"Yeah, it's possible that we have been misinformed on some things"
LouPaulsen at attbi.com
Sun Jan 26 00:59:14 MST 2003
Those of you who have seen the movie 'Barbershop' will remember the scene
where a man getting a shave dashes out into the street to confront a woman
who is demolishing his car. "Ain't this Malcolm Brown's car?" she says, in
perplexity. "You SURE this ain't Malcolm Brown's car?"
"NO! It's MY car!!"
"Oh. My bad," she says, decamping.
"Your bad??? YOUR BAD??!!!"
Yes, it is frustrating to have your car destroyed by a person who is
misinformed. I suppose it is even worse to have your house, your life, your
children, your neighborhood, your country destroyed by a government which is
misinformed, or by a country whose people have been misinformed by their
government. This frustration is in store for Iraq, as this story from the
L.A. Times makes clear.
They are very diplomatic in their language, these writers, but the truth
does come out: in EVERY case where the U.S. government has made a concrete,
testable claim about Iraqi weapons programs, this claim has turned out to be
false. EVERY CASE.
- President Bush said in Cincinnati on Oct. 7 that aerial photos of the
former Tuwaitha nuclear weapons complex "reveal that Iraq is rebuilding
facilities at sites that have been part of its nuclear program in the past."
The inspectors have visited Tuwaitha 12 times since December. The claim was
- The US had claimed that there was new construction at the Al Qaim
phosphates plant, where uranium ore was refined in the 1980's. The plant
was destroyed in 1991.
The inspectors have spent two days there and inspected it by air. The claim
- A centerpiece of the US charges was the case of the aluminum tubes that
Iraq tried to import from China. Bush told the U.N. General Assembly on
September 24 that these tubes "are used to enrich uranium for nuclear
This claim has proved to be false. The tubes were found to be intended to
replace short-range conventional rockets which Iraq is "permitted" to have
even under the post-Gulf War strictures.
- Last fall, the CIA warned that Baghdad was producing precursors for
chemical weapons. "The best examples" were the chlorine and phenol
production plants at Fallujah II, 40 miles from Baghdad. Note: the BEST
Of course, chlorine has civilian uses, notably the purification of water.
Iraq's water supplies were largely damaged in the Gulf War, deliberately, by
US bombing. Iraq's inability to obtain or use chlorine to purify its water
has cost hundreds of thousands since that time. If Iraq actually WERE
producing chlorine at Fallujah II, it would be completely defensible as a
public health measure.
Nevertheless, the inspectors have been there too, and THE CLAIM IS FALSE.
The plant is still inoperative.
- The CIA also warned last fall that Iraq had begun rebuilding several sites
which were used in the 1980's to produce biological agents, "including the
Al Dawrah Foot-and-Mouth Disease Vaccine Facility, the Amiriyah Serum and
Vaccine Institute, and the Fallujah III Castor Oil Production Plant."
The inspectors have visited these sites as well, and the claim is false.
"Some of the buildings were abandoned shells, while others had limited
operations. No evidence was found that Iraq is using the facilities to
produce microbes for banned weapons."
- The U.S. has said that "overwhelming evidence" proves that Iraq is
building long-range missiles. Last September, in a background paper for
Bush's UN speech, the White House claimed that a testing stand at Al-Rafah
North was "clearly intended for testing prohibited longer-range missile
engines." The CIA wrote in October that construction at the Al-Mutasim Solid
Rocket Motor and Test Facility was evidence of plans for long-range missile
systems. The CIA also said that the "only logical explanation" for
construction at Al-Mamoun was that production of long-range missiles was
The UN inspectors have visited all these sites and have found NO EVIDENCE of
That's the weapons claims. How about the 'terrorism' claims? It was
claimed in 2001 by former CIA head James Woolsey that the anthrax attacks
were certainly the work of Iraq. It was claimed that the 'smoking gun' was
the fact that the anthrax powder was made from the common clay,
montmorillonite [a.k.a. "Kitty Litter"], which is found in Iraq.
It was also claimed that the secular Ba'ath government in Iraq was
supporting the Islamicists of al-Qaeda, and that Mohammed Atta had met with
an Iraqi official in Prague.
These claims were false as well.
All of these claims have been brought to us by the same people who brought
us the well-documented 'incubator babies' hoax to support the war drive in
1990-1991, and whose infamous warning about the "5 Arab men" in December
turned out to be a hoax.
"Bush administration and intelligence officials insist that the failure to
find illegal weapons so far simply proves that Iraq has hidden its weapons
programs and arsenals in secret underground bunkers or in mobile
laboratories. They say Iraq has stashed sensitive documents and other
evidence in homes and farms, or under mosques and hospitals." Therefore,
when the homes and farms and mosques and hospitals are destroyed by cruise
missiles next month, it will be because they are military targets!
The Times article concludes:
'Administration officials have not backed down from their claims about Iraqi
weapons programs or from their insistence that Iraq is simply concealing
illegal weapons activities from the U.N. teams.
'But in response to a question, Wolfowitz -- one of the administration's
most prominent hawks on Iraq -- acknowledged Thursday that at least some of
the White House assertions should now be reevaluated.
'"Yeah, it's possible that we have been misinformed on some things," he
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