America Tore Out 8000 Pages of Iraq Dossier

  • From: "muslim-news.net" <muslim_affairs@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: news@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 25 Dec 2002 17:21:51 +0000 (GMT)

The United States edited out more than 8000 crucial
pages of Iraq's 11,800-page dossier on weapons, before
passing on a sanitized version to the 10 non-permanent
members of the United Nations security council. 

The full extent of Washington's complete control over
who sees what in the crucial Iraqi dossier calls into
question the allegations made by US Secretary of State
Colin Powell that 'omissions' in the document
constituted a 'material breach' of the latest UN
resolution on Iraq. 

Last week, Secretary General of the UN Kofi Annan
accepted that it was 'unfortunate' that his
organization had allowed the US to take the only
complete dossier and edit it. He admitted 'the
approach and style were wrong' and Norway, a member of
the security council, says it is being treated like a
'second-class country'. 

Although Powell called the Iraqi dossier a 'catalogue
of recycled information and flagrant omissions', the
non-permanent members of the security council will
have no way of testing the US claims for themselves.
This will be crucial if the US and the UK go back to
the security council seeking explicit authorization
for war on Iraq if breaches of resolution 1441 are
confirmed when the weapons inspectors -- this weekend
investigating 10 sites in Iraq, including an oil
refinery south of Baghdad -- deliver their report to
the UN next month. 

A UN source in New York said: 'The questions being
asked are valid. What did the US take out? And if
weapons inspectors are supposed to be checking against
the dossier's content, how can any future claim be
verified. In effect the US is saying trust us, and
there are many who just will not.' 

Current and former UN diplomats are said to be livid
at what some have called the 'theft' of the Iraqi
document by the US. Hans von Sponeck, the former
assistant general secretary of the UN and the UN's
humanitarian co- ordinator in Iraq until 2000, said:
'This is an outrageous attempt by the US to mislead.' 

Although the five permanent members of the security
council -- the US, the UK, France, China and Russia --
have had access to the complete version, there was
agreement that the US be allowed to edit the dossier
on the ground that its contents were 'risky' in terms
of security on weapons proliferation. 

Yesterday, US President George W Bush announced that a
planned trip to several African countries, scheduled
for January, had been canceled. As he gave the
go-ahead to double the current 50,000 US troops
deployed in the Gulf by early January, he used his
weekly radio address to say that 'the men and women in
the [US] military, many of whom will spend Christmas
at posts and bases far from home' were the only thing
that stood between 'Americans and grave danger'. 

An equally pessimistic view of the immediate future
came from the Vatican. Pope John Paul II promised the
Catholic church would not cease to have its voice
heard and would offer prayers 'in the face of this
horizon bathed in blood'. 

Despite the prayers, the US military isn't expecting
peace. Yesterday, General Richard Myers, chairman of
the US joint chiefs of staff, was asked if US forces
were ready if called upon immediately. General Myers
simply said: 'You bet.' 

The language coming from Baghdad was equally gung ho.
The Iraqi newspaper Babel, owned by Saddam Hussein's
eldest son Uday, likened US and UK political leaders
to ruthless Mongol conquerors of the past. 

Source:  SMG Sunday

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