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Top Four Reasons Bush And Media Can't Claim They Were 'Misled'
by Sean Gonsalves
Cape Cod Times
appearing on rense.com
February 2, 2004

Is America safer now that Saddam has been captured? No, America is safer because the D.C. snipers have been captured, as one comedic writer put it recently.

So David Kay thinks the U.S. intelligence community owes an explanation to President Bush and the rest of the country as to why no weapons of mass destruction have been found in Iraq.

Well, here's four solid reasons why the Bush administration and the "liberal" media have no excuse claiming they were "misled."

4. Bush Administration Officials And The "Liberal" Media Didn't Want To Hear The Truth

In the run-up to the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003, the London Observer reported on a "top secret" memo leak, written by a U.S. National Security Agency official.

The memo revealed that, in an attempt to end Iraqi weapons inspections and get a war resolution passed in the United Nations, American spooks were "mounting a surge" of surveillance, targeting countries on the Security Council with a special focus on the six "undecided" countries.

The surveillance intercepted diplomatic chit-chat by tapping home and office phones, as well as e-mails, with the hopes "the whole gamut of information(would) give U.S. policymakers an edge in obtaining results favorable to U.S. goals."

The NSA memo also requested help from British intelligence in the illegal surveillance operation.

And as you read the words of this column, a 29-year-old Brit named Katharine Gun is facing two years in prison for her role in helping to bring the memo to public light (for more information go to www.accuracy.org/gun).

3. Even Though He Notified Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Joseph Biden Of His Willingness To Testify For The Pre-War Senate Hearings On The "Iraqi Threat," Hans Von Sponeck Was Not Invited To The Discussion Table

Von Sponeck is a former United Nations assistant secretary general and the former head of the U.N. oil-for-food program in Iraq.

(Von Sponeck resigned his post several years ago in protest of the sanctions, realizing that not only was the oil-for-food program inadequate from the beginning, its hands were tied; not by the Iraqi government but by the "Washington consensus"). "I feel very agitated by the deliberate distortions and misrepresentations" being made about Iraq, Von Sponeck told me in September 2002. "You have this attempt to portray Iraq in a way that makes it look to the average person in the U.S. as if Iraq is a threat to their security. I don't know by what stretch of the imagination that claim can be made."

Having worked in Iraq on the ground for several years, and after having been to Iraq with a German TV news crew in the weeks preceding Biden's senate hearings, Von Sponeck visited two of the sites that both media and government officials claimed were likely sites for the production of chemical and biological weapons.

"One of those sites is called Al Dora. It is on the outskirts of Baghdad. That facility was disabled by Mr. (Scott) Ritter and the other inspectors in1996. I visited there in 1999 and it was totally disabled. It was a shell with destroyed machinery.

And two weeks ago, with a German television crew, we saw exactly the same thing. We didn't even have electricity."

2. Speaking Of Ritter, He Wasn't Called To Testify Either

Three years before the invasion of Iraq and one year after Ritter, former UNSCOM chief inspector wrote his book "Endgame: Solving the Iraq Problem --Once And For All," I interviewed him on several occasions. And I also listened to what the other UNSCOM inspectors had to say.

Let's rehash. When UNSCOM realized that Iraqi officials had been lying about its weapons program, Ritter was the expert they called to find what Saddam was hiding, and where, and then to destroy it.

"I bear personal witness through seven years as a chief weapons inspector in Iraq for the United Nations to both the scope of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction programs and the effectiveness of the U.N. weapons inspectors in ultimately eliminating them," Ritter explained.

By the time UNSCOM ended its work in 1998, it had stripped Iraq of 90 to 95percent of its WMD. The missing 5 to 10 percent, Ritter said, was likely destroyed in the 1991 Gulf War, making 100 percent quantitative compliance with the U.N. disarmament mandate an impossible benchmark.

Other UNSCOM inspectors agreed, saying they were being pushed by U.S. planners to go on wild goose chases.

"A lot of information we were given was provided to us by the Americans. It was either out of date, incorrect or it was completely false and designed to take us down the wrong path," explained former UNSCOM inspector Roger Hill.

UNSCOM inspector Chris Cobb-Smith also was convinced the inspections had become politicized by what he described as a U.S. effort to purposely provoke confrontations of "access."

Confirming inspectors' suspicions, their boss back in New York, Richard Butler, decided in 1997 to base their work solely on U.S. intelligence sources, which effectively gave U.S. policymakers cover to move the disarmament goal posts by simply asserting it had weapons "intelligenceš about some site.

Ritter resigned in frustration and since then, as he traveled the country trying to educate the public, the "liberal" media were paying more attention to the neocons who were trying to discredit Ritter, going so far as to claim he was being paid by Saddam's government.

1. And My Number One Reason Why The Bush Administration And The "Liberal" Media Should Not Be Given A You-Were-Duped-Pass Is Because A Marginal "Out Of The Intelligence Loop" Columnist Like Myself Was Writing About The Lack Of WMD In Iraq Before The War

It's amazing what you can discover if you pay attention to what our political and opinion leaders choose to ignore.

Topplebush.com
Posted: February 3, 2004

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