The al-Quds document.
Recently, New York Times reporter Scott Shane interviewed me for an article concerning the release of Saddam Regime documents to the public. The article entitled Iraq Documents Are Put on Web, and Search Is On gave several generic quotes of intelligence officials stating that the new documents would reveal nothing. I can only assume that Scott Shane missed Condi Rice on the news commenting on the newly released documents that showed the Russian ambassador gave U.S. troop strength and our maneuver plans to Iraq. So “nothing new” is demonstrated to be incorrect.
As well he focused on a headline to one of my articles describing what I call the al-Quds document, IZSP-2003-00003336. In the article, I claimed that this document demonstrated that Saddam had planned to give anthrax to al-Quds, Palestinians living in Iraq and fighting for Saddam, and that they were to use it against Iraqis to implicate the U.S. in a WMD attack.
Scott did not provide any expert testimony specific to this document, or even one point of my analysis but dismissed it out of hand based no doubt on his vast experience working with documents captured in Iraq.
But the anthrax document that intrigued Mr. Robison, the Alabama blogger, does not seem to prove much. It is a message from the Quds Army, a regional militia created by Mr. Hussein, to Iraqi military intelligence that passes on reports picked up by troops, possibly from the radio, since the information is labeled "open source" and "impaired broadcast." No anthrax was found in Iraq by American search teams.
First let me point out, Scott could not get one expert to dispute my finding so he substitutes his own conclusions. Aren’t journalists supposed to report and not make judgments in the articles? But more than that, he couches his own conclusion among the generic statements of intelligence officials to give the reader the impression that the conclusion is from an expert, not his own (conceding of course that he must be an expert since he quoted himself in the article).
Now far be it from me to challenge his obvious expertise in the field when I can only bring the expertise of 13 year army experience as an officer in the field artillery and signal corps, Gulf War and Kosovo operations and the year I spent working with the Iraq Survey Group analyzing and processing these documents, but I will try.
This is the al-Quds document translation that was posted by FMSO:
To: the general military intelligence directorate
March 11, 2003
The al-Quds liberation army division supplied us with information (open source) (impaired broadcast) as follows
1. The Iraqi government will distribute the same leaflets that the American forces are distributing but it will contain anthrax.
2. Iraq imports uniforms resembling American forces uniforms for the purpose of killing Iraqi citizens because the American forces had killed the innocent sons of the Iraqi people.
3. Dig trenches around the city of Baghdad and set up oil barrels and derivatives for the purpose of burning and causing mayhem the city of Baghdad as Iraq did in Kuwait.
4. Diplomats are leaving Iraq and Russia says that it has already taken out its representatives from inside Iraq.
5. There is a rumor that some of the children of ministers and high ranking commerce people left Iraq for Russia.
Request review…with regards
Director of the al-Quds Army Intelligence Organization.
Scott makes this point;
“that passes on reports picked up by troops, possibly from the radio, since the information is labeled "open source" and "impaired broadcast."
Basically Scott (and others) has classified this as rumor reporting. These are not just rumors. This is a recitation of a plan. It is called a brief back in U.S. army operations and is usually done at a coordination meeting for an operation. How can I determine this?
Well Scott says the U.S. forces found no anthrax. So let’s use his logic to examine the document. If it is not a plan and is all rumors then there should be no evidence to support the other statements.
Line two talks of Iraqi soldiers dressing in U.S. uniforms and killing Iraqis. The obvious point of this would be to stage a U.S. massacre. So did it happen?
From The Heritage Foundation
Defense officials have received accounts of Special Republican Guard troops and Fedayeen forces dressing in U.S. military uniforms, accepting the surrender of other Iraqi forces, and then executing those soldiers that surrendered.
So it would appear that this “rumor” happened just as predicted.
Line three talks about digging trenches around Baghdad, filling them with oil and setting it on fire. This is to create the image of a city being burned to the ground to again implicate the U.S. in a massacre.
Did it happen? This is from a well known Iraqi blogger: Where is Raed
Monday, March 24, 2003
half an hour ago the oil filled trenches were put on fire. First watching Al-jazeera they said that these were the places that got hit by bombs from an air raid a few miniutes earlier bit when I went up to the roof to take a look I saw that there were too many of them, we heard only three explosions. I took pictures of the nearest. My cousine came and told me he saw police cars standing by one and setting it on fire. Now you can see the columns of smoke all over the city.
And from a CNN transcript
March 25th, 2003
BROWN: Just go back to the first one, the picture with the smoke.
KAGAN: All right.
BROWN: What is that? Is that an oil trench burning? Do we know what that is that's causing all that smoke?
KAGAN: They're talking about oil fires ringing the city, talking about defense of incoming U.S. missiles and bombs. I think this is -- yes, the trenches that were dug around Baghdad.
Thus we have a second “rumor” that happened just as stated by the al-Quds intelligence document.
The fifth line is clearly labeled as rumor, which shows that a distinction has been made about that line from the other lines thereby demonstrating that the others are not rumor reporting.
Also released by the FMSO is another document translated by the Free Republic and described thusly:
In this Iraqi document ISGQ 2004-00224003 dated February 7 2001, there was a discussion in upper echelon of the Iraqi intelligence about mass graves in Southern Iraq and how to shift the blame to the Coalition forces and make it look like these mass graves as the results massacres committed by the Coalition forces back in 1991 during Desert Storm Operation.
When you read the translation it is clear that the mechanism of death was to be portrayed as radiation (undoubtedly a product of the ridiculous notion that Depleted Uranium would cause massive deaths) to implicate the U.S. in a WMD attack (radioactive) against Iraqis. This document demonstrates the exact modus operandi that is demonstrated in the al-Quds document.
Scott’s logic is also faulty because the “impaired broadcast” can easily be the mechanism of transmission of this report and not the way that the information was originally derived.
The “open source” is most likely a generic term to keep from stating who specifically was to carry out these acts. It is a subterfuge. If the information was obtained “open source” then there is no reason to make the document secret. Who are they keeping it secret from? It is already “open source”.
So to summarize, two of the three statements of fact stated as actions by “the Iraqi Government’ or “Iraq” are demonstrated to have been carried out. I don’t know about Scott, but my meager experience tells me that when you say certain events will happen in a secret document and those events happen two out of three times, I call that a plan, not a rumor. And that plan was for the Iraqi government to give foreign fighters anthrax. This is the exact scenario that President Bush warned about. I suspect that is Scott' true motivation for his pathetic attempt at analysis.
Make sure you visit the "Iraq Documents articles" under catagory to see what else is "nothing new".
UPDATE: Previously I posted an interview with intelligence analyst:
Author, "Death to America: The Unreported Battle of Iraq"
Analyst, Northeast Intelligence Network and Tactical Defense Concepts
UPDATE: Reader Brett brought this article to my attention.
By Richard Whittle, The Dallas Morning News
Anti-Hussein messages, secret missions part of psychological warfare
U.S. military planners assume that Iraq's Republican Guard and the Special Republican Guard that protects President Saddam Hussein will fight. But based on the waves of regular Iraqi soldiers who surrendered during the 1991 Persian Gulf War, they hope to induce as many as possible to do the same again.
"The leaflets, the broadcasts, are to try to get; if there is a conflict; to keep the worst case from happening," Gen. Myers said.
"Apparently they're having some effect," he added, "because we understand the Iraqi regime tells the populace that these leaflets are coated with chemicals and are actually out there picking them up with chemical suits on and gloves."