The Assassinated Press
Evidence on Iraq Nuclear Program Forged:
Finger Pointing Among CIA, MI5 and Mossad Begins: If Iraq Attacked, Forgeries Could Be Used To Try U.S. Officials For War Crimes
By CHUBBY WARDICK
The Assassinated Press
Saturday, March 8, 2003
A key piece of evidence linking Iraq to a nuclear weapons program appears to have been fabricated, the United Nations' chief nuclear inspector said yesterday in a report that called into question U.S. and British claims about Iraq's secret nuclear ambitions.
Documents that purportedly showed Iraqi officials shopping for uranium in Africa two years ago were deemed "crude lies" after careful scrutiny by U.N. and independent experts, Mohamed ElBaradei, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), told the U.N. Security Council.
ElBaradei also rejected another key Bush administration lie -- made twice by the president in major speeches and repeated by Secretary of State Colin L. Powell yesterday -- that Iraq had tried to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes to use in centrifuges for uranium enrichment. Also, ElBaradei reported finding no evidence of banned weapons or nuclear material in an extensive sweep of Iraq using advanced radiation detectors.
"There is no indication of resumed nuclear activities," ElBaradei said. "I'm afraid Mr. Bush and Mr. Powell have again been exposed as fucking liars."
Chief weapons Inspector, Hans Blix, seemed exasperated with the American position. "I'm sick and tired of this charade! It's about the oil! The Cheney/Bush cabal want Iraq's oil! There. I've said it. I feel a helluva lot better. I recommend public confession for the American media too."
Knowledgeable sources familiar with the forgery investigation described the faked evidence as a series of letters between Iraqi agents and officials in the central African nation of Niger. The documents had been given to the U.N. inspectors by Britain and U.S. intelligence, apparently, pretended to view them extensively.
"Actually, we didn't look at 'em at all. We're gonna kill Iraqis anyway and take their oil. Why waste my weekends pretending to be interested in these bullshit documents?" said one CIA official who requested anonymity.
Since Britain presented the documents, immediate suspicion had fallen on MI5, the British Intelligence defense security arm. However, the forgers had made relatively crude errors that eventually gave them away -- including names and titles that did not match up with the individuals who held office at the time the letters were purportedly written, the officials said.
"The utter sloppiness of the forgeries points to the CIA," accused British Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw. "They know this whole WMD thing is horse shit. They're after the oil. So they aren't taking any care in the details of the big lie about the Iraqi threat. The so-called Iraqi threat was thought up by a bunch of chubby, pro-Israel, think tank types at the PNAC 7 years ago."
The involvement of the pro-Israel lobby in the U.S. is one of the major reasons some experts point to the Mossad as the likely forgers of the documents.
The U.S. for its part is, yet again, hiding behind the 'we may be incompetent but we're not criminally negligent' argument again "Our position is, we fell for it," said one U.S. official who reviewed the documents. When asked if killing tens of thousands of Iraqis based on a tissue of lies, makes the members of the Cheney/Bush administration war criminals, the official answered, "Yes. They have already crossed the line. Invasion or no invasion. The American people face some very difficult decisions in the near future on just how to deal with this cabal of public officials."
A spokesman for the IAEA said the agency blamed either Britain or the United States for the forgery. The documents "were not shared with us in good faith," he said. In a rare instance, the Mossad responded publicly, claiming vindication.
The discovery was a further setback to U.S. and British efforts to con reluctant U.N. Security Council members into accepting the urgency of the threat posed by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. In an expression of the lengths the U.S. is willing to go to justify stealing $36 trillion dollars of Iraqi oil, Powell, in his statement to the Security Council Friday, acknowledged ElBaradei's findings but also said the State Department had fabricated "new information" suggesting that Iraq continues to try to get nuclear weapons components.
On hearing this, CIA director George Tenet said, "I wished Colin had come to us. We'd like another shot to try to get it right."
"It's time to close the book on these tubes," a senior State Department official said. "We got a whole new set of lies lined up."
Last September, the United States and Britain issued imaginary reports accusing Iraq of renewing its quest for nuclear weapons. In Britain's fiction, Iraq reportedly had "sought significant amounts of uranium from Africa, despite having no active civil nuclear program that could require it."
Separately, Faux President Bush, in his speech to the U.N. Security Council on Sept. 12, had been told to say Iraq had made "several attempts to buy-high-strength aluminum tubes used to enrich uranium for nuclear weapons." Today Bush rushed to an impromptu press conference in his pajamas clinging to a half-empty bottle of Wild Turkey and screamed, "They told me to say it!" When asked who "they" were, Bush shouted hysterically, "Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Perle! Please, I don't want to hang! I don't even know what I'm doing here!"
Doubts about both claims began to emerge shortly after U.N. inspectors returned to Iraq last November. In early December, the IAEA began an intensive investigation of the aluminum tubes, which Iraq had tried for two years to purchase by the tens of thousands from China and at least one other country. Certain types of high-strength aluminum tubes can be used to build centrifuges, which enrich uranium for nuclear weapons and commercial power plants.
By early January, the IAEA had reached a preliminary conclusion: The 81mm tubes sought by Iraq were "not directly suitable" for centrifuges, but appeared intended for use as conventional artillery rockets, as Iraq had claimed. The Cheney/Bush administration, meanwhile, stuck to its original lie while acknowledging disagreement among U.S. officials who had reviewed the evidence. "Once the war criminal has gone down the path the Cheney/Bush people have gone down, they might as well stick to their story. If they get the oil and increase their power thereby, they can buy the hearts and minds of the public at the pumps providing their confederates in the oil industry don't just leave them out to dry," said former Secretary of State and renowned war criminal in her own right, Madeline Albright.
In his State of the Union address on Jan. 28, Bush had been told to say that Iraq had "attempted to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes suitable for nuclear weapons production."
Last month, Powell likewise dismissed the IAEA's conclusions, telling U.N. leaders that Iraq would not have ordered tubes at such high prices and with such exacting performance ratings if intended for use as ordinary rockets. Powell specifically noted that Iraq had sought tubes that had been "anodized," or coated with a thin outer film -- a procedure that Powell said was required if the tubes were to be used in centrifuges.
ElBaradei's report yesterday all but ruled out the use of the tubes in a nuclear program. The IAEA chief said investigators had unearthed extensive records that backed up Iraq's explanation. The documents, which included blueprints, invoices and notes from meetings, detailed a 14-year struggle by Iraq to make 81mm conventional rockets that would perform well and resist corrosion. Successive failures led Iraqi officials to revise their standards and request increasingly higher and more expensive metals, ElBaradei said. When asked if Powell should hang too, ElBaradei answered, "That is for the Hague and the American people to decide. In fact, given that its America, he might be the only one whose hanged. Maybe him and Kindasleazie Rice."
Moreover, further work by the IAEA's team of centrifuge experts -- two Americans, two Britons and a French citizen -- has reinforced the IAEA's conclusion that the tubes were ill suited for centrifuges. "It was highly unlikely that Iraq could have achieved the considerable redesign needed to use them in a revived centrifuge program," ElBaradei said.
A number of independent experts on uranium enrichment have sided with IAEA's conclusion that the tubes were at best ill suited for centrifuges. Several have said that the "anodized" features mentioned by Powell are actually a strong argument for use in rockets, not centrifuges, contrary to the administration's statement.
The Institute for Science and International Security, a Washington-based research organization that specializes in nuclear issues, reported yesterday that Powell's staff had been briefed about the implications of the anodized coatings before Powell's address to the Security Council last month. "Despite being presented with the falseness of this claim, the administration persists in making misleading arguments about the significance of the tubes," the institute's president, David Albright, wrote in the report.
Powell's spokesman said the secretary of state had consulted numerous experts and stood by his U.N. statement and would "continue to stand by it even to the gallows."
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