News Release

Powell Cited Sham “Fine Paper”


“My colleagues, every statement I make today is backed up by sources, solid sources. These are not assertions. What we are giving you are facts and conclusions based on solid intelligence…

“I would call my colleagues’ attention to the fine paper that the United Kingdom distributed yesterday which describes in exquisite detail Iraqi deception activities.”

— Secretary of State Colin Powell to the United Nations Security Council, Feb. 5

Rangwala is a lecturer in politics at Cambridge University in Britain. He has written a report: “A First Response to Secretary Colin Powell’s Presentation Concerning Iraq” which takes issue with many of Powell’s assertions.

In his analysis of Powell’s claims, Rangwala found that substantial portions of “the fine paper that the United Kingdom distributed yesterday” referred to by Powell on Wednesday before the Council (entitled “Iraq: Its Infrastructure Of Concealment, Deception And Intimidation”) were plagiarized from pre-existing sources including a paper by a postgraduate student, Ibrahim Al-Marashi, in California. Rangwala noted: “It’s quite striking that even Al-Marashi’s typographical errors and anomalous uses of grammar are incorporated into the Blair government document. Al-Marashi has confirmed to me that his permission was not sought; in fact, he didn’t even know about the British document until I mentioned it to him…. None of the sources [in the Blair government document] are acknowledged, leading the reader to believe it is a result of direct investigative work, rather than simply copied from pre-existing Internet sources.”
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Author of the book War on Iraq: What Team Bush Doesn’t Want You to Know, Pitt said today: “An analysis of the footnotes for the Al-Marashi essay clearly demonstrates that his work was meant to describe Iraq’s intelligence apparatus and military situation in the 1990s. The British dossier was presented as an up-to-date report on the status of Iraq’s weapons and terrorist ties…. Between other questionable sources and the unreliable data from the British, it seems all too clear that Powell’s presentation was based upon information that is questionable to say the least.”
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Professor of international law at Ohio State University, Quigley said today: “The U.S. has presented information to the Security Council on war and peace issues that later turned out to be false….”

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167