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How MI6 Sold the War in Iraq

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posted on Jan, 1 2004 @ 01:05 AM
12/28/03: (The Times) THE Secret Intelligence Service has run an operation to gain public support for sanctions and the use of military force in Iraq. The government yesterday confirmed that MI6 had organised Operation Mass Appeal, a campaign to plant stories in the media about Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction. The revelation will create embarrassing questions for Tony Blair in the run-up to the publication of the report by Lord Hutton into the circumstances surrounding the death of Dr David Kelly, the government weapons expert.

A senior official admitted that MI6 had been at the heart of a campaign launched in the late 1990s to spread information about Saddam’s development of nerve agents and other weapons, but denied that it had planted misinformation. “There were things about Saddam’s regime and his weapons that the public needed to know,” said the official.

The admission followed claims by Scott Ritter, who led 14 inspection missions in Iraq, that MI6 had recruited him in 1997 to help with the propaganda effort. He described meetings where the senior officer and at least two other MI6 staff had discussed ways to manipulate intelligence material.

“The aim was to convince the public that Iraq was a far greater threat than it actually was,” Ritter said last week.

He said there was evidence that MI6 continued to use similar propaganda tactics up to the invasion of Iraq earlier this year. “Stories ran in the media about secret underground facilities in Iraq and ongoing programmes (to produce weapons of mass destruction),” said Ritter. “They were sourced to western intelligence and all of them were garbage.”

Mr Ritter said: "I was brought into the operation in 1997 because at the UN... I sat on a body of data which was not actionable, but was sufficiently sexy that if it could appear in the press could make Iraq look like in a bad way.
"I was approached by MI6 to provide that data, I met with the Mass Appeal operatives both in New York and London on several occasions. This data was provided and this data did find its way into the international media.

"It was intelligence data that dealt with Iraq's efforts to procure WMDs, with Iraq's efforts to conceal WMDs. It was all single source data of dubious quality, which lacked veracity.

"They took this information and peddled it off to the media, internationally and domestically, allowing inaccurate intelligence data, to appear on the front pages.

"The government, both here in the UK and the US, would feed off these media reports, continuing the perception that Iraq was a nation ruled by a leader with an addiction to WMDs."

Of course the entire thing will be denied by surprise here at all.

posted on Jan, 1 2004 @ 12:07 PM
The problem I see is: Scott Ritter.
His reliability as a source is very questionable since his story is changing and is full of logical holes.
Seemingly $400,000, given by an Iraqi businessman, with established ties to Saddam, has greatly enhanced Mr. Ritter's views as well. And yet, Mr. Ritter claims he is in debt because of the film/documentery....some $50,000? Riigghhtt.

The man speaks with "forked-tongue" and his credibility as a 'source' is better left unsaid, especially in respect to using Mr. Ritter's utterances in the above article Shotek.

Here's some information on that:

"Saddam Hussein's American Apologist"

"Ex-UN Inspector Ritter to Tour Iraq, Make Documentary"

"SLUG: 2-278385 Iraq Sanctions / Movie (L only)"

"Ritter's documentary premieres at UN"

Mr. Ritter speaks "double-talk". Think not? Here's what Mr. Scott Ritter said in an interview in 1998, after his 'retirement' or withdrawal from UNSCOM:

"ELIZABETH FARNSWORTH: Could you describe the most recent investigation that you wanted to undertake. Give us a little detail about it and what happened to derail it.

WILLIAM SCOTT RITTER, JR.: Well, basically, the investigations that I was tasked with carrying out by the executive chairman involved looking at exposing the means by which Iraq hides their prohibited weapons and weapons capabilities from the special commission. We needed to expose this methodology so that they used so we could get at the weapons, themselves. And the investigation has been going on for several years now, and this summer we were in the process of resuming these inspections, you know, in accordance with the agreement reached by Kofi Annan and Saddam Hussein in accordance with the Security Council resolutions that said Iraq had to comply or face severe consequences, so we're trying to get back on task. We had some very specific information, which led us to believe we could go to locations where we would find aspects of this hidden weaponry, of these hidden components, and also uncover how Iraq actually went about hiding these weapons from the commission. We had very specific information, and we believe that if we'd been allowed to accomplish this inspection, we could have achieved meaningful disarmament results."

And here:

"ELIZABETH FARNSWORTH: Mr. Ritter, does Iraq still have prescribed weapons?

WILLIAM SCOTT RITTER, JR.: Iraq still has prescribed weapons capability. There needs to be a careful distinction here. Iraq today is challenging the special commission to come up with a weapon and say where is the weapon in Iraq, and yet part of their efforts to conceal their capabilities, I believe, have been to disassemble weapons into various components and to hide these components throughout Iraq. I think the danger right now is that without effective inspections, without effective monitoring, Iraq can in a very short period of time measure the months, reconstitute chemical biological weapons, long-range ballistic missiles to deliver these weapons, and even certain aspects of their nuclear weaponization program.

ELIZABETH FARNSWORTH: And is it your contention that without a significant and realistic threat of military action, Iraq will not allow the investigations to begin again, beyond just the monitoring that's already going on?

WILLIAM SCOTT RITTER, JR.: Well, in this I would only echo the words made by the Secretary-General and other personnel back in February, who said that you couldn't have had the February MOU without the real and credible threat of military force. That's an obvious statement. You can't expect to enforce the law unless you have the means to carry out the enforcement."

This interview was done just after Ritter resigned as lead weapons inspector from UNSCOM. Mr. Ritter believed Saddam/Iraq were effectively hiding weapons, and that they still possessed the means to produce WMD's. Somehow today, incredulously and 'mysteriously', Mr. Ritter is singing a different tune. But at the time that Mr. Ritter was most informed, his opinion was that Iraq had the capability of producing the weapons and that without the threat of military force, it would continue to defy the UN and the US. Strange how things have changed, eh? Now, after years of not seeing any 'real' up-to-date information, Mr. Ritter is now recanting or changing his views?!

Here's the source for the above quotes and information:
"SCOTT RITTER; August 31, 1998
The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer Transcript"

Link: September, which he later says again in December, of that same year (1998), Mr. Scott Ritter states or indicates to the Nuclear Control Institute (NCI) that Iraq/Saddam still had the means to make a nuclear weapon and that all that was missing was fissionable (fissile) material?



Mr. Scott Ritter lacks any 'source' credibility or credibility at all, especially after this:

"Saddam's Cash"
From the May 5, 2003 issue: And the journalists and politicians he bought with it.

"....Al-Khafaji first came to public notice after revelations that he gave former U.N. weapons inspector Scott Ritter $400,000 to produce a film that criticized the United States for its role in the inspection process. Al-Khafaji, who is listed as a "senior executive producer" of the film, arranged meetings for Ritter with high-level officials in Saddam's government, a feat New York Times magazine writer Barry Bearak found "impressive." Ritter had previously been an outspoken critic of Saddam Hussein, and issued dire warnings about the status of the Iraqi dictator's weapons of mass destruction. His sudden flip--he is now a leading apologist for Saddam's regime--and revelations about Ritter's 2001 arrest for soliciting sex with minors have fueled speculation about the nature of his relationship with al-Khafaji."

You raved about my 'source issues'....?
Scott Ritter is defintely a "source issue"!


[Edited on 1-1-2004 by Seekerof]

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