Iraqi Officer Identifies Himself as Source of 45-Minute Claim on Saddam's Arms

Discussion in 'Middle East - General' started by Lefty Wilbury, Dec 6, 2003.

  1. Lefty Wilbury
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    Lefty Wilbury Active Member

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    http://ap.tbo.com/ap/breaking/MGA8JJILWND.html

    Iraqi Officer Identifies Himself as Source of 45-Minute Claim on Saddam's Arms, Newspaper Says
    By Michael McDonough Associated Press Writer
    Published: Dec 6, 2003


    LONDON (AP) - An Iraqi officer has identified himself as the source for a British claim about Saddam Hussein's weapons that sparked a controversy marked by the death of a British government arms expert, a newspaper reported Sunday.

    The Sunday Telegraph said Lt. Col. al-Dabbagh identified himself as the source for the British government's assertion that Iraq could have deployed chemical or biological weapons of mass destruction within 45 minutes of a decision to do so. The paper gave the officer's surname only, citing fears for his safety if he was fully identified.

    Prime Minister Tony Blair's office declined to comment on the newspaper report, which was featured in early editions published late Saturday.

    "We're not prepared to comment but we urge all those involved to provide the Iraq Survey Group with whatever information they believe they have," a spokeswoman for Blair's office said on customary condition of anonymity. The ISG is the coalition body searching for Saddam's alleged chemical or biological weapons.

    The 45-minute claim was in a government dossier published in September 2002. A British Broadcasting Corp. report later accused the government of "sexing up" the dossier to make a more convincing case for military action. Government weapons adviser David Kelly apparently committed suicide in July after being identified as the source for the BBC report.

    Kelly's death prompted a judicial inquiry that scrutinized the workings of Blair's government and its use of intelligence in the buildup to the U.S.-led war. A report from the inquiry is expected early next year.

    The Sunday Telegraph reported that al-Dabbagh was the former head of an Iraqi air defense unit in the country's western desert. It said he had spied for the Iraqi National Accord, a London-based exile group, and provided reports to British intelligence from early 2002 on Saddam's plans to deploy weapons of mass destruction.

    Al-Dabbagh said cases containing chemical or biological warheads were delivered to front-line units, including his own, in late 2002, the paper reported. He said they were designed to be launched by hand-held rocket-propelled grenades, and did not know what exactly the warheads contained.

    The government's September dossier said that "Iraq's military forces are able to use chemical and biological weapons, with command, control and logistical arrangements in place. The Iraqi military are able to deploy these weapons within 45 minutes of a decision to do so."

    The head of the MI6 spy agency, Sir Richard Dearlove, told the inquiry into Kelly's death that the 45-minute warning in the dossier came from an "established and reliable source," quoting a senior Iraqi military officer who was in a position to know the information.

    The Sunday Telegraph said al-Dabbagh believed he was the source for that claim.

    "I am the one responsible for providing this information," he was quoted as saying. "It is 100 percent accurate.

    "Forget 45 minutes, we could have fired these within half an hour," al-Dabbagh added. He said the weapons were not used because most of the Iraqi army did not want to fight for Saddam.


    The newspaper said al-Dabbagh works as an adviser to the Iraqi Governing Council and said he has received death threats from Saddam loyalists.

    It reported that Iyad Allawi, the head of the Iraqi National Accord and a prominent council member, confirmed that he had passed information from al-Dabbagh on Saddam's weapons to British and American intelligence officials in the spring and summer of 2002.

    AP-ES-12-06-03 2327EST
     
  2. jimnyc
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    jimnyc ...

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    His word doesn't support the liberals claims. He'll be dismissed as unreliable information.

    Hogwash. Whether they were actually in the warheads or not doesn't matter, it's still a threat. That threat has been removed.
     
  3. DKSuddeth
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    DKSuddeth Senior Member

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    not necessarily, but you can't prove anything without evidence, just like you can't disprove anything simply because it doesn't exist. The question of WMD's is still very much in the air.

    No threat has been removed, in fact, i'd say that there is more threat now than ever before. Take a look at whats happening over there. These 'insurgents' aren't necessarily fighting for hussein anymore, they are fighting for themselves. we still don't know where those weapons are at. Now, what is going to happen if whoever has any of these chem weapons decides to put one in a rocket and launch it at our troops now?

    The threat is even greater now than before the war started.
     
  4. jimnyc
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    jimnyc ...

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    It doesn't matter. Their was plenty of intelligence, and now proof that they had information straight from an Iraqi officer. You move to eliminate the possible threat.

    Sure the threat has been removed, that's why these people are FREE to choose how things will proceed. They are now fighting for how the next stage of their lives will be - something they were not allowed to do under Saddam. The threat to the Iraqi citizens is now gone. They may feel 'threatened' by the US occupation, but they aren't being lined up for graves any longer. You said "they are fighting for themselves" - that alone is a huge improvement for the people.

    That's exactly why the searches are continuing and the occupation still exists. Of course the possibility exists that a terrorist may try to use WMD on our troops, but that would be a fatal mistake for all and they know it. Not to mention that would shift the worlds opinion of the occupation in our favor.

    For who? The law abiding Iraqi citizens? All the interviews and polls I read suggested that they are happy to be liberated and feel safer, but they want the USA to leave. They feel threatened, but not for their lives.

    The USA? I feel safer already. They are digging in deeper and deeper against terrorism, and I'm confident in our ability to deter such action again.

    The troops are threatened daily in Iraq, but that's exactly what they trained for. I'm quite sure they are even prepared should chemical weapons be used against them. It's a different war now than it was in March, but the threat is no higher. The beginning stages of the war relied on the Air Forces. There will always be increased casualties when you set foot on the ground. If the threat should rise, they will revert to help from above where they cannot be beat. The US is fighting a ground war in hopes to root out individuals and save Iraqi lives. Don't think they won't call in the air support if things get worse.
     
  5. dijetlo
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    He is an unreliable informer. His claims were never substantiated with the recovery of any of the Chem/Bio RPG rounds he claims to have recieved.
    " Lt. Col. al-Dabbagh identified himself"
    He may or may not have been the source of the 45-minute claim. MI6 didn't finger him.
    One reason that his story seems a little far fetched, look at what he did for a living.
    " was the former head of an Iraqi air defense unit"
    Why would he have had these weapons? Was he going to fire them at airplanes? AD sits well behind the lines, in the US army at least a couple of clicks back from the FEBA.
    "He said they were designed to be launched by hand-held rocket-propelled grenades,"
    The range on a RPG round is about 300 meters
    " and did not know what exactly the warheads contained. "
    If he didn't know what was in the warheads, how does he know they were anything other than Semtex and C4?
    "He said the weapons were not used because most of the Iraqi army did not want to fight for Saddam. "
    The remnants of the army seem intent on fighting with us now, why do you suppose they aren't using these weapons now that we are in garrison and they could be used to their maximum effectivesness?
    If there really are WMD RPGs' we haven't found them, so the threat hasn't actually been removed, if it ever existed. In the US, the only WMD a M-79/M-203 fires is tear gas, because the range for the weapon is so short that "blowback" from the round almost always effects friendly troops.
    If the Lt, Colonel is telling the truth, this is a good example of poor analysis. Someone told him these were WMD rounds, and he beleived it. Why didn't he grab one and slip it out for chemical analysis, he was after all a spy for the Iraqi resistance to Hussein? Without some type of independant confirmation, we end up with a muddle that stinks of fabrication. Any wonder the CIA didn't buy that report?
     
  6. jimnyc
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    jimnyc ...

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    Predictable! :laugh:

    If I tell you I am going to shoot you in your head, is that a threat even if no gun is ever found? Bet your bottom dollar I'll still get charged too.

    Like I said, the liberals will dismiss hundreds of reasons individually for why the US invaded Iraq. Bottom line is that the reasons totalled can't be dismissed, invasion was warranted, and we did.
     
  7. Lefty Wilbury
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    Lefty Wilbury Active Member

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    here's the full article. it should answer any questions.

    Revealed: the Iraqi colonel who told MI6 that Saddam could launch WMD within 45 minutes

    Revealed: the Iraqi colonel who told MI6 that Saddam could launch WMD within 45 minutes
    By Con Coughlin
    (Filed: 07/12/2003)


    An Iraqi colonel who commanded a front-line unit during the build-up to the war in Iraq has revealed how he passed top secret information to British intelligence warning that Saddam Hussein had deployed weapons of mass destruction that could be used on the battlefield against coalition troops in less than 45 minutes.

    Lt-Col al-Dabbagh, 40, who was the head of an Iraqi air defence unit in the western desert, said that cases containing WMD warheads were delivered to front-line units, including his own, towards the end of last year.

    He said they were to be used by Saddam's Fedayeen paramilitaries and units of the Special Republican Guard when the war with coalition troops reached "a critical stage".

    The containers, which came from a number of factories on the outskirts of Baghdad, were delivered to the army by the Fedayeen and were distributed to the front-line units under cover of darkness.


    In an exclusive interview with the Telegraph, Col al-Dabbagh said that he believed he was the source of the British Government's controversial claim, published in September last year in the intelligence dossier on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, that Saddam could launch WMD within 45 minutes.

    "I am the one responsible for providing this information," said the colonel, who is now working as an adviser to Iraq's Governing Council.

    He also insisted that the information contained in the dossier relating to Saddam's battlefield WMD capability was correct. "It is 100 per cent accurate," he said after reading the relevant passage.

    The devices, which were known by Iraqi officers as "the secret weapon", were made in Iraq and designed to be launched by hand-held rocket-propelled grenades. They could also have been launched sooner than the 45-minutes claimed in the dossier.

    "Forget 45 minutes," said Col al-Dabbagh "we could have fired these within half-an-hour."

    Local commanders were told that they could use the weapons only on the personal orders of Saddam. "We were told that when the war came we would only have a short time to use everything we had to defend ourselves, including the secret weapon," he said.

    The only reason that these weapons were not used, said Col al-Dabbagh, was because the bulk of the Iraqi army did not want to fight for Saddam. "The West should thank God that the Iraqi army decided not to fight," he said.

    "If the army had fought for Saddam Hussein and used these weapons there would have been terrible consequences."

    Col al-Dabbagh, who was recalled to Baghdad to work at Iraq's air defence headquarters during the war itself, believes that the WMD have been hidden at secret locations by the Fedayeen and are still in Iraq. "Only when Saddam is caught will people talk about these weapons," he said.


    During the Hutton inquiry into the death of Dr David Kelly, Sir Richard Dearlove, the head of MI6, said that the information contained in the intelligence dossier relating to the 45-minute claim had come from a single "established and reliable" source serving in the Iraqi armed forces. Privately British intelligence officers have claimed that they believe the original source was killed during the war.

    Dr Kelly killed himself last July after it was revealed that he was the source of a BBC radio report claiming that the Labour Government had included the 45-minute claim against the wishes of MI6 to "sex up" the intelligence dossier.

    Col al-Dabbagh, who spied for the Iraqi National Accord (INA), a London-based exile group, for several years before the war, said, however, that he provided several reports to British intelligence on Saddam's plans to deploy WMD from early 2002 onwards.

    The INA, which was made up of retired and serving Iraqi officers and Ba'ath party officials, is known to have enjoyed a close relationship with MI6 and America's Central Intelligence Agency.

    Dr Ayad Allawi, the head of the INA who is now a prominent member of the Governing Council in Baghdad, confirmed that he had passed Col al-Dabbagh's reports on Saddam's WMD to both British and American intelligence officers "sometime in the spring and summer of 2002".

    Apart from providing intelligence on Saddam's WMD programme, Col al-Dabbagh also provided details of Iraq's troop and air defence deployments before the war.

    Although he gave details of Iraq's battlefield WMD capability, he said that he had no knowledge of any plans by Saddam to use missiles to attack British bases in Cyprus and other Nato targets.

    In the build-up to the conflict, Tony Blair was criticised by intelligence officials for giving the impression that Saddam had developed ballistic missiles that could carry WMD warheads and hit targets such as Israel and Britain's military bases in Cyprus.

    But Col al-Dabbagh said that he doubted that Iraq under Saddam had this capability. "I know nothing about this. My information was only about what we could do on the battlefield."

    Col al-Dabbagh, who received two death threats from Saddam loyalists days after his interview with the Telegraph, said that he was willing to travel to London to give evidence to the Hutton inquiry. "I was there and I knew what Saddam was doing before the war," he said.

    An official close to the Hutton inquiry said: "What Mr Dabbagh has to say sounds very interesting and it is certainly new evidence that we will want to look at."
     
  8. dijetlo
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    Produce some hard evidence of one threat to the US and I'll take your rationale more seriously. I don't work for the CIA but even I can poke holes in this guys story with the little bit I do know.
    You go to the police and tell them I threatened to shoot you in the head, they get a warrant, arrest me, search my house and find nothing, question the witnesses, they can't agree what I said (your buddies say I threatened you, my buddies say we were both mad and just arguing), now what have you got, besides a lawsuit for false arrest?
    You go to war based on rumor and a hidden political agenda, you have to be ready to pay the price. Based on all their claims prior to the invasion contrasted with the reality we've found in Iraq, the administration has a real credibility problem, both domesticaly and across the globe. GWB listened to the Peanuts when they told him as long as we win, nobody will care what we find, but then again it was the peanuts who agitated endlessly for this war without developing an exit strategy. They were long on hyperbole, short on wisdom and the bill for their folly is coming due. Part of it has allready been payed. We rattle our sabre at Iran and Syria and they just laugh, we go to the UN for help and they just shrug, the body of nations who support us has dwindled to our economic lackeys and bribeseekers so as a super-power we are definitely in decline.
     
  9. DKSuddeth
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    DKSuddeth Senior Member

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    and this, a lone iraqi officer, is enough to settle any doubts?

    did I forget to mention that I was the shooter on the grassy knoll?
     
  10. jimnyc
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    jimnyc ...

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    Hey, whatever you say! :laugh:

    Like you stated yourself earlier, the analysts read the data given to them, not us! They saw it as a real threat.

    Claim credibility with the administration all you want. The invasion still continues, and the president with no credibility is going to be around for another 5 years. Apparently you are in the minority.

    Whine, cry, bitch & cry foul all you want - it's not going to change anything.

    Liberals whined during the election - Bush got elected.
    Liberals whined during meetings about war - The USA invaded.
    Liberals whined it was an illegal war - not one damn charge can be brought fourth.
    Liberals continue to whine about the current administration - it's going to be around for awhile (that's the part I love the most!) :laugh:

    "Those 30,000 bodies in the graves are fake, you infidels!"
    "All your evidence is manafactured"
    "There are only 2 American tanks in the city"
    "We are winning"
    "They are lying every day. They are lying always, and mainly they are lying to their public opinion."
    "We will see how the issue will turn out when they come to Baghdad."

    Boy, who knew Baghdad Bob was a liberal! At least he was getting paid for his ridiculous assertions, :D
     

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