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Inexplicable Actions on Iraqi WMD
Truth held hostage to intractable bureaucracy...

[Rachel Neuwirth]

For President Bush successfully to confront the growing nuclear threat posed by Iran, he will need a credible military option like the one he had earlier in confronting Iraq and Saddam Hussein. To be credible, that option would also require the solid backing of the American people along with the Congress. Securing that backing now could pose a problem. Many people currently believe that Iraq was not allied with al-Qaeda and that Iraq had no WMD. Even worse, Bush’s adversaries have asserted that Bush knew there were no WMD and, still worse, that he deliberately lied to mislead us into a war with Iraq. If widely believed, this charge will undermine Bush’s credibility in confronting Iran.

Public opinion is already turning sour on President Bush because of our ongoing difficulty in Iraq. In addition the president’s poll numbers are below 40% for multiple reasons, including his failure to secure our borders, his failure to control spending, and his perceived failure over the Katrina hurricane, among others. His insistence on pursuing the Dubai U.A.E. ports deal, despite the strong opposition of 80% of the American people and most of Congress, has further eroded his support. If we need to disarm Iran by military means, can President Bush still mobilize sufficient political support to launch another major war? Will his opponents refrain from exploiting his political vulnerabilities to the maximum for their own political advantage?

Rachel Neuwirth

Rachel Neuwirth is President of Middle East Solutions [go to Neuwirth index]

Much depends on his credibility with the American people. In a previous article, three major issues were raised that required answers. (“Nagging Questions About the War in Iraq”, a 05-29-05 article, archived on ) The three issues were: What was Saddam hiding from the arms inspectors? What did Saddam ship to Syria just prior to the war? What weapons did Libya’s Colonel Khaddaffi relinquish to America? It seemed strange that the Bush Administration declined to answer these questions and thereby refute the charges by his critics.

Since that time more information has surfaced supporting the belief that Saddam Hussein indeed had WMD and moved them elsewhere, probably to Syria, just before the war.

On February 17, 2006 a meeting was held, sponsored by At that time a translation of audio tapes made previously by Saddam Hussein, was made public. The tapes indicate that Saddam Hussein did indeed have WMD and revealed how he fooled the weapons inspectors. Excerpts from a story, Embarrassing questions for Bush, by Rachel Ehrenfeld & Alyssa Lappen of 2/27/06 on follow.

“In the second week of February, several government agencies ˆ handling national security issues ˆ began a massive campaign to disrupt and discredit a major counter-intelligence conference whose participants and speakers included former and current top U.S. and foreign government, security, defense and intelligence officials and experts.”
“The Feb. 17, 2006 conference in Arlington, Va., was organized by the Intelligence Summit, a young, private, nonprofit and nonpartisan organization, headed by former U.S. prosecutor John Loftus. Since its planning began a year in advance, the conference attracted hundreds of government officials, security analysts, intelligence, counter-terrorism officers and corporate executives to speak and attend hundreds of sessions over three days.”

“Ten days before the conference was scheduled to begin, the organizers announced that tapes of Saddam Hussein's cabinet meetings discussing Iraq's WMD and nuclear weapons would be released at the conference. Immediately thereafter, the listed participants begin to receive telephone calls, e-mails, faxes and even telegrams from anonymous "friends" in several U.S. government agencies, strongly advising them against attending.”

“The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Pete Hoekstra, R-Mich., confirmed two days before the conference began that the tapes were authentic. Yet, the intimidating e-mails and telephone calls from government officials to conference participants only intensified. This is puzzling especially since the tapes confirm the early statements of the administration regarding Iraq's possession of WMD.”

In another intelligence revelation ex Iraqi General Georges Sada recently published his book Saddam’s Secrets. He explains how Saddam moved his WMD to Syria, with Russian help, just before the war.

The following is from an introduction to the book.

“If you thought Saddam Hussein was merely a threat… then you have no idea! In this astonishing expose, Iraqi General Georges Sada exposes Saddam’s plans to destroy Israel, hide weapons of mass destruction, and control the Arab world. Georges Sada was one of Saddam’s top generals and foremost military advisors, yet he defied Saddam Hussein and lived to tell about it.

“General Sada is:
--A truth-teller in a government that made the truth dangerous
--A devout Christian in a Muslim country
--A man who stood up for what was right… even at the risk of his own life.
In his eye-opening expose, General Sada shares his bizarre yet amazing journey as an insider to one of history’s most sinister regimes.

“As much as General Sada’s book discloses secrets that only those closest to Saddam would know, the motivating force in his own life is no secret. He is a modern-day Daniel in a spiritually volatile land, and yet he rose to the top of his field and became one of Hussein’s most trusted advisors---because Saddam knew Sada would always tell him the truth.

As an eyewitness to history, Sada paints a painfully truthful picture of Hussein and his country that is at once personal and alarming, truthful and compelling, candid and sobering. It is a story guaranteed to send shock waves around the world!”

Only one of Saddam’s many audio tapes has been translated (after years of being ignored) and authenticated, and it supports claims that Saddam did indeed have WMD. There is also General Sada, a former Iraqi Air Force General and his first hand testimony. Despite this new information there is no rush to seek the full truth. Meanwhile the belief persists that there were no WMD in Iraq and that President Bush lied.

The next report may begin to explain the inexplicable.

“Who'll Let the Docs Out? Bush wants to release the Saddam files but his [national] intelligence chief [John Negroponte] stalls.
By Stephen F. Hayes” 03/20/2006, Volume 011, Issue 25 of the

A few excerpts follow plus a few comments:

On February 16, President George W. Bush assembled a small group of congressional Republicans for a briefing on Iraq. Vice President Dick Cheney and National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley were there, and U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad participated via teleconference from Baghdad. As the meeting was beginning, Mike Pence spoke up. The Indiana Republican, a leader of conservatives in the House, was seated next to Bush.
"Yesterday, Mr. President, the war had its best night on the network news since the war ended," Pence said.
"Is this the tapes thing?" Bush asked, referring to two ABC News reports that included excerpts of recordings Saddam Hussein made of meetings with his war cabinet in the years before the U.S. invasion. Bush had not seen the newscasts but had been briefed on them.
Pence framed his response as a question, .... “ There are 3,000 hours of Saddam tapes and millions of pages of other documents that we captured after the war. When will the American public get to see this information?”
Bush replied that he wanted the documents released. He turned to Hadley and asked for an update. Hadley explained that John Negroponte, Bush's Director of National Intelligence, "owns the documents" and that DNI lawyers were deciding how they might be handled.
Bush told Hadley to expedite the release of the Iraq documents. "This stuff ought to be out. Put this stuff out." The president would reiterate this point before the meeting adjourned. .....
Negroponte never got the message. Or he is choosing to ignore it. He has done nothing to expedite the exploitation of the documents. And he continues to block the growing congressional effort, led by [Rep. Pete] Hoekstra, [the Michigan Republican who chairs the House Intelligence Committee] to have the documents released.
Officials involved with DOCEX--as the U.S. government's document exploitation project is known to insiders--tell The Weekly Standard that only some 3 percent of the 2 million captured documents have been fully translated and analyzed. No one familiar with the project argues that exploiting these documents has been a priority of the U.S. intelligence community.
The Russians declared early in the U.N. process that they preferred inspections to war. Perhaps we now know why. Still, it is notable that at precisely the same time Russian intelligence was training Iraqi operatives, senior Russian government officials were touting their alliance with the United States.

This one tape shows deep Russian involvement in training Iraqis and supporting Saddam Hussein even after 9/11. Despite President Bush’s clear request to release this information to the American people John Negroponte, and the intelligence community, continue to evade and delay carrying out the President’s request. Three years after the war only 3 percent of captured documents and 12 hours out of 3,000 hours of Saddam’s tapes have been processed, suggesting willful blindness. As mentioned earlier certain U.S. officials launched “...a massive campaign to disrupt and discredit a major counter-intelligence conference....” It seems that they do not want to embarrass other governments such as Russia. (Note that in recent days there has been some movement to release more of this information but the quantities are massive requiring laborious, time-consuming, translation and analysis.) Additional information about WMD continues to emerge. See this link.

It is astonishing and troublesome, but not new, that the bureaucracy can get away with running its own foreign policy in opposition to that of the president. This action, by un-elected officials, weakens America and emboldens our enemies as we confront a highly aggressive regime that may possess nuclear weapons and the inclination to use them against us. ONE

*Bertram Cohen contributed to this article.

copyright 2006 Rachel Neuwirth





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