2002 October 09 Wednesday
DoD Briefing on Iraqi Denial and Deception

There are people saying that the Bush Administration hasn't made its case against Iraq. If you go read the full text of this briefing you'll see references to UNSCOM reports, articles, and books that describe what Saddam's regime has been up to. These are publically available documents whose release happened before the current President came to power. The case against Saddam already exists in the public record. One just has to be willing to read it. Here's part of the US DOD briefing:

Iraq's D&D strategy has three key objectives. The first objective, quite simply, is to blur the truth about Iraqi compliance with the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty, the U.N. resolutions and this all in order to undermine the credibility of UNSCOM findings and the recommendations to the Security Council and erode support for continued inspections.

I can't emphasize sufficiently the importance of this first goal. Although some of their efforts seem crude to us, their D&D measures have prevented UNSCOM and Western intelligence from producing the kinds of smoking guns and smoking-gun photographs, for example, and other forms of juridical evidence demanded by those who are skeptical of Iraqi violations of U.N. resolutions and continued existence of illicit WMD programs.

Their second objective -- their second objective is to ensure that UNSCOM could not uncover the true full scope of Iraqis' (sic) WMD and missile programs, including number of personnel, facilities, equipment, documentation and weaponization efforts.

Finally and most importantly, the Iraqis have sought to prevent UNSCOM from achieving the complete disarmament of Iraq's chemical, biological nuclear and missile programs in accordance with the U.N. resolutions. As of 1998, when the inspectors left Iraq, the Iraqis had succeeded in achieving these three goals. This strategy -- their strategy still remains effective. The CIA report released on Friday reaffirmed that Baghdad is still hiding large portions of their WMD efforts. It also states that their vigorous concealment efforts have meant that specific information on many aspects of Iraqi's WMD programs is yet to be uncovered.

Next slide?

I'm going to walk you through these activities as we have categorized them one by one since Desert Storm. Many of these activities were directed specifically against the U.N. and the UNSCOM inspection regime, and some were and are directed against U.S. and Western intelligence; some, quite simply, are aimed at influencing world opinion. What I'm going to do is give you some historical examples and some very current examples for each of these categories.

Next slide?

Let's begin with a relatively simple D&D technique, that of concealment. This is an example of a suspected Iraqi biological warfare facility. Take a good look at the picture. One of the interesting features of this facility is its location. It's in a residential area. It's concealed inside a residential area. The buildings are nondescript in nature. The installation is nondescript in nature. Placing these kind of WMD facilities in residential areas is a practice method of concealment. There's a famous aphorism by the late Ameron Capps (sp), a specialist in arms control verification. He once said, quote, "We have never found anything that our enemies have successfully concealed," unquote. The issue for us today is how many undetected BW facilities of this type exist. As Tim Trevan, the former British UNSCOM inspector, noted, if there are undeclared and undetected and concealed WMD sites, by definition they can't be inspected or monitored. And the inspection regime cannot provide any level of assurance that a country is not conducting illicit activities.

Next slide, please.

A technique related to concealment is sanitization. And this is a very famous case. Sanitization is a system for hiding proscribed WMD material and sanitizing facilities beforehand. It relies on high mobility, good command and control. In many cases it employs trucks to move items at short notice, and most of the hide sites appear to be located near good road and telecommunications links. We know on several occasions UNSCOM and International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors detected Iraqi officials removing documents and material from buildings, and even burning documents to prevent them from being evaluated. Inspectors have routinely found high interest facilities cleaned out after their entry was delayed for several hours. In this 1991 incident, the Iraqis removed Calitrons (sp) from the reception area at Falujah as UCOM inspectors were arriving at the front of the facility. One inspector photographed these vehicles scurrying out the back gate while the inspectors were being delayed in the front.

Next slide, please.

Pretty blatant technique here: Fraudulent declarations to the U.N. U.N. Security Council resolution 687 and related resolutions 707, 715 and 1051 stipulate that Iraq must provide full, final and complete disclosure of all aspects of its nuclear, chemical, biological and long-range-missile weapons programs. Prior to 1998, Iraq made seven so-called full and final disclosures to the U.N. Iraq modified each full and final disclosure to the U.N. several times to accommodate data uncovered by inspectors, and then they provided new information and explanations only when confronted with direct evidence.

For example, Baghdad revised its nuclear declaration to the International Atomic Energy Agency four times within 14 months of its initial submission, in April 1991. Iraq formally submitted six different biological-warfare declarations, each of which UNSCOM rejected. Baghdad provided no hard evidence to support claims that it destroyed all of its biological-weapon agents and munitions in 1991. Richard Butler, the then-UNSCOM chairman, stated that Iraq's September 1997 BW declaration, quote, "failed to give a remotely credible account of Iraq's biological weapons programs." Fraudulent declarations.

Next slide.

Here's another classic case of how the Iraqis respond when their attempts at deception are exposed. This is called sacrificing certain elements of WMD programs. Baghdad has tried to generate a public impression of cooperation while working hard to conceal essential information on the scope and capabilities of its WMD programs.

One technique for achieving this objective is the sacrifice of compromised or obsolete WMD or missile program elements. For example, Iraq dramatically disclosed nearly 700,000 pages of WMD-related documents at a chicken farm following the 1995 defection of Hussein Kamil Hassan al-Majid. The president referred to this person last night. He headed the ministry of industry and military industrialization until 1990. Kamil was a key player in Iraq's effort to produce WMD.

Some sparse but significant information was often buried within a massive volume of extraneous data, all of which was intended, again, to create the appearance of candor and to overwhelm UNSCOM's analytical resources. Here's a good example. Iraq released detailed records of how many ball-point pens it ordered in the late 1980s, but at the same time, it did not provide records of how it procured biological precursors or supported claims that it destroyed its missile warheads capable of delivering BW and CW agents.

Next slide, please.

Cover stories. Cover stories. We've seen these quite frequently. These are two images of a BW facility at Abu Ghurayb (sp) bombed during Desert Storm. You're probably familiar with this story. Let me draw your attention to some of the unique features of this baby-milk plant. First of all, it's secured by a double chain-link fence, and there are guard posts covering the road access.

Please note the two dates on the images. First, September 1990; and then January 1991. Again, what's different about the two images? The baby-milk plant has been camouflaged. It's been given military camouflage covering. After the coalition struck this facility, Iraq claimed that it was an infant-formula factory; that is, a non-military target.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2002 October 09 01:14 AM  Inspections and Sanctions


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