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A Pentagon official who publicly disclosed information showing Russian involvement in moving Iraqi weapons out of that country has been dismissed. John A. Shaw, the deputy undersecretary of defense for international technology security and formerly an aide to Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, was forced to leave his position Dec. 10 as the result of a "reorganization" that eliminated his job, defense officials said.
Mr. Shaw said he had been asked to resign for "exceeding his authority" in disclosing the information, a charge he called "specious." In October, Mr. Shaw told The Washington Times that he had received foreign intelligence data showing that Russian special forces units were involved in an effort to remove Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction in the weeks before the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq began in March 2003.
In a letter to Mr. Rumsfeld, Mr. Shaw said that information about the covert Russian role in moving Iraqi arms to Syria, Lebanon and possibly Iran was discussed during a meeting that included retired Air Force Lt. Gen. James Clapper, head of the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency; the head of Britain's MI6 intelligence service; and the head of a foreign intelligence service that he did not name.
Iraqi funds for food transferred to banks in Lebanon
By Nicolas Pelham in Amman
Published: December 29 2004 02:00 | Last updated: December 29 2004 02:00
Iraq's trade ministry has transferred hundreds of millions of dollars earmarked for the country's food rations into three Lebanese banks, raising concern about lack of transparency.
"The ministry of trade is trying to revive [the] system as under Saddam Hussein, with the same people, the same banks and the same companies," said a senior Iraqi finance official who asked not to be named.
The trade ministry deposited the funds with Fransabank, chaired by Lebanon's economy minister, Adnan Kassar, al-Mawarid bank and First National Bank. They had been used during the UN's oil-for-food programme, said Iraqi finance officials. Lebanese bankers said they were favoured for their secrecy.
"It may be the Iraqis are doing this because there is a lot of pressure on them to buy things American [and they want to avoid this]," said Reinoud Leenders, a Beirut-based political analyst with the International Crisis Group. "But that doesn't explain why they chose such a relatively minor bank as al-Mawarid."
Originally posted by Majic
This does not seem to be information the Bush administration wishes to call attention to.
The truth is that the U.S. had a huge laundry list of reasons for invading Iraq. I doubt Russian-Iraqi weapons deals were even very high up on that list.
It is also a given fact of life that the real reasons for invading Iraq will probably not be publicly revealed for a very long time, if ever.