News Release

Interviews Available on Weapons of Mass Destruction: * Iraq * Hiroshima


Ritter, who was a chief UN weapons inspector in Iraq, is available for limited interviews. When asked by the Institute for Public Accuracy if he would be willing to go to Iraq with members of Congress, Ritter said he would consider such an option. He said today: “The offer by Iraq for members of Congress to go to Iraq is a positive one. Certainly, Congress doesn’t do inspections, but there should be a dialogue between members of Congress and the Iraqis. The U.S. government response highlights the fact that it isn’t interested in disarmament; it openly states that ousting Saddam Hussein is more important than ensuring that Iraq does not have weapons of mass destruction. The Iraqis are making it clear they want to play ball. The U.S. is currently president of the UN Security Council; but rather than pursuing the proposals from Iraq, it has sabotaged them….” (On CNN on Sunday, former UNSCOM head Richard Butler claimed: “When they [the Iraqis] threw UNSCOM out, we furnished a final report…” But Ritter said today: “UNSCOM was not thrown out in the end, rather Butler withdrew it to make way for the bombing campaign Desert Fox.”) Ritter is the author of Endgame: Solving the Iraqi Problem Once and For All.

Bennis is a fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies and co-editor of Beyond the Storm: A Gulf Crisis Reader. She accompanied the first and only Congressional staff delegation to Iraq in 1999.
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Coordinator of Voices in the Wilderness, which challenges the economic sanctions against Iraq, Kelly is one of seven people who have begun a 40-day fast, across from the U.S. mission to the UN, which will end on Sept. 11. Today marks the 57th anniversary of the U.S. atomic attack on Hiroshima and 12 years of the U.S.-led embargo on Iraq. The anniversary of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki is on Friday.

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A widely noted historian who has authored numerous books including A People’s History of the United States and the recent Terrorism and War, Zinn was a bombardier during World War II. He said today: “The administration talks about hitting ‘military targets’ but that phrase is so loose that President Truman, after an atomic bomb obliterated the population of Hiroshima, said: ‘The world will note that the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, a military base.’…. The bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki did not forestall an invasion of Japan, because no invasion was necessary. The Japanese were on the verge of surrender, and American military leaders knew that…. The administration is now planning for a massive bombing campaign on Iraq and we know that this will mean that more Iraqi children, women and men will die….”
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Nobile is the editor of the book Judgment at the Smithsonian, which reprinted the banned script of the Smithsonian’s 50th anniversary exhibit of the Enola Gay.
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; David Zupan, (541) 484-9167