Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.

For The Record  

FTR #527 Death Trap, Part II

Record­ed Sep­tem­ber 18, 2005
See also FTR #471 Death Trap

In the run-up to the Iraq war, Mr. Emory sug­gest­ed that the U.S. was falling into a trap laid by the Under­ground Reich, in which this coun­try would find itself fight­ing a drain­ing and (ulti­mate­ly) anni­hi­lat­ing war against the Mus­lim peo­ples of what the Third Reich’s geopoliti­cians called “The Earth Island.” The For The Record pro­grams num­ber­ing in the late “390’s” and run­ning up to num­ber 400 dis­cuss this sce­nario at length and in detail. In FTR#471 and FTR#502, we exam­ined how the unfold­ing of the Iraqi mis­ad­ven­ture appears to be bear­ing out these fears. In this pro­gram, we exam­ine how the US inva­sion has helped bring about an Islam­ic fun­da­men­tal­ist gov­ern­ment in Iraq—one aligned with Iran. After review­ing the Dooms­day rela­tion­ship between Sad­dam and al Qae­da, we exam­ine the ter­ri­fy­ing fail­ure of the US to secure Saddam’s WMD sci­en­tists, there­by actu­al­ly increas­ing the dan­ger of WMD tech­nol­o­gy spread­ing beyond Iraq’s bor­ders. This, of course, is pre­cise­ly the sce­nario the U.S. was ulti­mate­ly sup­posed to be going to war to pre­vent. Will this fail­ure to secure Saddam’s WMD sci­en­tists actu­al­ly accom­plish what the war was osten­si­bly being fought to prevent—the dis­sem­i­na­tion of WMD tech­nol­o­gy to ter­ror­ists, al Qae­da in par­tic­u­lar?! The pro­gram con­cludes with a look at Hitler’s pro­ject­ed use of the Mus­lim nations as proxy war­riors for the Reich, as well as the recruit­ing boon that the war has been for al Qae­da and relat­ed ele­ments.

Pro­gram High­lights Include: The sto­ry of Dr. Mah­di Obei­di, the devel­op­er of Saddam’s cen­trifuge pro­gram; the way in which the US inva­sion has actu­al­ly scat­tered Saddam’s WMD sci­en­tists, most of whom are unac­count­ed for; the CIA’s fool­ish dis­play of cap­tured Iraqi nuclear tech­nol­o­gy on its web­site; the agree­ment between Sad­dam and bin Laden to share WMD infor­ma­tion, so that bin Laden’s forces could act as a “back-up” for Sad­dam in the worst-case sce­nario of the U.S. remov­ing him from power—a sce­nario which came true.

1. The pro­gram begins by pre­sent­ing a col­umn by Robert Scheer, which not only chron­i­cles the extent to which the Iraq inva­sion has become a quag­mire, but under­scores the fact that that coun­try is becom­ing an Islam­ic fun­da­men­tal­ist state with very close ties to Iran. It is worth not­ing that even though it is Shi­ite, Iran main­tains very close ties to the Al Taqwa milieu. For more about the Iran/Al Taqwa ties, see—among oth­er programs–FTR#’s 343, 352, 354, 371. Key Nazi oper­a­tive Fran­cois Genoud (dis­cussed below in para­graph #36 and him­self very close to the Al Taqwa milieu) paid for the Aya­tol­lah Khomeini’s exile in France, as dis­cussed in FTR#352. “WHO LOST Iraq? Some­day, as a frag­ment­ed Iraq spi­rals fur­ther into reli­gious mad­ness, ter­ror­ism and civ­il war, there will be a bipar­ti­san inquiry into this blun­der­ing intru­sion into anoth­er peo­ple’s his­to­ry.”
(“Iraq’s Fig-Leaf Con­sti­tu­tion” by Robert Scheer; San Fran­cis­co Chron­i­cle; 8/31/2005; P. B7.)

2. “The cru­cial ques­tion will be why a ‘pre­emp­tive’ Amer­i­can inva­sion — which has led to the deaths of near­ly 2,000 Amer­i­cans, rough­ly 10 times as many Iraqis, the expen­di­ture of about $200 bil­lion and incal­cu­la­ble dam­age to the Unit­ed States’ glob­al rep­u­ta­tion — has had exact­ly the oppo­site effect pre­dict­ed by its neo­con­ser­v­a­tive spon­sors. No amount of crow­ing over a fig leaf Iraqi con­sti­tu­tion by Pres­i­dent Bush can hide the fact that the hand of the region’s auto­crats, theocrats and ter­ror­ists is stronger than ever.” (Idem.)

3. “ ‘The U.S. now has to rec­og­nize that [it] over­threw Sad­dam Hus­sein to replace him with a pro-Iran­ian state,’ said region­al expert Peter W. Gal­braith, the for­mer U.S. ambas­sador to Croa­t­ia and an advis­er to the Iraqi Kurds. And, he could have added, a pro-Iran­ian state that will be repres­sive and unsta­ble.” (Idem.)

4. “Think this is an exag­ger­a­tion? Con­sid­er that arguably the most pow­er­ful Shi­ite polit­i­cal par­ty and mili­tia in today’s Iraq, the Supreme Coun­cil for the Islam­ic Rev­o­lu­tion in Iraq and its affil­i­at­ed para­mil­i­tary force, the Badr Brigade, was not only based in Iran but was set up by Wash­ing­ton’s old arch-foe, Aya­tol­lah Ruhol­lah Khome­i­ni. It also fought on the side of Iran in the Iran-Iraq war and was recog­nized by Tehran as the gov­ern­ment in exile of Iraq.” (Idem.)

5. Note that Ahmad Chalabi—a prob­a­ble dou­ble agent for Iran—approves of the Islam­ic fun­da­men­tal­ist con­sti­tu­tion and is an impor­tant fig­ure in the new gov­ern­ment. In FTR#502, we exam­ined dis­in­for­ma­tion pre­sent­ed by a Cha­l­abi-select­ed agent nick­named “Curve­ball” and nur­tured by the BND (the Ger­man for­eign intel­li­gence ser­vice and the suc­ces­sor to the Rei­hard Gehlen Nazi spy out­fit). That dis­in­for­ma­tion was the basis for the US claim that Sad­dam was devel­op­ing weapons of mass destruc­tion, as well as the ratio­nale for the war itself. “Or that for­mer exile Ahmad Cha­l­abi is now one of Iraq’s deputy prime min­is­ters. The con­sum­mate polit­i­cal oper­a­tor man­aged to main­tain ties to Iran while gain­ing the devot­ed sup­port of Don­ald Rums­feld’s Pen­ta­gon, charm­ing and manip­u­lat­ing Belt­way pol­i­cy­mak­ers and lead­ing U.S. jour­nal­ists into believ­ing that Iraq was armed with weapons of mass destruc­tion. Cha­l­abi is thrilled with the draft con­sti­tu­tion, which, if passed, will prob­a­bly expo­nen­tial­ly increase ten­sion and vio­lence between Sun­nis and Shi­ites. ‘It is an excel­lent doc­u­ment,’ said Cha­l­abi, who has been accused by U.S. intel­li­gence of being a spy for Iran, where he keeps a vaca­tion home.” (Idem.)

6. “What an absurd out­come for a war designed to cre­ate a com­pli­ant, uni­fied and sta­ble client state that would be pro-Amer­i­can, lais­sez-faire cap­i­tal­ist and unal­lied with the hat­ed Iran. Of course, Bush tells us again, this is ‘progress’ and ‘an inspi­ra­tion.’ Yet his relent­less spin­ning of manure into silk has worn thin on the Amer­i­can pub­lic and sent his approval rat­ings tum­bling. Even sup­port­ers of the war are start­ing to real­ize that rather than strength­en­ing the Unit­ed States’ posi­tion in the world, the inva­sion and occu­pa­tion have led to abject humil­i­a­tion: from the Abu Ghraib scan­dal, to the guer­ril­la insur­gency expos­ing the lim­its of mil­i­tary pow­er, to an elec­tion in which ‘our guy’ — lyad Allawi — was defeat­ed by rad­i­cals and reli­gious extrem­ists.” (Idem.)

7. “In a new low, the U.S. pres­i­dent felt oblig­ed to call and plead with the head of the Supreme Coun­cil for the Islam­ic Rev­o­lu­tion, Abde­laz­iz Hakim, to make con­cessions to gain Sun­ni sup­port. Even worse, he was sum­mar­i­ly rebuffed. Nev­er­the­less, Bush had no choice but to eat crow and like it. ‘This is a doc­u­ment of which the Iraqis, and the rest of the world, can be proud,’ he said Sun­day, through what must have been grit­ted teeth. After all, this docum

ent includes such demo­c­ra­t­ic gems as ‘Islam is the offi­cial reli­gion of the state and is a basic source of leg­is­la­tion,’ and ‘No law can be passed that con­tra­dicts the undis­put­ed rules of Islam,’ as well as social­ist-style pro­nounce­ments that work and a decent stan­dard of liv­ing are a right guar­an­teed by the state. But the fact is, it could estab­lish Khome­ini’s ghost as the patron saint of Iraq and Bush would have lit­tle choice but to endorse it.” (Idem.)

8. “Even many in his own par­ty are rebelling. ‘I think our involve­ment there has desta­bi­lized the Mid­dle East. And the longer we stay there, I think the fur­ther desta­bi­liza­tion will occur,’ said Nebras­ka Sen. Chuck Hagel last week, one of a grow­ing num­ber of Repub­li­cans who get that ‘we should start fig­ur­ing out how we get out of there.’ Not that our ‘what-me-wor­ry?’ pres­i­dent is the least bit trou­bled by all this adverse blow­back from the huge, unnec­es­sary gam­ble he took in invad­ing the heart of the Arab and Mus­lim worlds. ‘What is impor­tant is that the Iraqis are now ad­dressing these issues through debate and dis­cus­sion, not at the bar­rel of a gun,’ Bush said.” (Idem.)

9. “Wrong again, George. It was the bar­rel of your gun that mid­wifed the new Iraq, which threat­ens to com­bine the insta­bil­i­ty of Lebanon with the reli­gious fanati­cism of Iran.” (Idem.)

10. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, both the pro-war and anti-war sides have got­ten it wrong with regard to Saddam’s rela­tion­ship with Al Qae­da. Although there is no indi­ca­tion that Iraq or Sad­dam were involved with 9/11, the two enti­ties did have a “dooms­day back-up” arrange­ment. Sad­dam and bin Laden worked out an arrange­ment in which Iraq—in order to pro­vide for a pay­back capa­bil­i­ty if the U.S. oust­ed the Baathist dictator—gave infor­ma­tion about WMD’s to bin Laden’s peo­ple. Al Qae­da, in turn, was to act as a back-up unit for Saddam’s Iraq, strik­ing at the Unit­ed States if it knocked out Sad­dam. Of course, pre­cise­ly that sce­nario has tran­spired. “It appears, how­ev­er, that this ver­sion is the pub­licly admis­si­ble one, the one that can pass polit­i­cal muster. Accord­ing to the same sources, there was anoth­er sce­nario more in keep­ing with the cal­cu­lat­ing men­tal­i­ty of Sad­dam Hus­sein and his secret ser­vices. In 1998, after declin­ing all offers that had been made to them through offi­cial diplo­mat­ic chan­nels, those ser­vices are report­ed to have estab­lished a secret oper­a­tional ‘con­nec­tion’ with bin Laden in Mani­la and in Kash­mir. It was indeed dif­fi­cult for Iraq to ignore an Arab like Osama bin Laden who so effec­tive­ly humil­i­at­ed the Amer­i­cans.’ Colonel Khairal­lah al Takir­i­ti, the broth­er of the head of Mukkhabarat, the intel­li­gence ser­vices, is report­ed to have been named case offi­cer for the con­nec­tion. The arrest of two Mor­roc­can asso­ciates of bin Laden in Rabat on Novem­ber 11, 1998, made it pos­si­ble to estab­lish to estab­lish the link with cer­tain­ty. Accord­ing to West­ern sources, the Iraqi ser­vices have sought to secure the assis­tance of bin Laden’s net­works, in case Iraq were again to be attacked by the Unit­ed States, in order to car­ry out attacks against Amer­i­can tar­gets in Arab coun­tries.”
(In the Name of Osama Bin Laden; by Roland Jacquard; Copy­right 2002 [SC]; Duke Uni­ver­si­ty Press; ISBN 0–8223-2991–3; pp. 112–113.)

11. “Accord­ing to Arab sources, in antic­i­pa­tion of a fore­see­able rever­sal of alliances in Kab­ul, bin Laden had been in dis­creet con­tact since Sep­tem­ber 2000 with asso­ciates of Oudai Hus­sein, anoth­er of Saddam’s sons; the ground for agree­ment was the anti-Israeli and anti-Amer­i­can bat­tle. Bin Laden and the Iraqis are said to have exchanged infor­ma­tion about chem­i­cal and bio­log­i­cal weapons, despite the oppo­si­tion of some of the Bagh­dad lead­er­ship, includ­ing Tarik Aziz” (Ibid.;p. 113.)

12. In light of the “Dooms­day back-up” arrange­ment men­tioned above, it is par­tic­u­lar­ly fright­en­ing to con­tem­plate how the fail­ure to secure Saddam’s WMD sci­en­tists has poten­tial­ly exposed the U.S. to exact­ly the sce­nario Con­doleeza Rice and com­pa­ny were using as a ratio­nale for war—a “mush­room cloud” smok­ing-gun. Was this all due to incom­pe­tence, or (as Mr. Emory sus­pects) was incom­pe­tence manip­u­lat­ed by Under­ground Reich ele­ments in order to put the U.S. in a posi­tion to be destroyed and/or sub­ju­gat­ed?! A piv­otal­ly impor­tant arti­cle from Moth­er Jones mag­a­zine dis­cuss­es the alarm­ing fail­ure to secure the sci­en­tists. The arti­cle revolves around the sto­ry of Dr. Mah­di Obei­di, the man in charge of the Iraqi nuclear cen­trifuge pro­gram. (In FTR#395, we saw how that pro­gram evolved from the Third Reich’s nuclear devel­op­ment pro­gram.) “I met the mas­ter­mind of Sad­dam Hus­sein’s for­mer nuclear cen­trifuge pro­gram out­side the Pales­tine Hotel in Bagh­dad a few days after U.S. troops took over the city in 2003. Despite the mid­day heat he was dressed in a sport coat and tie, which made him look incon­gru­ous amid a scruffy crowd of pro­test­ers gath­ered to shout slo­gans at the U.S. Marines guard­ing the hotel. He said his name was Dr. Mah­di Obei­di, and he showed me a print­out of a pre­war Wash­ing­ton Post sto­ry in which he was named as one of the Iraqi weapons sci­en­tists whom the U.S. gov­ern­ment had very much want­ed to inter­view. His eyes dart­ed ner­vous­ly back and forth between the pro­test­ers and the tense-look­ing Marines inside the cor­don of con­certi­na wire.”
(“In the Gar­den of Armaged­don” by Kurt Pitzer; Moth­er Jones; Setptember/October/2005 [Vol. 30, Num­ber 5.]; p. 42.)

13. “Min­utes ear­li­er he had approached a pho­tog­ra­ph­er friend of mine on the street, say­ing he want­ed to reach out to Wash­ing­ton with some impor­tant infor­ma­tion about Sad­dam’s nuclear pro­gram. It was a des­per­ate move. He had tried con­tact­ing U.S. troops, but they had rebuffed him and threat­ened him with arrest if he showed up again. Now he want­ed to know if I could use my satel­lite phone to help him. At first I did­n’t know whether to believe him. But that night, at his urg­ing, I dialed the Wash­ing­ton num­ber of David Albright, a for­mer Amer­i­can mem­ber of the Unit­ed Nations weapons inspec­tions team in Iraq. When I explained who had giv­en me his name; the line went silent for a moment.” (Idem.)

14. “ ‘You are actu­al­ly talk­ing to Obei­di?’ Albright final­ly asked. ‘Where is he? What did he say?’ Albright had met Obei­di in Iraq in the 1990s, when the U.N. inspec­tors were dis­man­tling Sad­dam’s WMD pro­grams. Sad­dam had kept Obei­di’s iden­ti­ty secret longer than that of any oth­er sci­en­tist, Albright said. If any­one could say for sure what had hap­pened to Iraq’s nuclear pro­gram, it was him. The next day we dialed did­n’t seem to have much of a plan for deal­ing with Sad­dam’s WMD sci­en­tists.” (Idem.)

15. Obei­di had buried crit­i­cal doc­u­ments about Saddam’s nuclear pro­gram in his back yard. “So we wait­ed. A dap­per 59-year-old, Obei­di arrived every day to greet me wear­ing an ele­gant abiyaa robe. When he felt espe­cial­ly ner­vous, we met in clan­des­tine loca­tions: by lamp­light at my trans­la­tor’s home or in the court­yard of an Iraqi acquain­tance. At oth­er times, we sat on plas­tic lawn chairs in his gar­den, try­ing to fig­ure out how he could avoid arrest by U.S. troops, as his wife and daugh­ters served us cook­ies and tea. Every now and again, he would drop hints about the secrets he want­ed to reveal. Then one day, he ges­tured toward a spot in the gar­den. Buried under the lotus tree next to his rose­bush­es a few feet from whe

re we sat, he said, was the core of Sad­dam’s nuclear quest: blue­prints and pro­to­type pieces for build­ing cen­trifuges to enrich ura­ni­um to bomb grade. Twelve years ear­li­er, he had buried them on orders from Sad­dam’s son Qusay-pre­sum­ably, he said, to use them to restart a bomb pro­gram some­day.” (Idem.)

16. Obei­di also had some of the hard­ware stored in his buried cache of blueprints—together with the draw­ings, they com­prised a crit­i­cal cache of knowl­edge. “Obei­di dug up the cache a few days lat­er. When he showed me the four pro­to­types, his hands shook. The machine parts looked alien, like pieces of a futur­is­tic motor­cy­cle, most of them small enough to fit inside a brief­case. He explained that these com­po­nents and the three-foot-high stack of dia­grams were still immense­ly valuable—and immense­ly dan­ger­ous. They rep­re­sent­ed the core knowl­edge it would take to jump-start a covert bomb pro­gram, any­where in the world. This was why Obei­di was so anx­ious. On any giv­en day he might be arrest­ed by U.S. forces who would con­sid­er him a ‘bad guy,’ or killed by Sad­dam loy­al­ists who would see him as a col­lab­o­ra­tor, or kid­napped by some oth­er coun­try inter­est­ed in what he knew. The deci­sion to come for­ward had been a hard one.” (Ibid.; pp. 42–43.)

17. Obei­di asked why the Amer­i­cans were not more inter­est­ed in secur­ing the doc­u­ments and the many Iraqi sci­en­tists who pos­sessed cru­cial know-how about WMD’s. Indeed, why aren’t they?! “The news from Albright over the satel­lite phone was dis­cour­ag­ing. U.S. intel­li­gence on the ground was hope­less­ly dis­or­ga­nized, and there was no guar­an­tee that Amer­i­can troops would­n’t imprison Obei­di even if he offered to help them. As the days wore on he felt the clock tick­ing, and some­times his fear and exas­per­a­tion would show through. ‘Why aren’t they more inter­est­ed in find­ing out what I have to offer?’ he once asked in the text­book Eng­lish he had learned as a stu­dent at the Col­orado School of Mines in the 1960s. ‘I can answer many of their ques­tions. Sure­ly for a great nation like the Unit­ed States, it is no big deal to offer me secu­ri­ty in exchange for every­thing I want to divulge. Why don’t they want to help me?’” (Ibid.; p 43.)

18. “I did­n’t have an answer. Just weeks ear­li­er, before the inva­sion, Pres­i­dent Bush had railed against Sad­dam for intim­i­dat­ing his WMD sci­en­tists and hid­ing them from inspec­tors. Col­in Pow­ell had appeared before the Unit­ed Nations Secu­ri­ty Coun­cil and warned that Obei­di’s cen­trifuge pro­gram posed a threat to the world. It was hard to explain why, hav­ing gone to war osten­si­bly to get con­trol of Iraq’s dan­ger­ous knowl­edge, the Unit­ed States was now doing so lit­tle to fol­low through. It’s not as if the admin­is­tra­tion has­n’t talked about the dan­ger posed by Sad­dam’s WMD sci­en­tists. Whether Iraq had actu­al weapons or just ‘capa­bil­i­ties’ it did­n’t mat­ter, it has long argued: Even mere capa­bil­i­ties could leak out to ter­ror­ist groups or the states that sup­port them. Dur­ing the pres­i­den­tial cam­paign, John Ker­ry and Pres­i­dent Bush reached a rare point of agree­ment when both named the spread of nuclear weapons as the No. 1 dan­ger fac­ing the Unit­ed States.” (Idem.)

19. “As it hap­pens, Sad­dam’s nuclear cen­trifuge pro­gram dur­ing the late 1980s was one of the most effi­cient covert nuclear efforts the world has ever seen. The sci­en­tists who pulled it off are very gift­ed men and women, many of whom are now out of work. Their names are still being kept secret by the inter­na­tion­al agen­cies famil­iar with their work. But a source close to one of those agen­cies recent­ly said that of the 200-some sci­en­tists at the top of its nuclear list, all but three remain unac­count­ed for. In a coun­try with porous bor­ders, where everyone—but espe­cial­ly those asso­ci­at­ed with the for­mer regime—is in dan­ger every day, many experts say at least some sci­en­tists are bound to be tempt­ed to sell their knowl­edge to the high­est bid­der. And as the Pak­istani net­work exposed last year shows, the nuclear black mar­ket is alive and well.” (Idem.)

20. Ana­lyst Anne Har­ring­ton framed the crit­i­cal issue con­cern­ing Saddam’s WMD sci­en­tists: “ ‘Weapons don’t make them­selves, says Anne Har­ring­ton, direc­tor of the Com­mit­tee on Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty and Arms Con­trol at the Nation­al Acad­e­mies. ‘Some­body has to inter­pret how to take mil­i­tary doc­trine and intent and make it real. Mate­ri­als, par­tic­u­lar­ly nuclear mate­ri­als, are not some­thing you scoop out of the dirt. The human ele­ment is crit­i­cal in all of this.’” (Ibid.; pp. 43–45.)

21. As not­ed by for­mer CIA ana­lyst Ray McGov­ern, the war may actu­al­ly have increased the pos­si­bil­i­ty of nuclear tech­nol­o­gy pro­lif­er­at­ing beyond Iraq. Was this intend­ed by the Under­ground Reich from the begin­ning? “Nobody knows how many Iraqi sci­en­tists may have been lured over the bor­ders into Iran, Syr­ia, or beyond. Nobody knows because no one is keep­ing tabs. But sev­er­al observers agree that so lit­tle atten­tion is being paid to Iraq’s sci­en­tists, the war may actu­al­ly have increased the chances of nuclear capa­bil­i­ties pro­lif­er­at­ing beyond the country’s bor­ders. Between its unem­ployed sci­en­tists and the dis­ap­pear­ance of large amounts of WMD-relat­ed mate­ri­als from for­mer weapons sites, Iraq now pos­es a night­mare sce­nario, accord­ing to Ray McGov­ern, who spent 27 years ana­lyz­ing intel­li­gence for the CIA and after­ward co-found­ed Vet­er­an Intellin­gence Pro­fes­sion­als for San­i­ty. ‘The dan­ger is much more acute, both from the pro­lif­er­a­tion side and the ter­ror­ism side,’ McGov­ern says. ‘Before we invad­ed, there was no evi­dence that Iraq had any plan or incen­tive to pro­lif­er­ate. They didn’t even have a cur­rent plan to devel­op WMD’s. They just hadn’t been doing it. Now, my God, we have a mag­net attract­ing all man­ner of for­eign jihadists to a place where the WMD exper­tise is sud­den­ly unpro­tect­ed. It just bog­gles the mind.’ [Empha­sis added.]”

22. “Iraqi sci­en­tists have good rea­son to fear what might hap­pen if they offer to coop­er­ate with the Unit­ed States.’ Obei­di’s for­mer boss and Sad­dam’s top sci­ence advis­er, Gen­er­al Amer al-Saa­di, turned him­self in to U.S. author­i­ties just before I met Obei­di. He was prompt­ly jailed and kept in cus­tody for at least two years; a mil­i­tary spokesman told the Asso­ci­at­ed Press last year that the U.S. was also detain­ing up to a dozen oth­er sci­en­tists. The chemist Mohammed Munim al-Izmer­ly— also said to have worked on Iraq’s for­mer WMD programs—was tak­en into cus­tody for ques­tion­ing in April 2003. Ten months lat­er his body was dropped off in a U.S. body bag at a Bagh­dad hos­pi­tal. He had been killed by a blow to the head.” (Idem.)

23. “In the weeks after the inva­sion, I got to know Obei­di quite well. He was no Dr. Strangelove. He loved sci­ence and the pure log­ic of an engi­neer­ing chal­lenge, and his eyes would light up when we talked about ear­ly Mesopotami­an art or Amer­i­can his­to­ry. He said he detest­ed Sad­dam and lament­ed how the Baathists had turned the best minds of his gen­er­a­tion toward destruc­tive ends. What he cared about more than any­thing was the wel­fare of his wife and four grown chil­dren. But as the U.S. occu­pa­tion wore on, that seemed an increas­ing­ly elu­sive goal.” (Idem.)

24. “More than a month after our first meet­ing, our satel­lite phone calls had failed to pro­duce any kind of safe-haven offer from Wash­ing­ton. Oper­a­tives from the Defense Intel­li­gence Agency as well as the CIA had tracked Obei­di down through third par­ties, sum­moned him to their respec­tive head­quar­ters, and demand­ed that he sur­ren­der all he knew. The DIA agents threat­ened to imprison him, he told me, and then asked that he not speak to any­one at the CIA; soon after­ward, the CIA sent armed agents to his home and took away a sam­ple of his doc­u­ments; promis­ing to safe­guard his fam­i­ly. Then, ear­ly on the morn­ing of June 3, 2003, more than a dozen sol­diers jumped over Obei­di’s gar­den wall, kicked in his front door, and put him and his fam­i­ly face­down on thei

r liv­ing room floor at gun­point. Obei­di’s wife and chil­dren watched as he was hand­cuffed and put in a Humvee. Evi­dent­ly, the Army had final­ly caught wind of Obei­di’s significance—and, just as evi­dent­ly, the troops knew noth­ing of their own intel­li­gence agen­cies’ con­tacts with him.” (Idem.)

25. “Obei­di escaped the fate of his for­mer boss when the CIA inter­vened with the Army and got him released. Know­ing that he was a marked man, he decid­ed that his only hope was to go pub­lic. He con­sent­ed to an inter­view with CNN, and soon after­ward the CIA whisked him and his fam­i­ly off to Kuwait, where he under­went weeks of inter­ro­ga­tions.” (Idem.)

26. Note that the CIA post­ed infor­ma­tion on its web­site that could prove “incred­i­bly use­ful” to any­one seek­ing to devel­op WMD’s. “On June 26, the CIA post­ed a press release about Obei­di’s cache—the most valu­able WMD evi­dence the U.S. has yet obtained in Iraq—on its offi­cial web­site. It also put up dig­i­tal pho­tos of the com­po­nents and even one of the key cen­trifuge dia­grams. The pic­tures, which Albright says could be ‘incred­i­bly use­ful’ to any regime try­ing to start a covert nuclear pro­gram, were online for almost a week-long enough to be down­loaded and made freely avail­able on the Internet—before the agency took them down. Lit­er­al­ly buried for 12 years, some of Sad­dam’s hoard of nuclear knowl­edge got out because of the U.S. gov­ern­ment, not in spite of it. [Empha­sis added.]” (Idem.)

27. “Obei­di now lives with eight fam­i­ly mem­bers in a U.S. city that he asked me not to name. His son and three daugh­ters are learn­ing Eng­lish and look­ing for jobs, and he occa­sion­al­ly gives talks to groups of gov­ern­ment offi­cials. He seems more relaxed than he did when I first met him, as though he is final­ly able to shed some of the fear and pres­sure of life in Bagh­dad. But the thought of his for­mer col­leagues still weighs heav­i­ly on his mind. One day as we were eat­ing falafel from plas­tic plates in the food court near his new Amer­i­can home, sit­ting anony­mous­ly among the shop­pers, he asked me why he was still the only Iraqi sci­en­tist whom the Unit­ed States had seen fit to take out of har­m’s way.” (Ibid.; p. 46.)

28. “ ‘There are a num­ber of peo­ple who could be brought here, at least tem­porar­i­ly, and make pos­i­tive con­tri­bu­tions to this soci­ety,’ he said. ‘These are very edu­cat­ed and skill-full sci­en­tists. Sure­ly this great nation could, absorb a few more tal­ent­ed peo­ple.’” (Idem.)

29. “Dur­ing the 1990s, the Inter­na­tion­al Atom­ic Ener­gy Agency and oth­er watch­dog groups com­piled lists of key par­tic­i­pants in Sad­dam’s WMD pro­grams. The IAEA roll call alone includ­ed about 2,000 names. One of the few that has been made pub­lic is that of Dr. Paris Abdul Aziz, a mild-man­nered engi­neer who over­saw a staff of more than 200 work­ing on the nuclear cen­trifuge pro­gram. I met him in Obei­di’s gar­den, and he told me that in the days after the inva­sion, he had gone to Sad­dam’s for­mer Repub­li­can Palace to offer coop­er­a­tion to the U.S. mil­i­tary on behalf of him­self and oth­er top nuclear sci­en­tists. But U.S. offi­cials only want­ed to know if he knew where Sad­dam was hid­ing and where they might find WMD stock­piles. They nev­er asked him back for anoth­er inter­view. Today, no one seems to know where he is. ‘We’ve been try­ing to get in touch with these guys for months,’ Albright says. ‘But by now they’re prob­a­bly so jad­ed and sus­pi­cious that they want noth­ing to do with the U.S.’” (Idem.)

30. “An even greater con­cern is the flight risk posed by sci­en­tists one lev­el down: the tech­ni­cians who have pre­cise, hands-on knowl­edge of how to man­u­fac­ture WMD com­ponents. Their exper­tise is price­less, espe­cial­ly to a covert pro­gram look­ing for engi­neers who know how to put the pieces togeth­er. A source with close ties to intel­li­gence on the issue recent­ly told me of the case of a female sci­en­tist who worked in Sad­dam’s cen­trifuge pro­gram, most like­ly Dr. Widad Hat­tam al-Jab­bouri. In the 1980s, Jab­bouri had mas­tered one of the most trou­ble­some aspects of the ura­ni­um-enrich­ing machine: the mag­net­ic upper bear­ing that holds the cen­trifuge rotor as it spins at super­son­ic speeds. Her exper­tise on clas­si­fied mag­net tech­nol­o­gy was deep, and extreme­ly valu­able. ‘From what we have learned she has end­ed up at a uni­ver­si­ty in Syr­ia,’ the source said. ‘Appar­ent­ly the Syr­i­ans basi­cal­ly set up a refuge for senior sci­en­tists, espe­cial­ly those with Baathist con­nec­tions, who could­n’t get any work in Iraq.’” (Idem.)

31. “This does not nec­es­sar­i­ly mean that Jab­bouri is work­ing on a weapons pro­gram in Dam­as­cus. The Syr­i­an govern­ment has stat­ed that it has no nuclear pro­gram, despite the sus­pi­cions of many inter­na­tion­al experts. But her move to Syr­ia under­scores how loose a grasp the U.S. has on Iraq’s WMD knowl­edge. ‘The pro­lif­er­a­tion risk is high­er than it was before, and a chaot­ic sit­u­a­tion means this tech­nol­o­gy is going to spread,’ says Robert Baer, who spent 21 years as a case offi­cer with the CIA in the Mid­dle East. If the admin­is­tra­tion had been seri­ous about neu­tral­iz­ing Sad­dam’s weapons pro­gram, he says, ‘the troops would have been secur­ing equip­ment at weapons sites as they invad­ed, and they would have been look­ing for sci­en­tists.... It tells you that this war had noth­ing to do with WMDs.’” (Idem.)

32. “Short­ly after the inva­sion of Iraq, Anne Har­ring­ton, then the deputy direc­tor of the Pro­lif­er­a­tion Threat Reduc­tion Office of the State Depart­men­t’s Non-Pro­lif­er­a­tion Bureau, began plan­ning a trip to Iraq to meet for­mer WMD sci­en­tists and help them get to work on rebuild­ing the coun­try. Har­ring­ton had a leg­endary track record of work­ing with sci­en­tists from the for­mer Sovi­et Union. In 1997, she had cut through the red tape of diplo­ma­cy and sent an email direct­ly to the head of the State Research Cen­ter for Virol­o­gy and Biotech­nol­o­gy in Siberia. The con­tact led to increased U.S. gov­ern­ment funds to help for­mer Sovi­et bioweapons sci­en­tists apply for civil­ian projects at home rather than sell their exper­tise on the black mar­ket. Anne believed this was the most impor­tant thing to do,’ says Carl Phillips, a bio­log­i­cal weapons expert from Texas Tech Uni­ver­si­ty who signed on to help Har­ring­ton in Iraq. ‘She believed in going over and putting our boots on the ground to find these peo­ple, and she was fear­less.’” (Ibid.; pp. 46–47.)

33. “Har­ring­ton and Phillips pro­posed a $20 mil­lion plan to reach out to sci­en­tists in Bagh­dad. Their plan did­n’t go over well with the Pen­ta­gon, which at that point con­trolled the inter­im gov­ern­ment of Iraq; Phillips remem­bers being fold that as a con­di­tion for going, they had to agree not to make a for­mal request for the $20 mil­lion. Once they got to Bagh­dad, Har­ring­ton was aghast at the scale of the loot­ing. Her $20 mil­lion would be a mere drop in the buck­et. ‘You can’t just put some­body in a lab,’ she notes. ‘Not when they don’t have a micro­scope.’” (Ibid.; p. 47.)

34. Note that cur­rent U.S. ambas­sador to the U.N. was respon­si­ble for derail­ing Harrington’s project—an extreme­ly mod­est one when con­sid­ered against the back­drop of the bil­lions of dol­lars in graft that have gone down the tubes in Iraq. “In the end, even Har­ring­ton’s drop in the buck­et evapo­rated—never mind that the State Depart­ment had made an offi­cial announce­ment allo­cat­ing the $20 million—and Har­ring­ton and Phillips had to make do with $2 mil­lion scraped togeth­er from emer­gency funds. Albright says re­sponsibility for the rever­sal lies with John Bolton, then the State Depart­men­t’s under­sec­re­tary for arms con­trol and inter­na­tion­al secu­ri­ty. ‘All of this was going to land on Bolton’s desk,’ he notes. ‘And he was in the camp that thinks all these sci­en­tists are crim­i­nals.’ Oth­er pro­grams to help Iraqi scientists—including a Depart­ment of Ener­gy pro­gram coor­di­nat­ed through San­dia Nation­al Lab­o­ra­to­ries in New Mexico—have also come up short. ‘There are tens of thou­sands of sci­en­tists and engi­neers in need of
a job,’ says Dr. Ari­an Pre­gen­z­er, a senior sci­en­tist at San­di­a’s Coop­er­a­tive Mon­i­tor­ing Cen­ter. ‘We esti­mat­ed it would be a $50-mil­lion-a-year project. That mon­ey has not mate­ri­al­ized from any­place.’” (Idem.)

35. “Phillips end­ed up work­ing on his own in Iraq, trav­el­ing in a civil­ian car to make con­tact with any WMD sci­en­tists he could find; so far, he’s been able to set up a small cen­ter that employs eight for­mer weapons researchers. Har­ring­ton, for her part, resigned from the State Depart­ment this past spring, part­ly in frus­tra­tion over the lack of funds. ‘When the most we could squeeze out of the sys­tem was two $2 mil­lion grants,’ she says, ‘it made us sit back and scratch our heads a lit­tle bit and say, ‘Did­n’t we go to war because they had peo­ple who could pro­duce weap­ons of mass destruc­tion?’ It’s a lit­tle dif­fi­cult to square that cir­cle.’” (Idem.)

36. In his last will and tes­ta­ment, Hitler saw alliance with the Mus­lim world as a key to future Nazi world dom­i­na­tion. Note, in par­tic­u­lar, the way in which he fore­saw the “col­lec­tive polit­i­cal will” of the Mus­lim nations as a sig­nif­i­cant fac­tor. The Fuehrer felt that a trans­gres­sion against one Mus­lim coun­try is per­ceived as a trans­gres­sion against all. Eval­u­ate the accu­ra­cy of his remarks against the back­ground of the infor­ma­tion con­tained in para­graph #37, below. Note also that this polit­i­cal will and tes­ta­ment was bequeathed to Fran­cois Genoud. Although he died in 1996, Genoud’s name crops up sig­nif­i­cant­ly in a num­ber of impor­tant respects in the con­text of the events of 9/11. For an overview of Genoud’s career, see FTR#453. For more infor­ma­tion about Genoud and 9/11, see—among oth­er programs—FTR#’s 343, 354, 371, 456, 498, 499. “Adolf Hitler declared in his ‘Tes­ta­ment’, report­ed by Mar­tin Bor­mann: ‘All of Islam vibrates at announce­ment of our vic­to­ries. [...]. What can we do to help them [...], how can it be to our inter­est and our duty? The pres­ence next to us of the Ital­ians [...] cre­ates a malaise among our friends of Islam, [...] it hin­ders us from play­ing one of our bet­ter cards: to sup­port the coun­tries oppressed by the British. Such a pol­i­cy would excite enthu­si­asm through­out Islam. It is, in effect, a par­tic­u­lar­i­ty of the Mus­lim world that what touch­es one, whether good or ill, is felt by all the oth­ers. [...] The peo­ple ruled by Islam will always be near­er to us than France, in spite of the kin­ship of blood’...”
(Tes­ta­ment of Hitler, Head­quar­ters of the Fuhrer, Feb­ru­ary 4 to April 2, 1945, pref­ace by Fran­cois Genoud; not­ed as Foot­note #8 in: “The Reds, The Browns and the Greens” by Alexan­dre Del Valle; Occi­den­tal­is; 12/13/04; p. 10.)

37. Echo­ing the views of Hitler on the col­lec­tive behav­ior of the Mus­lim nations, it appears that sen­ti­ment for bin Laden and al Qae­da has increased since the U.S. invad­ed Iraq, falling into the “Death­trap” that Sad­dam had arranged with Osama. Whether some of Saddam’s WMD exper­tise does indeed find its way into the hands of al Qae­da or relat­ed ele­ments remains to be seen. “The U.S.-led inva­sion of Iraq has accel­er­at­ed the of bin Laden’s anti-Amer­i­can­ism among once local Islam­ic mil­i­tant move­ments, increas­ing dan­ger to the Unit­ed States as the al Qae­da net­work is becom­ing less able to mount attacks, accord­ing to senior intel­li­gence offi­cials at the CIA and the State Depart­ment. At the same time, the Sun­ni Tri­an­gle has become a train­ing ground for for­eign Islam­ic jihadists who are slip­ping into Iraq to join for­mer Sad­dam Hus­sein loy­al­ists to test them­selves against U.S. and coali­tion forces, these offi­cials say. . . .”
(“Spread of Bin Laden Ide­ol­o­gy Cit­ed” by Wal­ter Pin­cus; Wash­ing­ton Post; 4/4/2004; p. 1.)


3 comments for “FTR #527 Death Trap, Part II”

  1. Awwww, it looks like some­body miss­es being the Big Kahu­na. LOL:

    Cheney: Oba­ma Want­ed To Take U.S. ‘Down A Peg’ (VIDEO)
    Tom Kludt 8:22 AM EST, Tues­day Feb­ru­ary 12, 2013

    Slam­ming Pres­i­dent Oba­ma’s “fun­da­men­tal­ly dif­fer­ent” world­view, for­mer Vice Pres­i­dent Dick Cheney said in an inter­view that aired Tues­day that Oba­ma entered office with the inten­tion of reduc­ing the Unit­ed States’ influ­ence around the world and bring­ing the coun­try “down a peg.”

    Asked by Char­lie Rose on “CBS This Morn­ing” if the Oba­ma admin­is­tra­tion could make a case that the U.S. was nurs­ing a weak rep­u­ta­tion abroad when Cheney and for­mer Pres­i­dent George W. Bush left office, the for­mer pow­er­ful vice pres­i­dent was dis­mis­sive.

    “I think the Pres­i­dent came to pow­er with a world­view that’s fun­da­men­tal­ly dif­fer­ent than mine,” Cheney said. “The sense that he want­ed to reduce U.S. influ­ence in the world. He want­ed to take us down a peg.”


    And speak­ing of peo­ple try­ing to take the US down a peg...

    New Study Finds Koch Bros. Tried to Start Tea Par­ty Move­ment in 2002
    By: Kevin Grandia Mon­day Feb­ru­ary 11, 2013 11:11 am

    Shat­ter­ing the pub­lic per­cep­tion that the Tea Par­ty is a spon­ta­neous pop­u­lar cit­i­zens move­ment, a new aca­d­e­m­ic paper pro­vides evi­dence that an orga­ni­za­tion found­ed by David and Charles Koch, attempt­ed to launch the Tea Par­ty move­ment in 2002.

    The peer-reviewed study appear­ing in the aca­d­e­m­ic jour­nal, Tobac­co Con­trol and titled, ‘To quar­ter­back behind the scenes, third par­ty efforts’: the tobac­co indus­try and the Tea Par­ty,‘ shows that the group Cit­i­zens for a Sound Econ­o­my launched a Tea Par­ty move­ment web­site, http://www.usteaparty.com, that went live in 2002.

    Accord­ing to the web­site DeSmogBlog.com, who broke this sto­ry ear­li­er today, CSE was found­ed in 1984 by the infa­mous Koch Broth­ers, David and Charles Koch in 1984. David Koch sat on the board of CSE for many years and the group’s first pres­i­dent, Richard Fink, went on to become a senior VP at Koch Indus­tries.

    The com­mon pub­lic under­stand­ing of the ori­gins of the Tea Par­ty is that it is a pop­u­lar grass­roots upris­ing that began with anti-tax protests in 2009.


    Posted by Pterrafractyl | February 12, 2013, 10:02 am
  2. Rum­my has a new known unknown:

    Talk­ing Points Memo
    Rums­feld ‘Can’t Tell’ If Oba­ma Has Switched Sides In War On Ter­ror (VIDEO)
    Tom Kludt 2:42 PM EDT, Tues­day June 4, 2013

    Speak­ing at a con­ser­v­a­tive gath­er­ing late last month, for­mer Defense Sec­re­tary Don­ald Rums­feld said he did­n’t know if Pres­i­dent Barack Oba­ma had switched sides in the War on Ter­ror.

    The video below — mined by Demo­c­ra­t­ic oppo­si­tion researcher James Carter IV — shows Rums­feld answer­ing a ques­tion from a man off-screen at an event host­ed by the David Horow­tiz Free­dom Cen­ter on May 21 in the Los Ange­les area.

    “As you go around the coun­try, do you have any sense or the same sort of sink­ing feel­ing that the rest of us have that [Oba­ma has] actu­al­ly switched sides in the War on Ter­ror?” the man asked, draw­ing a smat­ter­ing of applause from the audi­ence.

    “You know, I just don’t feel com­pe­tent to answer,” Rums­feld said. “I can’t tell.”

    Rums­feld added, “It both­ers me great­ly that he’s unwill­ing to iden­ti­fy the ene­my. I don’t see how you win if you don’t.”


    Posted by Pterrafractyl | June 4, 2013, 11:44 am
  3. Just a note, I think “researcher” James Carter IV, is the grand­son of the for­mer pres­i­dent, and a very polit­i­cal ani­mal.


    Posted by Vanfield | June 4, 2013, 9:13 pm

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