News Release

Iraq: What’s Missing From the Hearings?

As the Senate Foreign Relations Committee continues to hear testimony from the individuals it has selected, the following analysts are available for interviews:

PHYLLIS BENNIS
Bennis is a fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies and co-editor of Beyond the Storm: A Gulf Crisis Reader. Her testimony was put in the Congressional Record on Wednesday; she was not asked to testify.
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KATHY KELLY
Coordinator of Voices in the Wilderness, a group which has challenged the economic sanctions against Iraq, Kelly has been to that country over a dozen times, most recently in June. She will be in New York City after 1 p.m. on Thursday.
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SCOTT RITTER
Ritter, who was a chief UN weapons inspector in Iraq, is the author of Endgame: Solving the Iraqi Problem Once and For All.
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HANS VON SPONECK
As a former UN Assistant Secretary General, Von Sponeck headed the UN “oil-for-food” program until he resigned two years ago in protest over the continued sanctions. He was in Iraq in July.
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JIM JENNINGS
President of Conscience International, a humanitarian aid organization, Jennings has led medical and public health workshops in Iraqi hospitals since 1991, training 500 Iraqi doctors and nurses in child survival techniques. He said today: “Any new war with Iraq would only bring a fresh humanitarian catastrophe. We are still dealing with the devastating effects of the last war and the subsequent harsh embargo on vulnerable women, children, and the aged. Since the Gulf War, the death rate for children under age 5 in Iraq has risen from 56 per thousand to 131 per thousand. One in every eight Iraqi children dies before his or her first birthday. Sixty percent of mothers are anemic, and one child in three suffers from chronic malnutrition. The incidence of childhood cancer and leukemia has more than tripled in the Basra governorate…”
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RAHUL MAHAJAN
Mahajan is author of The New Crusade: America’s War on Terrorism and the forthcoming Desert Deception: Myths and Realities About the War on Iraq. Mahajan said today: “Myths impede discussion about Iraq. Myths like: The economic sanctions would be lifted if only Iraq had complied with the weapons inspectors. (The U.S. government repeatedly stated the sanctions would continue regardless.) Myths like: Inspectors are not in Iraq because Iraq kicked them out in December of 1998. (Actually they were withdrawn by UNSCOM head Richard Butler, just before the Desert Fox bombing campaign.) It was also under Butler’s watch that inspectors were used for espionage, something many have forgotten about. Also, the Pentagon continues to bomb Iraq about once a week in the ‘no-fly’ zones. These hearings add more layers of myth instead of unraveling them.”
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; David Zupan, (541) 484-9167