grassrootspeace.org

November 5, 2007: This website is an archive of the former website, traprockpeace.org, which was created 10 years ago by Charles Jenks. It became one of the most populace sites in the US, and an important resource on the antiwar movement, student activism, 'depleted' uranium and other topics. Jenks authored virtually all of its web pages and multimedia content (photographs, audio, video, and pdf files. As the author and registered owner of that site, his purpose here is to preserve an important slice of the history of the grassroots peace movement in the US over the past decade. He is maintaining this historical archive as a service to the greater peace movement, and to the many friends of Traprock Peace Center. Blogs have been consolidated and the calendar has been archived for security reasons; all other links remain the same, and virtually all blog content remains intact.

THIS SITE NO LONGER REFLECTS THE CURRENT AND ONGOING WORK OF TRAPROCK PEACE CENTER, which has reorganized its board and moved to Greenfield, Mass. To contact Traprock Peace Center, call 413-773-7427 or visit its site. Charles Jenks is posting new material to PeaceJournal.org, a multimedia blog and resource center.

Search site - New! Calendar - Calendar Archive
Contents - Archives - War Crimes - GI Special - Student Activism - Links

War on Truth  From Warriors to Resisters
Books of the Month

The War on Truth

From Warriors to Resisters

Army of None

Iraq: the Logic of Withdrawal

Go to Glen Rangwala Briefing (includes a link to the complete Hussein Kamel interview transcript)
Go to Normon Solomon Commentary
Go to FAIR Media Advisory

Hussein Kamel Interview Disclosed After Being Hidden by UNSCOM
Media Coverage - Chronology and Stories

Newsweek (March 3 issue) - http://www.msnbc.com/news/876128.asp?cp1=1

"Kamel’s revelations about the destruction of Iraq’s WMD stocks were hushed up by the U.N. inspectors..."

February 24

ABC News - US, Britain Deny Newsweek Defector Report - http://abcnews.go.com/wire/US/reuters20030224_550.html

"U.S., Britain Deny Newsweek Defector Report"

March 1, 2003

The Guardian - http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,905369,00.html

"Iraqi defector's testimony confuses case against Iraq"

Berliner Taz - http://www.taz.de/pt/2003/03/01/a0016.nf/text

"Exklusiv: Was Saddams Schwiegersohn wusste: 'Alle Waffen wurden zerstört'"
("Exclusive: What Saddam's Son-in-Law Knew: 'All Weapons Became Destroyed.'")

Washington Post - http://www.washingtonpost.com

"Iraqi Defector Claimed Arms Were Destroyed by 1995"

Boston Globe - http://www.boston.com/dailyglobe2/060/nation/UN_CIA_don_t_accept_Hussein_kin_s_95_claimP.shtml

"WEAPONS DESTRUCTION - UN, CIA don't accept Hussein kin's '95 claim"

Newsweek - http://www.msnbc.com/news/876128.asp?cp1=1

KAMEL WAS SADDAM Hussein’s son-in-law and had direct knowledge of what he claimed: for 10 years he had run Iraq’s nuclear, chemical, biological and missile programs. Kamel told his Western interrogators that he hoped his revelations would trigger Saddam’s overthrow. But after six months in exile in Jordan, Kamel realized the United States would not support his dream of becoming Iraq’s ruler after Saddam’s demise. He chose to return to Iraq—where he was promptly killed.        

Kamel’s revelations about the destruction of Iraq’s WMD stocks were hushed up by the U.N. inspectors, sources say, for two reasons. Saddam did not know how much Kamel had revealed, and the inspectors hoped to bluff Saddam into disclosing still more. And Iraq has never shown the documentation to support Kamel’s story. Still, the defector’s tale raises questions about whether the WMD stockpiles attributed to Iraq still exist.        

Kamel said Iraq had not abandoned its WMD ambitions. The stocks had been destroyed to hide the programs from the U.N. inspectors, but Iraq had retained the design and engineering details of these weapons. Kamel talked of hidden blueprints, computer disks, microfiches and even missile-warhead molds. “People who work in MIC [Iraq’s Military Industrial Commission, which oversaw the country’s WMD programs] were asked to take documents to their houses,” he said. Why preserve this technical material? Said Kamel: “It is the first step to return to production” after U.N. inspections wind down.        

Kamel was interrogated in separate sessions by the CIA, Britain’s M.I.6 and a trio from the United Nations, led by the inspection team’s head, Rolf Ekeus. NEWSWEEK has obtained the notes of Kamel’s U.N. debrief, and verified that the document is authentic. NEWSWEEK has also learned that Kamel told the same story to the CIA and M.I.6. (The CIA did not respond to a request for comment.)        

The notes of the U.N. interrogation—a three-hour stretch one August evening in 1995— show that Kamel was a gold mine of information. He had a good memory and, piece by piece, he laid out the main personnel, sites and progress of each WMD program. Kamel was a manager—not a scientist or engineer—and, sources say, some of his technical assertions were later found to be faulty. (A military aide who defected with Kamel was apparently a more reliable source of tech-nical data. This aide backed Kamel’s assertions about the destruction of WMD stocks.) But, overall, Kamel’s information was “almost embarrass-ing, it was so extensive,” Ekeus recalled—including the fact that Ekeus’s own Arabic translator, a Syrian, was, according to Kamel, an Iraqi agent who had been reporting to Kamel himself all along.


ABCNEWS.com

http://abcnews.go.com/wire/US/reuters20030224_550.html

U.S., Britain Deny Newsweek Defector Report

Reuters, February 24

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The CIA on Monday denied a Newsweek magazine report that Saddam Hussein's son-in-law told the U.S. intelligence agency in 1995 that Iraq after the Gulf War destroyed all its chemical and biological weapons and missiles to deliver them.

"It is incorrect, bogus, wrong, untrue," CIA spokesman Bill Harlow said of the Newsweek report's allegations that Hussein Kamel told the CIA that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein had destroyed all of his weapons of mass destruction.

Newsweek said Kamel, who headed Iraq's nuclear, chemical, biological and missile programs for 10 years, told CIA and British intelligence officers and U.N. inspectors in the summer of 1995 that Iraq had destroyed all its chemical and biological weapons stockpiles after the 1991 Gulf War.

"We've checked back and he didn't say this," a British government source told Reuters. "He said just the opposite, that the WMD program was alive and kicking."

Harlow of the CIA said: "Newsweek failed to ask us this question."

Newsweek said Kamel had hoped his revelations would trigger Saddam's overthrow, but when he realized the United States would not support his dream of becoming Iraq's ruler, he chose to return to Iraq where he was promptly killed.

The issue of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction is extremely sensitive at the moment because the United States is building troops in the Gulf poised to invade Iraq on the premise that Saddam has not been forthcoming about his alleged biological, chemical and nuclear weapons programs.

Copyright 2003 Reuters News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

The Guardian - http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,905369,00.html

Iraqi defector's testimony confuses case against Iraq

Julian Borger in Washington
Saturday March 1, 2003
The Guardian

Hussein Kamel, the former head of Iraq's weapons programmes whose 1995 defection has been portrayed by the US and Britain as evidence of Iraqi deceit and the futility of inspections, was a "consummate liar", according to the last weapons inspector to interrogate him.

The transcript of the interrogation, leaked this week to Newsweek magazine and seen by the Guardian, makes it clear that the defector's testimony on Iraqi weapons of mass destruction was inconclusive and often misleading.

The emergence of the classified statements weakens the case the US and Britain has tried to build against Saddam Hussein, in which Kamel's defection has been used to bolster claims that Iraq still has thousands of tonnes of chemical and biological weapons for which it has not accounted.

They reveal that Kamel, who was President Saddam's son-in-law, told UN inspectors that Iraq had destroyed all its chemical and biological weapons and abandoned its nuclear programme after the Gulf war. But he said blueprints, documents, computer files and moulds for missile parts had been hidden.

Rolf Ekeus, the former chief UN weapons inspector who oversaw the interrogation in August 1995, said much of the chemical arsenal had been destroyed by the inspectors, not Baghdad.

Mr Ekeus agreed that the Iraqi government had probably eliminated its biological arsenal but said he remained convinced that "seed stocks" of bacteria had been retained as well as growth media and fermenters so it could quickly reconstitute its arsenal.

Kamel, who had been the director of Iraq's military industrial establishment, was assassinated soon after his mysterious decision to return to Iraq just weeks after his high-profile defection.

The US and British governments have pointed to the defection to emphasise the extent of Iraq's weapons programmes and the inherent weakness of inspections.

But Mr Ekeus pointed out that Unscom, the UN special commission on Iraq, had already discovered a lot about the Iraqi pre-war biological programme earlier that year, forcing

Baghdad's admission in July, a month before Kamel's defection, that it had pursued germ warfare.

The transcript of Kamel's interrogation reveals a far more ambiguous picture than the one portrayed in Washington and London.

"Kamel was a consummate liar," Mr Ekeus said.

While the transcript of the interrogation makes it clear that the defection was less than a breakthrough, it had a psychological impact on Baghdad. The Iraqi government, unsure what he was going to tell the inspectors, became much more forthcoming.

Before Mr Ekeus arrived in Amman to interrogate Kamel, the Iraqis invited him to Baghdad to hand over documents and then took him to Kamel's chicken farm where several metal containers full of documents had been buried.

"They wanted to blame it all on Kamel," Mr Ekeus said. "But Kamel was just carrying out the government's policy."


Berliner Taz - http://www.taz.de/pt/2003/03/01/a0016.nf/text

Exklusiv: Was Saddams Schwiegersohn wusste: "Alle Waffen wurden zerstört"

General Hussein Kamal war irakischer Rüstungsminister. Dann floh er nach Jordanien und informierte die UNO über das Ende der irakischen Waffenprogramme. Seine Aussagen wurden nie veröffentlicht

GENF taz Versteckt Irak tatsächlich - wie von den USA und Großbritannien behauptet - Altbestände an verbotenen Massenvernichtungswaffen, Chemikalien und Raketen aus der Zeit vor dem Golfkrieg von 1991? Diese Frage, von der UNO bisher ungeklärt, erhält neues Gewicht durch bislang unveröffentlichte Aussagen von General Hussein Kamal, die der taz vorliegen.

Kamal war der wichtigste Kronzeuge für das irakische Rüstungsprogramm der 80er-Jahre. Seit 1985 Industrieminister und Chef der staatlichen irakischen Rüstungsindustrie, lieferte er nach seiner Flucht im August 1995 zunächst den damaligen Chefinspektoren der Unscom und IAEO, danach auch den Geheimdiensten der USA und Großbritanniens, CIA und MI 6, umfangreiche Informationen über irakische Programme für Massenvernichtungswaffen und ballistische Raketen.

Seitdem wird Kamal vor allem von Washington und London immer wieder als Kronzeuge zitiert - auch für die angeblich fortgesetzte Existenz derartiger Waffen im Irak. Bei seinen Verhören im Sommer 1995, deren Protokolle der taz vollständig vorliegen, hatte Kamal allerdings auch mehrfach erklärt, auf seine Anweisung hin seien bis spätestens 1991 sämtliche Rüstungsprogramme eingestellt und alle existierenden Waffen und Grundstoffe zerstört wurden.

Die Regierung in Bagdad hat inzwischen angekündigt, sie werde, wie von UNO-Chefinspektor Hans Blix verlangt, heute mit der Zerstörung der rund 100 irakischen Kurzstreckenraketen vom Typ al-Samud 2 beginnen. Blix hatte diese Forderung damit begründet, dass die Rakete bei einigen Tests die dem Irak erlaubte Reichweite von 150 Kilometern überschritten hatte. Bagdad hatte gegen die Forderung zunächst eingewandt, zu der Reichweitenüberschreitung sei es nur gekommen, weil die Rakete bei den Tests ohne Sprengkopf und Leitsystem und nur mit einem zu einem Viertel gefüllten Treibstofftank geflogen ist.

Die Bush-Administration tat das Einlenken als belanglos ab. US-Verteidigungsminister Donald Rumsfeld sprach von einem "rein taktischen Schritt". Der französische Außenminister Dominique de Villepin nannte die Ankündigung der Raketenzerstörung hingegen eine "wichtige Etappe auf dem Weg zur friedlichen Entwaffnung Iraks".

Die Entscheidung Bagdads zeige, dass die Inspektionen Ergebnisse brächten. Auch Bundesaußenminister Joschka Fischer erklärte, man sei "bei der Abrüstung Iraks bereits wichtige Schritte weitergekommen". Er begreife nicht, warum dieser Prozess jetzt - wie von Washington und London verlangt - abgeschlossen werden solle. "AZU


Washington Post - http://www.washingtonpost.com

Iraqi Defector Claimed Arms Were Destroyed by 1995

By Colum Lynch Washington Post Staff Writer Saturday, March 1, 2003; Page A15

UNITED NATIONS, Feb. 28 -- A prominent Iraqi defector credited by President Bush and other senior U.S. officials with helping to reveal the full extent of Baghdad's secret biological, chemical and nuclear weapons told U.N. inspectors in 1995 that the vast majority of Iraq's deadliest weapons had already been destroyed, according to a confidential copy of the notes of the meeting.

Gen. Hussein Kamel, the former head of Iraq's secret weapons program and a son-in-law of President Saddam Hussein, told a United Nations delegation in a secret meeting in Amman, Jordan, on Aug, 22, 1995, that Iraq had halted the production of VX nerve agent in the late 1980s and destroyed its banned missiles, stocks of anthrax and other chemical agents and poison gases soon after the Persian Gulf War.

However, U.N. inspectors have challenged the veracity of Kamel's claims.

Kamel, the former director of Iraq's Military Industrialization Corp., which oversees the country's weapons programs, acknowledged that Iraq had preserved much of the technology and know-how required for producing banned weapons in order to reconstitute the program after U.N. inspectors left the country.

But he told the delegation, headed by then-chief U.N. weapons inspector Rolf Ekeus, that "I ordered destruction of all chemical weapons. All weapons -- biological, chemical, missile, nuclear were destroyed."

Ekeus and other former U.N. inspectors said this week that while Kamel provided valuable information, he frequently embellished and lied to enhance his reputation or to preserve illegal weapons programs. "He was a consummate liar," Ekeus said in a telephone interview. "He wanted to return [to Iraq] at some stage and make a political comeback when Saddam Hussein moved to the side. All the more reason to preserve some of the WMD [weapons of mass destruction] secrets." 

Kamel returned to Baghdad in 1996, where he was killed.

Ekeus said Kamel's suggestions that Iraq had destroyed all of its chemical and biological weapons as early as 1991 were "absurd." The former U.N. Special Commission, which was responsible for destroying Iraq's weapons from 1991 to 1998, carried out the destruction of more chemical, biological weapons than occurred during the Persian Gulf War, Ekeus noted. He said also that the U.N. inspectors carried out the destruction of tons of chemical weapons and agents between 1992 and 1994.

The defection of Kamel to Amman on Aug. 7, 1995, prompted the Iraqi government to turn over millions of pages of documents with new information on Iraq's efforts to produce chemical, biological and nuclear weapons.

The notes from Kamel's interview, which were obtained by Cambridge University lecturer Glen Rangwala and first reported this week in Newsweek, suggest that Bush may have overstated Kamel's importance in leading U.N. inspectors to the trail of tens of thousands of liters of anthrax and tons of VX nerve agent.

They indicated that the United States, which debriefed Kamel in Amman, may have ignored or dismissed his claims that many of Iraq's deadliest agents had been destroyed. The defection of Kamel "should serve as a reminder to all that we often learn more as the result of defections than we learned from the inspection regime itself," Vice President Cheney said on Aug. 26.

U.N. inspectors familiar with the Kamel meeting cautioned that the quotes from the interview, which were translated into English from Arabic and written down by a Russian weapons inspector, may contain some mistakes or misunderstandings. "You have to take what he says with a grain of salt," one U.N. inspector said.

Kamel said that Hussein had no intention of abandoning his pursuit of banned weapons once inspectors left. He said that Hussein's special guards had hidden two Russian Scud rocket launchers and a computer disk with information on Iraq's banned nuclear weapons program. Asked why Iraq would destroy its missiles and keep the launchers and missile molds, he said, "It is the first step to return to production. All blueprints for missiles are in a safe place."  Kamel himself suggested the U.N. inspectors were a far more useful and reliable source than Iraqi defectors. "You should not underestimate yourself," Kamel said. "You are very effective in Iraq." In the interview, he described one well-known defector, Khidhir Hamza, a nuclear scientist who participated in Iraq's secret nuclear weapons program, as "a professional liar."

© 2003 The Washington Post Company

Boston Globe
http://www.boston.com/dailyglobe2/060/nation/UN_CIA_don_t_accept_Hussein_kin_s_95_claimP.shtml

WEAPONS DESTRUCTION - UN, CIA don't accept Hussein kin's '95 claim  

By John Donnelly, Globe Staff, 3/1/2003

WASHINGTON -- The late son-in-law of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein told UN weapons inspectors in 1995 that Iraq had destroyed all of its pre-Gulf War stock of chemical and biological weapons, which antiwar activists say suggests that US and British claims about those deadly arsenals are false.

However, former UN weapons inspectors and CIA officers say that Hussein Kamel's statement, first reported this week by Newsweek, has no bearing on what Iraq may have produced since 1995, including a period between late 1998 and late 2002 when no inspectors were in the country.

In a three-hour debriefing on Aug. 22, 1995, in Amman, Jordan, Kamel met with three top UN weapons inspectors, including then UNSCOM director Rolf Ekeus, and told them, ''All chemical weapons were destroyed. I ordered destruction of all chemical weapons. All weapons -- biological, chemical, missile, nuclear -- were destroyed.''

Kamel, who ran Iraq's weapons of mass destruction programs for a decade, was slain when he returned to Baghdad. His comments referred to stocks kept by Iraq prior to the 1991 war, according to the 15-page UN document marked ''sensitive.'' During the meeting, he told senior UNSCOM official Nikita Smidovich that the destruction began during the first month of inspections in 1991. 

Patrick Eddington, who was a CIA analyst working on Iraq issues until 1996, said he was aware of Kamel's claim at that time. US and British intelligence agents also debriefed Kamel, whose dreams of returning to Iraq as a replacement for Saddam Hussein evaporated after the United States offered no support.''You can be certain that what he said was known at the highest levels of the Clinton administration,'' Eddington said yesterday. ''But did I believe Iraq had nothing left in the way of a finished nerve agent? No. I never bought that. For one thing, look at the pattern of deception and denial on behalf of many of the defectors.''

Yet, Kamel is still cited by senior Bush administration officials, including Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, as being perhaps the most important high-ranking Iraqi defector ever to abandon Saddam Hussein. Kamel's defection spooked Iraqi officials so much that after he left Baghdad they dug up his chicken farm and turned over to the inspectors literally tons of buried documents on its secret weapons programs.

Jonathan B. Tucker, a biological weapons inspector for UNSCOM in 1995 and now a senior fellow at the United States Institute of Peace in Washington, said that Kamel's claim that Iraq destroyed known quantities of chemical and biological weapons ''sounds like a plausible strategy. . . . They had made a slurry of anthrax, for instance, that doesn't have a long shelf life anyway.''

But Tucker added, ''It doesn't let Iraq off the hook, by any means. If true, and that's a big if, it would simply mean that Iraq destroyed its pre-'91 stocks, and had retained the ability to reconstitute them at any time. We don't know what they did after 1995, and it's very possible when the inspectors were out of the country, they reconstituted some of their stocks.''

A US official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that Kamel's statements should be considered false because ''in the period between 1991 and 1994, the UN was finding and destroying chemical and biological weapons in Iraq.''

Seth Ackerman, contributing writer with FAIR, a media watchdog group, said those discoveries don't undermine Kamel's story. ''Everyone in the room at that meeting in Amman knows they are talking about the concealed weapons that were still unaccountable,'' Ackerman said.

Ackerman said that if Kamel's statements are true, then US and British claims of vast pre-1991 stockpiles of anthrax, VX gas, and aflatoxin, among others, are erroneous.

He said Kamel's statement also calls into question the larger issue of whether UN inspections work in containing Iraq. Even though numerous UN weapons inspectors have spoken about repeated Iraqi deceptions during the inspections from 1991 to 1998, Kamel told the three UN officials in August 1995 that the process was having an important effect.

''You have [an] important role in Iraq,'' he said, according to a transcript of the meeting. ''You should not underestimate yourself.''

Ackerman also pointed out that the Associated Press quoted Ekeus as telling a Harvard event in 2000, ''I would say that we felt that in all areas we have eliminated Iraq's capabilities fundamentally.''

Ekeus, who is now based in Stockholm and The Hague, could not be reached for comment.  

John Donnelly can be reached at donnelly@globe.com  

This story ran on page A12 of the Boston Globe on 3/1/2003.

© Copyright 2003 Globe Newspaper Company.