Blair report written by a student.....

Mike Ballard swillsqueal at yahoo.com.au
Fri Feb 7 18:48:04 MST 2003


> t r u t h o u t - William Rivers Pitt | Blair-Powell
UN Report
Written by
> Student
>
> Blair-Powell UN Report Written by Student
>
> By William Rivers Pitt
>
> t r u t h o u t | Report
>
> February 7, 2003
>
> "My colleagues, every statement I make today is
backed up by sources,
solid
> sources. These are not assertions. What we're giving
you are facts
and
> conclusions based on solid intelligence."
>
> - Secretary of State Colin Powell before the United
Nations, 2/5/03
>
> The veracity of Colin Powell's report on Wednesday
before the United
Nations
> Security Council was dealt a serious blow when
Britain's Channel 4
News
> broke a story that severely undermines the
credibility of the
intelligence
> Powell used to make his case to the UN.
>
> Powell's presentation relied in no small part upon
an intelligence
dossier
> prepared by the British Government entitled, "Iraq -
Its
Infrastructure of
> Concealment, Deception and Intimidation." That
report plagiarized
large
> swaths of an essay written in September of 2002 by a
graduate student
from
> California named Ibrahim al-Marashi. Al-Marashi's
essay appeared in
the
> September 2002 edition of a small journal, the
Middle East Review of
> International Affairs.
> The British intelligence report can be read here.
The essay by
Ibrahim
> al-Marashi can be read here.
>
> According to the story from Channel 4 News, which
was later augmented
by
an
> Associated Press report by Jill Lawless, the
duplicate text was first
> spotted by a Cambridge, England academic named Glen
Ranwala.
Apparently,
> Ranwala read the British dossier when it became
available and
believed he
> had seen it before. As it turns out, he was correct.
Entire sections
of
the
> al-Marashi essay, including six full paragraphs in
one section, had
been
cut
> and pasted into the British dossier, including
several spelling and
> grammatical errors that are identical.
>
> According to the Associated Press, al-Marashi had no
idea his paper
was
> being used by the British. "It was a shock to me,"
he told the
Associated
> Press, and expressed the hope that the British would
credit his work
"out
of
> academic decency."
>
> A line-by-line comparison of the two documents
clearly shows one
example
of
> the plagiarism:
>
> >From the British report -
> "Saddam appointed, Sabir 'Abd al-'Aziz al-Duri as
head during the
1991
Gulf
> War. After the Gulf War he was replaced by Wafiq
Jasim al-Samarrai.
> After Samarrai, Muhammad Nimah al-Tikriti headed
Al-Istikhbarat
al-Askariyya
> in early 1992 then in late 1992 Fanar Zibin Hassan
al-Tikriti was
appointed
> to this post.
>
> These shifting appointments are part of Saddam's
policy of balancing
> security positions. By constantly shifting the
directors of these
agencies,
> no one can establish a base in a security
organisation for a
substantial
> period of time. No one becomes powerful enough to
challenge the
President."
> >From the al-Marashi essay -
>
> "Saddam appointed, Sabir 'Abd al-'Aziz al-Duri(80)
as head of
Military
> Intelligence during the 1991 Gulf War.(81) After the
Gulf War he was
> replaced by Wafiq Jasim al-Samarrai.(82)
>
> After Samarrai, Muhammad Nimah al-Tikriti(83) headed
Military
Intelligence
> in early 1992(84) then in late 1992 Fanar Zibin
Hassan al-Tikriti was
> appointed to this post.(85) While Fanar is from
Tikrit, both Sabir
al-Duri
> and Samarrai are non-Tikriti Sunni Muslims, as their
last names
suggest.
> Another source indicates that Samarrai was replaced
by Khalid Salih
> al-Juburi,(86) demonstrating how another
non-Tikriti, but from the
tribal
> alliance that traditionally support the regime holds
top security
positions
> in Iraq.(87)
>
> These shifting appointments are part of Saddam's
policy of balancing
> security positions between Tikritis and
non-Tikritis, in the belief
that
the
> two factions would not unite to overthrow him. Not
only that, but by
> constantly shifting the directors of these agencies,
no one can
establish
a
> base in a security organization for a substantial
period of time,
that
would
> challenge the President.(88)"
>
> After a close analysis of the identical text from
both reports, it is
also
> clear that Britain altered key words to give their
report a more
sinister
> and ominous twist. The British report states that
the Iraqi
intelligence
> agency is "spying on foreign embassies in Iraq." The
al-Marashi
essay's
> version states that the Iraqi intelligence agency is
"monitoring
foreign
> embassies in Iraq." The rhetorical leap from
"monitoring" to "spying"
is
> evident.
>
> In another portion of the British dossier, Iraq is
accused of
"supporting
> terrorist organizations in hostile regimes." The
al-Marashi essay's
version
> states that Iraq is "aiding opposition groups in
hostile regimes."
The
> insertion of the word "terrorist" is manifestly
provocative.
>
> A disturbing series of questions is raised by this
matter. Mr. Powell
relied
> heavily upon "facts and conclusions based on solid
intelligence,"
often
from
> foreign intelligence services such as the British.
His presentation
was
> meant not only to establish the fact that Iraq is in
possession of
> prohibited weapons, but also that Iraq enjoys ties
to terrorist
groups
like
> al Qaeda. In light of this data, the factual basis
for these claims
is in
> doubt. Britain's report was touted as an
up-to-the-minute
intelligence
> review of the situation in Iraq. In fact, much of it
is based upon
the
work
> of a graduate student who published his essay five
months ago.
>
> Furthermore, if the al-Marashi essay was worthy of
plagiarizing, why
did
the
> British feel it necessary to alter certain key
phrases so as to make
it
seem
> that Iraq is spying on foreign embassies and aiding
terrorist groups?
The
> manipulation of the original data appears, on the
surface, to have
been
done
> in bad faith.
> An analysis of the footnotes for the al-Marashi
essay clearly
demonstrate
> that his work was meant to describe Iraq's
intelligence apparatus and
> military situation in the 1990s. The British dossier
was presented as
an
> up-to-date report on the status of Iraq's weapons
and terrorist ties.
There
> are 106 reference footnotes in the essay. 103 of
these footnotes
reference
> reports and articles from 1988 to 2000. Only three
are from this
century,
> and all of them reference reports from 2001. This is
not current data
in
any
> context.
>
> Clearly, Mr. Powell cannot be held responsible for
the veracity of
data
> given to him by the British government. The fact
remains, however,
that
the
> British intelligence data, which comes from the most
steadfast ally
of the
> Bush administration, has been severely undermined by
this report.
This
calls
> into question the veracity of virtually every aspect
of Powell's
> presentation to the United Nations.
>
> If the American Secretary of State was given such
shoddily-assembled
data
> from its most loyal ally, how can the rest of the
data be considered
> dependable? The data on Zarqawi and Ansar al-Islam
came from
Jordanian
> intelligence, a source much less trustworthy than
the British. Many
of the
> "human sources" cited by Powell were, in fact,
detainees in
Guantanamo,
> Cuba. These sources are suspect at best, yet were a
significant part
of
the
> basis for Powell's accusations that Iraq is working
with al Qaeda and
> developing a wide variety of prohibited weapons.
Between these
sources and
> the unreliable data from the British, it seems all
too clear that
Powell's
> entire presentation was based upon information that
is questionable
to say
> the least.
>
> Finally, and most significantly, is the question of
intent. The
United
> States will have soon placed approximately 150,000
troops in the
region
> surrounding Iraq with the full intention of going to
war. Such a
conflict
is
> almost certain to cause destabilizing upheavals in
the Middle East
which
> could threaten the global community. More ominously,
the CIA and FBI
have
> reported that a war in Iraq will definitely lead to
terrorist attacks
in
> America and a number of European nations, including
Britain. This
matter
> must now be framed in a new light. Does the British
government
believe it
> acceptable to assist the United States in going to
war on the word of
a
> graduate student from Monterey?
>
> The revelation of this data could conceivably come
to do significant
harm
to
> the Bush administration's attempt to assemble a
"Coalition of the
Willing"
> for an attack upon Iraq. Tony Blair and Britain have
been, since the
> beginning, the most fundamentally important members
of whatever
> international coalition Mr. Bush is able to
assemble.
>
> This report could shake Blair's standing with his
government and his
people.
> Blair's relationship with his own party, and with
the British
citizenry,
has
> already proven rocky on the subject of his alliance
with the Bush
> administration over this conflict. If Blair's
ability to stand with
Mr.
Bush
> becomes undermined, Mr. Bush would find himself
almost completely
isolated
> on this issue.
>
> -------
> William Rivers Pitt is a New York Times bestselling
author of two
books -
> "War On Iraq" (with Scott Ritter) available now from
Context Books,
and
"The
> Greatest Sedition is Silence," available in May 2003
from Pluto
Press. He
> teaches high school in Boston, MA.
> Scott Lowery contributed research to this report.
>
>
>


=====
http://www.iww.org/

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