Scott Ritter on Iraqi resistance

e. ahmet tonak eatonak at
Mon Nov 10 12:15:23 MST 2003

  I read the following interview with Ritter as a statement of his clear 
cut position about spying on Iraq, i.e. he simply didn't do it and never 
supported the idea of "collect[ing]  intelligence on Iraq" when he was 
employed by the Security Council.  Now, a year later, in his CSM piece 
he openly admits that he spied on Iraq: "What I saw - and passed on to 
US intelligence agencies.."  

I never trusted this guy, though admittedly served "a purpose."  Here is 
the Time interview for your comparative judgment:

Time Magazine; Saturday, Sep. 14, 2002

You told the Iraqi parliament that Saddam had legitimate complaints 
about the prior inspection regime. What did you mean?

The U.S. had a track record of putting pressure on the weapons 
inspectors program during my entire seven years there. It's ironic that 
everyone has focused on the struggle of the inspectors vs. Iraq. Not too 
many people speak of the struggle between the weapons inspectors and the 
U.S. to beat back the forces of U.S. intelligence which were seeking to 
infiltrate the weapons inspectors program and use the unique access the 
inspectors enjoyed in Iraq for purposes other than disarmament. Iraq has 
a clear case that under this past inspection regime unfortunately it was 
misused for purposes other than set out by the Security Council resolution.

Did you get any spying done on your trip?

Haha. Did I spy on Iraq my most recent trip? I wasn't there to collect 
intelligence on Iraq. To be frank, I didn't see barricades in the 
streets or earthen berms being erected or fortifications underway. I did 
see a lot of troops in the streets and I saw that Iraq had beefed up 
their air defense in the capital. I saw that they were moving these air 
defense units frequently to avoid a strike. But I wasn't there to carry 
out a full canvas of Iraq's military capabilities.

Ahmet Tonak

Louis Proyect wrote:

> Commentary > Opinion
> from CS Monitor, November 10, 2003 edition
> Defining the resistance in Iraq - it's not foreign and it's well prepared
> UN weapons inspector saw 'blueprints' for Monday's insurgency
> By Scott Ritter
> DELMAR, N.Y. – In the Baghdad suburb of Abu Ghraib is a compound on an 
> abandoned airstrip that once belonged to a state organization known as 
> M-21, or the Special Operations Directorate of the Iraqi Intelligence 
> Service. As a UN weapons inspector, I inspected this facility in June 
> of 1996. We were looking for weapons of mass destruction (WMD). While 
> I found no evidence of WMD, I did find an organization that 
> specialized in the construction and employment of "improvised 
> explosive devices" - the same IEDs that are now killing Americans 
> daily in Iraq.
> When we entered the compound, three Iraqis tried to escape over a wall 
> with documents, but they were caught and surrendered the papers. Like 
> reams of other documents stacked inside the buildings, these papers 
> dealt with IEDs. I held in my hands a photocopied primer on how to 
> conduct a roadside ambush using IEDs, and others on how to construct 
> IEDs from conventional high explosives and military munitions. The 
> sophisticated plans - albeit with crude drawings - showed how to take 
> out a convoy by disguising an IED and when and where to detonate it 
> for maximum damage.
> Because WMD was what we were charged with looking for, we weren't 
> allowed to take notes on this kind of activity. But, when we returned 
> to our cars, we carefully reconstructed everything we saw.
> What I saw - and passed on to US intelligence agencies - were what 
> might be called the blueprints of the postwar insurgency that the US 
> now faces in Iraq. And they implied two important facts that US 
> authorities must understand:
> • The tools and tactics killing Americans today in Iraq are those of 
> the former regime, not imported from abroad.
> • The anti-US resistance in Iraq today is Iraqi in nature, and more 
> broadly based and deeply rooted than acknowledged.
> full:


E. Ahmet Tonak
Professor of Economics

Simon's Rock College of Bard
84 Alford Road
Great Barrington, MA 01230

Tel:  413 528 7488
Fax: 413 528 7365

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