Posted by Andreas from dtm2-t9-1.mcbone.net (188.8.131.52) on Tuesday, June 03, 2003 at 4:53AM :
The lying game continues.
# 1 + # 2 are news items, # 3 gives some analytical background info and valuable links to important documents.
1) WMD just a convenient excuse for war, admits Wolfowitz
2) Bush: 'We Found' Banned Weapons
3) But aren't those mobile trailers evidence of an Iraqi bioweapons program? - No !
1) WMD just a convenient excuse for war, admits Wolfowitz
By David Usborne 30 May 2003
The Bush administration focused on alleged weapons of mass destruction as
the primary justification for toppling Saddam Hussein by force because it
was politically convenient, a top-level official at the Pentagon has
The extraordinary admission comes in an interview with Paul Wolfowitz, the
Deputy Defence Secretary, in the July issue of the magazine Vanity Fair.
Mr Wolfowitz also discloses that there was one justification that was
"almost unnoticed but huge". That was the prospect of the United States
being able to withdraw all of its forces from Saudi Arabia once the threat
of Saddam had been removed. Since the taking of Baghdad, Washington has said
that it is taking its troops out of the kingdom. "Just lifting that burden
from the Saudis is itself going to the door" towards making progress
elsewhere in achieving Middle East peace, Mr Wolfowitz said. The presence of
the US military in Saudi Arabia has been one of the main grievances of
al-Qa'ida and other terrorist groups.
"For bureaucratic reasons we settled on one issue, weapons of mass
destruction, because it was the one reason everyone could agree on," Mr
Wolfowitz tells the magazine.
The comments suggest that, even for the US administration, the logic that
was presented for going to war may have been an empty shell. They come to
light, moreover, just two days after Mr Wolfowitz's immediate boss, Donald
Rumsfeld, the Defence Secretary, conceded for the first time that the arms
might never be found.
The failure to find a single example of the weapons that London and
Washington said were inside Iraq only makes the embarrassment more acute.
Voices are increasingly being raised in the US - and Britain - demanding an
explanation for why nothing has been found.
Most striking is the fact that these latest remarks come from Mr Wolfowitz,
recognised widely as the leader of the hawks' camp in Washington most
responsible for urging President George Bush to use military might in Iraq.
The magazine article reveals that Mr Wolfowitz was even pushing Mr Bush to
attack Iraq immediately after the 11 September attacks in the US, instead of
There have long been suspicions that Mr Wolfowitz has essentially been
running a shadow administration out of his Pentagon office, ensuring that
the right-wing views of himself and his followers find their way into the
practice of American foreign policy. He is best known as the author of the
policy of first-strike pre-emption in world affairs that was adopted by Mr
Bush shortly after the al-Qa'ida attacks.
In asserting that weapons of mass destruction gave a rationale for attacking
Iraq that was acceptable to everyone, Mr Wolfowitz was presumably referring
in particular to the US Secretary of State, Colin Powell. He was the last
senior member of the administration to agree to the push earlier this year
to persuade the rest of the world that removing Saddam by force was the only
remaining viable option.
The conversion of Mr Powell was on full view in the UN Security Council in
February when he made a forceful presentation of evidence that allegedly
proved that Saddam was concealing weapons of mass destruction.
Critics of the administration and of the war will now want to know how
convinced the Americans really were that the weapons existed in Iraq to the
extent that was publicly stated. Questions are also multiplying as to the
quality of the intelligence provided to the White House. Was it simply
faulty - given that nothing has been found in Iraq - or was it influenced by
the White House's fixation on the weapons issue? Or were the intelligence
agencies telling the White House what it wanted to hear?
This week, Sam Nunn, a former senator, urged Congress to investigate whether
the argument for war in Iraq was based on distorted intelligence. He raised
the possibility that Mr Bush's policy against Saddam had influenced the
intelligence that indicated Baghdad had weapons of mass destruction.
This week, the CIA and the other American intelligence agencies have
promised to conduct internal reviews of the quality of the material they
supplied the administration on what was going on in Iraq. The heat on the
White House was only made fiercer by Mr Rumsfeld's admission that nothing
may now be found in Iraq to back up those earlier claims, if only because
the Iraqis may have got rid of any evidence before the conflict.
"It is also possible that they decided that they would destroy them prior to
a conflict," the Defence Secretary said.
* The US military said last night that it had released a suspected Iraqi war
criminal by mistake. US Central Command said it was offering a $25,000
(315,000) reward for the capture of Mohammed Jawad An-Neifus, suspected of
being involved in the murder of thousands of Iraqi Shia Muslims whose
remains were found at a mass grave in Mahawil, southern Iraq, last month.
THE ALLEGED MOBILE WEAPONS LABORATORIES
As scepticism grows over the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in
Iraq, London and Washington are attempting to turn the focus of attention to
Iraq's alleged possession of mobile weapons labs.
A joint CIA and Defence Intelligence Agency report released this week
claimed that two trucks found in northern Iraq last month were mobile labs
used to develop biological weapons. The trucks were fitted with hi-tech
laboratory equipment and the report said the discovery represented the
"strongest evidence to date that Iraq was hiding a biowarfare programme".
The design of the vehicles made them "an ingeniously simple self-contained
bioprocessing system". The report said no other purpose, for example water
purification, medical laboratory or vaccine production, would justify such
effort and expense.
But critics arenot convinced. No biological agents were found on the trucks
and experts point out that, unlike the trucks described by Colin Powell, the
Secretary of State, in a speech to the UN Security Council, they were open
sided and would therefore have left a trace easy for weapons inspectors to
detect. One former UN inspector said that the trucks would have been a very
inefficient way to produce anthrax.
Bush: 'We Found' Banned Weapons
President Cites Trailers in Iraq as Proof
By Mike Allen
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, May 31, 2003; Page A01
KRAKOW, Poland, May 30 -- President Bush, citing two trailers that U.S. intelligence agencies have said were probably used as mobile biological weapons labs, said U.S. forces in Iraq have "found the weapons of mass destruction" that were the United States' primary justification for going to war.
In remarks to Polish television at a time of mounting criticism at home and abroad that the more than two-month-old weapons hunt is turning up nothing, Bush said that claims of failure were "wrong." The remarks were released today.
"You remember when [Secretary of State] Colin Powell stood up in front of the world, and he said, 'Iraq has got laboratories, mobile labs to build biological weapons,' " Bush said in an interview shortly before leaving on a seven-day trip to Europe and the Middle East. "They're illegal. They're against the United Nations resolutions, and we've so far discovered two.
"And we'll find more weapons as time goes on," Bush said. "But for those who say we haven't found the banned manufacturing devices or banned weapons, they're wrong. We found them."
Bush arrived today in Poland, a U.S. ally in the Iraq war and the first stop on his trip. Later he will meet with fellow heads of government in St. Petersburg, and Evian, a resort city in the French Alps, before presiding over a meeting between Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas in Jordan.
Bush administration officials have recently been stressing a hunt for "weapons programs" instead of weapons themselves. Among the officials who have hedged their claims in recent public statements is Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, who said this week that deposed president Saddam Hussein may have destroyed all the weapons before the war.
U.S. authorities have to date made no claim of a confirmed finding of an actual nuclear, biological or chemical weapon. In the interview, Bush said weapons had been found, but in elaborating, he mentioned only the trailers, which the CIA has said were intended for production of biological weapons.
The agency reported that no pathogens were found in the two trailers and added that civilian use for the heavy transports, such as water purification or pharmaceutical production, was "unlikely" because of the effort and expense required to make the equipment mobile. Production of biological warfare agents "is the only consistent, logical purpose for these vehicles," the CIA report concluded.
Preparing for Bush's visit to the Middle East, administration officials said they were assembling a team of 24-hour-a-day monitors to mediate between the parties and measure performance in implementing the "road map" peace plan that aims to create a Palestinian state and permanent peace in the region.
Powell said the move stopped short of naming a "major envoy, with constant negotiations." But it would deepen U.S. responsibility in the peace-making process. Powell, joining Bush aboard Air Force One today, said the head of the U.S.-led team would be chosen soon.
Recounting his February speech to the U.N. Security Council, which included the display of satellite images and the playing of communications intercepts, Powell said that he "went out to the CIA, and I spent four days and four nights going over everything that they had as holdings." Powell said he had access to "a room full of analysts, the raw documents, the papers."
"Where I put up the cartoons of those biological vans, we didn't just make them up one night," he said. "Those were eyewitness accounts of people who had worked in the program and knew it was going on, multiple accounts."
"I have been through many crises in my career in government and there are always people who come after the fact to say, 'This wasn't presented to you,' or 'This was politicized or this wasn't,' " Powell continued.
British Prime Minister Tony Blair said during a brief visit to Warsaw today that he was confident that illegal weapons would be found and urged people to "have a little patience," the Reuters news agency reported.
"The idea that we authorized or made our intelligence agencies invent some piece of evidence is completely absurd," Blair said, referring to news media reports in London that British intelligence officials feel that Blair's office overstated the case in a dossier issued before the war. "Saddam's history of weapons of mass destruction is not some invention of the British security services."
Bush plans to use a speech in Krakow on Saturday to argue anew that the liberation of the people of Iraq was a legitimate cause for war, according to an administration official. He will speak after a solemn visit to the firing squad's "Death Wall" at the site of the Auschwitz concentration camp, and will draw a line from that to modern evil, including to Hussein and terrorists. Bush told Polish television that the visit's purpose is "to remind people that we must confront evil when we find it."
Bush began his sprint through six countries by offering conciliatory words to such traditional allies as France that tried to thwart the war in Iraq. But his aides said he planned to use the trip to continue projecting American might to try to change the world on his terms.
"I understand the attitudes of some, but I refuse to be stopped in my desire to rally the world toward achieving positive results for each individual," Bush told foreign reporters before leaving Washington.
A senior administration official said the theme underpinning the diplomatic tour was "what does President Bush do with his military victory?" Bush will lay out his answers beginning with the speech in Krakow, where he will call for greater transatlantic cooperation on controlling AIDS, poverty and weapons of mass destruction.
"Together, we can achieve the big objective," he said Thursday in remarks to foreign reporters that the White House released today. "And that is peace and freedom."
From here, Bush heads Saturday afternoon to St. Petersburg for celebrations and a gathering of world leaders on the occasion of that city's 300th anniversary. Then he flies to Evian for the annual meeting of the heads of the Group of Eight industrial powers. There, supporters and opponents of the war in Iraq will try to work out continuing resentments.
© 2003 The Washington Post Company
But aren't those mobile trailers evidence of an Iraqi bioweapons program?
Short answer: NO.
The CIA report on the trailers is here. http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/iraqi_mobile_plants/index.html
Slate's Fred Kaplan analyzes the report
http://slate.msn.com/id/2083760/ in great detail.
He finds that the report itself acknowledges that the trailers had at least two other potential uses, and he deems the claim that they were weapons labs to be "less than compelling."
Read closely, though, the CIA report reveals considerable ambiguity about the nature of these vehicles. For example, it notes that Iraqi officials—presumably those currently being interrogated—say the trailers were used to produce hydrogen for artillery weather-balloons. (Many Army units float balloons to monitor the accuracy of artillery fire.) In response to this claim, the report states:
Some of the features of the trailer—a gas-collection system and the presence of caustic—are consistent with both bioproduction and hydrogen production. The plant's design possibly could be used to produce hydrogen using a chemical reaction, but it would be inefficient. The capacity of this trailer is larger than the typical units for hydrogen production for weather balloons.
One could ask: Since when was Saddam's Iraq considered a model of efficiency?
You might be wondering who broke the U.S. Aides Say Iraqi Truck Could Be a Germ-War Lab
story. Why, what a coincidence, it's someone we know! Judy Miller!
Fancy seeing you here!
And who's the main source for the article? Hey, someone else we know! It's Steve Cambone!
Such a small world. Steve must be on his way to Baghdad right now to head up the Iraqi Survey Group
http://www.nytimes.com/2003/05/30/international/worldspecial/30CND-WEAP.html?ex=1054958400&en=7f14c82b25e79d27&ei=5062&partner=GOOGLEand find those pesky weapons, and I would bet Judy's tagging along, too. In the article, Steve said
"While some of the equipment on the trailer could have been used for purposes other than biological weapons agent production, U.S. and U.K. technical experts have concluded that the unit does not appear to perform any function beyond what the defector said it was for, which was the production of biological agents."
I guess the U.S. and U.K. experts he was talking about must not be the people who wrote the report, because the report makes no such claim. The very strongest statement in the entire report is "Analysis of the trailers reveals that they probably are second- or possibly third-generation designs of the plants described by the source," while the language throughout the rest of the report is substantially more cautious. I have a feeling the experts he's talking about are his imaginary friends.
I'm sure we can expect more from the Steve and Judy show soon.
:: Gabriel 9:47 PM [+] ::
Is the Pentagon preparing to falsify evidence of Iraqi weapons?
Short answer: it looks like it.
What makes me think so? According to the NY Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2003/05/30/international/worldspecial/30CND-WEAP.html?ex=1054958400&en=7f14c82b25e79d27&ei=5062&partner=GOOGLE(in a story not written by Judith Miller, so it's probably not ALL propaganda):
"The Pentagon announced today a 'significant expansion' of the hunt for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Stephen A. Cambone, the first under secretary of defense for intelligence, said Maj. Gen. Keith Dayton of the Army has been appointed to head a new team, the Iraq Survey Group, that will look for chemical and biological weapons."
Who is this Stephen Cambone? Washington Times reporters Bill Gertz and Rowan Scarborough
recently wrote the following (strangely the original page with this article has disappeared; I recovered this from the Google cache):
Stephen Cambone has assumed sweeping power over the Pentagon's intelligence bureaucracy as the new undersecretary of defense for intelligence.
We obtained a copy of a May 8 memorandum from Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz setting up the new office. It states that the office takes over all 286 persons and policies attached to the intelligence, counterintelligence and security, and other intelligence-related issues that were in the portfolio of the assistant defense secretary for command, control, communications and intelligence, once the Pentagon's top intelligence official.
Mr. Wolfowitz said the new office is in charge of "all intelligence and intelligence-related oversight and policy guidance functions" in the office of the secretary of defense.
Mr. Cambone, a protege of Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld who has little intelligence experience, will have several deputies, including three charged with intelligence warning, war fighting and operations, and counterintelligence and security.
The key phrase of the implementing guidance memorandum relates to the office's power over other Pentagon intelligence agencies that in the past have resisted control by Pentagon policy-makers.
It states that the new undersecretary will "exercise authority, direction, and control over the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), the National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA), the National Reconnaissance Organization (NRO), the National Security Agency (NSA), the Defense Security Service (DSS) and the DoD Counterintelligence Field Activity (CIFA)."
The undersecretary will be responsible to see that "these organizations ... have adequate acquisition-management structures and processes in place to deliver intelligence programs on time and within budget."
The job of whipping the Pentagon intelligence bureaucracy into shape is formidable. Pentagon intelligence agencies consume the lion's share of the amount spent on intelligence overall, estimated to be about $35 billion annually.
Additionally, the memorandum states that the Pentagon's chief information officer has been given a new title — assistant defense secretary for networks and information integration — and will report directly to the secretary of defense, an unusual arrangement because most assistants report to an undersecretary.
The post also comes with new authority over Pentagon space activities.
What else do we know about Dr. Cambone? He is a 1982 political science Ph.D. from Claremont Graduate School. He was the staff director
of the Commission to Assess the Ballistic Missile Threat to the United States, also known as the "Rumsfeld Commission."
Here's the kicker: besides being "a protege of Donald Rumsfeld," he also was one of the authors of the Project for the New American Century's Rebuilding America's Defenses,
the radical, Strangelovian document that formed the basis for the Bush administration's National Security Strategy.
So, having failed, despite Judith Miller's best efforts, to find any evidence of chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons in Iraq, the Pentagon is sending a new team of 1400 people, headed by one of Rumsfeld's closest buddies, a civilian political science Ph.D. with little intelligence experience, who also happens to be a neoconservative PNAC guy (a "Straussian," too, for those who think that matters). What are the odds that he will not claim to find something?
Here's my question for Cambone: who wrote the following sentence in the PNAC report?
On page 60, in the section "Transforming U.S. Conventional Forces," which discusses long-term plans for the U.S. military:
"And advanced forms of biological warfare that can 'target' specific genotypes may transform biological warfare from the realm of terror to a politically useful tool."
Could it get any creepier? I'm not sure even science fiction writers have thought up something so scary. Did they contract out the writing of this section to the Josef Mengele Fan Club? This is not some parody of PNAC thinking. This is what they say in their own report!
UPDATE: More on Cambone from the Agonist. http://agonist.got.net/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.cgi?board=News;action=display;num=1054367840
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