Scott Ritter on Iraqi resistance
e. ahmet tonak
eatonak at simons-rock.edu
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.
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: http://www.csmonitor.com/2003/1110/p09s02-coop.html
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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