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Reply #106: Blog from the journalist asking the question, other apropos articles. [View All]

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evermind Donating Member (833 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-26-05 03:43 PM
Response to Reply #91
106. Blog from the journalist asking the question, other apropos articles.
Edited on Thu May-26-05 03:45 PM by evermind
There's a blog entry, apparently from the journalist asking McClelland the May 23 question, at http://www.btcnews.com/btcnews/index.php?p=953 "White House does not dispute substance of Downing Street Memo" (when this shows up in google news search, it is tagged as "satire", but it doesn't seem to be satirical.)

According to the short article, McClelland says he said that (in an answer to CNN, May 16) claims made about the memo, not claims made by the memo were "flat-out wrong".

Meanwhile, in another article stemming from the same WH press briefing response, Think Progress have attempted to "take the McClelland Challenge", and following McClelland's suggestion, "look at all the public comments over the course of the lead-up to the war in Iraq" to see "how the intelligence was used by the administration". For example:


INTEL: A September 2002 DOD intel report found "no reliable information on whether Iraq is producing and stockpiling chemical weapons, or where Iraq has or will establish its chemical warfare agent production facilities.
HOW IT WAS USED: In October 2002, Bush claimed, without doubt, that Iraq possesses and produces chemical and biological weapons.


The article is at: http://thinkprogress.org/index.php?p=951

Of course, if the intelligence was "fixed around the policy", it's rather a side issue as to how it was used in making public statements, once "fixed". What's interesting is how it was arrived at. It would be very surprising if information about "fixing" sensitive intelligence were available on the public record.

But anyone interested in the intelligence question might like to view the Iraq pages at http://www.middleeastreference.org.uk / , in particular the page at http://www.middleeastreference.org.uk/kamel.html which summarises a 1995 interview between "Gen. Hussein Kamel, the former director of Iraq's Military Industrialization Corporation in charge of Iraq's weapons programme", who "defected to Jordan on the night of 7 August 1995, together with his brother Col. Saddam Kamel" taking with him "crates of documents revealing past weapons programmes" which he donated to UNSCOM.

From that article:


Kamel's defection has been cited repeatedly by President Bush and leading officials in both the UK and US as evidence that (1) Iraq has not disarmed; (2) inspections cannot disarm it; and (3) defectors such as Kamel are the most reliable source of information on Iraq's weapons.

  • Prime Minister Tony Blair in his statement to the House of Commons on 25 February 2003, said: "It was only four years later after the defection of Saddam's son-in-law to Jordan, that the offensive biological weapons and the full extent of the nuclear programme were discovered."

  • President Bush declared in a 7 October 2002 speech: "In 1995, after several years of deceit by the Iraqi regime, the head of Iraq's military industries defected. It was then that the regime was forced to admit that it had produced more than 30,000 liters of anthrax and other deadly biological agents. The inspectors, however, concluded that Iraq had likely produced two to four times that amount. This is a massive stockpile of biological weapons that has never been accounted for, and capable of killing millions."


...

Hussein Kamel was not in the process of providing excuses for the Iraqi regime. Much of the interview is taken up with his criticisms of its mistakes: "They are only interested in themselves and not worried about economics or political state of the country. [...] I can state publicly I will work against the regime." (p.14). And yet, when it comes to prohibited weapons, Kamel is unequivocal: Iraq destroyed these weapons soon after the Gulf War.


The full transcript of Kamel's interview is available from the linked page.
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