''The mirage of Iraq's weapons of mass
Wednesday, April 30, 2003
By Imad Khadduri
Former Iraqi nuclear scientist
YellowTimes.org Guest Columnist (Canada)
-- In late August 2002, I listened with trepidation to President Bush's
burgeoning false allegations about Iraq's nuclear military capability.
Even then, one could discern that the sustained use of misinformation to
support the invasion of Iraq
showed that the President's claims were not based on any facts. I, having
worked with Iraq's nuclear
program for thirty years, reacted with a series of articles expounding on the
fact that Iraq
had ceased its nuclear weapons program at the start of the 1991 war. I refuted
the claims and evidence most famously, or infamously, branded by Secretary of
State Colin Powell to the Security Council in February 2003 in which Powell
argued that Iraq
had rejuvenated its nuclear weapons program after the Gulf War.
apprehension, I listened to Vice President Dick Cheney's claim on MSNBC that
does not accept the results of the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA)
extensive inspections nor its failure to find any evidence of a rejuvenated
Iraqi nuclear weapons program. The IAEA explicitly exposed the fact that a
uranium procurement document provided by British and American intelligence as a
piece of evidence proving Iraq's
nuclear weapon capability was, in fact, a planted forgery. Cheney provocatively
claimed, on the day before Bush's 48 hours ultimatum to invade Iraq, that U.S. intelligence had proof
otherwise. My last retort to that incredible plain lie was that some bogus
evidence might be planted once U.S.
forces were on the ground in Iraq.
Bombing to waste, yet again, the main Nuclear
Research Center at Tuwaitha,
and foolishly allowing American soldiers to break IAEA protective seals and
opening Tuwaitha's radioactive burial mound for
looters who then contaminated themselves and their families, the Americans have
yet to produce their "evidence" of a nuclear weapons program in Iraq. Why is
Cheney now silent about Iraq's
nuclear weapons program? With U.S.
troops in control of Iraq,
this information cannot be a "national security" issue anymore.
In addition to
the non-existent nuclear weapons program, two developments in the past two
months have convinced me that, since 1991-1992, Iraq did not rejuvenate its
chemical or biological weapons programs, either.
development was a Newsweek story on March 03, 2003 unveiling, after eight years
of suppression, the transcript of Hussain Kamel's debriefing by officials from the IAEA and the U.N.
inspection team known as UNSCOM; this debriefing took place after Kamel defected to Jordan in 1995. In it, he affirmed
had indeed destroyed its entire stockpile of chemical and biological weapons
and banned missiles after the Gulf War. All that remained were "hidden
blueprints, computer disks, microfiches." The weapons were destroyed
secretly, in order to hide their existence from inspectors, in the hopes of
someday resuming production after inspections had finished. According to John
Barry, who broke the story, the CIA and MI6 were told the same account and
"a military aide who defected with Kamel ... backed
Kamel's assertions about the destruction of WMD
stocks." But these statements were "hushed up by the U.N.
inspectors" in order to "bluff Saddam into disclosing still
On February 26,
2003, a complete copy of Hussain Kamel's
transcript -- an internal UNSCOM/IAEA document stamped "sensitive" --
was obtained by Glen Rangwala, the Cambridge University
analyst who in early February revealed that Tony Blair's "intelligence
dossier" was plagiarized from a student thesis. This transcript can be
seen at http://www.fair.org/press-releases/kamel.pdf.
On page 7 of the
transcript, an UNSCOM Russian expert, with the name of Smidovich,
asked the direct question: "Were weapons and agents destroyed?"
remained," was Kamel's reply.
insisted: "Was it before or after inspections started?"
Hussain Kamel replied: "After visits of inspection
insisted: "We could not find any traces of destruction."
Hussain Kamel reiterated: "Yes, it was done before you came
in. The place they buried them was found by you."
recollected: "Is this the place north of Baghdad where they were buried?"
Hussain Kamel replied: "It was in the month you came in. Destruction
of warheads started but I could not remember the details."
Tellingly, Iraq, in
January 2003, collected and provided access to UNMOVIC to more than twenty
personnel who actually participated in the events of the above revelation. UNSCOM
then carried out further extensive excavations at that site.
Hussain Kamel also had a few remarks on the bottom of page 5 on the
habitual liar, Khidhir Hamza,
who kept claiming throughout the nineties, on CNN and FOX as well as to
Congressional Committees, that Iraq
was on the verge of producing nuclear bombs. His accusations continued up until
March 2003 when he suddenly quieted down and headed for Kuwait to receive his new post in
the new "Iraqi" government.
of Hussain Kamel's detailed
confession, by itself, did not induce me to endorse his assertion bluntly or
publicly, though it was illuminating and historically authentic. Previously we
had heard of his confession, but not of its contents.
It was the
second event, which took place two weeks ago, which convinced me of the
futility of finding weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
Amer Al Saadi, the chemical engineer and a senior scientific
consultant to the Iraqi government, was the first prominent personality to
surrender to the American forces after his German wife interceded with a German
TV station to arrange for his surrender. For the past decade, he had been a
polished, dignified and assured spokesman. He participated in the biological
weapons program since its start in the early eighties. I knew him personally
and had great admiration for his scientific integrity. In a ten-minute
interview with German TV, Al Saadi asserted that:
"I was always telling the truth. Iraq does not have chemical and
biological weapons of mass destruction. I have nothing to hide. Time will bear
Indeed, time is
bearing him out to the chagrin of Bush and Blair. The American and British
hopes of finding any WMDs in Iraq, not
planted by them, are vanishing mirages.
Bush, Blair and
their senior officials lied to their people, knowingly, and waged a criminal
invasion in lieu of this reason. Is this the democracy model for a
has a MSc in Physics from the University
of Michigan (United States) and a PhD in Nuclear Reactor
Technology from the University of Birmingham (United Kingdom). Khadduri worked
with the Iraqi Atomic Energy Commission from 1968 until 1998. He was able to
in late 1998 with his family. He now teaches and works as a network administrator
in Toronto, Canada.]
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