Saturday, July 15, 2006

The Times July 21 2003

The Times July 21 2003

David Kelly

Scrupulous United Nations weapons inspector who alerted the world to Iraq’s biological weapons programme

It is the cruellest irony that the first human casualty of the altercation between the press office at Number 10 Downing Street and the BBC should be the man closest to the facts on Iraq’s biological warfare capability. It is now clear that David Kelly, a senior adviser to the Ministry of Defence Director of Counter Proliferation and Arms Control, took his own life in woodland not far from his Oxfordshire home. This followed an appearance before the Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee three days earlier, when at least one member chose to try to humiliate him.

Kelly led the first team of United Nations biological weapons investigators to Iraq in 1991, following the end of the first Gulf War and Saddam Hussein’s acceptance under the terms of the ceasefire that he must relinquish all nuclear, biological and chemical weapons and their means of production.

David Kelly brought a formidable expertise to his work in Iraq. From 1991 to 1994 he conducted the inspections which formed part of the trilateral American, British and Russian Agreement into the Russian biological warfare facilities. Here he impressed his fellow inspectors not only by his knowledge and persistence, but by his willingness to share his expertise with others. There was nothing of the scientific prima donna about Kelly; quite the reverse, he was modestly instructive and regarded his expertise as a resource for all to use…


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