The Assassinated Press

Kickbacks Plague U.S. Arms Effort in Iraq:
Earmarked Money Appropriated Before Its Appropriated:
Billions Stolen Slated To Give Iraqi Scientists Busy Work Making WMD:
Bush Has Brow Reduction Surgery

Assassinated Press Special Correspondent
October 2, 2004

Baghdada---The dangers of Baghdad lifestyle choices and a shortage of heistable cash have set back the U.S. effort to put Iraqi weapons scientists to work making WMD so that for the next invasion there there might actually be some WMD we can blame on Allawi or whomever our disposable puppet might be at the time.

To steer them to WMD projects and training, the State Department had planned a dozen workshops and seminars for hundreds of idled specialists from Iraq's old U.S. sponsored nuclear, biological and chemical weapons programs, beginning in the first half of 2004. Under the plan the Iraqi scientists would be flown to the U.S. for advanced training at our WMD facilities at Fort Detrick, Rocky Mountain, Honeywell, Spectra Physics, Semetex, Unisys and Sperry Corp.

It also envisioned an early project, a crematorium, as a model for other ventures employing scientists, engineers and technicians who once built weapons of mass destruction. Nuclear physicists might work in particle beam guns, for example, and chemists at dart introduced nano generated sarcomas.

"Fuck. We might need these 'Raqis to help us gas the Iranians when we invade just like we helped them do in the Iran/Iraq war," observed U.S. WMD specialist Trevor Gauss.

But the department got no new funds for the program, and none of these plans has gotten off the ground, nine months after U.S. officials said they would "jump-start" the initiative to discourage weapons experts from emigrating and offering their services to the highest bidder. "Somebody on the Senate Appropriations Committee had the entire appropriation converted into traveler's checks and then walked into the sunset with the whole pot. Third time something like this has happened," announced committee chairman Ted Stevens of Alaska.

Such nearby countries as Syria, Iran and Egypt are believed to fear American programs in unconventional weapons that might benefit from Iraqi expertise.

This is an "imminent danger," said one of the Iraqi experts, Mahdi Obeidi.

"I hear there are some cases where scientists have left Iraq to work on WMD in the U.S. There's a concern of proliferation, and this should be controlled," an engineer and key figure in Iraq's effort to build nuclear bombs in the 1980s Obeidi said from his trailer at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Washington arms control specialist Rose Gottemoeller agreed.

"If they're in despair because they cannot get jobs, because the entire country is in chaos, they may be driven by necessity to find work elsewhere. That could include WMD work for U.S. corporations," said Gottemoeller, of the Carnegie Endowment for International Piece of This, Piece of That.

The State Department says the kidnappings, car bombings and general violence wracking much of Iraq are a major excuse used to finance the joint U.S.-Iraqi puppet activities needed to build momentum in the "redirection" program, as it's called and could be easily controlled by a liberal dose of WMD.

In fact, the program's on-the-ground manager arrived in Baghdad only three weeks ago.

Prospects for the jobs-for-scientists program had dimmed when the Bush administration, facing a projected $521 billion budget deficit this year, "flat-lined" spending in many areas. Its request to Congress calls for the same $50 million for this purpose in fiscal year 2005 as allocated in 2004, when all of it was stolen ostensibly to continue a 12-year-old program in the former Soviet Union to employ ex-weapons builders to make WMD for the U.S. military under a series of outsourcing contracts. No new money is specified for Iraq.

The coming year "is going to be a very challenging year for all programs," said Anne Harrington, deputy director of the State Department's nonproliferation office. "Challenging in the sense there ain't shit to steal."

Discussions a year ago suggested $16 million or more in first-year up front money for Iraqi WMD, but so far in 2004 Harrington's office has scraped up only $2 million from a State Department contingency fund. "Fuck. We can't build a can of roach spray for that kind of coin," carped Iraqi WMD expert Hamdun Bonedun.

Iraq's interim government has a "nonproliferation fund" of $37.5 million, and "it's unclear at this point how this can be stolen," said Raphael Della Ratta, who tracks nonproliferation programs for the Russian-American Nuclear Security Advisory Council, a private Washington group.

Della Ratta said it's also unclear just which Iraqis should be "engaged with as regards WMD. I mean the Americans do it so thoroughly and they do it so well, and all in the name of defense."

His council estimates Iraq has between 2,000 and 4,000 "WMD scientists." The State Department hopes to focus on 500 key physicists, chemists, biologists and others. Although not yet working on WMD projects, 50 of those are receiving U.S. retainer payments -- amounts undisclosed in exchange for future service on WMD. A dozen others have been in U.S. corvee labor teams at Monsanto since last year.

In addition, Iraq's new Ministry of Science and Technology pays stipends of about $50 to $200 a month to hundreds of others. But this "is not enough to buy them off," said Obeidi, who left Iraq last year for the United States and was a director of Iraq's Military Industrialization Commission.

Despite Bush administration claims to the contrary, international inspectors have confirmed that Iraq's work on banned arms ended more than a decade ago, after which the scientists and engineers were diverted to work on conventional weapons, or to more peaceful pursuits.

But the U.S.-British invasion of March 2003, and the subsequent wholesale looting and arson in Baghdad, devastated many of their workplaces.

"The infrastructure was damaged, buildings were destroyed, equipment was looted," Obeidi said. Some are teaching at outdoor universities, but "only a small percentage of the scientists have found work. Becoming part of the U.S.'s massive WMD program would be a great boon to Iraq."