SOME DETAILS OF THE SET-UP YOU MAY HAVE MISSED
"A U.S. official who follows Iraq", speaking of the November cancellation of an air strike: "We were so close to pulling the trigger and circumstances were so optimum to do so that there's something surreal about SENDING UNSCOM BACK IN TO BUILD A CASE AGAINST HIM AGAIN when we had the best possible case and didn't use it." (emphasis added) -- Washington Post, Dec. 7
"[UNSCOM Executive Chairman Richard] Butler's conclusions were welcome in Washington, which helped orchestrate the terms of the Australian diplomat's report. Sources in New York and Washington said Clinton administration officials played a direct role in shaping Butler's text during multiple conversations with him Monday." -- Washington Post, Dec. 16
Former UNSCOM inspector, Scott Ritter: "What Richard Butler did last week with the inspections was a set-up. This was designed to generate a conflict that would justify a bombing." Ritter said U.S. government sources told him three weeks ago when the inspections resumed that "the two considerations on the horizon were Ramadan and impeachment."
Ritter continued: "If you dig around, you'll find out why Richard Butler yesterday ran to the phone four times. He was talking to his [U.S.] National Security adviser. They were telling him to sharpen the language in his report to justify the bombing." -- New York Post, Dec. 17
"The U.S. has perverted the U.N. weapons process by using it as a tool to justify military actions, falsely so. ... The U.S. was using the inspection process as a trigger for war." -- Scott Ritter, on the NBC Today show, Dec. 17
Arguing that Butler deliberately wrote a justification for war, a U.N. diplomat, "who is generally sympathetic to Washington", said, "Based on the same facts he could have said, `There were something like 300 inspections [in recent weeks] and we encountered difficulties in five.'" -- Washington Post, Dec.17
"Among the circumstances cited by those who suspect Butler of coordinating with Washington on a rationale for war, three stand out:
One is that Butler made four visits to the U.S. mission to the United Nations on Monday, the day before finishing his report.
A second is that administration officials acknowledge they had advance knowledge of the language he would use and sought to influence it, as one official said, `at the margins.'
The third is that Butler ordered his inspectors to evacuate Baghdad, in anticipation of a military attack, on Tuesday night -- at a time when most members of the Security Council had yet to receive his report."
Other U.N. diplomats "also asserted that Butler gave far more equivocal progress reports to them, in the days leading up to his written report, than his final conclusion that he is `not able to conduct the substantive disarmament work' because of the `absence of full cooperation by Iraq'."
"What we were told by Butler for weeks was yes, we've hit some roadblocks but the inspections are going on," said one New York-based diplomat."
-- Washington Post, Dec. 18
The U.S.-operated Radio Free Iraq, broadcasting from Prague, begins its daily broadcasts into Iraq with: "Dear listeners, we hope that you are having a nice day, and that you enjoy our programs today." It concludes: "Thank you for following us and peace and blessings be upon you." -- Washington Post, Dec. 18
Compiled by William Blum Author: Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II http://members.aol.com/bblum6/American_holocaust.htm