrate the type of terrorist attack that he would hope to conduct."

A chemical or biological weapons attack against the United States, carried out by a terror-coalition was presented as one potential revenge scenario, as " [Saddam’s] last chance to exact vengeance by taking a large number of victims with him."

Meanwhile, Osama bin Laden sidekick Ayman al-Zawahiri has issued an ominous tape-recorded warning: "But we tell America one thing: What you have seen so far is nothing but the first skirmishes. The real battle hasn't started yet."

"364 days of desecration"

How prepared is the United States for a possible terrorist "revenge coalition" funded at an unprecedented level by Saddam’s hidden billions?

  • During the war on Iraq, President Bush reminded a jittery US, that we could face a smallpox attack at any moment. Before going to war however, only 37,500 of over 2 million "first responders" had been vaccinated against the virus, to say nothing of the safety of the 'rank and file' citizens.
  • In addition, an amendment asking for $125 million to hire 1,300 customs inspectors to help secure America's still-porous borders was rejected as too expensive. Yet, on the exact same day, the President sent Congress an emergency request for $150 million for 5,350 border inspections personnel including 2,500 customs inspectors – in Iraq.
  • The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has still not made a decision on universal anti-hijacking training for flight attendants, the 'back end' of aviation is still for the most part 'wide open,' and former FAA Red Team member Steve Elson says the million-dollar scanning machines can't tell a "bomb from a bowel movement." (Their detection ability is classified.)  
  • Italian aeronautics engineer Carlo Viberti of the Turin Cosmo Association has discovered weapons, including guns, can be concealed from detectors if carried under Teflon or Nomex (both made by Dupont) fabric popular in winter jackets, vests and a number of other items. He joined with Italian police in alerting the US State Department, and other agencies but received no substantive response.
  • In addition, a little-known loophole (Section 108) in the Aviation Transportation and Security Act, will allow the security screening process to revert back to private companies next November -this after hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent federalizing (and supposedly improving) the program. Aviation security expert Charles Slepian told Congressman Mica in a private meeting in Washington, "You put that [Section 108] in there to twilight this thing, didn't you?" Mica responded, "That's right. The President didn't want it and I didn't want it either," referring to the federalization of workers. A spokesman for Mica's office confirmed the conversation.
  • The threat of shoulder-launched missiles (MANPADS) targeting American jets is held to be serious, and administration officials indicate they are moving to research equipping commercial jets with laser interceptors (DIRCMS.) Such a plan however, is likely to take ten years, and billions to implement and is called by many experts a "fantasy" because of its prohibitive cost. The technology would also require maintenance and increase the amount of fuel used on trips. One military expert told this reporter Congress is likely to fund a "stripped down version" of such an interceptor: a simple infrared (heat) sensor wired to a flare dispenser. "They have a notoriously high false alarm rate," he said, adding, "So imagine how popular it's going to be to have airliners randomly ejecting batches of hot flares over Iowa wheat fields and dry California forests. "
  • A US Department of Homeland Security report on the MANPADS threat, dated May 22, ("Program plan for the development of an antimissile device for commercial aircraft") obtained by this reporter, indicates preliminary cost and research activities are scheduled to extend well though 2005.

"The only thing that's moving fast in Washington is politics," quipped Paul Sperry, Washington bureau chief for WorldNetDaily.

"Crude politics"

Sperry, author of "Crude Politics: How Bush's Oil Cronies Hijacked the War on Terrorism" has been highly critical of the Bush administration’s "diversion" from Osama bin Laden to Saddam Hussein, stating, "It's abundantly clear that Bush is playing politics with homeland security. Apparently his own political survival is more important than that of the people he swore to protect from al-Qaida after 9-11. That's not leadership, that's cowardice."


Syndicated columnist Michelle Malkin recently wrote a scathing indictment of government failures, saying American politicians were spitting on the graves of the victims of 9/11.

Malkin warned that one day of remembrance and rhetoric by corrupt, callous and incompetent politicians, will be followed by "364 days of desecration in deed."
Meanwhile David Kay continues his search for WMD in Iraq, and to find answers to the nuclear 'puzzle,' focusing on the deceased Dr. Said just as studiously as he avoids the very live Dr. Khadduri.

"It is far too early to reach any definitive conclusions," says Kay, "and, in some areas, we may never reach that goal."

The information provided in this report raises serious questions about the information and processes used to reach those conclusions.

The fact that the US is having such difficulties reaching definitive conclusions about WMD after the launching of preemptive war -the philosophy of which is rooted in superlative and unerring prior intelligence – will continue to raise serious questions that demand substantive answers and action.

* * * * * *

Note: Dr. Khadduri's new book, titled Iraq's Nuclear Mirage: Memoirs and Delusions is available in American bookstores and from the publisher/author.

The author has agreed to ship copies out himself to Etherzone readers who want to obtain a copy of the book now. Signed copies are also available and inquiries should be directed to Dr. Khadduri via his website: Iraq’s Nuclear Mirage

* Sherrie Gossett is a Florida-based freelance writer, and formerly a researcher with the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Her website, Digital Dope, will be online shortly, and will feature research, documents, photographs, and the behind-the-scenes stories of her articles, including details of her meetings with organized crime figures, government officials, undercover agents and other interesting characters. Sherrie is a regular investigative columnist for Ether Zone.

Sherrie Gossett can be reached at:

Published in the October 24, 2003 issue of  Ether Zone.
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