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US chief Iraq arms expert quits

alexd

Administrator
Staff member
US chief Iraq arms expert quits (from bbc)

Mr Kay cast doubt on Iraq's weapons programmes
The head of the team searching for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, David Kay, has resigned.

Mr Kay said he did not believe Iraq possessed large stockpiles of chemical or biological weapons.

He is being replaced by a former deputy head of the United Nations weapons inspections team, Charles Duelfer.

Mr Duelfer said earlier this month he believed the chances of finding chemical or biological weapons in Iraq were now "close to nil".

Mr Kay gave no reason for leaving, but the BBC's John Leyne in Washington says sources there speak of a mixture of personal reasons and his disillusionment with the weapons search.

His resignation had been expected for a few weeks.

'No stockpiles'

The Iraq Survey Group (ISG) team leader was appointed by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) last June to head the post-war search for chemical, nuclear and biological weapons in Iraq.


No WMDs have been found in Iraq
The issue of banned weapons was the central element of the US case for invading the country.

In an interview with Reuters news agency after his resignation was announced, Mr Kay said he did not believe there had been large-scale production of chemical or biological weapons in Iraq since the end of the first Gulf War in 1991.

"I don't think they existed," Mr Kay said.

"What everyone was talking about is stockpiles produced after the end of the last Gulf War and I don't think there was a large-scale production programme in the 90s."

"I think we have found probably 85% of what we're going to find."

Our correspondent says these are powerful remarks from someone who once strongly believed Iraq's weapons of mass destruction (WDM) represented a major threat.

Democrat criticism

In his recent State of the Union address, US President George W Bush quoted the conclusion of Mr Kay's interim report, which said only that WMD-related programme activities had been found in Iraq.

The Bush administration has not officially reacted to Mr Kay's latest remarks but correspondents say this is a serious embarrassment for the White House. On Thursday, Vice President Dick Cheney said he still had not given up hope of finding WMDs in Iraq.


Mr Duelfer is widely respected in the arms control field
Leading Democrats have seized on Mr Kay's remarks.

"It increasingly appears that our intelligence was wrong about Iraq's weapons, and the administration compounded that mistake by exaggerating the nuclear threat and Iraq's ties to al-Qaeda," said Senator John Rockefeller, the senior Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee.

"As a result, the United States is paying a very heavy price."

Jane Harman, of the House of Representatives intelligence committee, said Mr Kay's comments pointed to a massive intelligence failure and could not be ignored.

On Friday, the new ISG group head, Mr Duelfer, distanced himself from his comments on US television earlier this month in which he expressed doubts that banned weapons would ever be found.

"I have now been given the responsibility of being in charge of the investigation and I don't know what the outcome will be. I don't want to pre-judge that," he said.

Mr Duelfer, 51, served as deputy executive chairman of the UN Special Commission on Iraq from 1993 to 2000.
 

AkashSinha

TRIBE Member
now here's my question - and i'd really appreciate a good reason as to why this can't happen

if .. as it seems it will turn out .. that the wmds never existed, and that was the main reason for the u.s. invasion - cannot the people of iraq launch a suit against the amaerican government?

there must be a solid case that can indeed by made. hell .. i would hope that any bright lawyer could band of citizens could form a "coalition" to launch the suit. i'm sure the damages awared would be astounding.
 

~atp~

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by AkashSinha
now here's my question - and i'd really appreciate a good reason as to why this can't happen

if .. as it seems it will turn out .. that the wmds never existed, and that was the main reason for the u.s. invasion - cannot the people of iraq launch a suit against the amaerican government?

there must be a solid case that can indeed by made. hell .. i would hope that any bright lawyer could band of citizens could form a "coalition" to launch the suit. i'm sure the damages awared would be astounding.

Off the top of my head I can think of a couple of problems:

1) This would require an organized and recognized group of Iraqis (ie. a government). If the United States gets their way, the government will be "appointed" and not really elected, which will probably result in a complicit Iraqi government which would not support such actions.

2) If a successful complaint was recognized at an international level, who would enforce any conviction against the United States. The U.S. has already been found guilty by the World Court for supporting terrorism, but that didn't stop them at all. *shrugs* I like your idea, but just can't see it going anywhere in this political climate.
 
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Boss Hog

TRIBE Member
I'm just curious beatnik, you've also asked me for public info before... do you want to know more about this stuff or are do you not believe the information that's posted? I'm asking because you could always look it up yourself if you were interested.

Just curious.
 

~atp~

TRIBE Member
Some of the rulings (official text):

Rejects the justification of collective self-defence maintained by the United States of America in connection with the military and paramilitary activities in and against Nicaragua the subject of this case;

...

Decides that the United States of America, by training, arming, equipping, financing and supplying the contra forces or otherwise encouraging, supporting and aiding military and paramilitary activities in and against Nicaragua, has acted, against the Republic of Nicaragua, in breach of its obligation under customary international law not to intervene in the affairs of another State;

...


Decides that the United States of America, by certain attacks on Nicaraguan territory in 1983-1984, namely attacks on Puerto Sandino on 13 September and 14 October 1983 ; an attack on Corinto on 10 October 1983 ; an attack on Potosi Naval Base on 4/5 January 1984; an attack on San Juan del Sur on 7 March 1984; attacks on patrol boats at Puerto Sandino on 28 and 30 March 1984; and an attack on San Juan del Norte on 9 April 1984; and further by those acts of intervention referred to in subparagraph (3) hereof which involve the use of force, has acted, against the Republic of Nicaragua, in breach of its obligation under customary international law not to use force against another State;

...

Decides that the United States of America, by directing or authorizing overflights of Nicaraguan territory, and by the acts imputable to the United States referred to in subparagraph (4) hereof, has acted, against the Republic of Nicaragua, in breach of its obligation under customary international law not to violate the sovereignty of another State;

...

Decides that the United States of America is under an obligation to make reparation to the Republic of Nicaragua for all injury caused to Nicaragua by the breaches of obligations under customary international law enumerated above;

...

Decides that the form and amount of such reparation, failing agreement between the Parties, will be settled by the Court, and reserves for this purpose the subsequent procedure in the case;


This is the general assembly resolution which supported the ICJ's decision: http://www.un.org/documents/ga/res/43/a43r011.htm
 

expat

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Boss Hog
I'm just curious beatnik, you've also asked me for public info before... do you want to know more about this stuff or are do you not believe the information that's posted? I'm asking because you could always look it up yourself if you were interested.

Just curious.

When I ask for more info it's either for the sake of curiousity or incredulity. And even though I could look stuff up myself, it's usually easier to ask for the specific reference, simply to make sure I'm on the same page. It's all about reducing transaction costs!
 
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~atp~

TRIBE Member
The reason people react negatively to the suggestion that the United States supports terrorism, is because these people believe that the United States only supports causes that are "for the greater good" and therefore shrug off minor breaches of international law as being necessary to achieve peace, that is, harmful actions ultimately designed to achieve some greater good (read: democracy, and other memes).

So then, when you hear about Nicaragua, you assume that the support for guerrillas in that country must've been to defeat great evils and defend the sanctity of the citizens in that country.

Unfortunately, regardless of what the United States' intentions are, the effects produced are undeniable, and appear on the surface as something entirely different from democracy.
 
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expat

TRIBE Member
A lot of times when I ask for sources or more information it's to get a sense of the poster's interpretation of court rulings or historical events. In this case, I simply don't see any evidence of a court finding the US guilty of "supporting terrorism". It seems that the ICJ held the US culpable for violating a number of international laws, but this is not to say that they are "supporting terrorism". From what I know about US involvement in Nicaragua, there were many terrorist elements to their overall strategy. Clearly, it was pretty disgusting what they did.
But, based on what atp posted, I don't see support for his statement that "the world court has found the US guilty for supporting terrorism". This would require the court defining terrorism and then finding the US guilty on those grounds. Based on what was posted, that didn't happen. Point being, it often helps to ask for sources and more info. :)
 

Boss Hog

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by beatnik
I simply don't see any evidence of a court finding the US guilty of "supporting terrorism".

Did you read the documents?

This was on the first page of this one.

Acts imputable to respondent State - Mining of ports - Attacks on oil installations and other objectives - Overflights - Support of armed bands opposed to Government of applicant State - Encouragement of conduct contrary to principles of humanitarian law - Economic pressure - Circumstances precluding international responsibility...

...Principles of humanitarian law - 1949 Geneva Conventions... Respect for human rights - Rights of States to choose political system, ideology and alliances.


there's lots of interesting stuff in there. Go on, read it.
 

expat

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Boss Hog
Did you read the documents?

there's lots of interesting stuff in there. Go on, read it.
lol... so typical to think that if someone disagrees it's because they haven't read the docs. It's called "interpretation" and, by definition, it will always take different forms. :rolleyes:
Anyways, I did in fact read the documents and I found them very interesting. Like I said, the US has a lot to answer for, and they clearly violated a number of international laws. But the court did not say anything about terrorism. I think they probably did this intentionally, so as not to be forced to define the term. An essential characteristic of terrorism (IMO) is the targetting of civilians --where does it that the US did this?
My simple point is that the documents posted do not support the poster's claim that the "world court has found the US guilty of supporting terrorism". Where does it say that? Maybe atp posted the wrong link?
 

Adam

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by beatnik
I think they probably did this intentionally, so as not to be forced to define the term.
I think semantics are probably the issue here. Both of you guys are on the same page here, as far as I can tell.

Decides that the United States of America, by training, arming, equipping, financing and supplying the contra forces or otherwise encouraging, supporting and aiding military and paramilitary activities in and against Nicaragua, has acted, against the Republic of Nicaragua, in breach of its obligation under customary international law not to intervene in the affairs of another State
Can we agree this is terrorism?
 

expat

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Adam
Can we agree this is terrorism?
It would depend on how you define terrorism. I think that a necessary characteristic of terrorism is targetting civilians.
It seems that the US supplied armed rebels in their fight against the state and the military, which is not terrorism.
Obviously it is an immoral breach of int'l law, but it isn't terrorism.
 
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SlipperyPete

TRIBE Member
I'll agree with that, only if you agree to call a round fruit that grows on trees and is orange in colour a porcupine.

http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=terrorism

"The unlawful use or threatened use of force or violence by a person or an organized group against people or property with the intention of intimidating or coercing societies or governments, often for ideological or political reasons."

Sounds like the US has, was and is supporting terrorism to me.


**peels porcupine**
 

expat

TRIBE Member
from: http://www.afsc.org/central/ia/fa0104.htm

"There is currently no definition of terrorism in customary international law".

"The World Court, without a working definition, cannot interpret terrorism per se, but it has ruled on the use of force by states against other states [in the case of Nicaragua v. United States of America]".

We could agree ourselves that the US supported terrorism in Nicaragua. That's fine. They probably did. But to state that the World Court came to this conclusion is WRONG. They did not.
That's all I'm saying. :)
 

Boss Hog

TRIBE Member
So beatnik by your point why don't we just use the US' definition of terrorism, since it's one of their administrations favourite buzz words of the last two years. It's fair to accuse them by their own definition, is it not?


Originally posted by SlipperyPete

http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=terrorism

"The unlawful use or threatened use of force or violence by a person or an organized group against people or property with the intention of intimidating or coercing societies or governments, often for ideological or political reasons."

Sounds like the US has, was and is supporting terrorism to me.

When you read the documents from the World Court, then by US definition they are terrorists. The World Court may not use the specific word and that is, as was mentined, semantics. It's still terrorism.
 

Boss Hog

TRIBE Member
Boy I bet some of you feel like real assholes now! Probably not.

Iraq didn't have WMDs: Inspector
Failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq points to intelligence failure, Kay says


KATHERINE PFLEGER
ASSOCIATED PRESS

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. intelligence agencies need to explain why their research indicated Iraq possessed banned weapons before the American-led invasion, says the outgoing top U.S. inspector, who now believes Saddam Hussein had no such arms.
"I don't think they exist," David Kay said today. "The fact that we found so far the weapons do not exist - we've got to deal with that difference and understand why.''

Kay's remarks on National Public Radio reignited criticism from Democrats, who ignored his cautions that the failure to find weapons of mass destruction was "not a political issue.''

"It's an issue of the capabilities of one's intelligence service to collect valid, truthful information," Kay said. Asked whether President Bush owed the nation an explanation for the gap between his warnings and Kay's findings, Kay said: "I actually think the intelligence community owes the president, rather than the president owing the American people.''

The CIA would not comment today on Kay's remarks, although one intelligence official pointed out that Kay himself had predicted last year that his search would turn up banned weapons.

Kay said his predictions were not "coming back to haunt me in the sense that I am embarrassed. They are coming back to haunt me in the sense of `Why could we all be so wrong?'''

The White House stuck by its assertions that illicit weapons will be found in Iraq but had no additional response today to Kay's remarks.

Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., said Kay's comments reinforced his belief that the Bush administration had exaggerated the threat Iraq posed.

"It confirms what I have said for a long period of time, that we were misled - misled not only in the intelligence, but misled in the way that the president took us to war," Kerry, a White House contender, said on "Fox News Sunday.'' "I think there's been an enormous amount of exaggeration, stretching, deception.''

Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said he was surprised Kay "did not find some semblance of WMD" in Iraq. Roberts said a report on Iraq intelligence, to be delivered to his panel Wednesday, should help clarify the CIA's prewar performance.

"It appears now that that intelligence - there's a lot of questions about it," Roberts said on CNN's "Late Edition.''

In October 2002, Bush said Iraq had "a massive stockpile of biological weapons that has never been accounted for and is capable of killing millions." In his television address two days before launching the invasion, Bush said U.S. troops would enter Iraq "to eliminate weapons of mass destruction.''

Kay returned permanently from Iraq last month, having found no biological, nuclear or chemical weapons nor missiles with longer range than Iraq's troublesome president, Saddam Hussein, was allowed under international restrictions.

But today, Kay reiterated his conclusion that Saddam had "a large number of WMD program-related activities." And, he said, Iraq's leaders had intended to continue those activities.

"There were scientists and engineers working on developing weapons or weapons concepts that they had not moved into actual production," Kay said. "But in some areas, for example producing mustard gas, they knew all the answers, they had done it in the past, and it was a relatively simple thing to go from where they were to starting to produce it.''

The Iraqis had not decided to begin producing such weapons at the time of the invasion, he concluded.

Kay also said chaos in postwar Iraq made it impossible to know with certainty whether Iraq had had banned weapons.

And, he said, there is ample evidence that Iraq was moving a steady stream of goods shipments to Syria, but it is difficult to determine whether the cargoes included weapons, in part because Syria has refused to cooperate in this part of the weapons investigation.

Administration officials have sent mixed signals in recent days about the hunt in Iraq for illicit weapons.

While Bush's spokesmen have insisted weapons will yet be found, Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of State Powell held open the possibility that they will not.

Cheney warned in March 2003, three days before the invasion: "We believe he (Saddam) has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons.''

But in an interview Wednesday with NPR, he said of the weapons search: "The jury is still out.''

Powell was asked Saturday about Kay's doubts that Iraq had banned weapons.

"The answer to that question is, we don't know yet," Powell told reporters as he traveled to the former Soviet republic of Georgia.

Kay said he resigned Friday because the Pentagon began peeling away his staff of weapons-searchers as the military struggled to put down the Iraqi insurgency last fall.

"I didn't think I had the capability to adequately direct an organization that was working both for a four-star general as well as working for me," Kay said. He said he understood the urgency of quelling the rebellion for Gen. John Abizaid, senior military man in the campaign, but "it is one of those bureaucratic things that never work out.''

Kay hopes to draw on his experiences to write a book on weapons intelligence.

http://www.torontostar.com/NASApp/c...404&call_pageid=968332188492&col=968793972154
 

expat

TRIBE Member
so according to dictionary.com the US engages in terrorism, and according to the US government's defintion of terrorism, they implicate themselves. That's all well and good but it does nothing to support the claim that the World Court has found the US guilty of supporting terrorism. They haven't --and that's all I'm suggesting. And it may be semantics, but so is most of the law and international politics. Like I said earlier, the ICJ was probably very conscious in specifically NOT saying "terrorism". If you have no respect for philology then you'll throw words around without regard for consistency or meaning, but if the court --especially the world court-- did this, then important words would quickly lose their meaning.
 
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Boss Hog

TRIBE Member
Show me a nation the ICJ does use terrorism for.

If I forcefully make love to your sister it's still rape.
 

expat

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Boss Hog
Show me a nation the ICJ does use terrorism for.
That's the point. The court should not implicate a state for terrorism until there is an int'l treaty or document that defines the term. As far as I know this is currently happening.

And in a court of law (which is the context of this conversation) rape is only rape when a judge interprets the appropriate provision in the criminal code and declares it to be rape.
Fortunately, our laws don't depend on dictionary.com
 

Boss Hog

TRIBE Member
For beatnik's sake I make an ammendment to atp's post. Hope you don't mind atp. We just need a little more accuracy here.


Originally posted by ~atp~


2) If a successful complaint was recognized at an international level, who would enforce any conviction against the United States. The U.S. has already been found guilty by the World Court for Acts imputable to respondent State [Nicaragua] - Mining of ports - Attacks on oil installations and other objectives - Overflights - Support of armed bands opposed to Government of applicant State - Encouragement of conduct contrary to principles of humanitarian law - Economic pressure - Circumstances precluding international responsibility...

...Principles of humanitarian law - 1949 Geneva Conventions... Respect for human rights - Rights of States to choose political system, ideology and alliances, but that didn't stop them at all. *shrugs* I like your idea, but just can't see it going anywhere in this political climate.
 

~atp~

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Boss Hog
For beatnik's sake I make an ammendment to atp's post. Hope you don't mind atp. We just need a little more accuracy here.
That's fine. I'm usually talking out of my ass anyway. ;)

And, since this thread has been thoroughly hijacked, I guess I'll try and put a "period" on this debate about terrorism, not because I know better, but because I was the one using the word for my own vices.

First and foremost, if we can all agree that the United States was found guilty of something by the ICJ, then we're ninety percent of the way to closing out the argument. Regardless of what we decide to call the actions for which the U.S. was accused, the fact remains that those actions were committed. My original point was not to expound on the atrocities in Nicaragua, I had really only set out to make a point tangential to this discussion. However, since beatnik decided to challenge my claim, it's fair that I should be required to back it up.

From the discussion above, I see that the definition for terrorism and the charges laid against the U.S. by the ICJ are fairly similar. The reason the official charges do not use the word "terrorism" should be obvious: the language of the definition is not consistent. Likewise, the general public hesitate to call what the United States did (or do) as "terrorism" because the meme of terrorism (that is, the associated response) to the word itself is very closely associated to assassinations, bombings, and above all else, immoral and/or unethical behaviour. Certainly this runs contrary to the United States' objectives as a collective democracy and therefore it must not be true that they would commit terrorist acts against another sovereign state.

So the real problem here is language. The word "terrorism" is completely ambiguous.

What's truly interesting, and very hypocritical, is that those who criticize the use of the word "terrorism" in reference to the United States do not criticize the use of the word in reference to other countries. Why is one statement more valid than the other? The only logical proof of this position would require a definition and empirical data, neither of which are rarely ever satisfied (or consistent).

According to the definition of terrorism provided by the United States as ""..the unlawful use of force and violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives." (28 C.F.R. Section 0.85)"

Now, if you look at the language of the ruling in the matter of Nicaragua vs. United States, the ICJ ruled that the United States committed acts of terrorism against the Nicaraguan government, if we use the definition of terrorism provided to us by the U.S. federal code of regulations. However, the term is ambiguous, as I mentioned, so this silly (and entirely idiotic) debate will rage on until someone stamps out the ambiguity.



Do you really want to know why I use the word "terrorism"?? It's the same reason Chomsky does it: in retaliation for the abuse of language by the media and government spin-doctors who do the very same thing on a daily basis. They have a lot more responsibility than I do as a critic of policy, and they ought to be far more accountable and accurate in their use of language. However, they are not. ;)
 
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