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WP: In Book, Insider Recounts Hunt for Hussein's Weapons

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laststeamtrain Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-31-09 07:56 PM
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WP: In Book, Insider Recounts Hunt for Hussein's Weapons
In Book, Insider Recounts Hunt for Hussein's Weapons

By Colum Lynch
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, January 31, 2009; A09

UNITED NATIONS -- During his final days in U.S. captivity, Saddam Hussein wrote poetry, flirted with American nurses, expressed his desire to restart a nuclear weapons program and asked to be put to death by firing squad like a soldier, not hanged like a common criminal, according to a new book by Charles A. Duelfer, who was the CIA's top weapons investigator in Iraq.

"Hide and Seek: The Search for Truth in Iraq" chronicles Duelfer's decade-long hunt for Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, first as a top U.N. weapons inspector in the 1990s and later as head of the CIA-led Iraq Survey Group, which concluded in fall 2004 that Iraq had essentially dismantled its deadliest weapons program years before the U.S. invasion.

The book -- which was held up for more than nine months by CIA reviewers -- includes fresh allegations about the Vladimir Putin government's corrupt oil dealings with Iraq and Putin's effort to persuade Hussein to step down to avert a U.S. invasion. It also describes a rudimentary program by Iraqi insurgents after the invasion to develop chemical agents, including ricin, a highly toxic poison derived from castor beans. The operation was shut down by coalition forces, Duelfer says.

Duelfer portrays the United States as a lumbering superpower whose top policymakers, particularly in the White House and the Defense Department, lacked any basic understanding of Iraq's history, motives and leaders. But he says Iraq also routinely misread American intentions and overestimated the capability of U.S. intelligence. He says that according to an Iraqi government account, Hussein once asked his top commanders if Iraq had any hidden weapons he didn't know about.

The book tracks Duelfer's political journey from his days as an obscure State Department official in the Reagan administration who organized arms shipments to Chad during its struggle against Libya.

His 1993 appointment as deputy chairman of the U.N. Special Commission on Iraq placed him at the center of a major international crisis. As a U.N. official, Duelfer gained access to Iraq's top officials and helped arrange a U.S.-backed spying operation that penetrated Hussein's inner circle. The revelations of U.S. spying led to the U.N. commission's ejection from Iraq in 1999.

<more>

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/20...
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LynnTheDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-31-09 11:52 PM
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1. One wee correction: "The revelations of U.S. spying led to the U.N. commission's ejection
from Iraq in 1999."

Nope. Not true.

Saddam Hussein never kicked the UN out of Iraq.

Richard Butler (USA) ordered the UN out of Iraq so America could "desert fox" bomb the country for a few years.


And Chuck "gee I was sure duped" Duelfer bloody well knows it.
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