News Release

Bush & Blair & Bolton & Bustani: “War-Gate”?

GLEN RANGWALA
A lecturer in politics at Cambridge University, Rangwala is a leading expert on U.S. and British policy toward Iraq. He said today: “A series of leaked documents from March to July 2002 originating from the highest levels of the British government demonstrate the extent to which senior members of the U.S. government were telling their British counterparts that they wanted a war on Iraq. This was in direct contrast to what both President Bush and Prime Minister Blair were saying in public, and demonstrates the extent to which the two leaders have collaborated in perpetrating a widespread fraud over the past three years. More revelations about their deceit are likely to come to light. Neither of them will recover their credibility.”

GEORGE MONBIOT
A recent AP piece titled “Bolton Said to Orchestrate Unlawful Firing” reported that John R. Bolton, whose nomination as U.S. ambassador to the UN the Senate is expected to vote on this week, “flew to Europe in 2002 to confront the head of a global arms-control agency and demand he resign, then orchestrated the firing of the unwilling diplomat in a move a UN tribunal has since judged unlawful, according to officials involved.”

Monbiot was quoted in an April 24, 2002, news release from the Institute for Public Accuracy titled “Chemical Weapons Agency ‘Coup’?” about the ouster of the head of that global arms-control agency, Jose Bustani, who headed up the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. Monbiot said today: “It’s now utterly obvious that the decision to go to war had been made first and then excuses for that war were to be found. Anyone who stood in the way of that war was treated as a threat. Bolton led the charge to oust Bustani because Bustani had devised non-violent means of inspecting and decommissioning Saddam Hussein’s supposed chemical weapons. Bustani’s ‘crime’ was to find a peaceful solution. Bustani was in a very good position to do inspections in Iraq since his organization was not tainted with the U.S. having used UNSCOM for espionage in the 1990s.

“Bustani proposed that the OPCW could be used for dealing with any Iraqi weapons. Bustani proposed a solution to a problem the U.S. and U.K. didn’t want solved. Not only did Bush, Bolton and company clearly want war — they viciously went after anyone who stood in their way.”
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IAN WILLIAMS
Author of the book UN for Beginners, Williams was also quoted in the April 24, 2002, IPA news release, naming Bolton as the U.S. official ousting Bustani at the time: “The administration accused Bustani of ‘ongoing financial mismanagement, demoralization of the Technical Secretariat staff, and ill-considered initiatives.’ The main accuser is John Bolton, Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security. Bolton used to be the in-house UN-basher for the right-wing Heritage Foundation…. Ironically for someone who spent years saying that the U.S. should get out of the United Nations, Bolton was recently revealed as taking money from Taiwan to advise them on how to get into the organization…. Bustani’s biggest ‘crime’ was trying to persuade Iraq to sign the [chemical arms] convention, which could mean that OPCW [Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons] inspectors would inspect Iraqi facilities.”

Williams said today: “Bolton going after Bustani was actually just part of a hit-list of people at the UN that the U.S. government went after, including Peter Hansen, who was head of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees but was squeezed out because he complained about the Israeli Occupation harassment of his staff, and recently added to the list was Professor Cherif Bassiouni, who was the UN’s top human rights investigator in Afghanistan, because he spoke out against illegal U.S. detentions and torture there.”
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167