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cal04 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 04:56 PM
Original message
Shiite Scientist Likely to Be New Iraqi Prime Minister
The United Nations is closing in on a slate for the new Iraqi government that is likely to be headed by Hussain Shahristani, a Shiite nuclear scientist who spent years in the notorious Abu Ghraib prison for refusing to participate in Saddam Hussein's nuclear program and is now the leading candidate to become prime minister in the first post-Hussein government, according to Iraqi and U.S. officials.


http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A55243-20...
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daleo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 05:02 PM
Response to Original message
1. I have become intensely cynical
I wonder what pack of lies we will hear about this fellow. At least he knows a thing or two about nuclear weapons and prison torture, according to his c.v. - it sounds like BFEE hit the jackpot.

Time to do a little research, I guess.
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saigon68 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 07:20 PM
Response to Reply #1
21. HE WON'T LAST LONG
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Don_G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 05:05 PM
Response to Original message
2. Whew!
For a second, I thought Dimbo was replacing the Secretary Of Interior that is "so" responsible of bringing Canada's fresh water's resources to the US to mine as "he" sees fit.

Shahrasti is a good choice too; he dosen't understand enough to know what Tom Clancy wrote or how to use the information.
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daleo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 05:09 PM
Response to Original message
3. From a CBC television documentary about him
"Hussain Shahristani: "Saddam does have signficant amounts of chemical and biological weapons that he has distributed throughout the central and south of Iraq, almost to all the major Shia towns in the region, with specific commands to his special security organization units about how and when to use them. And people are aware that such weapons are brought into their towns and they are very scared as to what will be the effect if these are either hit by aerial bombardment and be released into the environment or else used by the region itself against its own people.""
- doesn't seem like he was correct about this.

"Hussain Shahristani: If anybody expects these people to forget all these sufferings and welcome any invading force with open arms to come and loot their oil, I think they are terribly mistaken."
- he was correct about this, but it makes you wonder why he is taking the job now.

Hussain Shahristani: "The Americans allowed Saddam to use his helicopters to attack these people, actually to use his chemical weapons with his helicopters against the city of Karbala."
- it makes you wonder why he is taking the job now.

http://www.cbc.ca/witness/iraq/shia.html
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daleo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 05:19 PM
Response to Original message
4. From another documentary
"FIRE AND WATER
A Film by Shelley Saywell
Canada, 56'
Fire and Water is the story of Dr. Hussain Shahristani, once Saddam Hussein's Chief Nuclear Scientist and now one of his foremost dissidents, and his remarkable family. While Dr. Shahristani served eleven years of a life sentence in an Iraqi Prison for refusing to build Saddam a nuclear bomb, his Canadian wife Bernice Holtom stood by his side and raised their children."

A dissident who didn't live in the country between the first Bush war and the second Bush war, with a Canadian wife - I don't know how well that will go down right now. He is said to have escaped prison during the bombing in 1991, and to have fled to Iran then. Certainly an inspiring story, but you wonder if he had some help from U.S. special forces or something like that.


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floda Donating Member (296 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 05:49 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. a WSJ article he wrote recently on April 29, 2004
PDF

http://www.iraqgroup.net/issues_opinions/2004/may_2004/...

HTML

http://www.google.nl/search?q=cache:3Fn5mdDwDN4J:www.ir...


snip


At stake today is not just Iraq's political future, but America's credibility throughout the Middle East. Having pledged to bring democracy to Iraq, the Bush administration needs to respect the desire of the majority of Iraqis to elect a representative and accountable government that serves its people and observes human rights.

For over three decades, Iraqis have offered enormous sacrifices in order to be free, and to live under just governance. Without a clear and transparent constitutional process, Iraqis will not be assured that their basic human and political rights would be respected. They have a deep fear that another dictatorial regime will emerge in their country. Failing to engage the people in a political process will further destabilize the country and provide fertile grounds for remnants of Saddam Hussein's intelligence apparatus to recruit zealots -- Iraqis or from neighboring countries -- to carry out terrorist acts, as we have recently witnessed in several Iraqi cities.

There is a good reason why the U.S. administration should concede to the wish of the Iraqi people to hold elections under U.N. auspices, and allow them to draft and own their constitution. This would send a powerful message to all Iraqis and to all people of the region that it is possible to have a nonviolent argument with the U.S. and succeed. And it would be a strong rebuff to those who claim that the only way to ascertain rights is through violence and terrorism.

( * ) Mr. Al-Shahristani, a senior adviser to Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani, is chairman of the standing committee of the Iraqi National Academy of Science. He was held in solitary confinement for 10 years under Saddam Hussein.

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geek tragedy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 06:02 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. So . . .
he's one of Sistani's guys. Interesting. I hope he knows what he's getting into.
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KamaAina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 05:59 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. Fled to Iran, you say?
Didn't we just discredit a putative puppet-government leader for being an Iranian spy?
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hedda_foil Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 06:05 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. Why does this make me so sure he's an INC guy?
Just 'cause he's another Iranian connected Shiite technocrat, only this time with nuclear secrets (or at least knowledge), and a Canadian wife. This guy is gonna be T-R-O-U-B-L-E. I can smell it from here.
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janx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 02:01 PM
Response to Reply #8
13. He sounds INC to me, too--if for no other reason than he
was one of the people providing "intelligence" about all of those WMDs...
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maddezmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 06:34 PM
Response to Original message
9. the rumor mill is flooding...another link
Shahristani to Be Named Iraq Premier, U.S. Sources Say

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United Nations (news - web sites) is expected to pick Hussain Shahristani, a Shi'ite nuclear scientist who spent years in Abu Ghraib prison under Saddam Hussein (news - web sites), as premier of a new interim Iraqi government, U.S. sources said on Tuesday.



A State Department official said Shahristani was one of three finalists being considered for the post, but other sources said he was expected to get the job of leading the caretaker Iraqi government when the United States hands over power on July 1.


http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=564&nci...



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daleo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 12:02 AM
Response to Original message
10. He is already on record as believing the WMD myth and pushing it
This was while he was an exile. Now, if he does become P.M., might he not be just the one to cooperate with BFEE if they plant WMD for an October surprise? It would vindicate both him and Bush. Maybe he is honest, but this has set-up potential written all over it.
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lostnfound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 03:03 PM
Response to Reply #10
16. Yes, here's some of his past statements, with links
Edited on Wed May-26-04 03:04 PM by lostnfound
My take on it so far is that he was NOT the PERFECT candidate in the eyes of the US because he apparently showed GUTS to refuse Saddam for 11 years (we prefer GUTLESS and bribe-able), BUT he clearly is a GOOD candidate in the eyes of the US because he has proven himself capable of 1) bending to US will and 2) playing the media very well.

http://www.nti.org/d_newswire/issues/thisweek/2003_1_24...

Hassan denied ever being involved in laser enrichment research, saying Iraq had canceled the program in 1988. The discovered papers were from his own private research and graduate theses of students he advised, Hassan said (George Jahn, London Independent, Jan. 19).

Even if the information in the documents is not new, the discovered papers could be an indication of Iraqs attempts to hide its WMD research, said Hussain al-Shahristani, a former Iraqi nuclear scientist.

The real significance is the fact that these documents were found in his home, al-Shahristani said. It supports information we have received that Saddam has given orders for documents to be dispersed among scientists, members of the secret police and senior Baath party officials, al-Shahristani added (Neil Tweedie, London Telegraph, Jan. 20).

http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/index.cfm?id=1344302002
At the launch of the dossier, Hussain Al-Shahristani, a former chief scientist with the Iraqi atomic energy organisation, described how he was incarcerated for over a decade for refusing to comply with Saddams orders. The scientist, who is now the chairman of the Iraqi Refugee Aid Council, said: "I was arrested, tortured and kept in solitary confinement for over 11 years for refusing to work on the military nuclear programme.

"However, I was more fortunate than many of my fellow political prisoners . I did not have holes drilled into my bones. I did not have my limbs cut off by an electric saw. I did not have my eyes gouged out.

"My three children were brought into the torture chamber, but they were not tortured to death in front of me to force me to make confessions to things I had not done. "Women of my family were not brought in and raped in front of me, as happened to many of my colleagues. "They only tortured me for 22 days and nights continuously by hanging me from my hands tied at the back and using a high-voltage probe on the sensitive parts of my body, and beating me mercilessly."

http://nucnews.net/nucnews/2002nn/0212nn/021202nn.htm
Appearing at the Foreign Office presentation was Hussain Al-Shahristani, the former head of Iraq's nuclear energy agency, who was jailed in Iraq for 11 years for his refusal to involve himself in the program to develop nuclear energy for military purposes.

Dr. Hussain said he had been held in solitary confinement for most of that time but that he was able to hear the cries of young children being tortured in adjacent rooms.

Dr. Hussain also questioned whether the current inspections would succeed in turning up weapons. "Saddam is the master at hiding, concealing and moving around weapons," he said.
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phoebe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 12:08 AM
Response to Original message
11. potentially smart move - his anti-nuclear stance is a definite plus in the
Edited on Wed May-26-04 12:10 AM by phoebe
region.
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mulethree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 01:43 PM
Response to Original message
12. kick - more recent post has US refuting this
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maddezmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 02:28 PM
Response to Reply #12
14. yes, US Denies Shahristani is going to be PM
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Hussain Shahristani is not going to be Iraq (news - web sites)'s prime minister, a senior official in the U.S.-led coalition authority in Baghdad said Wednesday, denying comments from U.S. officials in Washington.



"There's no final decision on candidates for prime minister," the official told Reuters, but added: "Anybody suggesting that Shahristani is the prime minister is wrong."


The official made it clear Shahristani would not be chosen as prime minister.


A spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition authority, Dan Senor, told a news conference in Baghdad that the choice was up to the U.N. envoy. But he added: "My understanding is that that initial report about Mr. Shahristani is incorrect. And the report that there is actually a candidate nailed down is incorrect as well."

~snip~
more: http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=586&nci... ...

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leftchick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 02:39 PM
Response to Original message
15. I heard on MSRNC the US is denying he is being considered...
I thought I heard that this afternoon on cnn or msrnc. You mean we are not letting Brahimi choose the interim leader? No suprise there
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DoYouEverWonder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 03:18 PM
Response to Original message
17. Well if Iraq didn't have nukes before
it sure will be a lot easier to build them with a nuclear scientist running the place.

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Bill McBlueState Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 03:27 PM
Response to Reply #17
18. he spent years in prison for refusing to build nukes
He spent years in prison for refusing to build nukes for Saddam. What makes you think he's going to make it easy for Iraq to build them now?
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DoYouEverWonder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 03:51 PM
Response to Reply #18
19. Because he will be building them
for himself.

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Bill McBlueState Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 07:10 PM
Response to Reply #19
20. doesn't seem likely
If Shahristani spent years in one of Saddam's prisons for refusing to participate in a nuclear program, he must take his anti-nuclear stance pretty seriously.

Unless you think that, simply by virtue of knowing something about nuclear physics, he must be a blind devotee of nuclear weaponry. He must be one of those evil scientists, huh?
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