My Photo

Feeds

  • Add to My Yahoo!

« The al-quds document | Main | Iraqi memo about intelligence precautions for a secret arab group in Afghanistan. »

Comments

Scott Malensek

"For the record, Iraq only ever managed to produce poorly refined liquid bulk anthrax with a limited shelf life.
Naturally, pouring that stuff over leaflets would have about the same effect as pouring water over a piece of paper!"

Iraq had the growth media and the equipment, and was actively making simulants. The process for which was nearly identical to weaponizing the anthrax itself. Pretending Saddam's anthrax was little more than water seems to dilute the UN's claims of concern.

UNMOVIC
Unresolved Disarmament Issues Report
Dr Hans Blix
3/6/03 (two weeks before the invasion, 4 months after UN1441, and 6 months after the US military buildup began)

"UNSCOM assessed Iraq’s production capability on the basis of two potentially limiting factors: equipment and growth media. UNSCOM assessed that, based on its estimate of the available equipment to the BW programme at that time, and the known capacity of such equipment, Iraq’s potential production of anthrax could have been in the range of about 22,000 to 39,000 litres. UNSCOM also estimated that based on unaccounted for growth media, Iraq’s potential production of anthrax could have been in the range of about 15,000 to 25,000 litres."

"…much of the same equipment used in making weapons of mass destruction is potentially dual-use; the same fermentor used to make anthrax could be rinse out to make beer, and the same equipment used to make the nerve agents sarin and tabun could be used to make aspirin tablets.
...
Saddam has publicly crowed about the fact that Bush is now gone, Gorbachev is gone, and Thatcher is gone-while Saddam is still in his palace in Baghdad, having outlasted them all.
...
I apprised the Security Council, pointing out that movement of equipment without prior notification was prohibited under its monitoring plan. Such interference could indicate an immediate problem with Iraqi compliance. In the biological context, for example, it would take a mere hours to adapt fermenters, once moved out of [monitoring] camera range, to the production of seed stocks of biological warfare agents."
-Australian Ambassador Richard Butler, fmr head of UNSCOM,
The Greatest Threat, Iraq, Weapons of Mass Destruction, and the Growing Crisis of Global Security (2000edition)

Ray Robison

SGO, These documents were collected, translated (some of them), and archived under the contracts of intelligence organizations. They are not known for releasing information. In fact, you could say they like to keep everything a secret. That is the culture in the intel community. There is no mechanism for the release of documentation other than the FOIA office (until now) and they have told me they are still fulfilling requests from the 90's. In a word which libs and cons can all appreciate, bureaucracy.

When you say the government has looked at them, you are not giving the full picture. In some cases, they have been translated but not looked at in the scope of study. In other words, if I am an analyst and looking for a particular item, I may not care that it says something important about something else. It happens all the time with analysts. Some have only been gisted which for a 3 hour tape can involve listening to 30 seconds of it.
And some of it may have been looked at by an analyst but no mechanism is in place to reveal a new finding. Like I said, they intel business is about keeping secrets.

upyernoz

RR: open source" this is where context comes in. This is a week before the attack that the al-Quds are well aware is about to happen. It is quite likely they know that secret documents may be captured. If they are given this information by say, Saddam's sons, they are not going to attribute that right in the document for the world to see. That is deception which anybody who has studied the Iraq regime knows is integral to daily operations.

so you're saying that parts of the document were added because the author knew it probably would be captured? why would they only add the words "open source"? doesn't that logic bring into question the accuracy of the entire document? i mean, if the author added the words "open source" (or however you want to translate them) to throw the americans off, how do we know he didn't also add the word "anthrax"?

seriously, that's a grasping for straws argument if i've ever seen one

RR: "announcement" could very well be the al-Quds intelligence officer "announcing" to the intelligence headquarters the orders he has received.

wrong. it can't possibly mean that. the word that is something like "announcement" not "announcement" itself. it's the adjective form of a word with the same root as the word for announcement. it's probably something more like "announcing." in any case, the word modifies the word "masaadir" which means "origins." get it? "origins" in the noun, not "announcing." announcing is modifying the word "origins." in other words, it means that the origins of the document is some kind of announcement

welcome to the pitfalls of interpreting the language of a document when you don't know the grammar of it's original language

RR: "i think, is more plausible than your interpretation under the circumstances"
Based on what? The fact that two of the three action items in the statement did in fact happen? You deduce from that fact that this is a rumor? I question your judgement about what is a straightforward logical deduction. If they say it is going to happen and it happens 2 out of 3 times, then it is an "announcement" of a plan and not rumor collection. Or else why is the 5th line specifically designated a rumor and not the first three.

based on the language of the document itself (see above re: "announcement"--that's simply not what it says)

RR: Yes, everybody calls a radio, a radio, because a military tactical radio is a radio.

i'm sorry but that is a rather sad comeback. as i said, everyone may call a tactical radio a "radio" for short in english, but that doesn't mean that they use the word "idha'a" for tactical radio as opposed to a public broadcast. that's the only sense i've heard the word "idha'a" used, but admittedly i have no idea what words arabs use for a tactical radio. the thing is, i don't think you do either.

the bottom line is that "idha'a sawa" is widely recognized in the arab world as a proper name for an american financed radio channel. it's like if an iraqi reads a document stating that the source of some information is ABC and assumes that means the alphabet

RR: I have had others tell me (and my opinion as well) is that "impaired broadcast" refers to the quality of the signal on the tactical radio, thus warning that parts of the message were hard to make out.

once again, that's in english. that has no bearing on the meaning of "idha'a sawa"

haven't you ever studied a foreign language before? believe it or not, expressions tend not to translate word-for-word. most arabic expressions i have learned in my studies make no sense if taken literally. expressions in english like "may day" (confusing because it's an import from french) do not work if you simply translate them into another language.

RR: I have looked up Sawa and it also is defined as "together". So if that is the literal translation then it could very well mean "radio together impaired" or "all radios impaired" which would make sense considering we were almost surely jamming their radios at that point.

now you're getting confused.

yes, sawa can also mean "together" (that's why the u.s. chose the word for it's radio station). but if that was the sense of the word "sawa" the document was using then it would not have also meant the word "impaired."

get it? "sawa" means either "together" or "impaired." it doesn't mean both at the same time. so maybe it means "together radio", but, if so, it definitely isn't talking about anything being "impaired."

and again "idha'a sawa" is a familiar proper name that actually fits in the context of the document. there are other words for "impaired" that could have been used. whoever picked the one that created such an obvious ambiguity would have to be a moron. i thought intelligence documents are supposed to be clear

David M

"Iraq had the growth media and the equipment..."

False.

Iraq had had the growth media and the equipment. Past tense.

The stuff was (unilaterally) destroyed, dismantled, and rendered harmless years ago.

Ray Robison

DM-"Iraq had had the growth media and the equipment. Past tense."

http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/ops/iraq_back.htm

In particular, UNSCOM was concerned that:

Iraq may still have operational SCUD-type missiles with chemical and biological warheads. Critical missile components, warheads, and propellant are not accounted for.
UNSCOM strongly suspected that admitted Iraqi figures for production of BW agent are still too low. Over Nor are 17 tons of growth media for BW agents are not accounted for - enough to produce more than three times the amount of anthrax Iraq admits it had.
Iraq's CW program was on an enormous scale. 4,000 tonnes of CW precursors are not accounted for. These could have produced several hundred tons of CW agents, enough to fill several thousand munitions. Over 31,000 CW munitions are not accounted for. Key items of CW production equipment are also missing.
Over 600 tonnes of VX precursors are also not accounted for. These could make 200 tons of VX. One drop is enough to kill. 200 tons could wipe out the world's population.

Scott Malensek

"Anthrax.
The UN could not confi rm, and in fact its evidence contradicted, the quantities of anthrax declared by Iraq as having been produced, used for trials, fi lled into weapons, and destroyed. The UN assessed that Iraq probably had greater stocks of the agent on hand in 1991 than it declared, probably for use in the Mirage F1 drop-tanks, and questioned Iraq’s account of destruction of the agent. ISG has interviewed most of the key Iraqis who admitted working with the agent, and has obtained contradictory explanations of the events. The details are inconclusive"
-ISG rpt vol III pg 56+

"Iraq had had the growth media and the equipment. Past tense.
The stuff was (unilaterally) destroyed, dismantled, and rendered harmless years ago."


Mmmm, interesting. I wonder why Dr Blix cited it in his UNRESOLVED Disarmament Issues Report? Perhaps you have some proof of this? Oh wait-don't bother...

Here's the PICTURES of the dual use stuff Saddam and his supporters claim was destroyed (in direct contrast to Dr Blix' 3/6/03 claims that it had not been), but found by the US post-invasion...
ISG report vol III, pg 35, figure7
ISG report vol III, pg 41, figure9
ISG report vol III, pg 43, figure10

Further,
"1m3 Stainless Steel Mobile Tanks
...Thus out of an original 47 items, 18 1m3 and four 800-liter fermentors are still to be found. There are 22 items unaccounted for. Additionally, ISG has learned of additional production after 1990 (see Figure 13)."

As I said earlier...if anyone has evidence that Dr Blix, UNMOVIC, and the ISG seem unable to find regarding destruction of Saddam's anthrax and the capability to make fresh anthrax...please...where is it?

swamp6

Ray, it seems you have stirred up a the lib ant pile. Good let them come.
I can almost smell the patchouli oil emanating from the libs wriggling their way out of their holes in cyberspace, muttering their imbecilic ramblings.

Davidm, did you know that personal attacks like:
"What analytical skills do you possess? Critical thinking is a necessary required asset.", do nothing to enforce your argument? Textbook Ad Hominem fallacious argument.
Critical thinking is the formation of logical inferences, and that is exactly what Ray is doing.

Rock on Ray.

Ray Robison

upyernoz "so you're saying that parts of the document were added because the author knew it probably would be captured?" No, the opposite, parts were left out because they knew it might be captured.
"how do we know he didn't also add the word "anthrax"? again 2 out of 3 are verified as having happened.
"i'm sorry but that is a rather sad comeback. as i said, everyone may call a tactical radio a "radio" for short in english, but that doesn't mean that they use the word "idha'a" for tactical radio as opposed to a public broadcast. that's the only sense i've heard the word "idha'a" used, but admittedly i have no idea what words arabs use for a tactical radio. the thing is, i don't think you do either."

you say it means radio, thus I am giving you the benefit of the doubt that it means radio. It is very likely that in any language, a radio operator would call it a radio whether or not it also means something else.

"sawa" means either "together" or "impaired." then it is a stalemate and you have to put the words in context with the document which is that two of the three action items were in fact acted upon, (again why is the 5th line labelled rumors yet the others say they "will"? No one has explained that yet. care to try?) unless you can show me that on that date or before it, Sawa radio made these claims, then I would reconsider.

"i thought intelligence documents are supposed to be clear" unless you want to place ambiguity in the document considering the fact that it may be captured.

upyernoz

RR: "so you're saying that parts of the document were added because the author knew it probably would be captured?" No, the opposite, parts were left out because they knew it might be captured.

then my original objection stands. once you start claiming that the document has been doctored because the author thought it might fall into enemy hands, it puts its entire credibility in question.

RR: "i thought intelligence documents are supposed to be clear" unless you want to place ambiguity in the document considering the fact that it may be captured.

once again, if the documents have been written to mislead people who later capture them, then that just means that the documents can't be believed for anything.

you're really trying to have it both ways. on the one hand, you're using the documents as evidence to support your point. and, on the other, if i point out that they say something different, you're saying that the documents can't be relied upon because the author knew it might be captured.

so which is it? if the documents are reliable, then it's fair to point out that they don't say what you want them to say. if they are not, then you can't use them to prove anything so if that is true, that relevant language was edited out, why should be put much faith in it at all? your own argument makes the document insignificant

RR: again 2 out of 3 are verified as having happened.

parroting this line is not really an argument, nor is it responsive to anything i'm saying. i'm analyzing the document to see if it actually says what you claim it says. it seems rather evident to me that it doesn't. whether or not there is outside evidence that saddam had anthrax is simply a different issue. my point is that the document itself does not support your thesis.

RR: you say it means radio, thus I am giving you the benefit of the doubt that it means radio. It is very likely that in any language, a radio operator would call it a radio whether or not it also means something else.

why is it likely? in arabic there are many synonyms, each with a different sense. the word "idha'a" comes from a root that suggests something called out for anyone to hear. there is another word "raadiyu" which comes from english and which doesn't have the implication of a thing that is public. if anything, that is the word i would use if i wanted to talk about a coded broadcast.

RR: then it is a stalemate and you have to put the words in context with the document which is that two of the three action items were in fact acted upon

it's not a stalemate. as i said above "idha'a sawa" is the phrase commonly used for "radio sawa." in the context it makes a lot more sense, and would be the more likely understanding of an arab reading it to refer to the radio station. the context of the document is rather clear under my interpretation. under yours it doesn't make as much sense, and, even if it did, an arab reading it would probably not interpret it that way.

as for the "2 out of 3 acted upon" line, see above.

RR: again why is the 5th line labelled rumors yet the others say they "will"? No one has explained that yet. care to try?

sure, i'll try. the five sentences are listing things that were reported during a radio sawa news broadcast. among the things that the radio station said is: that the iraqi government will distribute anthrax leaflets, and that there are rumors that the families of high ranking iraqis have left for russia. get it? the radio was reporting somethings as "will" and other things as "rumors."

RR: unless you can show me that on that date or before it, Sawa radio made these claims, then I would reconsider

why is the burden on me? i can read some arabic and simply find your interpretation of the document to be implausible. i think if you want to convince people that you are right, it's your job to make a convincing case. i don't think you have.

whenever i point out logical inconsistencies in your interpretation of the document, you point to things outside of the document itself ("2 out of 3...") i have no idea whether 2 out of 3 things really did happen or not. but considering just how unconvincing your argument about this particular document is, i can't say i'm all that inclined to give you the benefit of the doubt.

David M

Scott, Roy-

Stop clinging to the UN commission's hypothetical maximum production figures. Blix warned against jumping to conclusions based upon incomplete evidence: "We said from the very outset that 'unaccounted for' is not the same as saying something exists."

The material was both unilaterally destroyed by the Iraqis in 1991 and by UN disarmament experts between 1992-95.

Only remnants remained, and your cherry-picking of old quotes won't alter that fundamental reality.

Ray Robison

upyernoz "you're really trying to have it both ways. on the one hand, you're using the documents as evidence to support your point."

Well, gee, maybe I wouldn't say what it says is going to happen is statement of fact, not rumor if it didn't ACTUALLY HAPPEN. But since 2 out of the 3 DID HAPPEN, then what does logic tell you about the veracity of the statements?

Ray Robison

DM- I am not going to do your research, but if you look at the timelines, then you will see the UN was finding and destroying prohibited weapons 3 days before the start of the war. Do your homework.

Scott Malensek

"

Scott, Roy-
Stop clinging to the UN commission's hypothetical maximum production figures. Blix warned against jumping to conclusions based upon incomplete evidence: "We said from the very outset that 'unaccounted for' is not the same as saying something exists."
The material was both unilaterally destroyed by the Iraqis in 1991 and by UN disarmament experts between 1992-95.
Only remnants remained, and your cherry-picking of old quotes won't alter that fundamental reality."

Before the invasion and during the inspection process Blix was right to make that comment, but after the invasion and the CONCLUSION of the inspections and ISG investigation, what was once accounted for and is no longer...is not accounted for; ie missing. Where is the evidence of its destruction? I cited pics that prove your comments and Blix' assertions that "what was unaccounted for in 2002" did in fact exist.

The cherry-picking comment is cute, but misleading hypocritical in the echo of a cherry-picked quote from Dr Blix...the man who also said in his book that inspections would never prove Iraq was 100% in compliance, and that instead "Confidence" was needed to end inspections. He also said that Iraq's efforts to work against the inspection process (detailed so well in the first 800 pages of the ISG report) would prevent confidence from building, actually erode confidence, and thus:

inspections would not have worked.

So, where's the stuff Iraq said it had, and where's evidence of its destruction?

Kenn

And back to you either LA or UZ. Sheesh, ring-a-round-the-fargin'-roses...

I've seen the liberal avenger lurking about quite a few conservative blogs' comments section.
One thing I have learned from reading all of his posts: he is nothing but a wishfull thinker; he believes his own delusions; he's relentless in his pursuit.

I'll leave you folks back to your ceasless back-and-forthing.

Good luck Ray. Scott M's got yer back.

upyernoz

RR: Well, gee, maybe I wouldn't say what it says is going to happen is statement of fact, not rumor if it didn't ACTUALLY HAPPEN. But since 2 out of the 3 DID HAPPEN, then what does logic tell you about the veracity of the statements?

see above. geez, i've already addressed this a couple of times now. as i said above, i don't necessarily believe that 2 out of 3 things did happen. and, as i also said above, considering how badly your defending your interpretation of the document (for example, how you're saying it's both reliable and not reliable, depending upon whether you want the bit we're talking about to be true), i can't say you have enough credibility for me to just take your word at it.

at best, the document proves nothing

at worst, it illustrate's a baathist military unit's confusion after hearing american propoganda that incorrectly reported that unit's own capabilities.

you're not even contradicting my basic interpretation of the document anymore. you're only saying that you're nevertheless right because of what you believe happened aside from what it says in the document.

kenn: And back to you either LA or UZ. Sheesh, ring-a-round-the-fargin'-roses...

kenn, please explain where exactly i went wrong in my analysis of the document. unless you can't. in that case, you're game of ring-a-round only proves that you got nothing

Scott Malensek

OR, it could be the real deal....
http://www.anthraxinvestigation.com/iraq_anthrax.pdf

The Liberal Avenger

Word, Kenn.

Word.

Ray Robison

RR: again 2 out of 3 are verified as having happened.

"parroting this line is not really an argument, nor is it responsive to anything i'm saying'

this is the problem with liberals. A fact means nothing and he wont address it so I won't waste my time anymore since I have addressed all his questions.

Ray Robison

"see above. geez, i've already addressed this a couple of times now. as i said above, i don't necessarily believe that 2 out of 3 things did happen."

BTW, "I don't believe the facts" is not a logical argument. You have to say why CNN was lying on live TV and prove the Heritage foundation wrong with counter information. Otherwise, the rest of your argument is nothing.

Ray Robison

upyernose "why is the burden on me? i can read some arabic and simply find your interpretation of the document to be implausible. i think if you want to convince people that you are right, it's your job to make a convincing case. i don't think you have." because your entire argument rests on the interpretation of the word sawa as a radio station vs the literal sense together while the entire documents supports my claim. That is why the burden is on you until you can disprove that these things happened as I have provided evidence that they did happen. Without evidence, the burden is on you.
BTW, since SAWA is a US propaganda station, and the US dropped the leaflets to be read by the Iraqis, then why would they report a rumor to keep Iraqis from reading them?

mark

Can one of you guys answer Scott's question about where the missing anthrax went? I predict you wont and you will change the subject.

upyernoz

RR: this is the problem with liberals. A fact means nothing and he wont address it so I won't waste my time anymore since I have addressed all his questions

that's the problem with conservatives. i point out the document doesn't seem to say what he says it does, and he starts talking about things other than the document.

RR: BTW, "I don't believe the facts" is not a logical argument.

agreed. which is why i think it's so interesting that you've dropped any interest in relying on the actual language of the document

RR: You have to say why CNN was lying on live TV and prove the Heritage foundation wrong with counter information. Otherwise, the rest of your argument is nothing.

no, we're talking about this particular document. i am completely agnostic about what CNN or the heritage foundation have said. i simply don't know either way. my point is only about what the document says, or doesn't say.

before you dismiss my argument as "nothing" maybe you should stay focused on what my argument actually is.

RR: That is why the burden is on you until you can disprove that these things happened as I have provided evidence that they did happen. Without evidence, the burden is on you.

ray, it's not about what happened or didn't happen. it's about whether the documents support the claim that saddam had anthrax.

let's say my interpretation is right and the iraqis were only repeating what they heard on a u.s. propoganda radio station. the fact that some of the things reported by radio sawa actually occurred does not mean that my interpretation is wrong. maybe radio sawa occasionally got things right. that doesn't mean they always got it right. and that doesn't mean that the document reports anything other than repeat wartime propoganda.

get it? the 2 out of 3 thing is simply irrelevant. it doesn't contradict my interpretation at all.

RR: BTW, since SAWA is a US propaganda station, and the US dropped the leaflets to be read by the Iraqis, then why would they report a rumor to keep Iraqis from reading them?

who is the "they" in your sentence? do you mean the author of the document? if so, there are plenty of reasons.

first, the al-quds brigade could have been genuinely surprised when they heard a report that they had anthrax (when, in fact, they didn't) and so they passed along the information to HQ to find out what was up with the report.

second, they could have been surprised that some of the things they did have (e.g. u.s. uniforms) were being broadcast over the radio.

third, its possible, indeed quite likely, that saddam's agents were charged with reporting on what their troops were hearing from radio sawa broadcasts. no doubt there were u.s. soldiers in kuwait who wrote reports about what they heard on iraqi national radio on the eve of the war.

remember, the author of the document is reporting the rumor to higher ups, not to the general iraqi populace.

mark: Can one of you guys answer Scott's question about where the missing anthrax went? I predict you wont and you will change the subject.

i don't know where the missing anthrax went, nor even if any anthrax, in fact, was missing. (and, i submit, neither do you know that) all i have to add to this conversation is what the document says. it doesn't support ray's thesis.

that is my rather simple point, and that's all i came here to say. sticking to that narrow point is not "changing the subject." on the contrary, i think that's what you're trying to do with your question

Kenn

Exactley my point Upyer. I got nothing. But that seems to be all I need ;)

Seriously though, "watching" you guys go back and forth, back and forth; saying the same things over and over and over; beating each other about the head with opposing information...

Well, sheesh, pardon me, but it seems to me anybody can keep on perpetrating perpetually on a perpetual argument - well on into the night and, see?, you're still right where you started.

Aren't you?

Ditto to all - But I'm leaning in Ray's favor that, at the end of the day, he'll be the proved winner of this round.

Of course, that would only bring round 2 of disagreements from the likes of Upyer etal.

I think Upyer would disagree if a conservative were to say the sky is blue - ("No it isn't! Look up %@$%*!, that is grey and you know it!")

Of course it's grey. Of course. Why would it be any other color to you?

PoliShifter

Wow! This site is loaded with hot scantily clad chicks in lingerie!

How do "conservatives" feel about that? I take it you are not really a conservative Ray?

upyernoz

kenn: you're still right where you started. Aren't you?

not really. i think i'm demonstrating that RR has no response to my point about the document. instead he keeps bringing up stuff that doesn't actually contradict my point.

but that's just me.

The comments to this entry are closed.

TipJar

Tip Jar

Saddam's Secret Terror Documents

google

Newsvine World News