Home
Frontline Reports
Interviews
Commentary
First Person
Another Perspective
Publications
About us
Contact


Since working with Iraqi General Georges Sada on the book, Saddam's Secrets, I have often been asked to speak about what I learned about the WMD in Iraq and whether or not chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons were ever a genuine threat. On one such occasion I had the privilege of addressing the Exchange Club on Capitol Hill, meeting in a conference room of the United States Senate. Below are remarks and notes from that address.


      Weapons of Mass Denial and the Battle for Truth

           An Address to the Exchange Club on Capitol Hill, July 13, 2006

The report prepared by Charles Duelfer and the Iraq Inspection Team, released in October 2004, offered little news about WMDs. But that report provided enormous detail on the corruption in the United Nations Oil-for-Food program. It described how Saddam Hussein abused the program, which provided more than $11 Billion in illicit funds between 1996 and 2003, and allowed Saddam’s corrupt regime to flaunt U.S. efforts to contain Saddam’s weapons programs. [1]

Among the findings documented in the Duelfer Report are the fact that:

 1.    
 
The U.N. allowed the transfer of oil but did not meter the actual quantities dispensed by Saddam.    
 2.
 
Saddam used this immense wealth in the form of bribes, vouchers, and gifts to gain information, supplies, and access to power.
 3.

 
Sitting members of the U.N. Security Council were complicit in these shady dealings and knowingly violated Security Council policy, dipping into the Oil-for-Food funds for their personal enrichment. 
 4.




 
Both Charles Duelfer and General Georges Sada reported that France, Germany, Syria, China and Russia were partners in this underhanded conspiracy, aiding Iraq in acquiring, hiding, and ultimately disguising or transporting Weapons of Mass Destruction and related technologies. This operation, which continued right up until the U.S. Invasion in March 2003, was described by the Reuters News Service as Saddam’s “Weapons of Mass Corruption.”

Terrorist Training Camps

Beginning in January 2006, Stephen Hayes published a series of articles in The Weekly Standard about the documents captured from the Iraqi regime, which made some startling revelations. [2] Among them:

 1.    

 
Documents and photos reviewed by Arabic-speaking translators showed that more than 8,000 terrorists were trained in Iraq during the four years—from 1999 to 2003—leading up to the U.S. Invasion.   
 2.


 
Other documents and interrogation reports from captured insurgents revealed that training camps in the towns of Samarra, Ramadi, and Salman Pak were operated by elite Iraqi military units and their commanders, training not only Iraqis but soldiers from a dozen Muslim countries, in military and terrorist activities.
 3.



 
Although Saddam favored the Sunni Muslims under his command, he did not hesitate to work with and provide terrorist training for Shiites, Sabists, Kurds, or any others who came to these camps. Furthermore, he provided training for Syrians, Iranis, Egyptians, Libyans, Sudanese, and others from countries that were believed to be traditional adversaries of Iraq.

All of which is a clear refutation of the theory that Saddam was a secularist who would not support or give aid to religious and national minorities. Saddam was a supporter and funder of terrorism of any variety from the very start.

This is just a tiny fraction of the information gained from more than two million captured documents now in U.S. possession — that’s more than 48,000 boxes of information—including hand-written notes, military orders, computer discs, audio and video tapes, hard drives, and much more.

Representative Pete Hoekstra (chairman of the House Intelligence Committee)—along with Reps. Dana Rohrabacher and Curt Weldon and Senators Rick Santorum and Pat Roberts—have been fighting to get access to these captured documents, so that the American people can learn what Saddam was up to and how he disposed of his chemical and nuclear weapons and related components. But it has been next to impossible to get the U.S. intelligence agencies to move on their request. And the White House has been little or no help in the matter.

Congressman Hoekstra told Steve Hayes: “I can tell you that I’m reaching the point of extreme frustration ... it’s a lumbering bureaucracy that can’t give the chairman of the intelligence committee answers relatively quickly.” But then he added: “Forget quickly, they can’t even give me answers slowly.”

It was reported yesterday (July 12, 2006, CNS News Service) that the House Intelligence Committee also has documents on Iraqi Intelligence Service letterhead confirming that Saddam purchased Anthrax and Mustard Gas as recently as 2000. The documents also make clear an ongoing relationship between Saddam Hussein and Al-Qaeda. Apparently U.S. Intelligence has known about all this for years, but nobody bothered to tell the American people!

Did you know:

 1.   

 
Saddam had plans to put Sarin nerve gas and Sulfur Mustard in perfume sprayers to be shipped to Europe and America? Documents now being translated reveal that this was happening.  
 2.


 
Saddam ordered the military, prior to the Gulf War, to plan an aerial invasion of Israel with 98 MiGs, Sukhois, and French Mirage fighters loaded with chemical weapons? To begin the moment the first American bomb struck Iraq. The story is in Saddam’s Secrets.
 3.




 
Saddam ordered a ground invasion of Saudi Arabia to wipe out the entire Industrial Region in the East of that country near the Persian Gulf, to punish the Saudis for cooperating with the American coalition and providing bases for our pilots. Our government knew it. General Sada knew it. But you and I didn’t hear about it because NOBODY in the government or the media was telling us what was going on over there. We can only assume that—for some unknown reason—they didn’t want us to know.

The point is, all the information we’ve seen so far is very damning, but Nay-sayers in Congress and the Media are having a field day, and the U.N., the CIA, the Intelligence Community, and the White House have been anything but helpful in uncovering what was really going on in Iraq prior to the U.S. and Coalition Invasion in March of 2003. Apparently they decided that you and I couldn’t handle the Truth.

One More Discovery: The Taliban Connection

Another member of the Iraq Survey Group, Ray Robison, provided a lengthy translation of another important document (as reported by the Fox News Channel on June 16 of this year) detailing the close relationship between Saddam Hussein and the Taliban government of Afghanistan. [3]

This document describes in great detail (some 76 pages) the coordinated efforts of intelligence operatives from Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan (with the support of Saddam) to undermine U.S. and other international policies. According to this document — which was a top secret notebook of an operative of the Iraqi Intelligence Service — Saddam was in league with the Taliban throughout the 1990s, and especially during the last four years leading up to the war in 2003.

Saddam was sending government officials, intelligence operatives, radical clerics, and arms and explosives specialists, as well as members of the Association of Islamic Scholars, between Iraq and these other countries to encourage terrorism and develop strategies for terrorism that could work against the United States and its allies.

What’s the point?

The point is that there’s nothing new in the news that Saddam was aiding and abetting terrorism from day-one, hiding weapons of mass destruction, and doing his best to acquire more. Saddam Hussein was a thug, an assassin who killed, maimed, and intimidated his way to the seat of power. And everybody in the world knew it in January of 1991 and they knew it in March of 2003.

Every visible leader in the Clinton Administration—Madeline Albright, Sandy Berger, Bill Clinton, even Al Gore—was on the record citing the irrefutable evidence that Saddam had WMDs. If you haven’t seen the quotes from 2001 to 2003, check out pages 252-253 in General Sada’s book.

Defense Secretary William Cohen said: “I’m convinced that he has them. I saw evidence back in 1998 when we would see the inspectors being barred from gaining entry into a warehouse for three hours with trucks rolling up and then moving those trucks out. I am absolutely convinced there are weapons. We will find them.” Nothing wishy-washy about that. All of this appeared in print, and many important books were written on the subject. Among them were:

 1.   
American Jihad: The Terrorists Living among Us by Steven Emerson, published in 2002
 2.Al-Qaeda: Brotherhood of Terror by Paul Williams, 2002
 3.The Sword of the Prophet by Serge Trifkovic, 2002
 4.Unholy Alliance: Radical Islam and the American Left by David Horowitz, 2004
 5.
 
The Myth of Islamic Tolerance: How Islamic Law Treats Non-Muslims by Robert Spencer, 2005
 6.
 
Saddam’s Secrets: How an Iraqi General Defied and Survived Saddam Hussein, of which I am the co-author, in January 2006  

Plus two important books by Iraqi scientists: The Bomb in My Garden and Saddam’s Bomb Maker, detailing their work on nuclear programs in Iraq. Both these works are described briefly in Saddam’s Secrets.

The brutal record of this man has been there for everyone to see for years now. How can anybody in his right mind believe that Saddam did not have WMDs, or that he would not use them at the drop of a hat.

 And lest we forget:

Saddam Hussein is the guy who ordered the chemical-weapons attack on the Kurds in 1983 that killed 8,000 innocent civilians. He ordered the chemical-weapon attack at Halabja in 1988, carried out by his cousin, “Chemical Ali,” killing another 5,000 innocent men, women, and children; and the attack at Anfal that killed at least 182,000. General Sada says in this book:

           The total is still not complete, but more than 275 mass graves have now been discovered, each containing from fifty to several thousand bodies. This is the true legacy of Saddam: Murder, torture, rape, and wholesale genocide were his trademarks, and it may be years before the world discovers the full extent of his evil deeds.

Weapons of Mass Denial

The national media trumpeted the conclusion of the Duelfer Report that no WMD stockpiles were found in Iraq after the 2003 Invasion. What they didn’t tell you was that Duelfer said that only 0.25% of the more than 10,000 known weapons caches had even been examined—at all.

So how many is that? … 25 Caches. On the basis of 25 caches, the message was broadcast around the world that Bush Lied—Saddam had No WMDs.

Well, tell that to Bill Tierney, who was also a member of the Iraq Study Group and a weapons inspector. I have spoken to Bill on several occasions. He speaks fluent Arabic and worked very closely with Iraqi informants on the ground in Iraq, and he tells me that when he had information that specifically identified caches that were known to the informants to hold WMDs, his superiors refused to authorize a search.

They blew him off because … they didn’t want to know. It’s a proven fact that enormous quantities of chemical, biological, and nuclear components cataloged by Weapons Inspectors in December 1998 simply disappeared—reported to be “unaccounted for” in the official reports of the United Nations inspectors.

What sort of components?

      1.   3.9 tons of VX nerve agent
2.   6,526 aerial chemical bombs
3.   550 mustard gas shells
4.   2,062 tons of Mustard precursors
5.   15,000 chemical munitions
6.   8,445 liters of Anthrax
7.   11,000 liters of botulinum toxin
8.   As well as SCUD missiles and rockets armed with chemicals

The Information War

It’s been said that the first casualty of War is the Truth. That maxim has never been truer than in this war. I was an officer in Vietnam, a Public Information Officer, and I escorted many of the big–name broadcasters and reporters who filed stories from there (You would know their names.), and I saw first-hand how the media mangles the truth.

In “Saddam’s Secrets” my task, as a writer and researcher, was to help an Iraqi General tell the truth in a compelling way for an American audience. So I did my research. I checked him out. What I learned was that this is a man of truth—a man of his word. I don’t believe Georges Sada is capable of telling a lie—and that trait nearly got him killed on many occasions.

Time permitting, let me relate one or two stories from the book:

 1.    
 
Dinner with Saddam … “You’ve disagreed with me 17 times. Seventeen times you’ve been right.”
 2.
 
The reason Saddam didn’t attack Israel as planned … Gen. Sada’s briefing of Saddam and the General Staff
 3.


 
Gen. Sada saved the lives of 40 coalition pilots … (Col. David Eberly, the senior captured pilot, wrote the foreword to the book and confirmed Gen. Sada’s life-saving role.) From 2004-2007, Gen. Sada served as senior adviser to the National Security Council of Iraq and now serves as Executive Secretary of the Iraqi Institute for Peace.

In the book Saddam’s Secrets General Sada describes how 56 sorties of WMD were ferried out of Iraq to Damascus, Syria in November 2002, four months before the U.S. invasion, using a 747 Jumbo Jet and three 727s. He received firsthand confirmation of these facts from the pilots who actually flew those sorties and from the ground crews that coordinated the transfer of cargo.

That’s the truth. Will it make a difference? Will anybody believe it?

Who knows?


[1] Reported by Claudia Rosett, “Saddam’s Sugar Daddy,” in National Review, October 7, 2004, the same week the Duelfer Report was released.

[2] Stephen F. Hayes, “Saddam’s Terror Training Camps,” The Weekly Standard, Jan. 16, 2006.

[3] Ray Robison, “Documents Support Saddam-Taliban Connection,” Fox News Channel, June 16, 2006.

 

* * *