Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | News Flashes | Scoop Features | Scoop Video | Strange & Bizarre | Search


The Mirage Of Iraq's Weapons Of Mass Destruction

The Mirage Of Iraq's Weapons Of Mass Destruction

By Imad Khadduri
Former Iraqi nuclear scientist Column

( – In late August 2002, I listened with trepidation to President Bush's burgeoning false allegations about Iraq's nuclear military capability. Even then, one could discern that the sustained use of misinformation to support the invasion of Iraq showed that the President's claims were not based on any facts. I, having worked with Iraq's nuclear program for thirty years, reacted with a series of articles expounding on the fact that Iraq had ceased its nuclear weapons program at the start of the 1991 war. I refuted the claims and evidence most famously, or infamously, branded by Secretary of State Colin Powell to the Security Council in February 2003 in which Powell argued that Iraq had rejuvenated its nuclear weapons program after the Gulf War.

With heightened apprehension, I listened to Vice President Dick Cheney's claim on MSNBC that the U.S. does not accept the results of the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) extensive inspections nor its failure to find any evidence of a rejuvenated Iraqi nuclear weapons program. The IAEA explicitly exposed the fact that a uranium procurement document provided by British and American intelligence as a piece of evidence proving Iraq's nuclear weapon capability was, in fact, a planted forgery. Cheney provocatively claimed, on the day before Bush's 48 hours ultimatum to invade Iraq, that U.S. intelligence had proof otherwise. My last retort to that incredible plain lie was that some bogus evidence might be planted once U.S. forces were on the ground in Iraq.

Bombing to waste, yet again, the main Nuclear Research Center at Tuwaitha, and foolishly allowing American soldiers to break IAEA protective seals and opening Tuwaitha's radioactive burial mound for looters who then contaminated themselves and their families, the Americans have yet to produce their "evidence" of a nuclear weapons program in Iraq. Why is Cheney now silent about Iraq's nuclear weapons program? With U.S. troops in control of Iraq, this information cannot be a "national security" issue anymore.

In addition to the non-existent nuclear weapons program, two developments in the past two months have convinced me that, since 1991-1992, Iraq did not rejuvenate its chemical or biological weapons programs, either.

The first development was a Newsweek story on March 03, 2003 unveiling, after eight years of suppression, the transcript of Hussain Kamel's debriefing by officials from the IAEA and the U.N. inspection team known as UNSCOM; this debriefing took place after Kamel defected to Jordan in 1995. In it, he affirmed that Iraq had indeed destroyed its entire stockpile of chemical and biological weapons and banned missiles after the Gulf War. All that remained were "hidden blueprints, computer disks, microfiches." The weapons were destroyed secretly, in order to hide their existence from inspectors, in the hopes of someday resuming production after inspections had finished. According to John Barry, who broke the story, the CIA and MI6 were told the same account and "a military aide who defected with Kamel ... backed Kamel's assertions about the destruction of WMD stocks." But these statements were "hushed up by the U.N. inspectors" in order to "bluff Saddam into disclosing still more."

On February 26, 2003, a complete copy of Hussain Kamel's transcript -- an internal UNSCOM/IAEA document stamped "sensitive" -- was obtained by Glen Rangwala, the Cambridge University analyst who in early February revealed that Tony Blair's "intelligence dossier" was plagiarized from a student thesis. This transcript can be seen at

On page 7 of the transcript, an UNSCOM Russian expert, with the name of Smidovich, asked the direct question: "Were weapons and agents destroyed?"

"Nothing remained," was Kamel's reply.

Smidovich insisted: "Was it before or after inspections started?"

Hussain Kamel replied: "After visits of inspection teams…"

Smidovich insisted: "We could not find any traces of destruction."

Hussain Kamel reiterated: "Yes, it was done before you came in. The place they buried them was found by you."

Smidovich recollected: "Is this the place north of Baghdad where they were buried?"

Hussain Kamel replied: "It was in the month you came in. Destruction of warheads started but I could not remember the details."

Tellingly, Iraq, in January 2003, collected and provided access to UNSCOM to more than twenty personnel who actually participated in the events of the above revelation. UNSCOM then carried out further extensive excavations at that site.

Hussain Kamel also had a few remarks on the bottom of page 5 on the habitual liar, Khidhir Hamza, who kept claiming throughout the nineties, on CNN and FOX as well as to Congressional Committees, that Iraq was on the verge of producing nuclear bombs. His accusations continued up until March 2003 when he suddenly quieted down and headed for Kuwait to receive his new post in the new "Iraqi" government.

The revelation of Hussain Kamel's detailed confession, by itself, did not induce me to endorse his assertion bluntly or publicly, though it was illuminating and historically authentic. Previously we had heard of his confession, but not of its contents.

It was the second event, which took place two weeks ago, which convinced me of the futility of finding weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

Amer Al Saadi, the chemical engineer and a senior scientific consultant to the Iraqi government, was the first prominent personality to surrender to the American forces after his German wife interceded with a German TV station to arrange for his surrender. For the past decade, he had been a polished, dignified and assured spokesman. He participated in the biological weapons program since its start in the early eighties. I knew him personally and had great admiration for his scientific integrity. In a ten-minute interview with German TV, Al Saadi asserted that: "I was always telling the truth. Iraq does not have chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction. I have nothing to hide. Time will bear me out."

Indeed, time is bearing him out to the chagrin of Bush and Blair. The American and British hopes of finding any WMDs in Iraq, not planted by them, are vanishing mirages.

Bush, Blair and their senior officials lied to their people, knowingly, and waged a criminal invasion in lieu of this reason. Is this the democracy model for a "liberated" Iraq?


[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]

Imad Khadduri encourages your comments: is an international news and opinion publication. encourages its material to be reproduced, reprinted, or broadcast provided that any such reproduction identifies the original source, Internet web links to are appreciated.

© Scoop Media

Top Scoops Headlines


Werewolf: Living With Rio’s Olympic Ruins

Mariana Cavalcanti Critics of the Olympic project can point a discernible pattern in the delivery of Olympics-related urban interventions: the belated but rushed inaugurations of faulty and/or unfinished infrastructures... More>>

Live Blog On Now: Open Source//Open Society Conference

The second annual Open Source Open Society Conference is a 2 day event taking place on 22-23 August 2016 at Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington… Scoop is hosting a live blog summarising the key points of this exciting conference. More>>



Gordon Campbell: On The Politicising Of The War On Drugs In Sport

It hasn’t been much fun at all to see how “war on drugs in sport” has become a proxy version of the Cold War, fixated on Russia. This weekend’s banning of the Russian long jumper Darya Klishina took that fixation to fresh extremes. More>>


Binoy Kampmark: Kevin Rudd’s Failed UN Secretary General Bid

Few sights are sadder in international diplomacy than seeing an aging figure desperate for honours. In a desperate effort to net them, he scurries around, cultivating, prodding, wishing to be noted. Finally, such an honour is netted, in all likelihood just to shut that overly keen individual up. More>>

Open Source / Open Society: The Scoop Foundation - An Open Model For NZ Media

Access to accurate, relevant and timely information is a crucial aspect of an open and transparent society. However, in our digital society information is in a state of flux with every aspect of its creation, delivery and consumption undergoing profound redefinition... More>>

Keeping Out The Vote: Gordon Campbell On The US Elections

I’ll focus here on just two ways that dis-enfranchisement is currently occurring in the US: (a) by the rigging of the boundary lines for voter districts and (b) by demanding elaborate photo IDs before people are allowed to cast their vote. More>>

Ramzy Baroud: Being Black Palestinian - Solidarity As A Welcome Pathology

It should come as no surprise that the loudest international solidarity that accompanied the continued spate of the killing of Black Americans comes from Palestine; that books have already been written and published by Palestinians about the plight of their Black brethren. In fact, that solidarity is mutual. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news