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Old 03-12-2005, 03:53 PM   #1
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Bribery Bid To Conceal Nonexistent Weapons

Quote:
Saddam's $2m offer to WMD inspector
By Francis Harris in Washington
(Filed: 12/03/2005)

Saddam Hussein's regime offered a $2 million (£1.4 million) bribe to the United Nations' chief weapons inspector to doctor his reports on the search for weapons of mass destruction.

Rolf Ekeus, the Swede who led the UN's efforts to track down the weapons from 1991 to 1997, said that the offer came from Tariq Aziz, Saddam's foreign minister and deputy.

Mr Ekeus told Reuters news agency that he had passed the information to the Volcker Commission. "I told the Volcker people that Tariq [Aziz] said a couple of million was there if we report right. My answer was, 'That is not the way we do business in Sweden.' "

A clean report from Mr Ekeus's inspectors would have been vital in lifting sanctions against Saddam's regime. But the inspectors never established what had happened to the regime's illicit weapons and never gave Iraq a clean bill of health.

The news that Iraq attempted to bribe a top UN official is a key piece of evidence for investigators into the scandal surrounding the oil-for-food programme. It proves that Iraq was offering huge sums of cash to influential foreigners in return for political favours.

Nile Gardiner, of the Heritage Foundation in Washington, who has followed the inquiries, said: "It's the tip of the iceberg of what the Iraqis were offering. For every official like Ekeus who turned down a bribe, there are many more who will have been tempted by it."

Saddam and his henchmen siphoned off an estimated £885 million from the humanitarian scheme, allegedly paying some of that to 270 foreign politicians, officials and journalists.

Most of those alleged to have been involved in the scandal, including the former head of the programme, Benon Sevan, have denied that they did anything wrong.

A United States Senate report said that Mr Sevan had committed criminal acts by soliciting oil contracts, while the Volcker commission said that he had failed to explain $160,000 (£83,000) paid into personal bank accounts while he was the head of the programme.
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Old 03-14-2005, 02:11 PM   #2
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More systematic looting allegations about a weapons program that didn't exist.
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BAGHDAD, Iraq, March 12 - In the weeks after Baghdad fell in April 2003, looters systematically dismantled and removed tons of machinery from Saddam Hussein’s most important weapons installations, including some with high-precision equipment capable of making parts for nuclear arms, a senior Iraqi official said this week in the government’s first extensive comments on the looting.

The Iraqi official, Sami al-Araji, the deputy minister of industry, said it appeared that a highly organized operation had pinpointed specific plants in search of valuable equipment, some of which could be used for both military and civilian applications, and carted the machinery away.

Dr. Araji said his account was based largely on observations by government employees and officials who either worked at the sites or lived near them.

“They came in with the cranes and the lorries, and they depleted the whole sites,” Dr. Araji said. “They knew what they were doing; they knew what they want. This was sophisticated looting.”
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Old 03-17-2005, 02:12 AM   #3
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And Chris Hitchens on the matter
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My first question is this: How can it be that, on every page of every other edition for months now, the New York Times has been stating categorically that Iraq harbored no weapons of mass destruction? And there can hardly be a comedy-club third-rater or MoveOn.org activist in the entire country who hasn’t stated with sarcastic certainty that the whole WMD fuss was a way of lying the American people into war. So now what? Maybe we should have taken Saddam’s propaganda seriously, when his newspaper proudly described Iraq’s physicists as “our nuclear mujahideen.”

My second question is: What’s all this about “looting”? The word is used throughout the long report, but here’s what it’s used to describe. “In four weeks from mid-April to mid-May of 2003 ... teams with flatbed trucks and other heavy equipment moved systematically from site to site. ... ‘The first wave came for the machines,’ Dr Araji said. ‘The second wave, cables and cranes.’ ” Perhaps hedging the bet, the Times authors at this point refer to “organized looting.”

But obviously, what we are reading about is a carefully planned military operation. The participants were not panicked or greedy civilians helping themselves—which is the customary definition of a “looter,” especially in wartime. They were mechanized and mobile and under orders, and acting in a concerted fashion. Thus, if the story is factually correct—which we have no reason at all to doubt—then Saddam’s Iraq was a fairly highly-evolved WMD state, with a contingency plan for further concealment and distribution of the weaponry in case of attack or discovery.
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Old 03-17-2005, 05:43 PM   #4
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Interesting.
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Old 04-10-2005, 12:31 PM   #5
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Do you think we would tell the world if we really found any nukes or real biological weapons in Iraq?

No way man.
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Old 04-11-2005, 07:25 AM   #6
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what a fucking hoax.

if we ever found wmds, we would know damn well about it.

there is not a credited piece of evidence that suggests that we found them. there was no looting.
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Old 04-11-2005, 10:32 AM   #7
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Old 04-11-2005, 03:06 PM   #8
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Bribery bids are not cool.
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Old 04-11-2005, 03:15 PM   #9
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I can't believe any rational thinking person would believe for one second that Saddam Hussein didn't have WMD'S prior to our invading his country. This jackass not only had them, he used them in the past, and was also actively persuing a nuclear weapons program as well. Then he kicks out UN inspectors and I'm supposed to believe that either A: He got rid of everything himself, or B: the UN destroyed it all. HA! That asshole had it and every other foreign intelligence group in the known world thought the same thing. Good ole Saddam, Gassed thousand of Kurds, but hey he wouldn't do it again, would he? I'm glad my president isn't afraid to make tough decisions when it comes to the defense of my country!
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Old 04-11-2005, 03:26 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by Abomb-baby
I can't believe any rational thinking person

you said it all right there
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Old 04-11-2005, 04:56 PM   #11
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It's a hoax because it doesn't fit our pre-conceived notions of what really happened?
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Old 04-12-2005, 06:18 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by Abomb-baby
I can't believe any rational thinking person would believe for one second that Saddam Hussein didn't have WMD'S prior to our invading his country. This jackass not only had them, he used them in the past, and was also actively persuing a nuclear weapons program as well. Then he kicks out UN inspectors and I'm supposed to believe that either A: He got rid of everything himself, or B: the UN destroyed it all. HA! That asshole had it and every other foreign intelligence group in the known world thought the same thing. Good ole Saddam, Gassed thousand of Kurds, but hey he wouldn't do it again, would he? I'm glad my president isn't afraid to make tough decisions when it comes to the defense of my country!
I agree 100%
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Old 04-12-2005, 04:56 PM   #13
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I think that Saddam had removed anything significant by the start of the war, but I would go with what the inspection teams concluded that the intent was to get sanctions removed and then reactivate the programs.
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Old 04-12-2005, 10:16 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by deep
you said it all right there
Deep, you kill me.

Will you cut off my leg?
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Old 04-17-2005, 06:24 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
It's a hoax because it doesn't fit our pre-conceived notions of what really happened?
actualy, it is imposible to find the truth now anway. Everyone who had intrest in it made their own story and everything is blurred now.


But for a country that was so convinced about the wmd`s, the result of finding them is very disapointing.
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