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 Blogs have been consolidated and the calendar has been archived for security reasons; all other links remain the same, and virtually all blog content remains intact.THIS SITE NO LONGER REFLECTS THE CURRENT AND ONGOING WORK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.
See International Press Conference with Scott Ritter and download mp3
on July 9 at Traprock Peace Center
Or, listen in REALAUDIO
See related resources on Home Page and
history of Traprock's educational campaign with Scott Ritter
Scott Ritter on CNN Wolf Blitzer Reports
Tenet Comes Under Fire for Faulty Intelligence
Interview on July 11, aired at 17:00 ET
[CNN NOTE] THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
http://www.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0307/11/wbr.00.html follow link to see entire program. Exept with Scott Ritter follows:
[BLITZER:] Let's focus some more on the controversy and the continuing hunt for Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. Joining us now from Albany, New York, the former U.N. weapons inspector Scott Ritter. He's also the author of a new book just about to come out entitled "Frontier Justice: WMD and the Bushwhacking of America."
No great surprise there, Scott, what you're going to tell us. But tell us right now what you think of this uproar here in Washington over how this one line got into the president's speech? Is it just an honest mistake that happened?
SCOTT RITTER, FORMER U.N. WEAPONS INSPECTOR: No, it's not an honest mistake. It's part of a larger effort of deception that was, you know, taken by the president, by his administration in regards to justifying this war with Iraq. It's not just the nuclear issue, although that's the one that got the majority of the senators and congressmen to change their vote back in October to support this war. It's about chemical weapons, biological weapons, the entire case that was made that Iraq has an ongoing program dedicated to manufacturing and concealing weapons of mass destruction that threaten the security.
BLITZER: But Scott, reference to the nuclear sale, if you will, of uranium from Niger to Iraq, that occurred in January after the October vote. So it wasn't specifically designed to get senators and congressmen to support the resolution.
RITTER: Will, actually, Wolf, you're wrong on that one. That piece of information, that intelligence was peddled by the CIA, in behind the door briefings, two senators and congressmen in late September, 2002, and it was that information amongst others, including the now what we know to be fraudulent claim that aluminum tubes were going to be used in a centrifuge program, that got many senators, including Dianne Feinstein, who sits on the Intelligence Services Committee or sat on the committee to change their vote. So it was just part and parcel of a larger problem.
BLITZER: Yes, but I was suggesting that the State of the Union address came after the congressional votes in the House and the Senate.
RITTER: Well, the State of the Union address is when the president made his case to the American people, and he perpetrated the fraud to the American people at that time. But this fraud was perpetrated to Congress back in September using the same information. So, you know, this is -- this is a very broad-based issue that needs to be delved into.
BLITZER: Let's get right to the issue at hand, though. Do you have any doubt that Saddam Hussein would have loved to reconstitute his nuclear weapons program?
RITTER: Well, you know, now, you're getting into speculation. What I have said is we have no evidence that Saddam Hussein was reconstituting the nuclear weapons program. And I tend to believe that (UNINTELLIGIBLE).
BLITZER: Wait a minute, wait a minute. What about the equipment that was just discovered the other day buried in the backyard of a former Iraqi nuclear scientist that had been buried there since before the first war? They were supposed to give all that stuff up, as you well know, as a result of the cease-fire? RITTER: You're right on one point. As I well know. I led the investigation into Mahdi Obeidi. I interviewed him for many hours, looking for just this material. In fact, had the United States not pulled the plug on the inspections I was trying to carry out in August 1998, we had plans to go to Obeidi's house with ground-penetrating radar, to look for this material.
But I believe you'll find that when you dig deeper into the Obeidi case, he's not telling the whole truth. Obeidi kept that material on his own volition. Qusay and the security services, you know, didn't hand it out. And the bottom line is, it's components of a nonexistent program. Nobody is trying to make the case that what Obeidi had is representative of anything that represents a viable nuclear weapons program worthy of war.
BLITZER: But that was a violation of what the U.N. -- the U.N. cease-fires had called for, hiding that equipment underground.
RITTER: First of all, it's not equipment. It's components. It doesn't constitute a viable centrifuge or centrifuge array (ph), and it's not part of a larger program. Obeidi was in violation for maintaining this. Does the fact that he maintained it represent a larger effort by the Iraqi government? We won't know until the investigation is carried out.
But what I'm telling you is based upon my investigation, which went on for many months and involved dozens of hours. Obeidi did this on his own. This wasn't something that ...
BLITZER: But Scott, you know the Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein. You lived there, you talked to these people. Did anything happen like that of a nature like that, Obeidi doing this on his own without getting approval or someone asking him keep this quiet? That was such a brutal regime. The guy wouldn't have had the guts to do that on his own?
RITTER: Actually, again, Wolf, you're wrong. We have several cases of Iraqi scientists who were very proud of the work they did. Remember, Obeidi was competing with Dr. Diah Jaffar Al-Jaffar (ph) over, you know, who was going to be the first to enrich uranium. He was proud of this program, and when he was ordered to turn it over, I think he maintained these components and these blueprints of his own volition, in a very similar manner that Iraqi scientists responsible for designing guidance and control equipment did the exact same thing.
BLITZER: One final question before I let you go, Scott. The two trailers, the semitrailers, the trucks they found that a lot of U.S. intelligence officials believe could only have been used to develop biological weapons, biological warfare, I don't know if you've had a chance to even examine those reports, but what do you make of that evidence?
RITTER: Again, it's not evidence of anything, Wolf. British experts who are very familiar with the Marconi hydrogen generation equipment sold to Iraq in the 1980s have reviewed these laboratories and says it is an exact replication of that. There's only one thing those labs could do, that is to produce hydrogen for weather balloons. Biological experts, who know about manufacturing biological agents say, you can not produce biological agent there.
So the president again has misled the American public and indeed the world. When, a month ago, he was in Poland and said, the fact that we had these two labs is proof that we have weapons of mass destruction. It's proof of nothing more than the president has mislead, has fabricated, we don't have a weapons of mass destruction program in Iraq to justify this war. What we have is a quagmire with Americans dying on almost a daily basis and no end in site.
BLITZER: Scott Ritter has got a new book coming out, I believe, next week "Frontier Justice: WMD and the Bushwhacking of America". We'll talk when the book comes out again. Thanks, Scott, very much.
RITTER: Thank you.
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