News Release

Who Was Right About Iraqi WMDs? Why? What Now?

IMAD KHADDURI
Khadduri worked on the Iraq nuclear weapons program beginning in 1981. In November 2002, Khadduri wrote the article “Iraq’s Nuclear Non-Capability” in which he commented: “Bush and Blair are pulling their public by the nose” with “their hollow patriotic egging on.” He is author of the book Iraq’s Nuclear Mirage: Memoirs and Delusions. He said today: “I did work on the Iraqi nuclear weapons program before it ended during the first Gulf War in 1991. From 1991 to 1998 I participated in work related to the inspection teams, we submitted our final report, which was a complete history of the Iraqi nuclear program, in 1998 to the International Atomic Energy Agency. It was only then I could leave Iraq. The Iraqi nuclear weapons program began right after Israel bombed the Iraqi reactor in 1981. I worked on the program because my country had a right to defend itself — from Israel and, as we have seen, from the U.S., or possibly Iran. Look at North Korea, their nuclear capacity is likely what is protecting them from an attack by the U.S.”
More Information

MORDECHAI VANUNU
Vanunu, who worked at Israel’s Dimona nuclear facility, revealed Israel’s nuclear capacity in 1986. He said today: “Now we hope that Bush can see his mistake and see the real nuclear state in the Mideast — Israel. That is where the nuclear weapons are in the Mideast. I was imprisoned for 18 years for trying to show this truth to the world. Israel is still trying to silence me, and trying to prevent me from going to the U.S. They do not want this truth to be widely known.” Vanunu is available for media interviews. He has been indicted by the Israeli government for speaking to media. His court date is April 6.
More Information

JAMES JENNINGS
President of Conscience International, based near Atlanta, Jennings made numerous humanitarian trips to Iraq between 1991 and 2003. In a Conscience International news release on August 16, 2002, he stated: “Proponents of the war must prove three things: that Iraq has WMD; that Iraq has weaponized these systems; and that Iraq has the capability to deliver them. None of these things are true. Iraq has no nuclear weapons, having been certified as nuclear free by the IAEA and international agencies. UNSCOM claims to have destroyed Iraq’s chemical weapons capacity by 1994. Scott Ritter, the former UNSCOM chief weapons inspector, stoutly denies that Iraq is a military threat, saying that Iraq has been ‘qualitatively disarmed.’ Even the Pentagon does not seriously allege that Iraq possesses a significant missile capability. Yet the war hawks keep urging Mr. Bush to attack Iraq with hugely destructive armaments, including 5,000 lb. bombs, which, when dropped on mud villages, as in Afghanistan, can certainly be described as true weapons of mass destruction.” Jennings was featured on an IPA news release, “Bush’s War Case: Fiction vs. Facts at Accuracy.org/bush, on October 9, 2002.
More Information

JOHN R. MACARTHUR
On October 28, 2002, MacArthur wrote the article “Sounds Fishy, Mr. President: To Drum Up Rage Against Iraq, Bush Senior and Junior Have Been Known to Tell Tall Tales.” He is author of the book Second Front: Censorship and Propaganda in the Gulf War. In December 2002, MacArthur was quoted on an IPA news release: “Recently, Bush cited an IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency] report that Iraq was ‘six months away from developing a [nuclear] weapon. I don’t know what more evidence we need.’ The IAEA responded that not only was there no new report, ‘there’s never been a report’ asserting that Iraq was six months away from constructing a nuclear weapon….” MacArthur said today: “From the beginning of the ‘marketing campaign’ for invasion in the fall of 2002, we knew that the administration was fabricating evidence for war.”
More Information
More Information

RAHUL MAHAJAN
Currently in New York City, Mahajan is author of the book Full Spectrum Dominance: U.S. Power in Iraq and Beyond. He said today: “The WMD commission has done the job it was created for: shifting blame from the Bush administration’s drive to war regardless of the facts to supposed ‘faulty intelligence’ gathered by agencies like the CIA, an organization the Bush administration wants to dismantle and remake in its own image.

“It didn’t take in-depth investigation to see the pattern of deception by the administration on Iraq’s WMD. We had Colin Powell showing an artist’s rendition of what an Iraqi unmanned aerial vehicle might look like; Bush’s insistence that said UAV’s, with a claimed range of several hundred miles, were to be used to ‘target’ the United States; Dick Cheney’s frequent claims about Iraq’s nuclear programs in the face of incontrovertible evidence to the contrary; and, underlying it all, the constant insinuation that the U.S. government had access to deep sources of information unavailable to anyone else, when the Duelfer report clearly showed that U.N. weapons inspectors were almost the only source of information the United States had.

“The commission blamed intelligence agencies for ‘attention-grabbing headlines’ that putatively pushed the administration to war; the same administration was not even moved to end vacations of top officials by the [memo] headline, ‘Bin Laden Determined to Attack Inside the United States.’

“The commission’s finding that intelligence operatives experienced no undue political pressure to distort their findings is completely inconsistent with numerous earlier reports, like claims made by ex-CIA counterterrorism chief Vincent Cannistraro as early as the fall of 2002 that ‘cooked’ information was finding its way to the top. The recommendations the commission has made will unfortunately do little good unless the underlying reasons behind the administration’s drive to war are addressed.” Mahajan was featured on an IPA news release just before the invasion of Iraq, “White House Claims: A Pattern of Deceit,” March 18, 2003.
More Information

JOHN STAUBER
Co-author of the book Weapons of Mass Deception: The Uses of Propaganda in Bush’s War on Iraq (July 2003), Stauber said today: “It’s a ruse to blame the CIA for the disaster in Iraq. The Bush administration deceived and lied the nation into attacking Iraq, cynically exploiting the terrorism of 9/11 to launch a war long on the agenda of neocons including Cheney and Wolfowitz. Bush’s pro-war propaganda worked so well that even today more than half of all Americans wrongly believe that Saddam had WMDs and was behind 9/11. … Big Lies continue. This administration has produced hundreds of fake news stories that have been aired on TV across the country as news, constituting what the GAO, the investigative arm of Congress, calls illegal ‘covert propaganda.'” Stauber is executive director of the Center for Media and Democracy.
More Information
More Information

FRANCIS BOYLE
Professor of international law at the University of Illinois, in October of 2002 Boyle launched a campaign to impeach Bush. He said today: “The Bush administration was lying about WMD in Iraq right from the get-go, and those of us in the American peace movement were saying so at the time, beginning as of late August in 2002 when Vice President Cheney went public with these absurd charges for the express purpose of mongering for war with the American people and the U.S. Congress. … Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Rice are now desperately trying to have U.S. intelligence agencies take the fall….”
More Information

Further background from the Institute for Public Accuracy:

U.S. Credibility Problems,” February 10, 2003

Tough Questions for Bush on Iraq Tonight,” March 6, 2003
“Considering that the U.S. government has based its case for war against Iraq on a non-existent IAEA report, a plagiarized dossier, non-existent Iraq-Al’Qaida link, and twisting of the words of Saddam’s late son-in-law Hussein Kamel (see the March 3 [2003] Newsweek for background information), what evidence can you offer to support your claim that Iraq represents a threat to the world today?”
More Information

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020