Hans Blix; Lying Neocon Warmonger?

Friday, November 11, 2005
On January 27 2003, Hans Blix delivered a report to the UN detailing the results of UNMOVIC's inspections into Iraqi disamament.

The following is a synopsis of his findings. My comments are in bold, followed by Hans Blix in his own words in italics.

As of January 2003, Iraq had still not accepted the need for disarmament.


Unlike South Africa, which decided on its own to eliminate its nuclear weapons and welcomed the inspection as a means of creating confidence in its disarmament, Iraq appears not to have come to a genuine acceptance, not even today, of the disarmament which was demanded of it and which it needs to carry out to win the confidence of the world and to live in peace.

As we know, the twin operation declare and verify, which was prescribed in Resolution 687, too often turned into a game of hide and seek. Rather than just verify in declarations and supporting evidence, the two inspecting organizations found themselves engaged in efforts to map the weapons programs and to search for evidence through inspections, interviews, seminars, inquiries with suppliers and intelligence organizations.



Iraq had a history of lying about its WMD programs to the UN.



While Iraq claims, with little evidence, that it destroyed all biological weapons unilaterally in 1991, it is certain that UNSCOM destroyed large biological weapons production facilities in 1996. The large nuclear infrastructure was destroyed and the fissionable material was removed from Iraq by the IAEA.



For years Iraq refused to participate in the disarmament process, and it required the presence of an army on its borders to compel Iraq to once again appear to cooperate.


For nearly three years, Iraq refused to accept any inspections by UNMOVIC. It was only after appeals by the secretary-general and Arab states and pressure by the United States and other member states that Iraq declared on 16 September last year that it would again accept inspections without conditions.


It was not the role of the inspections teams to prove or disprove the presence of WMD in Iraq.



The substantive cooperation required relates above all to the obligation of Iraq to declare all programs of weapons of mass destruction and either to present items and activities for elimination or else to provide evidence supporting the conclusions that nothing proscribed remains.

Paragraph 9 of Resolution 1441 states that this cooperation shall be "active." It is not enough to open doors. Inspection is not a game of catch as catch can. Rather, as I noted, it is a process of verification for the purpose of creating confidence. It is not built upon the premise of trust. Rather, it is designed to lead to trust, if there is both openness to the inspectors and action to present them with items to destroy or credible evidence about the absence of any such items.



Iraq appeared to be covering up its anthrax program.



I turn to biological weapons. I mention the issue of anthrax to the council on previous occasions, and I come back to it as it is an important one. Iraq has declared that it produced about 8,500 liters of this biological warfare agent, which it states it unilaterally destroyed in the summer of 1991.

Iraq has provided little evidence for this production and no convincing evidence for its destruction.

There are strong indications that Iraq produced more anthrax than it declared and that at least some of this was retained over the declared destruction date. It might still exist.

Either it should be found and be destroyed under UNMOVIC supervision or else convincing evidence should be produced to show that it was indeed destroyed in 1991.

As I reported to the council on the 19th of December last year, Iraq did not declare a significant quantity, some 650 kilos, of bacterial growth media, which was acknowledged as reported in Iraq's submission to the Amorim panel in February 1999. As a part of its 7 December 2002 declaration Iraq resubmitted the Amorim panel document but the table showing this particular import of media was not included. The absence of this table would appear to be deliberate, as the pages of the resubmitted document were renumbered.



Iraq was developing prohibited missile systems.


Two projects in particular stand out. They are the development of a liquid-fueled missile named Al-Samud II and a solid propellant missile called Al-Fatah. Both missiles have been tested to arrange in excess of the permitted range of 150 kilometers, with the Al-Samud II being tested to a maximum of 183 kilometers and the Al-Fatah to 161 kilometers. Some of both types of missiles have already been provided to the Iraqi armed forces, even though it is stated that they're still undergoing development.

The Al-Samud's diameter was increased from an earlier version to the president 760 mm. This modification was made despite a 1994 letter from the executive chairman of UNSCOM directing Iraq to limit its missile diameters to less than 600 mm. Furthermore, a November 1997 letter from the executive chairman of UNSCOM to Iraq prohibited the use of engines from certain surface-to-air missiles for the use in ballistic missiles.

During my recent meeting in Baghdad, we were briefed on these two programs. We were told that the final range for both systems would be less than the permitted maximum of 150 kilometers.

These missiles might well represent prima facie cases of proscribed systems. The test ranges in excess of 150 kilometers are significant, but some further technical considerations need to be made before we reach a conclusion on this issue. In the meantime, we have asked Iraq to cease flight tests of both missiles.



Iraq was rebuilding banned weapons infrastructure previously destroyed under UNSCOM inspection.


In addition, Iraq has refurbished its missile production infrastructure. In particular, Iraq reconstituted a number of casting chambers which had previously been destroyed under UNSCOM's supervision. They had been used in the production of solid fuel missiles.

Whatever missile system these chambers are intended for, they could produce motors for missiles capable of ranges significantly greater than 150 kilometers.



Iraq was importing prohibited weapons parts, in violation of the sanctions.



Also associated with these missiles and related developments is the import which has been taking place during the last two years of a number of items despite the sanctions, including as late as December 2002. Foremost among these is import of 300 rockets engines which may be used for the Al-Samud II.

Iraq has also declared the recent import of chemicals used in propellants, test instrumentation and guidance and control system. These items may well be for proscribed purposes; that is yet to be determined.

What is clear is that they were illegally brought into Iraq; that is, Iraq or some company in Iraq circumvented the restrictions imposed by various resolutions.



Iraq was concealing important documentation relating to WMD programs.



The recent inspection find in the private home of a scientist of a box of some 3,000 pages of documents, much of it relating to the lacing enrichment of uranium, support a concern that has long existed that documents might be distributed to the homes of private individuals. This interpretation is refuted by the Iraqi side which claims that research staff sometimes may bring papers from their work places.

On our side, we cannot help but think that the case might not be isolated and that such placements of documents is deliberate to make discovery difficult and to seek to shield documents by placing them in private homes.



Iraq was in violation of Resolution 1441 which called for UN inspectors to be allowed to conduct private interviews with Iraqis.


In the past, much valuable information came from interviews. There are also cases in which the interviewee was clearly intimidated by the presence of an interruption by Iraq officials.

This was the background to Resolution 1441's provision for a right for UNMOVIC and the IAEA to hold private interviews "in the mode or the location" of our choice in Baghdad or even abroad.

Today, 11 individuals were asked for interviews in Baghdad by us. The replies have been that the individual would only speak at Iraq's Monitoring Directorate or at any rate in the presence of an Iraq official.



===========================================================================


Those who claim that the Bush administration "manipulated intelligence" in order to make the case for an invasion of Iraq need to come to terms with the fact the the head of the UN inspections himself acknowledged that Iraq "appears not to have come to a genuine acceptance, not even today, of the disarmament which was demanded of it and which it needs to carry out to win the confidence of the world and to live in peace."

A little over a month later, the Coalition forces moved into Iraq. The Blix report was undoubtedly one of the key events leading up to the invasion, so it is odd thats its findings have received so little attention. If the White House is attempting to finally set the record straight regarding what occurred in the run up to the invasion, then they would be well served to remind the world that what the UN inspections actually found was that Iraq was violating the sanctions and cease fire agreements, and that it showed no interest in complying with the disarmament process. They might start by distributing the Blix report to the White House press pool.


71 comments:

vnjagvet said...

Flenser:

Great point. And how could a responsible CIC after 9/11 not take all of this as the "best" scenario from the standpoint of the U.S.

In other words, a prudent U.S. CIC must think that the "on the ground" situation is even more damning of Iraq's perfidy, rather than what was found after Hussein's bluffs were called.

Any other posture would have been irresponsible given the circumstances of 9/11.

Rick Ballard said...

"They might start by distributing the Blix report to the White House press pool."

In audio book form with a narrator speaking v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y and someone on hand with crayon and butcher paper to draw pictures of the hard parts.

Even then it wouldn't make a damn bit of difference because the report does not fit the Demsm propagandist's narrative scheme. When was the last time anyone heard of 17 UNSC resolutions?

W is being attacked for lack of clairvoyance. The Republican party is very fortunate to have the opposing party in such disarray that lack of mind reading skills is the greatest charge that they can think of to level at its opponents.

Excellent post, Flenser. It's a shame the Blix report is so rarely used as a reference.

truepeers said...

Latest evidence, or so we are told by Allawi, that Saddam had ties to Al Qaeda

Heck, the more I learn the more I think Saddam was a WMD. The only worthwhile debate is on the question of timing and alliances, and the lack of a plan to replace the Saddam state once it was taken out. Otherwise we are dealing with BDS and you can throw all the reason you want at it, Flenser, but I don't think you will have a lot of success with reason. The MSM are too cushioned from hard realities by their own myth making to be readily affected by reality. Only when their audience is gone, they are alone on the street, or personally hit by the violent madness out there, will they be inclined to question the myths.

flenser said...

vnjagvet, Rick

Thanks. I'm thinking we should do a series of posts like this to recover information from the memory hole, and also to have links to point people to when these discussions come up again and again. I believe terrye was talking abour the Duelfer report, for example.

I don't really hold out any hope that the media could get anything from reading Blix. Maybe the WH should print my post and distribute that instead, with the simple one line explanations.

flenser said...

truepeers

"I don't think you will have a lot of success with reason."

It's depressing, but I think you are right, at least where the opposition is concerned.

OTH, if we're going to refight the case for the war, its worthwhile to remind the waverers of what was actually being said at the time.

MeaninglessHotAir said...

Great post, Flenser, and I must hasten to state that I think Truepeers is wrong.

It's very important to keep making the points and sticking to the facts. While it may appear that nothing is changing, psychological studies show that when antagonists are confronted like this by facts they do, unless they are completely insane, subconsciously change their minds.

I agree that we need to start setting up a series of posts like this. I will link them from the sidebar.

truepeers said...

OK, I'm starting to think, maybe MHA is right. I'm starting to think about a post. Maybe I'll tackle the anti-Zionism is not antisemitism trope.{:-]

truepeers said...

Flenser, if you haven't seen it yet, you will be interested in Norman Podhoretz's take on all this

terrye said...

Flenser:

Very good.

I do think a refresher course might be needed. Kind of like continuing education.

There is the Deufler report and there is also plain old history 101.

When luminaries like Phil Donahue are running around saying that Saddam was "our" man we need to be reminding them it was Chirac who called Saddam a close personal friend and sold him a nuclear reactor. Saddam was the peace camp's man. Just look at the list of countries who sold him weapons and chemicals for years.

Thank God the Israelis blew that reactor up.

As for Blix, Saddam lied to him more than once and so he was not willing to take Hussein's word for anything.

A decade before Blix was almost ready to turn Saddam loose when the tyrant's son in law squealed on him. The man ended up dead but Blix never forgot that. He would have been ruined in his field if it had turned out he gave Saddam a clean bill of health when in fact he was a very dangerous man.

We could also do a report of sorts on the food for oil scam. Roger Simon has done so much on this I doubt we could add to it, but it is worth mentioning that the thievery at the UN undoubtedly had something to do with Saddam's refusal to comply.

I read somewhere that in 1999 Clinton floated the idea that he could get sanctions dropped if Saddam would let the inspectors back in. Saddam said no, now we know why. The sanctions were not only not working to deter Saddam..they were subsidizing his regime.

markg8 said...

Let's go back to the history. 1/27/03 was just before Bush's SOTU speech. There was lot of negative pressure on Blix at the time from the press, both the UK and US administrations and among others, me. The right used his "not to prejudge anything" statements to discredit him as tool of Saddam. I wanted him to get on with his inspections. If you look it up, I think in this very report but certainly elsewhere, even though he'd been authorized to start inspections by Res. 1441 in December he'd only just gotten a lot of his equipment into the country by mid January. I couldn't understand this footdragging especially when press reports were saying the latest the invasion would start would be mid March. So when I read this report I see Hans Blix trying to convince the
US and UK administrations who were feverishly clamoring for war of his bona fides as a tough and thorough investigator.

Seneca the Younger said...

So when I read this report I see Hans Blix trying to convince the US and UK administrations who were feverishly clamoring for war of his bona fides as a tough and thorough investigator.

Hmm. So your point would be that Blix was lying in order to continue inspections?

markg8 said...

Not lying, making his case. And boy was I pissed he had done so little to that point. But I believe you'll also see in that report a plea to the US and UK governments to turn over their best intelligence to him so he could find the weapons they were so sure existed. So the hang up wasn't only on his end. In subsequent reports he said he was appalled at the poor quality of the intelligence given him by the US.

Peter UK said...

Terrye,

Hans Blix is not and never was an weapons expert,he is an international bureaucrat and lawyer.he has written several books on international and constitutional law.
Blix's job as a UN functionary first running the IAEA,he was called in to oversee the inspections, after he left the IAEA after being duped by Saddam Hussein.
Hans Blix

Peter UK said...

Since the organisation Blix worked for is the was the,"We all have our price" UN,it is quite understandable that sensitive intelligence was not forth coming,after all it might have resulted in a covert agent being outed.

flenser said...

markg8

Your reading comprehension needs work. It was not the job of Blix and his inspectors to "find weapons".

Their mission was to determine if Saddam was willing to cooperate with the disarmament process. They found that he was not, and that he was violating the the cease fire agreement, the sanctions, and the UN resolutions.

You would know this if you actually read the post before responding to it.

markg8 said...

"Their mission was to determine if Saddam was willing to cooperate with the disarmament process."

The only way to do that was to go to Iraq and see if Saddam had any WMD left and gauge Iraqi cooperation.

He said the Iraqis were about as pleasant as people staring down the barrel of the US Army could be expected to be but still hadn't shown his guys what he was told by the Americans would be there. We know they couldn't show them WMD that didn't exist. Did they have records of their destruction? If they did they evidently didn't satisfy Blix. Were there further records they hid from him that could be or were discovered after the war?
If so we'll most likely never see them as they'd prove too embarrassing to the Bush administration.

flenser said...

markg8

"The only way to do that was to go to Iraq and see if Saddam had any WMD left and gauge Iraqi cooperation."

No mark, that is not true, and the words of Bilix demonstrate that it was not true. The inspectors were not tasked with seeing if Saddam had any WMD left. They were tasked with gauging Iraqi cooperation, and they found it lacking, somthing which I have pointed out to you repeatedly.


"He said the Iraqis were about as pleasant as people staring down the barrel of the US Army could be expected to be but still hadn't shown his guys what he was told by the Americans would be there."


This is what is technically called a "lie". Blix never said anything of the sort.


"Were there further records they hid from him that could be or were discovered after the war?
If so we'll most likely never see them as they'd prove too embarrassing to the Bush administration. "

I must caution you that this is not a forum for you to engage in baseless speculation. Either attempt to respond to what Blix said in a rational and substantive fashion, or do not comment at all. Those are the two options open to you.

Peter UK said...

As a corollary to this it should be remembered that time for inspections before the invasion was bought at the cost of higher casualties after the invasion.
Iraq was given time to disperse money and munition throughout the country,for example bunkers found that were being used by "insrgents" could only have been built prior to the invasion.

markg8 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
markg8 said...

From the report: "It would appear from our experience so far that Iraq has decided in principle to provide cooperation on process, notably access."

They let us in and they let us go pretty much wherever we want when we want.

"A similar decision is indispensable to provide cooperation on substance in order to bring the disarmament task to completion through the peaceful process of inspection and to bring the monitoring task on a firm course."

Now if they'd only tell us where the nuclear bomb factory is we could wrap this all up and leave a few guys to keep an eye on things.

"An initial minor step would be to adopt the long-overdue legislation required by the resolutions."

Saddam should show some good faith and pass some laws in his phony baloney parliment that says he'll be a good boy and outlaw WMD in Iraq.

Frankly Blix's writing style is almost as tedious as his droning voice. That's the gist of his report as far as I'm concerned.

Oh and Petey don't be ripping Blix as Saddam's stooge when your friends are trying to use him as justification for the invasion.

flenser said...

markg8

I'll take that as an attempt on your part at an intelligent response.

"They let us in and they let us go pretty much wherever we want when we want."

Yes, they did do that. Sadly, that is not what they were tasked with doing. They were supposed to engage in "active" cooperation. That is, they were supposed to go out of their way to attempt to prove to the UN that they had disarmed.

As the report clearly illustates, Iraq did no such thing.

In fact, the report spells out the fact that as late as December 2002, Iraq was stll flouting the cease-fire terms and UN resolutions and attempting to reconstitute its banned weapons programs.


"Saddam should show some good faith and pass some laws in his phony baloney parliment that says he'll be a good boy and outlaw WMD in Iraq."

Well, yes. As the report indicates, the inspections were not supposed to prove or disprove the presence of WMD in Iraq. The inspections were tasked with determining whether or not Iraq was acting in good faith. And, surprise!, it was not.

The gist of his report was that Iraq had still not accepted the need for it to disarm. Unlike your speculation, that is based on the actual wording of the report.

Peter UK said...

Muqu
I am saying that Blix headed UNMOVIC a UN body.That he was an international bureaucrat doing his job,that he was trying to prevent war,but even then he did not cover the fact that Saddam Hussein was a rescidivist with no intention of ever disarming peacefully.

Saddam Hussein was on parole,the Gulf WarI ceasefire was predicated on Iraq not only disarming but to be seen sincerely and irrevocably disarming.Those conditions were not fulfilled

As Miss Hansen used to say "Mark is a tedious child"

flenser said...

markg8

You have before you Hans Blix in his own words, speaking in early 2003, shortly before the invasion of Iraq.

He clearly spells out all the ways in which Iraq was failing to meet its obligations, and was in fact reconstituting weapons programs which had been previously destroyed under UN inspections.

Respond to that if you like.

What Blix or anyone else clams to have thought, while speaking in 2004 or later, is not relevant. The people making policy in 2003 did not have the benefit of looking into the future.

Confine your remarks to the issue at hand. That issue is, what was the UN itself saying about Iraqi weapons programs in January 2003?

It turns out to have been almost exactly what President Bush and the US Congress was saying.

terrye said...

The whole damn point is that if Saddam Hussein had done the same thing in 1994 that Kaddafi did a decade later he would in all probability be poking out the eyeballs of small children and burying people alive and cutting out tongues etc, today.

If someone is being checked for drugs, they can tell you they already peed in a cup at home and did their own test so they don't have to go it again for the parole peopl but would we believe them?.....nooooo... because if they don't do the test and if the test can not be verified, it did not happen.

Saddam's job was to actively participate in the process so that the inspectors do not have to wonder if the weapons were there or not. He did not, in fact he go caught lying over and over again.

BTW, can anyone say with certainty even today..what happened to the weapons?

markg8 said...

Why delete my post? That ain't the way to win an argument. Blix had a lot to say about Iraq after January 2003. So did ElBaradei. This is from ElBaradei's statement of March 7, 2003 to the Security Council:

"After three months of intrusive inspections, we have to date found no evidence or plausible indication of the revival of a nuclear weapons programme in Iraq."

Neither Blix or ElBaradei thought it was necessary to go to war. Once again if you want to use them as your source you're just asking for them to remind you of that.

If you want to read more you can see it here:

http://www.iaea.org/NewsCenter/Focus/IaeaIraq/index.shtml

Erik said...

If you want to quoute Blix after January 2003, I would highly recommend the opinion he had at a seminar held by the Swedish Liberal Party just after Baghded was taken.

He said that he regarded it as disappointing that he hadn't been able to find the WMDs, but he expected the coalition to find them fairly soon, once they started searching around the country.

flenser said...

markg8

You don't win an argument by trying to change it to something else. This is about the pre-war intelligence on Iraqi weapons programs.

I've pointed out what Hans Blix had to say on the matter, and it is exactly what the Bush administration was saying at the time.

It is perfectly true that there was no proof that Iraq was trying to revive its nuclear weapons program. But that is not what the inspections were charged with determining.

What the inspections found, and perhaps you would care to comment on this point, is that Iraq was not accepting the need for it to disarm, and that it was in fact activily engaged in attempting to re-arm, and was subverting the UN resolutions and the sanctions.

You hae yet to refute this point. In fact, you have yet to even engage it. Until you do so I'm not going to take you seriously.

markg8 said...

Eric I guess that would coincide with his statements before the war that he wasn't getting intel from the US that
was helping him turn up anything.

Probably figured they wanted keep their best intel to themselves to hog the glory that would go with finding the WMD Cheney had "no doubt" about being there.

Peter UK said...

"Objection! Conjecture"

flenser said...

peter

Objection sustained.

markg8

Kindly respond to the points being made, and refrain from silly speculation.

markg8 said...

flenser: Go read the reports I posted at that IAEA link. Despite your insistance that the investigators were there only to gauge Iraqi cooperaiton and receive truckloads of WMD into their waiting arms they spent virtually every day inspecting sites, taking samples, making water and air quality readings and interviewing witnesses.
They also were setting up for the ongoing monitoring program to come after as provided for in Res. 1441.

They also reported in February and March about two commissions the Iraqis had set up to scour the countryside and their files to come up with the any and all evidence that they had indeed destroyed their
WMD and ability to make it. Saddam issued a decree outlawing the importation of anything that could be used to make WMD just like they asked.

These thugs didn't want to lose their hold on their country or their lives. They bent over backward to cooperate in the last 5 months before the war. But Bush would have none of it. Go read it.

No wonder Bush was in such a hurry. He knew his whole justification for war was going down the drain.

flenser said...

markg8

Check your IAEA URL. The one you have posted leads nowhere.

flenser said...

markg8

"These thugs didn't want to lose their hold on their country or their lives. They bent over backward to cooperate in the last 5 months before the war. But Bush would have none of it. Go read it."

As I have pointed out a time or two, Iraq did not "bend over backwards" to cooperate. If you need evidence of that, consult the report which Blix presented to the UN less than two months before the war, which lays out all the ways in which Iraq was failing to cooperate.

It even mentions the fact that in December 2002 Iraq was attempting to import banned weapons systems.

If your next comment does not address the points being made, it will be removed.

Seneca the Younger said...

Markg8, you're still having a little trouble with the concept of 'active cooperation". Yes, Saddam's people weren't shooting inspectors --- but they were holding inspectors off for hours while documents left the building through the back doors. No, they weren't shooting people to prevent them from talking to the inspectors --- but they were insisting that anyone who talked to an inspector had to have representatives of the government that we know was cutting out tongues and raping and murdering wives and daughters of people they saw as opponents.

markg8 said...

The link works for me but try this one:

http://www.iaea.org/NewsCenter/Focus/IaeaIraq/chrono_mar_03.shtml#march

I am addressing the issue at hand flenser. If you don't agree with what I'm saying it's your perogative.

Peter UK said...

Objection! He is putting words into the witnesses mouth.

"Despite your insistance that the investigators were there only to gauge Iraqi cooperaiton and receive truckloads of WMD into their waiting arms"

markg8 said...

Damn I'm not any good at posting these links. They're too long and get cut off. Try this.

http://www.iaea.org/NewsCenter/Focus/IaeaIraq/
chrono_mar_03.shtml#march

markg8 said...

LOL Petey you remind of a friend's Jack Russell terrier and not just because you're both named Petey.

Peter UK said...

Mook,
Yes amazing what things remind one of.My dog rolled in a very dead fish once,the smell hung around for months,bit like you.

markg8 said...

"My dog rolled in a very dead fish once,the smell hung around for months,bit like you."

LOL Another good one! Two days in a row. I'm impressed. I think you're at your best with just a touch of that haughty British sneer Petey.

Peter UK said...

Thats because it pays never to overestimate ones audience.

Erik said...

"Eric I guess that would coincide with his statements before the war that he wasn't getting intel from the US that
was helping him turn up anything. "

So now you claim that Blix had no clue about anything when he headed the inspections, didn't have any information from the Iraqis, didn't get any cooperation from the Iraqis, and had no information about anything at all, and that all his knowledge came from what he thought the US might know?

Now tell me again what good his inspections did, and how any of his statements about cooperation is credible, if he still believed that there was WMDs? Obviously, that "cooperation" from the Iraqis cant have been enough to convince him, if your argument now is that all he knew came from rumors from across the globe...

And Blix wasn't sent there to turn up anything. He was sent there to oversee the disarmament, the iraqis was supposed to cooperate to convince him there wasn't any. Seems you now agree that they didn't do that.

terrye said...

mark can not see the forest for all those pesky trees.

One of the reasons there was such an overwhelming belief in stockpiles of weapons was that if there were none, why was Saddam screwing around year after year?

Forget Bush...Saddam could have ended all this years before Bush left Texas but he did not.

The point of course was that Saddam did not want to give up the programs and the missiles and the uranium and the centrifuges buried in some guy's rose garden.

Not to mention the humanitarian aid program turned slush fund.

Putin was telling Bush that Saddam planned attacks on US interests. Saddam would not comply and was actively violating a cease fire.

People can try to make it something else after the fact all they want, but that was the reality then.

I would not doubt that if the push came to shove Al Gore just might have done the same thing.

And you know what? The reaction would have been different. The left, both here and abroad likes Democrats better and is less likely to burn flags when they are in the White House.

Seneca the Younger said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Seneca the Younger said...

Markg8, you can, with the tiniest effort, learn to make an actual link. It works like this: when you want to put a URL in, say http://some.url.example, then you can type

<a href="http://some.url.example">my example</a>

Failing that, you might find the services of TinyURL to be handy.

mrp said...

Hans Brix? Oh no! Oh, herro. Great to see you again, Hans ...

markg8 said...

Thanks for the tip Seneca.

http://tinyurl.com/ct2nn

Anyway go to that IAEA link folks. Read what the inspectors were doing every day and what Blix and Elbaradei had to say. Read what Res. 1441 sent them to do. Blix and his people were NOT only charged with receiving WMD and evidence from the Iraqis. Why would Bush or anybody else threaten war and then trust Saddam and his people anyway? But nonetheless Saddam's people were doing their best to forestall an invasion in late 2002 and early 2003 by cooperating with the UN inspectors. They didn't like it but that option was better than facing an invasion. You're fooling yourselves if you think otherwise.

Peter UK said...

!Mr President, I must not conclude this “update” without some notes on the growing capability of UNMOVIC.



In the past two months, UNMOVIC has built-up its capabilities in Iraq from nothing to 260 staff members from 60 countries. This includes approximately 100 UNMOVIC inspectors, 60 air operations staff, as well as security personnel, communications, translation and interpretation staff, medical support, and other services at our Baghdad office and Mosul field office. All serve the United Nations and report to no one else. Furthermore, our roster of inspectors will continue to grow as our training programme continues — even at this moment we have a training course in session in Vienna. At the end of that course, we shall have a roster of about 350 qualified experts from which to draw inspectors. "

When this is compared to the size of the law enforcement agencies and the war on drugs in a comparable area,like California,it is obvious why everyone ,including Blix, was uncertain about Iraq's WMD capabilities.

flenser said...

markg8

"Saddam's people were doing their best to forestall an invasion in late 2002 and early 2003 by cooperating with the UN inspectors."

Matk, you contine to tell outright lies. The report you have in front of you (click the link I provided in the post you did not read) clearly shows that Iraq WAS NOT cooperating. In fact, it indicates that Iraq was openly violating the sanctions imposed on it of building new weapons systems.

Peter UK said...

SCHIEFFER: President Bush accused his critics of rewriting history last week.

Sen. McCAIN: Yeah.

SCHIEFFER: And in--he said in doing so, the criticisms they were making of his war policy was endangering our troops in Iraq. Do you believe it is unpatriotic to criticize the Iraq policy?

Sen. McCAIN: No, I think it's a very legitimate aspect of American life to criticize and to disagree and to debate. But I want to say I think it's a lie to say that the president lied to the American people. I sat on the Robb-Silverman Commission. I saw many, many analysts that came before that committee. I asked every one of them--I said, `Did--were you ever pressured politically or any other way to change your analysis of the situation as you saw?' Every one of them said no.

Via Instapundit (link is down)

markg8 said...

flenser: What link did you post? I've provided you with links to the IAEA site itself and to quotes by Blix where he flat out states he did not believe war was necessary. Quoting his interim report from January - when he'd received little if any of the "evidence" from the administration to investigate that turned out to be so bogus - as his last word isn't going to make your case. Deleting my post that linked to his opposition to the war isn't either. My point is Hans Blix isn't a friendly witness to your prosecution and if you're looking for a job at the Weekly Standard or something this isn't the way to get it.

Peter UK said...

No Mookie,
He just called you a liar!

Peter UK said...

"If you're looking for a job at the Weekly Standard or something this isn't the way to get it."

Mookie,This is the VRWC,we don't need jobs,we have absolutely oodles of bunce.BTW Thank you so much for the advice about the Iraqi dinar,made an absolute killing on the overnight rate

flenser said...

markg8

Click on the link at the top of this page, where it says "show original post". Yes, the post you have not bothered to read.

There is a link in that post to the report Blix gave to the UN.

That is the topic of this thread, not whaterver nonsense you wish to talk about instead.

"My point is Hans Blix isn't a friendly witness to your prosecution .." etc

No mark, that is not your pont. For it to be your point, you would have to have made some type of argument. Instead you have spun like a top to avoid dealing what all the things Blix said which spelled out that Iraq was not cooperating with the inspections, and was actually continuing to violate the sanctions and resolutions right in front of the inspection teams.

Blix did in fact say exactly the same things about Iraq which everyone else was saying. I have quoted him extensivly to demonstrate that fact.

That is what you are supposed to respond to. If you want to waffle away on some other topic, start your own blog and waffle on it.

If you want to comment on what Blix said, I encourage you to so so. But I will continue to delete your off-topic ramblings.

For example, when Blix said that " Iraq appears not to have come to a genuine acceptance, not even today, of the disarmament which was demanded of it ..", what did he mean?

When has said that "It is not enough to open doors. Inspection is not a game of catch as catch can. Rather, as I noted, it is a process of verification for the purpose of creating confidence" what did he mean?


When he said "Also associated with these missiles and related developments is the import which has been taking place during the last two years of a number of items despite the sanctions, including as late as December 2002", what did he mean?

Can you explain why these statements do not demonstrate an Iraq which is refusing to comply wiht the requirement that it disarm? If so, I suggest that you do so.

Do not quote to me some statements Blix made in 2004. Do not attempt to change the issue to some different report. Address the issue at hand, or admit that you cannot do so and stop trying to hijack this thread.

markg8 said...

I respond and you keep deleting my posts so if you insist I'll respond to some of your original post.

"On January 27 2003, Hans Blix delivered a report to the UN detailing the results of UNMOVIC's inspections into Iraqi disamament."

It was a report to that date, his first 60 day interim report. He made other verbal and written reports before the launch of hostilities in February and March that showed them bending over backward to avoid regime change.

"Unlike South Africa, which decided on its own to eliminate its nuclear weapons and welcomed the inspection as a means of creating confidence in its disarmament, Iraq appears not to have come to a genuine acceptance, not even today, of the disarmament..."

Among other measures the Iraqis subsequently took is to invite a team of South African advisors to aid them in their efforts to prove they were sincere about disarmament.

"As we know,...fissionable material was removed from Iraq by the IAEA."

All true historical data from 1991 to 1998. Done under UN auspices during the Bush 1 and Clinton administrations. It was further reported that one of Saddam's scientists said after the war that any residual capability was destroyed in Clinton's bombing campaign of Dec. 1998. A bombing campaign that was widely ridiculed by Republicans mind you, as "wagging the dog".

"For years Iraq refused to participate in the disarmament process, and it required the presence of an army on its borders to compel Iraq to once again appear to cooperate."

"Iraq declared on 16 September last year that it would again accept inspections without conditions."

All true.

"It was not the role of the inspections teams to prove or disprove the presence of WMD in Iraq."

Wrong. That's exactly what they were sent to do. See the Highlights of the Security Council resolution below.

http://tinyurl.com/batsb

or read the whole Res. 1441:

http://tinyurl.com/7trn3

You seem to think inspectors were sent to give George Bush a justification to invade. Resolution 1441 doesn't say that. By March 19 it was clear that most if not all of Bush's "no doubt" "slamdunk" intelligence was being discredited. But not just discredited by the inspections on the ground but as we learned after the invasion much of it had been discounted within our own intelligence community unbeknownst to the American people before the war.

From Kevin Drum:

"1. The Claim: Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, an al-Qaeda prisoner captured in 2001, was the source of intelligence that Saddam Hussein had trained al-Qaeda members to use biological and chemical weapons. This information was used extensively by Colin Powell in his February 2003 speech to the UN.

What We Know Now: Al-Libi's information was obtained under torture. Link. As early as February 2002, the Defense Intelligence Agency circulated a report, labeled DITSUM No. 044-02, saying that it was "likely this individual is intentionally misleading the debriefers." Link. This assessment was hidden from the public until after the war.

2. The Claim: An Iraqi defector codenamed "Curveball" was the source of reporting that Saddam Hussein had built a fleet of mobile biowarfare labs. Curveball's claims of mobile bio labs were repeated by many administration figures during the runup to war.

What We Know Now: The only American agent to actually meet with Curveball before the war warned that he appeared to be an alcoholic and was unreliable. However, his superior in the CIA told him it was best to keep quiet about this: "Let's keep in mind the fact that this war's going to happen regardless of what Curveball said or didn't say, and the powers that be probably aren't terribly interested in whether Curveball knows what he's talking about." Link. This dissent was not made public until 2004, in a response to the SSCI report that was written by Senator Dianne Feinstein. Link.

3. The Claim: Iraq had purchased thousands of aluminum tubes to act as centrifuges for the creation of bomb grade uranium. Dick Cheney said they were "irrefutable evidence" of an Iraqi nuclear program and George Bush cited them in his 2003 State of the Union address.

What We Know Now: Centrifuge experts at the Oak Ridge Office of the Department of Energy had concluded long before the war that the tubes were unsuitable for centrifuge work and were probably meant for use in artillery rockets. The State Department concurred. Link. Both of these dissents were omitted from the CIA's declassified National Intelligence Estimate, released on October 4, 2002. Link. They were subsequently made public after the war, on July 18, 2003. Link.

4. The Claim: Saddam Hussein attempted to purchase uranium yellowcake from Africa as part of his attempt to reconstitute his nuclear program. President Bush cited this publicly in his 2003 State of the Union address.

What We Know Now: The primary piece of evidence for this claim was a document showing that Iraq had signed a contract to buy yellowcake from Niger. However, the CIA specifically told the White House in October 2002 that the "reporting was weak" and that they disagreed with the British about the reliability of this intelligence. Link. At the same time, the State Department wrote that the documents were "completely implausible."

Three months later, in January 2003, Alan Foley, head of the CIA's counterproliferation effort, tried to persuade the White House not to include the claim in the SOTU because the information wasn't solid enough, but was overruled. Link. Five weeks later, the documents were conclusively shown to be forgeries. Link. In July 2003, after the war had ended, CIA Director George Tenet admitted publicly that that the claim should never have been made. Link.

5. The Claim: Saddam Hussein was developing long range aerial drones capable of attacking the continental United States with chemical or biological weapons. President Bush made this claim in a speech in October 2002 and Colin Powell repeated it during his speech to the UN in February 2003.

What We Know Now: The Iraqi drones had nowhere near the range to reach the United States, and Air Force experts also doubted that they were designed to deliver WMD. However, their dissent was left out of the October 2002 NIE and wasn't made public until July 2003. Link.

This is not a comprehensive list, so feel free to add other specific examples of suppressed intelligence in comments.

One final word on this: the issue here is not who was right and who was wrong, or even whether the overall weight of the evidence was sufficient to justify the war. It would have been perfectly reasonable for the White House to present all the evidence pro and con and then use that evidence to make the strongest possible case for war. But that's not what they did. Instead, they suppressed any evidence that might have thrown doubt on their arguments, making it impossible for the public to evaluate what they were saying. In fact, by abusing the classification process to keep these dissents secret, they even made it impossible for senators who knew the truth to say anything about it in public.

This is not the way to market a war. It's certainly not the way to market a war that requires long term support from citizens in a democracy. But that's how they marketed it anyway."

flenser said...

You see, markg8?

I knew if I kept deleting your off topic rants that you might eventually respond to the topic at hand, and sure enough, you did.

It's a mystery why you could not have done so several days ago though.

You claim that the report from Blix which I ceyed was not his final word on the question, and imply that he issued subsequent reports which contradicted this one, and which I failed to mention.

Do you have links to these reports? Or should I just take your word for it?

"5. The Claim: Saddam Hussein was developing long range aerial drones capable of attacking the continental United States with chemical or biological weapons. "

I don't recall that claim. Do you have any links to verify it?


"4. The Claim: Saddam Hussein attempted to purchase uranium yellowcake from Africa as part of his attempt to reconstitute his nuclear program."

According to Joe Wilson, he was given information that Iraq did approach Niger in what the Nigerians took as an effort to purchase yellowcake.

You are not calling Wilson a liar, are you?


"It would have been perfectly reasonable for the White House to present all the evidence pro and con and then use that evidence to make the strongest possible case for war. But that's not what they did. Instead, they suppressed any evidence that might have thrown doubt on their arguments, making it impossible for the public to evaluate what they were saying."

If that is true, then you should be able to point to all the suppressed evidence. Instead, you spend your time here trying to rewrite history and sweep under the rug all the instances in which the UN inspectors found that Iraq was violating the sanctions and UN resolutions, as late as January 2003.

The evidence was what it was, not what you wish it was. Part of the evidence that we all had to look at back then was this report by Blix. I realize that you would prefer that it simply disappear, but it is an important part of the reason we invaded Iraq.

flenser said...

Markg8

I said

"It was not the role of the inspections teams to prove or disprove the presence of WMD in Iraq."

To which you replied

"Wrong. That's exactly what they were sent to do. See the Highlights of the Security Council resolution below."

Well, I thought it was odd that if Resolution 1441 said that, that you would not quote the relevant passage. So I want and looked at the full resolution, and did not find any language like you are describing. I did find this though.

"Decides that false statements or omissions in the declarations submitted by Iraq pursuant to this resolution and failure by Iraq at any time to comply with, and cooperate fully in the implementation of, this resolution shall constitute a further material breach of Iraq’s obligations and will be reported to the Council for assessment in accordance with paragraphs 11 and 12 below;"

As the Blix report from January indicates, Iraq did make further false statements and omissions.


So the bottom line here is, you are lying again. Res 1441 does not say what you claim it says.

flenser said...

markg8

Still waiting for you to post the links to the "final" Blix report which makes this one meaningless.

markg8 said...

LOL no you're not waiting, you'd just delete that too. How many posts of mine have you now deleted, 3 or 4? I've lost count.

I've provided all the links you need. Do a little digging.

If you really think Blix was saying on January 27, 2003 that he considered Saddam to be in serious breech of Resolution 1441, so serious he thought his inspections were useless and Bush's solution (invasion) was necessary to disarm Iraq of WMD then cite me the passages where he says that. I'll go you one further, I'll take any of his public pronouncments or reports from the time he was appointed the head of UNMOVIC to the present.

Surely there must be something there to back up your claim.

flenser said...

markg8

"I've provided all the links you need. Do a little digging."

Mark, you are lying again. The report I linked to was the last report Blix issued. There is no further report, and you know it.


"If you really think Blix was saying on January 27, 2003 that he considered Saddam to be in serious breech of Resolution 1441, so serious he thought his inspections were useless and Bush's solution (invasion) was necessary to disarm Iraq of WMD then cite me the passages where he says that. "

I have quoted you where Blix said Saddam was in violation of the sanctions and resolutions. Read what I wrote.

As for the determination of whether these violations were a cause for war, Blix never said that they were, or that they were not.

That is because that was not his determination to make.

His job was to determine if Iraq was willing to comply with the resolutions. And his answer, as of January 2003, a dozen years after the requirement that Iraq disarm was that "Iraq appears not to have come to a genuine acceptance, not even today, of the disarmament which was demanded of it and which it needs to carry out to win the confidence of the world and to live in peace.”


"Surely there must be something there to back up your claim."

How about the post to which this is the comment thread?

Since you clearly will not read that, how about these quotes?


“Iraq appears not to have come to a genuine acceptance, not even today, of the disarmament which was demanded of it and which it needs to carry out to win the confidence of the world and to live in peace.”

“While Iraq claims, with little evidence, that it destroyed all biological weapons unilaterally in 1991, it is certain that UNSCOM destroyed large biological weapons production facilities in 1996.”

“For nearly three years, Iraq refused to accept any inspections by UNMOVIC. It was only after appeals by the secretary-general and Arab states and pressure by the United States and other member states that Iraq declared on 16 September last year that it would again accept inspections without conditions.”


“As I reported to the council on the 19th of December last year, Iraq did not declare a significant quantity, some 650 kilos, of bacterial growth media, which was acknowledged as reported in Iraq's submission to the Amorim panel in February 1999. As a part of its 7 December 2002 declaration Iraq resubmitted the Amorim panel document but the table showing this particular import of media was not included. The absence of this table would appear to be deliberate, as the pages of the resubmitted document were renumbered.”

This was a violation of 1441.


“In addition, Iraq has refurbished its missile production infrastructure. In particular, Iraq reconstituted a number of casting chambers which had previously been destroyed under UNSCOM's supervision. They had been used in the production of solid fuel missiles.”


“Also associated with these missiles and related developments is the import which has been taking place during the last two years of a number of items despite the sanctions, including as late as December 2002. Foremost among these is import of 300 rockets engines which may be used for the Al-Samud II.

Iraq has also declared the recent import of chemicals used in propellants, test instrumentation and guidance and control system. These items may well be for proscribed purposes; that is yet to be determined.

What is clear is that they were illegally brought into Iraq; that is, Iraq or some company in Iraq circumvented the restrictions imposed by various resolutions.”


And there are many more. But since you have yet to respond to any of these, there is no since moving on to others.

Please explain whether or not you think Blix was lying when he said these things.

markg8 said...

No other report? Can't you get one of the other guys to check your work? It isn't that hard to look it up flenser.

02/14/03 Report to the Council by UN Chief Inspector Hans Blix

http://tinyurl.com/bh58g

03/07/03 UN Security Council Held Briefing on Iraq. IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei and UN Chief Inspector Hans Blix briefed the Security Council 7 March on the latest status of Iraq inspections, highlighting the latest results of investigations on issues of concern. In his statement, Mr. ElBaradei concluded that Iraq's efforts to import aluminium tubes were not likely to have been related to the manufacture of centrifuges; that allegations that Iraq sought to buy uranium from Niger were unfounded; that after three months of intrusive inspections, the IAEA has to date found no evidence or plausible indication of the revival of a nuclear weapons programme in Iraq; and that the IAEA intends to continue inspection activities, and expressed his hope that Iraq would continue to expand the scope and accelerate the pace of its cooperation.

http://tinyurl.com/9xbne

03/17/03 IAEA Director General Reports to the Board of Governors. In his statement to the IAEA Board of Governors today, IAEA Chief Mohamed ElBaradei reported on the latest situation in Iraq. He said he had been advised by the U.S government to pull out IAEA inspectors from Baghdad and that similar advice has been given to UNMOVIC. He immediately informed the President of the UN Security Council to ask for guidance and also informed the UN Secretary General. Dr. ElBaradei said the safety of IAEA staff is the primary consideration at this difficult time. He expressed hope that a peaceful resolution of the issue can still be achieved, and that the world can be spared a war.

http://tinyurl.com/7a95q

Peter UK said...

WMD=NBC,Nuclear Biological and Chemical,not just nuclear.

markg8 said...

Take your pick, NBC, WMD I don't care what you call it, nobody found any despite the repeated assurances of the administration that they knew for certain, not 90%, not 99% certain but no doubt, slamdunk, I'll-bet-my- -reputation-on-it certain. They did and now they and our countries are paying the price.

Peter UK said...

Can't tell the difference eh?

flenser said...

markg8

That's fabulous. There is no new information in the link you provided.

It's a repeat of the same points made in January.

"On the matter of the 380 SA-2 missile engines imported outside of the export-import mechanism and in contravention of paragraph 24 of Resolution 687, UNMOVIC inspectors were informed by Iraq during an official briefing that these engines were intended for use in the Al-Samud II missile system, which has now been assessed to be proscribed. Any such engines configured for use in this missile system would also be proscribed. I intend to communicate these findings to the government of Iraq."

Translation: Iraq is violating the sanctions and illegally importing weapons. I'm going to bring it to the Iraqi governments attention.

This helps your case how, exactly? It simply confirms what he said earlier.


"Take your pick, NBC, WMD I don't care what you call it, nobody found any despite the repeated assurances of the administration that they knew for certain,.."

You should probably take that up with the CIA and other intelligence agencies. They are the ones who made those claims.

flenser said...

markg8

Did you ever comment over at FrontPageMag.com?

markg8 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
markg8 said...

All that BS about the missiles? They could fly a few kilometers beyond the proscribed distance. Something like 160k instead of 150k. The Iraqi position is they couldn't fly that far with a warhead. UNMOVIC said no dice, not that they got any credit for it from the Administration. Go look up Cheney's Rummy's etc. comments at the time on Blix. Once again citing them as your justification for war ain't gonna fly.

If I commented at Frontpagmag.com I don't remember it. Why do you ask?

Peter UK said...

* French Foreign Minister Dominique De Villepin: "Right Now, Our Attention Has To Be Focused As A Priority On The Biological And Chemical Domains. It Is There That Our Presumptions About Iraq Are The Most Significant. Regarding The Chemical Domain, We Have Evidence Of Its Capacity To Produce VX And Yperite. In The Biological Domain, The Evidence Suggests The Possible Possession Of Significant Stocks Of Anthrax And Botulism Toxin, And Possibly A Production Capability." (United Nations Security Council, 4701st Meeting, New York, 2/5/03)

* German Ambassador To The United States Wolfgang Ischinger: "I Think All Of Our Governments Believe That Iraq Has Produced Weapons Of Mass Destruction And That We Have To Assume That They Still Have That They Continue To Have Weapons Of Mass Destruction. We Have Not Yet Seen Evidence Produced By The Inspectors." (NBC's "Today," 2/26/03)

markg8 said...

I don't remember either of these two gentlemen clamoring for an invasion of Iraq. What's your point?

Peter UK said...

What is your point?