Russia's connection to Iraq

Discussion in 'Middle East - General' started by Semper Fi, May 26, 2006.

  1. Semper Fi

    Semper Fi VIP Member

    Nov 25, 2003
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    Saddam's WMDs: The Russian connection and the cover-up

    Wes Vernon
    February 20, 2006

    The free world may soon learn it has just been bamboozled by one of the most clever and well-organized propaganda campaigns in the history of this planet. No WMDs in Iraq? That is not the case, according to eyewitnesses and expert intelligence analysts.

    Yes, Saddam Hussein did have weapons of mass destruction.

    Yes, he intended to use them.

    Most Americans don't know that, because the public has been spoon-fed the line that multiple intelligence reports around the world got it all wrong, and that there "never were" weapons of mass destruction.

    As it turns out, former CIA Director George Tenet was not wrong when he told President Bush it was a "slam dunk" that Saddam had WMDs. At least it was likely accurate at the exact moment he gave that assurance. Shortly thereafter or at about the time he said it, the weapons were removed.

    But of course, you already know that, if you've been reading this column or have listened to Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity or watched Fox News. Much of the rest of the media have cheerfully assisted in the "No WMDs" mantra.

    What you might not have known until now is that the Russians helped the Saddam deception of removing the WMD from Iraq prior to the war there. As Lt. General Thomas G. McInerney, a military consultant — said in a conversation with this writer — the Russians "masterfully laid it out into the free world that there were no WMDs. Politically, it was picked up [here at home] by the Democratic Party and other parties throughout Western Europe. It was brilliantly done by the Russians that there were no WMDs. And to this day [that story] has still got legs."

    But the facts of the story are different from the false conventional wisdom.

    At a private "Intelligence Summit" meeting that began Friday just outside Washington, military analysts and intelligence professionals heard the highlights of twelve hours of taped conversations between Saddam Hussein and his top lieutenants. The Iraqi strongman did have a WMD program to include nuclear. How far along he was is another question, McInerney added. But he was still investing in that area. He was supporting terrorism.

    General McInerney says Saddam could have had a role in the anthrax attacks in the United States shortly after 9/11 because "it was such a high grade of anthrax that it was not a low-cost energy effort. It was done masterfully."

    McInerney adds the latest Russian dots "need to be looked at." They come from many different sources (including from Jack Shaw who gave a Pentagon insider's account of the Russian connection as he spoke before the Intelligence Summit on Saturday) as well as from Israel and other places around the globe.

    Taken together, the dots indicate "there was WMD, [and] that it went out to Syria [three locations] and through Syria on to Lebanon [one location]." The Russian connection was "the orchestrator to move the weapons out. And they had the skill [with a crack team]" and two top generals — "one to help them on the air defense, and one who was to clean this WMD up."

    Russian assistance was thorough, to say the least. "The archives and all that were taken out. It was brilliantly done, and then they laid in a program to follow it. And that's the information operations [propaganda] campaign," which General McInerney says was "brilliant." They spread it "into Western Europe, and then to the UN and to the diplomatic world. [And so] it became a part of the political lore that the Democratic Party and our Congress and the administration just backed away from it [the idea that Saddam's Iraq had WMDs]."

    Jack Shaw was Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for International Technology Security at the time this was learned through intelligence sources.

    Addressing the three-day conference at a hotel not far from the Pentagon itself, he revealed not only the Russian operation, but the effort — for whatever reason — to cover it up here at home.

    When the Cold War ended, Russia's military aid to Iraq and Syria did not. Unlike Germany and Japan at the end of World War II, the free world allies were not able actually to occupy the old Soviet Union and de-communize" it the way Germany was "de-nazified." In Germany, the bums were killed, imprisoned, disgraced, or banished from public office. In Russia, the bums walked free and pulled strings, albeit under different banners. We are paying the price of that in today's Iraq War.

    Shaw explained that Russia not only built up the military arsenals of Iraq and Syria, but also could "provide a pipeline through Syria to funnel weapons to Saddam as the pressure on him increased." Thus, they could "put beyond the reach of an invasion force such munitions [for which] Saddam wanted a safe haven." Or as Shaw put it, that "assured that the traffic in both directions would be directed and implemented by Russians providing deniability on both sides of the border." Not incidentally, that border has had a 3000-year experience in smuggling.

    The chief mischief-maker on the Russian side apparently was General Yevgeny Primakov, who headed the Soviet foreign intelligence service in 1990, served as Russia's minister of foreign affairs in 1996, and as prime minister in 1998. You may remember him as the post-Cold War general who was given to outrageous and threatening outbursts.

    Despite Iraq's 8 billion dollar debt to Russia, Primakov convinced the Russian government to invest anew in rebuilding Iraqi military forces after Saddam's humiliating defeat in the Gulf War. "Secret agreements, signed between Iraqi intelligence and the Russian GRU, provided for clean-up operations to be conducted by Russian and Iraqi military personnel — to remove WMDs, materials for production, technical documentation, etc., from Iraq, so that the regime could announce that Iraq was 'WMD free.'"

    Part of the plan — specifically dealing with chemical weapons — was described by a Romanian intelligence official now living in protective custody after briefing U.S. intelligence for three years. The Russians specified that all chemical/bio weapons were to be burned or buried at sea in the event of potential capture. Just before war against Iraq by the allied coalition, two Russian ships set sail for the Indian Ocean. Shaw says it's not known whether they then headed for Syria or were destroyed. The point is they were out of Iraq and out of the reach of any invasion force.

    In addition to undercutting the U.S. rationale for going to war, the Russians also secured important gains for themselves. Shaw says they increased their influence in Syria and "and put themselves in a position to support armed guerilla action in Iraq after the war." This is a reference to the terrorists (or "insurgents" in delicate media-speak) who have been killing innocent Iraqi citizens, as well as American military and civilian personnel.

    None of this in any way contradicts the claims made by General Georges Sada — at one time the second highest ranking general in Saddam's air force — who says in his book "Saddam's Secrets" that he knew the dictator moved the weapons out of the country. He says they were moved by air. Some at the Intelligence Summit say weapons were also moved out by cattle trucks. McInerney says it is credible that different conveyances were used. "The fact is they probably went out in a combination of different ways."

    The biggest puzzle in all this is why the Bush administration has not shouted this story from the rooftops, especially since it puts the lie to the "Bush lied-People died" propaganda. In our interview, General McInerney (you may have seen him as a military analyst on Fox News) said it is as clear as ever that "Russia was number one, China was number two, France was number three in providing [Saddam] conventional weapons. We know that. There's no question on it. It just hasn't been exposed." You will note those three regimes persistently voted in the United Nations against the U.S. efforts to marshal international force against Iraq with something more meaningful than another tired UN Resolution.

    Shaw put it this way to his audience: "The question is not only how badly we got snookered by the Russkis, but why it is in the U.S. interest to continue the cover-up of the real story. It has been suggested that our knowledge of the movement of these weapons is not helpful as we cannot prove what happened without expanding the war. There is also the old intelligence rationale of not blowing your cover, so you can continue to mine your intelligence sources without compromising them."

    General McInerney noted that Russia, China, and France are permanent members of the UN Security Council, and perhaps the Bush administration needs them to help in the global War on Terror. "So maybe [the Bush administration] did not want to create a big problem with them."

    So Shaw is asking, "What is the current Bush administration's game plan? Does it have one? And who are the enforcers?"

    The three-day Intelligence Summit conference here is a logical outgrowth of the concern on the part of military and intelligence professionals who are frustrated by cover-up after cover-up of the misdeeds of enemies and our so-called "friends" that have left Americans dead, while the bad guys get away with it.

    There's much more to be told. One of the main conference participants — Bill Tierney, a translator and former weapons inspector — told conferees the cases involving the first (1993) World Trade Center bombing and the (1995) Oklahoma City bombing should be re-opened so as to bring to a closure the glaring inconsistencies and unanswered questions in the accepted versions of those mysteries.

    But we'll get to that later. For now, the Russian connection is enough to ponder.

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