Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search

 

Imad Khadduri: Mobile Lies

Mobile Lies


By Imad Khadduri
Former Iraqi nuclear scientist

YellowTimes.org Column
June 10, 2003

(YellowTimes.org) – As the swelter of anger bubbles from the machination of misinformation that led to the faltering WMD casus belli for invading Iraq, the retreat and half-baked excuses of Bush, Blair, Cheney, Wolfowitz and Powell further expose the sharp edge of their deceit. Whether it was "intelligence" failure or "flailing" the intelligence, time will soon tell. In the meantime, the fig leaves keep falling.

During CNN's Late Edition with Colin Powell, reported by the Toronto Star on June 9, 2003, Powell claimed that "the two alleged mobile biological weapons labs, which are being studied by allied inspectors now in Iraq, are the same ones he described to the world last Feb. 5 at a U.N. presentation which was the result of four days and four nights of meetings with the CIA." "I stand behind that presentation," he said.

He further asserted, "I'll give you the killer argument why these vans were exactly what I said they were. I can assure you that if those biological vans were not ... what I said they were on the 5th of February, on the 6th of February Iraq would have hauled those vans out, put them in front of a press conference, given them to U.N. inspectors to try to drive a stake through the heart of my presentation."

Only if the Iraqis knew which vans he was talking about.

In an article published on the same day as Powell's interview, Peter Beaumont and Antony Barnett reported in the Observer that there is mounting indications that these vans were for "balloons, not germs."

The Iraqis concur.

According to the article, "Senior Iraqi officials of the al-Kindi Research, Testing, Development, and Engineering facility in Mosul were shown pictures of the mobile production trailers, and they claimed that the trailers were used to produce hydrogen chemically for artillery weather balloons. Artillery balloons are essentially balloons that are sent up into the atmosphere and relay information on wind direction and speed, allowing more accurate artillery fire. Crucially, these systems need to be mobile. The Observer has discovered that not only did the Iraq military have such a system at one time, but that it was actually sold to them by the British. In 1987, Marconi, now known as AMS, sold the Iraqi army an Artillery Meteorological System or Amets for short."

Other experts who have examined the evidence agree and have cast doubt over the Bush administration's assertions. They argue that the lack of any trace of pathogens found in the fermentation tanks, the use of canvas sides on vehicles where technicians would be working with dangerous germ cultures, and the lack of an autoclave for steam sterilization all provide credence to the Iraqi argument that the labs were merely used for artillery balloons.

In fact, the American experts themselves concede that the van could, at best, serve only one stage of the process for biological weapons production. There would need to be three or four other stages in the process, or other complementary vans, to be able to produce Powell's less than heuristic claim.

Powell is not new to this misinformation game.

In my earlier article, "The demise of the nuclear bomb hoax," published on February 16, 2003, I referred to Geoff Simons' The Scourging of Iraq in which "Washington lied persistently and comprehensively to gain the required international support [for the Gulf war]. For example, the U.S. claimed to have satellite pictures showing a massive Iraqi military build-up on the Saudi/ Iraqi border. When sample photographs were later obtained from Soyuz Karta by an enterprising journalist, no such evidence was discernible."

Simons references an article by Maggie O'Kane, published in the Guardian on 16 December 1995, which revealed that the enterprising journalist was Jean Heller of the St. Petersburg Times in Florida.

Eventually, the U.S. commander -- none other than Colin Powell himself -- admitted that there had been no massing of Iraqi troops. But by then the so-called evidence had served its purpose.

So, was Powell really worried that the Iraqis might "try to drive a stake through the heart of [his] presentation"?

Well, it's never too late.

*****************

[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.]

Imad Khadduri encourages your comments: imad.khadduri@rogers.com

YellowTimes.org is an international news and opinion publication. YellowTimes.org encourages its material to be reproduced, reprinted, or broadcast provided that any such reproduction identifies the original source, http://www.YellowTimes.org. Internet web links to http://www.YellowTimes.org are appreciated.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Binoy Kampmark: Vague Alternatives And G7 Summitry: The Build Back Better World Initiative

Summits often feature grand statements and needless fripperies. In Cornwall, the leaders of the G7 countries were trying to position and promote their relevance as the vanguard of democratic good sense and values... More>>


Suicidal Games: Tokyo’s Coronavirus Olympics

A pandemic crisis. A state of emergency. Overwhelming public opinion bristling with alarm. Notwithstanding these factors, Tokyo is still on track to host the Olympics that was cancelled last year in response to the global pandemic. The first sports team – Australia’s softball crew – has touched down. Is all this folly, bravery or self-interest?.. More>>


Binoy Kampmark: Burned By The Diana Cult: The Fall Of Martin Bashir

The interview was infamous, made his name and was bound to enrage. It also received a viewing audience of 23 million people who heard a saucy tale of adultery, plots in the palace, and stories of physical and mental illness. But the tarring and feathering of Martin Bashir for his 1995 Panorama programme featuring Princess Diana was always more than the scruples of a journalist and his interviewing methods... More>>


How It All Went Wrong: The Global Response To COVID-19

The Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response was never likely to hand down a rosy report with gobbets of praise. Organised by the World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus last May, the panel’s gloomy assessment was grim: the COVID-19 pandemic could have been avoided... More>>



The Conversation: Is Natural Gas Really Cheaper Than Renewable Electricity?

Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change... More>>

Keith Rankin: The New Zealand Government’s 'Public Finance Rabbithole'

Last week, out of left field, the government placed a three-year embargo on normal public sector wage bargaining, essentially a salary freeze. While there has been a certain amount of backtracking since, it is clear that the government has been ... More>>