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Lies, damn lies, stats and fabrications
Posted: Thursday, March 20, 2003

March 20, 2003,
By Ashton Brereton, Trinidad and Tobago

It is highly ironic that on the same weekend that the administration of President George W Bush - through its ambassador to T&T - intensifies its propaganda offensive to justify its unprovoked aggression against Iraq, AP reports that the FBI has been asked, by the top Democrat on the US Senate Intelligence Committee, to investigate forged documents that have been used against Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.

For those of your readers who do not know, the story is as follows: President Bush in his State of the Union address in January, continuing America’s attempt to build a case against President Hussein, offered as proof of Saddam’s evil intentions, a statement that Iraq sought to buy uranium – for nuclear weapons – from Niger in recent years.

This allegation was later presented as fact, with a great deal of fanfare, by US Secretary of State Colin Powell to the UN Security Council and the world’s media on February 5, when he made a multi-media presentation to justify American demands that the UN authorise a military attack on Iraq.

The CIA subsequently supplied the UN inspectors with documents that pointed to an agreement between Niger and Iraq for the sale of uranium between 1999 and 2001.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) conducted a detailed investigation of the allegations and on March 7, Mr Elbaradei, its director, reporting to the Security Council, concluded, with the concurrence of outside experts, “that the documents, which formed the basis for the reports of recent uranium transactions between Iraq and Niger, are in fact not authentic.

Mr Elbaradei went on to say: “We have therefore concluded that these specific allegations are unfounded.” In other words, forged documents had been presented as fact to the international community by America to build a case to support an attack on the Iraqi people.

Now Sen Jay Rockefeller says that “there is a possibility that the fabrication of these documents may be part of a larger deception campaign aimed at manipulating public opinion and foreign policy regarding Iraq.” He could not be more correct.

For many months now the Bush administration, and later the British administration of Prime Minister Blair, have been engaged in a deliberate and shameful campaign of misinformation and outright fabrications designed to manipulate public opinion and the UN Security Council to support an American-led attack on the people of Iraq.

They have been doing this because it is clear to anyone who can read that the claim that Saddam is a threat to peace, to say the least, is a highly debatable assertion that cannot be supported even by information available to the intelligence services of the US itself!

So the Bush administration and Prime Minister Blair have been peddling fiction. This latest exposé about forged documents is not the only example. Here is some more information that the public should have.

Fact 1

On Tuesday, October 8, 2002, weeks before the UN-mandated inspections started in Iraq, CIA Director George Tenet, in a letter read before a joint hearing of the American House and Senate intelligence committees, said that “Baghdad for now appears to be drawing a line short of conducting terrorist attacks with conventional or chemical or biological weapons.”

Fact 2

On February 5, 2003, Secretary Colin Powell, while making a video and audio presentation to the UN Security Council, live on international television, praised the work done by British intelligence in developing a much-ballyhooed dossier of new evidence against Saddam Hussein. By the end of that week the British Government was scrambling to explain why the dossier of so-called new evidence against Iraq included plagiarised material – inclusive of grammatical and other errors.

The document presented as new evidence against Saddam was in fact copied from three different articles, including one written by a Californian postgraduate student, Ibrahim al-Marashi, relating to the build-up to the 1991 Gulf War. The information was plagiarised and was 12 years old!

In other words, Saddam was (is) not a threat to America or any one else for that matter.

Fact 3

Secretary Colin Powell in his presentation to the Security Council showed photographs of what US intelligence authorities claimed were trucks moving around weapons of mass destruction and that there were mobile production units for biological weapons.

Hans Blix, the UN’s chief weapons inspector, in his latest report delivered on March 7, stated: “Several inspections have taken place at declared and undeclared sites in relation to mobile production facilities.

Fact 4

America also claimed “proscribed activities are conducted underground.” Mr Blix in his report stated: “During inspections of declared or undeclared facilities, inspection teams have examined building structures for any possible underground facilities.

“In addition, ground-penetrating radar equipment was used in several specific locations. No underground facilities for chemical or biological production or storage were found so far.”

Another allegation was shown to be baseless.

Food-testing mobile laboratories and mobile workshops have been seen, as well as large containers with seed-processing equipment. No evidence of proscribed activities has so far been found.”

In other words, there was no truth to the American allegations.

Fact 5

The Americans and British also claimed that Iraq was preparing to resume nuclear related activities. Mr Elbaradei, on March 7, informed the Security Council that “there is no indication of resumed nuclear activities in those buildings that were identified through the use of satellite imagery as being reconstructed or newly erected since 1998, nor any indication of nuclear-related prohibited activities at any inspected sites.”

He concluded that “after three months of intrusive inspection, we have to date found no evidence or plausible indications of the revival of a nuclear weapons programme in Iraq.”

Fact 6

Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien in a television interview on ABC on Sunday, March 9, 2003: “Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein (has been) boxed in. Saddam cannot do anything anymore. He has troops at the door and inspectors on the ground. Planes flying over, and he cannot do anything.”

If Saddam moves he will be seen, if he sneezes he will be heard. There is nothing he can do without the Americans knowing about it. Yet the Americans plan to bomb the living daylights out of the Iraqi people.

Fact 7

America has been desperately trying to link Saddam Hussein to Osama bin Laden. To date, other than speculation and deliberate misinformation, not one shred of evidence has been provided to make this link and even their own intelligence agencies and their allies the British have been less than enthusiastic about being seen to be making this patently bogus assertion.

So what does this all mean?

It means that we should be all concerned about the threat to international order that is being posed by a unilateralist, belligerent and unscrupulous Bush administration, intent on bending the UN and the rest of the world to do its bidding – launching an unprovoked attack, in an unjust war, in breach of international law, against the people of Iraq based on fabricated information in a deliberate programme of misinformation.

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