Some Iraq PROOF - fake!
March 8, 2003 9:34 AM   Subscribe

The Washington Post reports, findings that some of the "evidence" proving Iraq's search for nuclear technologies are faked.

"ElBaradei also rejected a key Bush administration claim -- made twice by the president in major speeches and repeated by Secretary of State Colin L. Powell yesterday -- that Iraq had tried to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes to use in centrifuges for uranium enrichment. Also, ElBaradei reported finding no evidence of banned weapons or nuclear material in an extensive sweep of Iraq using advanced radiation detectors."
posted by omidius (29 comments total)
On a follow-up, Post is the ONLY news organization currently giving this (to many of us) a breaking news story in the confrontation with Iraq. Don't count on seeing this on CNN, APNews, Google News and so on...
posted by omidius at 9:40 AM on March 8, 2003

This story is on the front page of The Guardian today.
posted by influx at 9:53 AM on March 8, 2003

Somewhere on the web today I read that of several hundred Iraq stories over the past half-year, only thirty-odd were independent reporting. All the rest were hand-me-downs from the American government.

Problem being that those reporters who get investigative end up getting bitch-slapped. Far easier to get eyeballs by spewing the government pablum than by digging for dirt.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:54 AM on March 8, 2003

Worth noting is that "a spokesman for the IAEA said the agency did not blame either Britain or the United States for the forgery. The documents "were shared with us in good faith," he said".
posted by turbodog at 9:59 AM on March 8, 2003

ABP? already been posted?
posted by specialk420 at 9:59 AM on March 8, 2003

turbodog: Do you think that just because blame game isn't being played by IAEA doesn't mean someone from either side came up with it? There's a reason SOMEONE (we can't be so ignorant) forged a document to aide the US effort to war, now WHO could that be?
posted by omidius at 10:15 AM on March 8, 2003

You know, if this is why the President held a press conference when he did (before this hit the fan), I'm relieved. I was expecting full scale assault by now.
posted by Busithoth at 10:19 AM on March 8, 2003

I'm confused...If the US is lying, does this mean Saddam is just a nice guy misunderstood by the world and wanting forgiveness as he pursues a new path of peace on earth?
posted by Fupped Duck at 10:19 AM on March 8, 2003

No. Saddam is bad. But not any worse than any of the multitudes of other tin pot dictators that are in the world. And not the threat to the US that the Bush administration is trying to make him out to be. It means the bad guy isn't bad enough on his own for us to have a reason to attack him. We have to make up enough lies to come up with a reason to attack. Really not a good way for the country that is trying to be the defenders of truth and justice to be going, would you say?
posted by whirlwind29 at 10:32 AM on March 8, 2003

The Globe & Mail has it too
" The forgeries were sold to an Italian intelligence agent by a con man some time ago and passed on to French authorities, but the scam was uncovered by the IAEA only recently, according to United Nations sources familiar with the investigation. The documents were turned over to the IAEA several weeks ago.

In fact, the IAEA says, there is no credible evidence that Iraq tried to import uranium ore from the Central African country in violation of UN resolutions."
posted by owillis at 10:57 AM on March 8, 2003

Saw that story on Drudge yesterday along with the story that the inspectors have discovered an undeclared Iraqi drone that could be used to disperse chemical weapons. Ironically, the stories about the faked nuclear docs were from the UPI, owned by a certain reverend that isn't particulately well-liked here, so I doubt it's some massive conspiracy to keep quiet about this.
posted by gyc at 11:08 AM on March 8, 2003

I just did a search on Google News and it seems a lot of news outlets are picking the story up including MSNBC and the Washington Post etc and even ABC albeit buried in the International section. As Omibus pointed out and as expected It doesn't appear that it made the headline news on any of the major media outlets CBS,FOX CNN (does anybody watch them any more?) however MSNBC has a link up front. Drudge a has a link to the story but Drudge's major story is a link to the the hidden drone discovered in a declassified UN report story but on google the only news media that I can find that ran it was the London Times. Not even Fox has picked this story up.
posted by thedailygrowl at 11:19 AM on March 8, 2003

Nice find owillis.
posted by turbodog at 11:36 AM on March 8, 2003

I'm confused... so because Saddam is a bad man, the U.S. is now justified in using false information and bully tactics to aggressively push any policy it personally sees fit?

The ends justify the means. A very, very common meme. Especially among those in authority: police, prosecuting attorneys, and public figures with an agenda. But generally very human. Your goals get so important that you fail to see unintended consequences -- or reckon that they're unimportant.

The question is how you check that tendancy.
posted by namespan at 11:40 AM on March 8, 2003

If you look at the text of ElBaradei's report (or at least the version printed in the NY Times), the documents were rejected based on other documents suplied by the governments of Iraq and Nigeria. And those two would have no interest in any particular outcome, would they?

Heck, the inspectors (at least those at the top) seem to have a bias that says inspections are important, more important than the outcome, so let's see if we can put our reports in such a light as to have that happen.
posted by billsaysthis at 11:56 AM on March 8, 2003

Back after Iraq invaded Kuwait, the U.S. needed cooperation from Saudi Arabia to move U.S. troops there... so the U.S. used fabricated satellite photos to make it look like Iraq was planning to attack Saudi Arabia.

The plan worked like a charm, unfortunately when the fake was revealed it was all over the press outside the U.S. You could argue the ends justify the means but the long term consequence is that the world community has become increasingly skeptical of U.S. "irrefutable evidence".
posted by bobo123 at 12:02 PM on March 8, 2003

Why won't Hussein just address the U.N.?
posted by The Jesse Helms at 12:30 PM on March 8, 2003

Heck, the inspectors (at least those at the top) seem to have a bias that says inspections are important, more important than the outcome, so let's see if we can put our reports in such a light as to have that happen.

Are you telling me that the inspectors feel that inspections are important? Interesting. Where do you derive this sharp observation from?
posted by eyeballkid at 1:17 PM on March 8, 2003

It may well be true that some evidence was concoted, but then explain this stuff that Blix hid deep inside his report that has just seen the light of day",,3-603370,00.html seems tucked well inside so as not to be casually viewed. and, if not enough, a piece of which states: ...Iraq has declared that it has 100 Al Samoud missiles, half of them deployed by the military. So far, the UN Monitoring,Verification, and Inspection Commission reports that 34 such missiles have been destroyed.

But U.S. officials said UN inspectors have not been allowed to actually inspect most of the missiles. They said the destruction of the Al Samoud takes place far from UN observation sites.

"It is one big deception and the UN knows it," a U.S. official said. "The entire Al Samoud episode is being stage-managed by the Iraqis. They find the missiles and they destroy them."

Most of Iraq's Al Samoud missile arsenal contains a new engine termed Volga, officials said. The Volga gives the Al Samoud a range of between 300 and 600 kilometers.

The Al Samoud is partly based on the SA-2, which can also be used in a surface-to-surface role. The SA-2 has been used by such countries as China, India and Iraq as the basis for missiles with ranges of up to 500 kilometers.

Richard Speier, a former Pentagon official who specializes in missile nonproliferation issues, said Iraq, using Scud technology, tried to adapt the SA-2 as a secret missile after the 1991 Gulf war. But Speier said all of the missile tests failed.

"The Al Samoud could be incorporated into a two-stage missile," Speier wrote in a recent study for the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

So perhaps we have lies all over the place. But if given a choice, which would you accept?
posted by Postroad at 1:21 PM on March 8, 2003

I heard the faked "evidence" story on NPR this morning. Presumeably they picked up the Post piece.

So the fabled Iraqi drones may be real after all. These would seem (to me) to be the most significant Iraqi WMD threat: with enough Anthrax or Smallpox, a nasty threat indeed.

But frankly, I'm more worried about North Korea cranking out quantities of easily smuggled, hard to detect, and very easily weaponized (a basement or garage project, really) Plutonium. Metafilter's own JackFlash delivers a lecture on this problem here
posted by troutfishing at 2:25 PM on March 8, 2003

One more example of how Bush is botching the Iraq crisis.
posted by homunculus at 3:00 PM on March 8, 2003

has anyone yet proposed an international boycott of newscorp and aoltw? Their failure to adequately report out-and-out lies is really irresponsible. AOLTW is in deep financial doodoo and really does need overseas income.

Or maybe we'll just have to wait for Bush to lie about a blow-job. Besides the figurative ones he got at Thursday's press conference.
posted by condour75 at 3:39 PM on March 8, 2003

(Shamefully admits listening to FOX News while reading metafilter, blames it on the children) Talking Head: "So after we take over Iraq and uncover all these WMD, is France and Germany going to look a little foolish"? Ass Puppet from Bush #1 Administration: "No, they will lose any credibility they ever had". Mack Twain calls FOX News, tells screener his question is "If we kick their ass and don't find jack shit in the way of WMD, will we look a little foolish, lose credibility, or would we be considered warmongers"? Screener: "Sorry, that segment is over". (bitchslaps children, forces them to watch cartoons)
posted by Mack Twain at 3:54 PM on March 8, 2003

Of course, we should note, that according to wapo, the intelligence services were also fooled by the phony docs. It looks more like CIA incompetence than perfidity.

But then the tinfoil hat crowd chimes in: that's what they want you to think...

Touching on postroad's "which to believe" observation: Nobody is going to go to the Baghdad archives in 2025 and write the book that demolishes Saddam's historical legacy the way that revelations about Tonkin undermined the historical place of Johnson, for example. Folks in the White House ("41" and "43") are very aware of the spotlight that history will place on them and I suspect, they would be reluctant to do anything as blatant as half of what they are accused of.
posted by ednopantz at 4:17 PM on March 8, 2003

you go Mack. I think Bush could (and should) seal a deal with the UNSC if he makes the following concession:

He should agree to wear a rainbow clown wig for the rest of his term if they don't find any WMD.

Hell, I'll stop protesting if he can make this promise.
posted by condour75 at 4:23 PM on March 8, 2003

thanks for the link to the jack flash post - troutfishing. that is really an amazingly informative, well written post. does anyone else wish he was giving gw some tutoring?
posted by specialk420 at 5:38 PM on March 8, 2003

I'm under the impression that "incompetency" is the CIA's middle name. It seems they're always screwing it up royally.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:02 PM on March 8, 2003

has anyone yet proposed an international boycott of newscorp and aoltw? Their failure to adequately report out-and-out lies is really irresponsible.

*snicker* Which lies would you like them to report?
posted by Vidiot at 8:55 PM on March 8, 2003

Speaking of government deceipt, FX's made-for-TV film of "The Pentagon Papers" is on tonight. I hope they do a good job with it.
posted by homunculus at 11:18 AM on March 9, 2003

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