LoftusReport.com ^ | October 25, 2007 | John Loftus.
We live in an age of documents. There are no more secrets, only deferred disclosures.
Saddam Hussein's secret documents are measured by the shelf-mile and stored inside a secure but dusty facility near U.S. Central Command Headquarters in Doha, Qatar, and in several subsidiary sites.
Armed guards protect the unread dossiers. Three shifts of two hundred translators each work around the clock. Perhaps 5% of these captured documents have been studied so far, but their contents are about to shatter much of the conventional wisdom concerning Saddam's weapons of mass destruction.
The absolutists on either side of the WMD debate will be more than a bit chagrinned at the disclosures. The documents show a much more complex history than previously suspected. The "Bush lied, people died" chorus has insisted that Saddam had no WMD whatsoever after 1991 - and thus that WMD was no good reason for the war. The Neocon diehards insist that, as in Raiders of the Lost Ark, the treasure-trove is still out there somewhere, buried under the sand dunes of Iraq.
Each side is more than a little bit wrong abou Saddam's WMD, and each side is only a little bit right about what happened to it.
(Excerpt) Read more at loftusreport.com ...
Another Report in full from FrontPage Magazine.Com:
Shattering Conventional Wisdom About Saddam's WMD's
FrontPageMagazine.com ^ | November 16, 2007 | John Loftus Excerpted
We live in an age of documents. There are no more secrets, only deferred disclosures. Saddam Hussein's secret documents are measured by the shelf-mile and stored inside a secure but dusty facility near U.S. Central Command Headquarters in Doha, Qatar, and in several subsidiary sites. Armed guards protect the unread dossiers. Three shifts of two hundred translators each work around the clock. Perhaps 5% of these captured documents have been studied so far, but their contents are about to shatter much of the conventional wisdom concerning Saddam's weapons of mass destruction.
The absolutists on either side of the WMD debate will be more than a bit chagrinned at the disclosures. The documents show a much more complex history than previously suspected. The "Bush lied, people died" chorus has insisted that Saddam had no WMD whatsoever after 1991 - and thus that WMD was no good reason for the war. The Neocon diehards insist that, as in Raiders of the Lost Ark, the treasure-trove is still out there somewhere, buried under the sand dunes of Iraq. Each side is more than a little bit wrong about Saddam's WMD, and each side is only a little bit right about what happened to it.
The gist of the new evidence is this: roughly one quarter of Saddam's WMD was destroyed under UN pressure during the early to mid 1990's. Saddam sold approximately another quarter of his weapons stockpile to his Arab neighbors during the mid to late 1990's. The Russians insisted on removing another quarter in the last few months before the war. The last remaining WMD, the contents of Saddam's nuclear weapons labs, were still inside Iraq on the day when the coalition forces arrived in 2003, but were stolen from under the Americans’ noses and sent to Syria. Syria is one of eight countries in the world that never signed a treaty banning WMD, and now is the storehouse for much of what remains of Saddam's WMD Empire. This was the target of the recent Israeli air strike.
There are only a few people in the world who were close to being right all along about Saddam's WMD. One of them was Yossef Bodansky, a noted intelligence analyst and former director of the Congressional Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare. On page 496 of Bodansky’s book, "The Secret History of the Iraq War" he makes the astounding assertion that:
".. .The United States had long known that Saddam moved virtually all production capabilities to Libya and Sudan somewhere between 1996 and 1998. Subsequently, in the summer of 2002, with Tehran's consent, the residual chemical weapons production capabilities were shipped to Iran..."
In other words, is Bodansky is right (and he usually is) as late as 2002, Saddam still retained a CW production capability and then sold it to the Iranians on the eve of war. The CIA has now acknowledged that they had a highly-placed spy in Saddam's cabinet who agreed that Saddam had gotten rid of all of his production facilities, but the super spy claimed that Saddam still retained a lethal stockpile of finished chemical weapons in early 2003. The latter information, about the remaining CW stockpile, turns out to have been incorrect, but neither the CIA nor their Iraqi super spy knew it at the time.
After Saddam's brother-in-law Kemal Hussein defected to Jordan in the mid 1990's and exposed some (but not all) of the numerous Iraqi WMD programs, Saddam started over from scratch on WMD production, using a small and secret cadre of new program leaders. Among the newly-disclosed documents are Saddam's actual tape recordings of the meetings of this special group for WMD.
The National Security Agency has confirmed that the tapes are authentic and that the voiceprints are unquestionably those of Saddam and his elite WMD advisers. The CIA's super-spy, excluded from this working group, apparently did not know that it even existed. (His voice appears nowhere on the tapes.) He simply could not have known what Saddam was doing with his WMD programs, let alone with his CW stockpile.
Most of the audio recordings of the secret WMD group are undated, as the CD on which they were found is a compilation of tapes of various WMD meetings stretching over a decade. But their tone is consistent not only with other recorded WMD meetings but with the newly-released document intelligence archives, many of which are revealed here for the first time through the assistance of author and geopolitical analyst Mr. Ryan Mauro. Mauro cautions that "the recently declassified documents have the potential to shatter any conclusions or judgments about what Saddam Hussein's regime was up to. Until all these documents are translated and analyzed, it is premature to reach any conclusion."
Translating shelf miles of documents, however, may take decades. In the meantime, enough of Saddam's secret files have been translated to illustrate one clear trend over time: through the time of Hans Blix and the run-up to the invasion, Saddam had absolutely no intention of destroying his WMD.
In the last year of his regime, Saddam was in fact still trying to expand his chemical weapons capability. In January 2002, his advisors discussed research into a precursor for Sarin nerve gas. In September 2002, for example, only seven months before the war, Saddam's Military Industrial Commission approved the illegal production of the precursor chemicals used to make Tabun nerve gas. Four days later, another office discussed plans to import a banned compound, phosphorus pentasulfate. The UN had required Iraq to prove that it had destroyed all of its stocks of this chemical, which is a precursor for VX nerve gas. Instead, they were importing more of it. In October 2002, Saddam's Director of Planning ordered more than forty tons of various chemicals which, when mixed together, would make Zyclon B – the poison gas used by the Nazis to kill millions of Jews during the Holocaust. Saddam's scientists appear never to have met a poison gas they did not like.
The secret planning for banned chemical weapons in 2002 was no last-minute decision of desperation on the eve of war. Rather, it typified Saddam's long, well-thought-out plan to deceive the UN – an ongoing project that went back more than a decade. For example, Saddam's intelligence service sent out a memo in 1997 ordering his staff not to destroy any WMD but to conceal prohibited materials, "hide equipment and documents....make sure that labs are cleaned of any traces of chemical or biological substances." That was the real Saddam: hide the WMD documents, clean up the tell-tale evidence.
Beginning in 1998, Saddam’s staff went into overdrive to conceal their illegal WMD programs: "The researchers [sic] that cannot be declared and that is related with the previous prohibited programs of WMD and how to make sure that information about these researchers will not leak to the outside world." Files from 1999, marked “Top Secret”, confirm that the Iraqi army had a "chemical platoon" that was undergoing training in every form of illegal chemical weapons. By 2001, the regime ensured that their chemical platoons had mobile shower vehicles for decontamination. Similarly, the production of mobile labs (which the Duelfer report concluded had ended in 1997) were still being manufactured in 2002.
There can be no doubt that instead of destroying his WMD in 1991, Saddam had a clear intent to revive his WMD production, to expand it and to hide it from the UN inspectors as late as 2002. So where did the stockpile of chemical weapons go in 2003?
John Shaw knew. He had seen this kind of scam before. This, as the Texans say, was not his first rodeo. John (Jack) Shaw, was a distinguished civil servant who was pushed out of the US Department of Defense shortly after the 2004 elections. He was the point man for tracking the mass of conventional weapons and prohibited technology that was found in Iraq. He did his job well, apparently too well for the comfort of some government officials.
As Deputy Under Secretary of Defense, Shaw’s job was to track illegal sales of conventional weapons all over the world, but particularly in Iraq. Shipping arms to Iraq was a direct violation of the UN embargo order and US law. There was a good bit of that going on in the run-up to the war. Saddam had a lot of money and European arms merchants had a lot of weapons to sell, often with a wink and a nod from their home governments. Shaw unearthed evidence of a million tons of high explosives and evidence of high tech weaponry - and also, in the course of this work tracking conventional weapons, the scent of WMD.
As an example of Shaw’s work on illegal conventional weapons sales to Iraq, US troops discovered after the invasion, and reported through his office, that, despite the UN embargo, Saddam had been able to purchase the latest Roland II anti-aircraft missile launcher, a very effective French weapons platform for shooting down helicopters. The date of manufacture stamped on the Rolands was January 2003.
French arms manufacturers, in other words, had been selling to Saddam right up to the opening of the war. They later explained that France had sold the Roland to Syria, and that Syria was not covered by the embargo. The French claimed to be shocked that Syria had sold the Roland to their fellow Ba'athists in Baghdad. It should be noted that, for more than a year prior to the French sale the Israeli press had been publicly exposing Syria as an arms front for Saddam.
It is also hard to credit the Russians' claim that they were similarly shocked to discover that a corrupt Ukrainian arms dealer had sold scores of Moscow's high tech Kornet antitank missiles to Saddam. The Kornet is the only hand held missile in the world that can penetrate the super-heavy armor of the American main battle tank, the Ml Al Abrams. Two of the Abrams were knocked out of action by Kornets in Iraq. It was Shaw's unit that tracked the Kornet. "Its provenance was obvious," Shaw said, "and the Russian silence in response to our exposure was deafening."
In terms of WMD, newly released documents from Saddam’s government suggest that the Russians knew exactly what they were doing when it came to hiding illegal weapons. While Russian scientists were working hand-in-hand with Iraqi scientists on WMD, Russian spies inside CENTCOM were warning Saddam how to avoid detection from the UN inspectors. Saddam's secret files also mention an Associated Press reporter who passed information on how the UN inspection teams were being trained. The Russian Ambassador himself handed over many of America's secret war plans.
Most importantly, Saddam’s intelligence services credit Russia’s critical help in misleading the UN into thinking that Iraq was in compliance with the resolution paragraphs requiring destruction of its WMD. “We have succeeded in a few of the UN paragraphs…we have won Russia, ahhh…we have convinced Russia by way of generous accounts.” 
It should be noted that France, Russia and China were the three largest exporters of Saddam's oil before the war. They were also, according to the documents now being released, the three nations most involved with illegal weapons sales to Saddam. The oil profits, of course, were huge, and according to minutes from secret meetings, Saddam's intelligence service knew how to dangle the bait of illegal oil profits to, in their words, "commit some nations like France, China, Russia and Japan to economical agreements that make the implementation of the smart sanctions to have negative effect to the interests of these nations." In English the word for this is “bribery” – on a huge scale.
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