- On NBC's Meet the Press last Sunday, March 16, 2003,
Vice President Cheney audaciously reiterated an ominous note.
- NBC: "And even though the International Atomic Energy
Agency said he does not have a nuclear program, we disagree?"
- Cheney: "I disagree, yes. And you'll find the CIA,
for example, and other key parts of our intelligence community disagree.
Let's talk about the nuclear proposition for a minute. We know that based
on intelligence, that [Saddam] has been very, very good at hiding these
kinds of efforts. He's had years to get good at it and we know he has been
absolutely devoted to trying to acquire nuclear weapons. And we believe
he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons. I think Mr. El Baradei
frankly is wrong."
- After 218 inspections of 141 sites over three months
by the International Atomic Energy Agency, Mohamed ElBaradei charged that
the U.S. had used faked and erroneous evidence to support the claims that
Iraq was importing enriched uranium and other material, notably the aluminum
tubes and small magnets for the manufacture of nuclear weapons. "After
three months of intrusive inspections, we have, to date, found no evidence
or plausible indication of the revival of a nuclear weapons program in
Iraq," the chief atomic weapons inspector had told the U.N. Security
Council on Friday March 7, 2003.
- In December 2002, the American and British intelligence
communities did provide, under Blix's insistence, a list of 25 sites garnered
from Iraqi defectors and other intelligence sources. The inspectors visited
all of these sites, including one site that intelligence communities had
claimed would be a promising find. Tellingly, the inspectors found nothing
and their "hush hush" information was referred to by one inspector
as "garbage after garbage after garbage."
- So why is Cheney, after the total disrepute of all American
misinformation about a rejuvenated Iraqi nuclear weapons program, still
claiming that the U.S. has untold intelligence information about this program?
- I now tend to believe there is a more sinister implication
behind Cheney's continued assertions so late in the misinformation campaign
and so close to the war.
- Iraq claims it has no nuclear weapons related components
left. Cheney claims that U.S. intelligence can prove that Iraq does have
these components. What if the U.S. goes in and, after killing possibly
hundreds of thousands, cannot find any components?
- Would they not want to reiterate up until the last minute,
as Cheney seems to be doing, that their "intelligence" does confirm
that Iraq has nuclear weapons components to justify their criminal war?
- However, in the event that no such components are to
be found in Iraq, would it not be past the American intelligence community's
bag of dirty tricks to place some bogus evidence (in places where the inspectors
have not been so they can't be refuted by them) to vindicate the tens of
billions of dollars spent on this war crime and the devastation it will
- It would otherwise be hard to challenge the timing and
triviality of Cheney's claim on March 16, with Bush declaring war only
one day later on March 17.
- [Imad Khadduri has a MSc in Physics from the University
of Michigan (United States) and a PhD in Nuclear Reactor Technology from
the University of Birmingham (United Kingdom). Khadduri worked with the
Iraqi Atomic Energy Commission from 1968 until 1998. He was able to leave
Iraq in late 1998 with his family. He now teaches and works as a network
administrator in Toronto, Canada. He has been interviewed by the United
Nations, the International Atomic Energy Agency, FOX, the Toronto Star,
Reuters, and various other news agencies in regards to his knowledge of
the Iraqi nuclear program. This article was originally printed in YellowTimes.org.]
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