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."




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