Friday, August 25, 2006

Adnan Ihsan Saheed al-Haideri


Ahmad Chalabi pushed a tainted case for war. Can he survive the occupation?


Issue of 2004-06-07
Posted 2004-05-29


On December 20, 2001, Judith Miller published a front-page story in the Times about an Iraqi engineer who claimed to have direct knowledge of twenty secret chemical-, biological-, and nuclear-weapons sites in Iraq. One site, he said, was hidden under a hospital. He also described tests of these prohibited weapons on live Kurdish and Shiite prisoners. Miller disclosed in her story that the I.N.C. had helped the engineer to leave Iraq, and had arranged the interview, and that the I.N.C.'s agenda was to overthrow Saddam Hussein. She also noted that U.S. officials were "trying to verify" the defector's claims. Despite these caveats, Miller reported that "experts said the information seemed reliable and significant." In a subsequent piece, she wrote that the same defector had given U.S. intelligence officials "dozens of highly credible reports on Iraqi weapons-related activity and purchases."

The defector's name is Adnan Ihsan Saheed al-Haideri. Since the war, neither U.N. weapons inspectors nor David Kay, a top U.S. weapons inspector, have found evidence to confirm his accounts. According to a recent Knight Ridder report, American officials escorted Haideri back to Iraq after the war, but he failed to locate any prohibited-weapons facilities. The I.N.C. reportedly provided Miller with the exclusive Haideri story three days after he had shown deception in a polygraph test administered by the C.I.A. at the request of the Defense Intelligence Agency.


Thursday, August 24, 2006

Unresolved Questions...

Unresolved Questions Regarding US Government Attribution of a Mobile Biological Production Capacity by Iraq

By Milton Leitenberg


Where did the notion of the possibility of an Iraqi mobile BW production capability come from? In 1995, Lt. General Amir al-Sa'adi told UNSCOM officials that in 1988 he had suggested that perhaps Iraq should develop its BW production on mobile platforms. The suggestion was rejected as not being feasible, and some fixed facilities were converted from other uses, while others were constructed.

During the war against Iran, General Sa'adi had been the head of the Iraq government's Special Office for Technical Industry (SOTI) and he later became the deputy to General Hussein Kammel, the head of all of Iraq's WMD programs, in the Ministry of Industry and Military Industrialization (MIMI). General Sa'adi proposed only "a concept." He produced no specific drawings or plans.


Monday, August 21, 2006

Charles Duelfer

Transcript - Inspections in Iraq

Introductory Speaker: Kenneth M. Pollack, director, National Security Studies, Council on Foreign Relations


Charles Duelfer, visiting resident scholar, CSIS

Khidir Hamza, president, New Coucil for Middle East Affairs

Richard Spertzel, former U.S. Army Officer

May 2, 2002

Council on Foreign Relations


(Charles Duelfer)


And some serious areas of concern. And that is Iraq's consideration for using mobile production facilities. Now we first heard about that in biology from General Amril Al-Saudi(?), which I think, in a moment of weakness, he said he instructed the bio personnel to evaluate using mobile facilities for production purposes. And then he quickly backed off about five minutes later in saying that, no, that was just a whim of his at the time and it wasn't taken seriously. Well, reports that I've heard recently, not from any intelligence sources but from other open sources, indicate that maybe there's a lot more to that than just that whim of Dr. Saudi.


Monday, August 14, 2006

Official documents

The following is reproduced here as this blog believes that this situation may have serious implications and may therefore affect access to documents relating to Dr Kelly and the various missing Weapons of Mass Destruction issues:

More Documents from Craig Murray:...


For those of you not familiar with him, Craig was formerly the British Ambassador to Uzbekistan, until he took a stand over our use of intelligence obtained by torture that is.

The British government have been trying to silence Craig since his departure from the Foreign Office…

Craig's book, Murder in Samarkand has just been published.

This has happened despite the best efforts of the British Government to suppress it. In support of the points he makes in his book, Craig has published a number of documents online that the British Government does not want you to see. (Here, here and here.)

Yesterday Craig received a letter [attached] from lawyers acting on behalf of the Foreign Office demanding that he remove the documents from his website by 4pm Monday 10th July or he will be issued with a high court injunction.

[We at Blairwatch are awaiting our letter.]

Do take the time to have a look through the documents. The above link to Dahr Jamail's website is likely to be the most stable mirror to link to as Craig and ourselves are located in the UK and therefore within the reach of the British courts.

If you feel that this information is something that should not be taken offline by Monday, well, you know what to do...


The following is from Craig Murray:

I am sorry to trouble you, but believe that we now face a threat both to the Web and to Freedom of Information in the UK which must be challenged. The British government is arguing that government documents, even if released under the Freedom of InformAtion Act or Data Protection Act, cannot be published, on the web or elsewhere, as they remain Crown Copyright. They have required me to remove documents from my website on that basis, under threat of legal action - see the attached letter from the Treasury solicitors.

If you think about it for a moment, the government could thus cancel out almost the whole purpose of the Freedom of Information Act; information released would be just for the private use of an individual. Newspapers - or bloggers - could not publish it in any detail.

If accepted, this extraordinary use of copyright could keep literally everything - everything - produced by government a secret.

The documents in question are the supporting evidence for my book, Murder in Samarkand, which has just been released. The government continues to claim my story is untrue. There is one important advance in all this. Up until now the government refused to acknowledge the documents were authentic. Now Buttrill's letter specifically acknowledges all of the documents and claims copyright over them.

Some of these documents have already been published widely on the web (not least due to the efforts of many of you on this list), particularly the "Tashkent telegrams" on CIA and MI6 use of intelligence obtained under torture in Uzbekistan. Those are now admitted as authentic.

Some are new to the web. Perhaps the most important is the chart of the changes the British Government insisted be made to the book. These are extremey revealing for what they admit to be true - for example, only minor changes are requested in the key meeting between senior officials on the legality of using intelligence from torture, at which it was confirmed that this is US and UK policy.

Perhaps still more revealing is the insistence on removal of the assertion that "Colin Powell knowingly lied" when he claimed that bombs in Tashkent were the work of al-Qaida. The British government insisted on removal not because it was untrue - as detailed in the book, they know full well it is true - but because it would "Damage UK-US relations".

The changes requested were made in the book, because my publisher would not publish without. That is why the truth needs to be out there on the web.

It is on the face of it very strange that the British Government is going after me over the Copyright Act and not the Official Secrets Act. The answer is simple - under the Copyright Act there is no jury. A jury would never convict for campaigning against torture, and be most unlikely to accept that documents released cannot be published. The table of changes requested by the government is not even a classified document in the first place. But a single judge may be more malleable - John Reid had put a huge effort lately into browbeating judges over anything connected to the so-called War on Terror. As the government know very well I have no money to pay a small, or even large fine, they can get the book and documents banned and me in jail without having to convince any jury of pesky citizens.

How to fight back?

Well, we must not let the documents disappear from the web. There is as yet no legal ruling on these matters, Mr Buttrill's claims are only highly controversial legal contentions. So if you post the documents pending a court ruling, there is a danger you may be contravening the - civil, not criminal - law, but then again you may not. You would quite likely receive a threatening letter from Mr Buttrill. Now you have this email from me, NSA and GCHQ are almost certainly tracking you, (they can, incidentally, reciprocally spy in the other country for each other and then swap the info, because neither needs a warrant to spy abroad), but then they probably were already.

The publisher had firm and very expensive legal advice that it was not contravening any civil or criminal law to publish in the book links to web pages containing the documents. So you are almost certainly on safe legal ground in publishing this link to the Dahr Jamail site if you do not wish to mirror the docs yourself.


Feel free to publish this email and the letter from Mr Buttrill [attached].

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Saddam's anthrax (II)

United States exports of biological materials to Iraq
Compromising the credibility of international law

by Geoffrey Holland


This paper argues that the United States breached the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC) by supplying warfare-related biological materials to Iraq during the 1980s, at a time when that nation was at war with its neighbour, Iran. It is further argued that the United Kingdom has an obligation, not least due to its published policy on the issue, to formally report this breach to the United Nations Security Council. The case is made that if the UK, as a State Party to the BTWC, will not report this matter, then the Convention is not the legally binding international instrument it is claimed to be, thus compromising the credibility of international law. It may come as some surprise to the reader to learn – and as far as the author is aware this information has not previously been made public – that the anthrax threat from Iraq, a repeatedly cited reason for the 2003 invasion of that country, actually originated from a dead cow in South Oxfordshire.


The British origin of anthrax strain 14578 – “Vollum” strain

Anthrax strain 14578 may be found listed in past ATCC catalogues, in which the company’s ordering procedures explain that any request for it (and other pathogenic agents) “should be made on the institution’s official stationery (purchase order) and signed by the director of the institution, the chairman of the department concerned, or the scientist in charge of the project”.[43] So, presumably, ATCC files will hold copies of Iraq’s original purchase orders. Such back-up documents do not appear to have been supplied to Senator Riegle in 1994, but should now be produced during a proper investigation under the auspices of the United Nations Security Council.

Each strain in the ATCC catalogue is listed together with its known history – or rather the individuals who have maintained the strain over the years are named in succession. Anthrax strain 14578 appears to have been deposited with ATCC after being held by P H A Sneath, H M Darlow, P Fildes, R L Vollum, and originally Dunkin.[44] So, who are these people through whose hands this anthrax apparently passed en-route to the ATCC and thence to Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, from where it became the principal element in the widely trumpeted ‘forty-five minute threat’ which provided the pretext for the invasion of Iraq in 2003?


Dr Fildes obtained this anthrax from Prof R L Vollum – Professor of Bacteriology at Oxford University – who had ‘isolated’ the anthrax strain, which was consequently named after him. According to Martin Hugh-Jones:

“Fildes, as a result of perceived German BW research, was asked to initiate research at MRE Porton on B. anthracis as a possible BW weapon strain; probably 1941. I suspect that it was through the establishment old boy net, and Oxford being Oxford, he approached Vollum for any cultures, who sent him the culture from this dead Oxfordshire cow. And in the usual way of microbiologists that culture was then labeled "Vollum." For some 18+ months it was used in animal experiments with sheep at Porton with modest success. Then they moved to the experiments at Gruinard island, on south Wales beaches, and elsewhere, and the development of the 4-lb bomb configuration, US involvement and so on.”[49]


And this is when and where the anthrax, shortly to become known as Vollum strain, and thereafter ATCC strain 14578, originated. Again according to Martin Hugh-Jones:

“In, I believe, 1937 a cow died in south Oxfordshire and the owner's vet sent samples to Compton for diagnosis. ... And Dunkin's people diagnosed anthrax. Dunkin was a member of the Royal Society and presumably The Athenaeum. Vollum, Professor of Bacteriology at Oxford, needed a culture of B. anthracis, presumably for a class project as his name is otherwise missing from the anthrax bibliography and asked Dunkin if he had any. He did; he provided this culture…”[52]

Therefore, the threat we were told we faced from Iraq, and which formed the basis for the 2003 invasion of that country, actually originated – probably in 1937 – from a dead cow in South Oxfordshire.[53]


Recent posting

Due to outside affairs posting on this blog might be a bit sporadic for the foreseeable future. Apologies.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Delayed Posting

(Trying to do this daily but sometimes outside life takes over!)

Monday, August 07, 2006

Saddam's anthrax

(post in prep)

Sunday, August 06, 2006

ATCC strain 14578

From the Iraq Survey Group Final Report dated September 30 2004 (AKA the Comprehensive Report of the Special Advisor to the DCI on Iraq’s WMD):

ISG continued to gain more insight into B. anthracis work done before 1991, which reinforced the findings of UNSCOM detailed below. However, no new information has been obtained on B. anthracis-specific R&D conducted after the 1996 destruction of Al Hakam.

  • Thamir 'Abd-al-Rahman, a key figure in Iraq's anthrax work pre-1991, told ISG that he attempted to obtain the Ames strain of B. anthracis which he considered "very virulent" while attending a scientific workshop in 1989, but he was unsuccessful in that endeavor. Iraq declared researching different strains of B. anthracis, but settled on the American Type Culture Collection (ATCC) strain 14578 as the exclusive strain for use as a BW.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Churchill's 'N'

In 1975 former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill's secret wartime (WWII) papers were made publicly available at the Public Record Office, and the following concerns were revealed for the first time — from a paper written by Churchill on July 6th 1944 which he sent to service chiefs during the period when German V1 doodle-bug flying bombs (and shortly thereafter Scud-like V2 ballistic missiles) were hitting London, also at a time when Germany was secretly leading the field in newly-discovered nerve gas research.

From the paper:

"I want you to think very seriously over the question of using poison gas. I would not use it unless it could be shown either that (a) it was life or death for us, or (b) that it would shorten the war by a year."

"It is absurd to consider morality on this topic when everybody used it in the last war without a word of complaint from the moralists or the church. On the other hand, in the last war the bombing of open cities was regarded as forbidden. Now everybody does it as a matter of course. It is simply a question of fashion changing as she does between long and short skirts for women."

It continues to discuss the reasons for Germany not using gas at Normandy when they certainly had the capacity to do so. Churchill put this down to a fear of retaliation.

The paper ends:

"I quite agree it may be several weeks or even months before I shall ask you to drench Germany with poison gas, and if we do it, let us do it one hundred per cent. In the meantime, I want the matter studied in cold blood by sensible people and not by that particular set of psalm-singing uniformed defeatists which one runs across now here now there. Pray address yourself to this. It is a big thing and can only be discarded for a big reason. I shall of course have to square Uncle Joe and the President, but you need not bring this into your calculations at the present time. Just try to find out what it is like on its merits."

In response to this paper the Vice Chiefs of Staff passed the matter on to the Joint Planning Staff (JPS). Their instructions were clear:

"The Prime Minister has directed that a comprehensive examination should be undertaken of the military implications of our deciding on an all-out use of gas, principally mustard gas, or any other method of warfare which we have hitherto refrained from using against the Germans in the following circumstances:

(a) As a counter-offensive in the event of the use by the enemy of flying bombs and / or giant rockets developing into a serious threat to our ability to prosecute the war; or, alternatively,

(b) as a means of shortening the war or of bringing to an end a situation in which there is a danger of stalemate."

On July 25th Churchill hastened the response to this with a further curt letter to the Chiefs of Staff:

"On July 6 I asked for a dispassionate report on the military aspects of threatening to use lethal and corrosive gases on the enemy if they did not stop the use of indiscriminate weapons. I now need this report within three days."

Late on the evening of July 27th 1944, Churchill got his reply. It was a fourteen page paper detailing a complete and chilling review of the precise ways in which using chemical and biological weapons would affect the course of the war. For the first, and probably the only time during that war, the use of biological (anthrax) weaponry was then contemplated for use against Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich.

Part of the report read:

"'N' is the only allied biological agent which could probably make a material change in the war situation before the end of 1945. There are indications which lack final scientific proof that a 4-lb bomb charged with 'N' used on a large scale from aircraft might have a major effect on the course of the war."

The 4-lb bombs were to be loaded in multiples of 106 into 500-lb cluster bombs. The enemy would be helpless against this, there being at that time no known prophylactic measure against 'N'.

Friday, August 04, 2006

'The killer that comes in the post'

US gripped by fear as evidence mounts that disease is being used by terrorists

Robin McKie
Sunday October 14, 2001
The Observer


The story still remained low key, however, and was played down by the FBI - until Friday, when two further cases, both from media targets, raised the prospects that America was facing a flood of bio-letterbombs targetted on its TV and newspaper outlets.

Firstly, it was revealed that a letter - sent to NBC network newsman Tom Brokaw - contained a strange white powder. One of Brokaw's assistants, 38-year-old Erin O'Connor - who had opened the letters - was tested and found to be infected with cutaneous anthrax. The letter was sent from Trenton, New Jersey. Yesterday, a second letter sent to Brokaw was also found to contain anthrax bacteria.

Brakow was not the only Manhatten target, however. On Friday, the New York Times newsroom was evacuated after Judith Miller, a reporter who had recently written a book on biological warfare, opened a letter postmarked St Petersburg, Florida, and found it contained a white, powdery substance.

In her book, Germs: Biological Weapons and America's Secret War, Miller had warned that anthrax was 'the poor man's hydrogen bomb', words that now have a stark, predictive ring. And finally, last night, it was revealed that five more employees at American Media in Florida had been exposed to anthrax.

Americans, and in particular, New Yorkers - already reeling from the World Trade Center atrocity - have reacted with predictable alarm, flocking to hospitals to demand tests for contamination and antibiotic prescriptions.


Thursday, August 03, 2006

The anthrax letters

22 Examined by MR KNOX
23 MR KNOX: My Lord, the next witness is Mr Rufford.


3 Q. Did Dr Kelly ever communicate with you by e-mail?

A. Yes, he did.

Q. And roughly how frequently?

A. Perhaps once a month.

Q. Since when?

A. I think that in all he probably sent me about 20 e-mails, between the periods of 1998 and 2002.

Q. And would these be in reply to e-mails or questions you had asked or would they sometimes be unsolicited?

A. They were almost always in reply to questions which I had asked him, but occasionally they were about subjects which he knew I was interested in.

Q. What type of subjects would these e-mails be about?

A. Again usually about bio-weapons. He had some interest in the hunt in the United States for the person who had sent the letters containing anthrax. I believe he had been consulted about that by the Americans because he was an expert on that particular subject. And he occasionally sent me e-mails regarding that, but they would usually be a copy of an article that had appeared in the New York Times or the Washington Post, so it was information already in the public domain that he was simply drawing to my attention.


Wednesday, August 02, 2006

‘Nothing shocks me, I’m a scientist’

The Sunday Times January 25, 2004

Spy, boffin, disgruntled civil servant: this was the David Kelly I knew

By Nicholas Rufford


Kelly was diligent in his pursuit of Saddam Hussein's henchmen. One of his long-standing foes was General Amer Al-Saadi, Saddam's British-educated weapons adviser. Al-Saadi was responsible for Iraq's development of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) from 1972 onwards. Kelly had long suspected him of lying to weapons inspectors.

He described the Iraqi general as "a very sinister and very charming man. He was one of the brightest people I have ever met. But he supported the wrong cause".

Kelly interviewed Al-Saadi at least 20 times during UN inspection visits to Iraq. His questioning of the general helped to expose flaws in Iraq’s supposedly "full, complete, final and comprehensive declaration of weapons of mass destruction" in December 2002.

When the Iraqi declaration was rejected by the UN, it was the beginning of the end for Saddam. Within weeks America had completed its military build-up and invaded Iraq.


Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Lt. Gen. Al-Saadi

Saddam aide: Iraq has no weapons of mass destruction

Fallen tyrant's chemical supremo surrenders ... and puts pressure on Bush and Blair

By James Cusick Westminster Editor

13 April 2003

SADDAM Hussein's senior weapons adviser last night surrendered to coalition forces in Baghdad and claimed Iraq was free of any weapons of mass destruction.

The claims of Lieutenant General Amir al-Saadi - given under no duress and with nothing to fear from Saddam's destroyed regime - throws into disarray the active US and UK intelligence operation to discover the elusive "smoking gun" that would give international legitimacy for the war, and justification for ignoring the United Nations.

The Iraqi general's statement also puts pressure on the newly formed team of US-led weapons inspectors who have been given the task the UN inspectors failed to deliver on, namely, to find weapons of mass destruction (WMD) inside Iraq.

With the UN secretary-general Kofi Annan only last week demanding that UN arms inspectors be allowed back into Iraq to finish their work, the existence of the US team is further proof that President Bush intends to now sideline the UN.

Al-Saadi, who is on the list of the US's 55 most wanted Iraqis, surrendered in Baghdad with the help of a German media crew, who filmed him leaving his villa with his German wife. He presented himself to a US warrant officer and was escorted into military custody.

Al-Saadi is said to have worked closely with the UN team headed by Dr Hans Blix. He spoke for the Iraqi government in news conferences between the resumption of inspections in November and their end last month when the UN removed its personnel due to the dangers of war.

He said: "Time will bear me out. I was telling the truth, never told anything but the truth. There will be no difference after this war."