August 29, 2003

Blix Felt U.S. Intimidating Him Before Iraq War

Several more US GIs have died in Iraq over the last few days. (For what?) Another savage bombing, set off on the street outside the Iraqis' most sacred site, has killed at least 125 people, including the most prominent Shia leader and fueled the chaos. The first political head has rolled because of this foolish military adventure. Alistair Campbell, implicated in the cooked intel scandal that blew up after the "suicide" of Dr. Kelly has "resigned" from the government of the-shell-of-a-man-formerly-known-as-Tony-Blair. Will Hoon or even Blair be next? The UN's Mohammed ElBaradei has spoken out with astonishing candor and disturbing insights. The BBC, unlike the "US mainstream news media" understands ElBaradei's remarks are indeed very newsworthy. MEANWHILE, here in the US, a Zogby poll commissioned for the Draft Wesley Clark committee reveals Clark (D-NATO) would defeat the _resident 48%-40% right now...Keep one eye open for reich-wingers bearing Trifecta tickets...We are
heading into an even darker, more dangerous period...

Published on Friday, August 29, 2003 by Reuters
Blix Felt U.S. Intimidating Him Before Iraq War

VIENNA - Former chief U.N. arms inspector Hans Blix
felt Washington was intimidating him to produce
reports that would justify military action in the
run-up to the Iraq war, the head of the U.N. nuclear
watchdog said on Friday.

Former United Nations chief weapons inspector Hans
Blix felt Washington was intimidating him to produce
reports that would justify military action in the
run-up to the Iraq war, the head of the U.N. nuclear
watchdog Mohamed ElBaradei said in a BBC interview on
August 29, 2003. Blix is shown delivering a report on
Iraq to members of the Security Council at the United
Nations March 19, hours before the start of the war.
(Chip East/Reuters)

In an interview on BBC television's Hardtalk,
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief
Mohamed ElBaradei also said he believed Iraq had not
tried to revive its clandestine nuclear weapons
program as the United States and Britain insist.

Blix and ElBaradei led the hunt for Iraq's alleged
weapons of mass destruction for nearly four months
late last year and early this year. The IAEA hunted
for nuclear weapons, while Blix's UNMOVIC monitoring
agency looked for chemical, biological and ballistic

Asked if the administration of President Bush had
tried to intimidate him to produce reports support
their case for a war on Iraq, ElBaradei said it had

"I think there were probably more efforts to
intimidate Hans Blix, because there were more serious
concerns about chemical and biological (weapons)," he

"Hans complained a lot about the media campaign, some
of the administration's efforts to put pressure on

The Bush administration sharply criticized Blix before
the war for refusing to back U.S. and British
assertions about Iraq's weapons programs in his
reports to the U.N. Security Council.

U.N. weapons inspectors never found the massive
stockpiles of banned weapons that Britain and the U.S.
claimed President Saddam Hussein possessed. Neither
have the U.S. and British forces who took over the
hunt for his arsenal after the war.

ElBaradei said a lesson should be learned about the
dangers of cutting short weapons inspections.

"If anything comes out from the war in Iraq, it's that
inspections take time and that we should not jump to
conclusions, because jumping to conclusions on such a
vital issue that determines war and peace is very
reckless and irresponsible in my opinion," he said.

ElBaradei added that he would like to see the
situation in Iraq "coming to a closure soon and put an
end to that tragic situation."

Regarding U.S. and British insistence that Saddam had
tried to revive his secret atomic weapons program,
which the IAEA says it destroyed in the 1990s,
ElBaradei was certain this allegation is unfounded.

"I would be very surprised if we were to discover that
there was a nuclear weapons program restarted in
Iraq," he said.

Blix, who headed the IAEA for 16 years until 1997,
retired as the director of UNMOVIC at the end of June.

Copyright 2003 Reuters Ltd


Posted by richard at August 29, 2003 05:22 PM