Skip to comments.Iraq Weapons Hunter Was Stymied By Albright
Posted on 10/07/2004 8:34:08 PM PDT by wagglebee
United Nations - CIA-Iraq chief weapons inspector Charles Duelfer, whose report cast doubt on Bush administration claims that Saddam Hussein was hiding weapons of mass destruction, was blocked from reaching that same conclusion in 1999-2000 by the Clinton White House.
Before officially joining the CIA weapons hunt earlier this year, Duelfer spent more than 8 years hunting WMD at the United Nations, first for the noted Swede Rolf Ekeus, than the flamboyant Aussie Richard Butler.
Butler, known for his repeated clashes with Iraq officials, was eventually forced out of his U.N. job by the French and Russian ambassadors in June 1999.
Duelfer, succeeded Butler in July 1999, and later resigned in March 2000, when Hans Blix was recruited to carry on the secret Iraqi weapons hunt. During Duelfer's tenure at the U.N., it was the Clinton White House who drove Iraqi policy in the Security Council.
In December 1998, Clinton launched Operation Desert Fox against Iraq. The air attacks against suspected WMD factories and storage facilities grabbed headlines, but in the end, never produced hard evidence that any illegal weapons had been destroyed.
It was at that point, the Clinton White House made a critical decision to "shelve" the U.N. Special Commission (UNSCOM). UNSCOM was created shortly after Operation Desert Storm in 1991 to uncover Saddam Hussein's secret weapons programs. By 1996, UNSCOM had not only uncovered most of Saddam's hidden programs but had privately come to the conclusion that what else may still remain was not of "signifcant" consequence.
Such a report was being prepared by then UNSCOM chief Rolf Ekeus. But Ekeus, under pressure from the Clinton White House, pulled back and never issued the report. The U.S. felt that if such a report had been sent to the Security Council, the pressure to begin lifting the punishing economic sanctions imposed after Iraq invaded Kuwait (August 1990) would markedly increase.
That ran contrary to the Clinton White House policy to "get rid of Saddam Hussein."
It was the same policy that drove the White House to abandon its support of U.N.-Iraq weapons inspector Richard Butler. Butler's aggressive attitude towards Iraq, was too strong for the White House. Butler, like Ekeus, began to suspect that most of Iraq's WMD programs had been "moth-balled."
But under pressure from Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright, Butler publicly "hedged" any official assessments.
National Security Adviser Sandy Berger was known to be "uncomfortable" with Butler. U.S. diplomats at the U.N. privately referred to the Aussie diplomat as an "unguided" missile. Eventually, the Russians and French, looking to resume business ties with the Iraqis, forced Butler to the sidelines.
Washington was content to just look on.
The only support the State Department gave Butler was a "going away" party at the U.S./U.N. ambassador's residence at the Waldorf Astoria.
With Butler gone, Clinton and Albright decided to push the Iraq weapons issue to the back-burner. Presidential elections were only a year off, and the White House did not want Iraq to emerge as a major campaign issue.
Duelfer, Butler's deputy, was on loan from the State Department. A veteran of the department of political/military affairs, Duelfer, unlike Butler, could be counted on the maintain a low profile and keep Iraq out of the news. He also had a State Department pension to protect.
From July 1999 through March 2000, Duelfer and his U.N. team were essentially put in cold storage by the Clinton administration. Most U.S. intelligence to UNSCOM stopped. No more satellite surveillance, no more USAF U-2 spy flights over Iraq.
Duelfer and company were relegated to their U.N. offices and spent almost the following year analyzing and re-analyzing materials obtained from year's past.
The situation prompted Duelfer to confess to this reporter hat "UNSCOM was imploding" and that the U.N.'s weapons hunt "was no longer on Washington's radar scope."
Duelfer, like his U.N. predecessors, could also find no convincing proof that Saddam had resurrected his secret WMD programs.
In short, the White House decided the "Iraq" problem was to be put on "indefinite hold." Duelfer, growing increasingly frustrated by the White House's moves, eventually turned over the reins to veteran Swedish diplomat Hans Blix, in March 2000.
Blix also became frustrated by the White House's Iraq policy, but then came the 2000 elections and the attacks of 9/11.
"That changed everything," Blix once confided.
What it did not change was one important fact: Saddam no longer had any significant WMD and hadn't for almost 10 years. A fact known to senior officials of the Clinton White House but never publicly acknowledged.
That's easy: they won't!
The details are in Berger's pants.
Ah, we've reached the last stage of this debate, blame Clinton. We can go no further. No more Iraq WMD posts please.
That bombing took off a corner of a roof that exposed Iraqi drones. That's hard evidence that Iraq was thumbing its nose at the UN and developing these drones. I don't know if we went back and destroyed that building and its contents or not, but Desert Fox did reveal that they were hidden there.
It was also around just before that operation when the Iraqi enrichment centrifuge was found stashed in Jordanian territory, as I recall.
"That ran contrary to the Clinton White House policy to "get rid of Saddam Hussein."
Simple explanation for that, really--Clinton liked people who wore berets. ;)
It doesn't even get into how the Clinton team undercut (ugh) Scott Ritter. Once I read the background story on that I understod why he's so bitter -- just at the wrong people this time.
1990s late : (CUBA SHARES INTELLIGENCE INFO ON US MILITARY WITH SADDAM HUSSEIN'S IRAQ AS PART OF COVERT OIL DEAL) ... Cuban intelligence, which is known to have extensive "coverage" of U.S. military bases, supplied information to Saddam's intelligence service on the movement of troops and other military activities. The intelligence ties are believed to be an offshoot of Cuba's covert oil-purchasing arrangement with Iraq under Saddam. Those deals have been under way since the late 1990s and involve oil tankers that were sent to Mexico. The oil then was pumped from the tankers to smaller boats for delivery to Cuba. ....- "Iraq-Cuba axis (Gertz News!)," by Bill Gertz, The Washington Times, 01.23.04
1998 & 1999 : (FBI'S PHOENIX, ARIZONA OFFICE INVESTIGATION FUNNELS MONEY TO HAMAS BUT RESULTS IN NO PROSECUTIONS) While President Clinton was trying to broker an elusive peace between Israelis and Palestinians, the FBI was secretly funneling money to suspected Hamas figures to see if the militant group would use it for terrorist attacks, according to interviews and court documents.
The counterterrorism operation in 1998 and 1999 was run out of the FBI's Phoenix office in cooperation with Israeli intelligence and was approved by Attorney General Janet Reno, FBI officials told The Associated Press.
Several thousand dollars in U.S. money was sent to suspected terror supporters during the operation as the FBI tried to track the flow of cash through terror organizations, the FBI said in a rare acknowledgment of an undercover sting that never resulted in prosecutions.
"This was done in conjunction with permission from the attorney general for an ongoing operation, and Israeli authorities were aware of it," the bureau said.-- "FBI Sent Hamas Money in Late 1990's," JOHN SOLOMON, Associated Press, Posted on Mon, Oct. 06, 2003 8 posted on 04/06/2004 9:13:54 PM PDT by Makedonski
1998 or before? : (WILSON MARRIES VALERIE ELISE PLAME - WILSON LATER SAYS THIS IS WHEN HE LEARNED THAT PLAME WAS IN THE CIA) - Joe Wilson's entry in Who's Who * * Valerie Plame and Joseph Wilson both happened to alight in Washington, their jet-set schedules intersecting, and spotted each other across a cocktail party filled with foreigners."I saw this striking blonde," he recalled, still sounding smitten six years later. At first she said she was an energy analyst, but confided sometime around the first kiss that she was in the CIA. "I had a security clearance," grinned Wilson, then a political adviser to the commander of U.S. forces in Europe. - "Maureen Dowd : Ambassador Wilson and the Spy Who Loved Him, " NY Times, October 3, 2003
(* My note: Looks like Plame leaked, acording to Wilson.)
1998 : (AFTER LEAVING GOVERNMENT, WILSON BEGINS CONSULTING, INCLUDING A FORAY INTO GOLDMINING IN NIGER) After leaving government service around 1998 Wilson started consulting. One pursuit included looking to set up a gold-mine company out of London, to mine for gold in Niger at some unidentified time. Wilsons interviews exhibit he has expert-like knowledge of mining operations in Niger. This gold mine project might help explain his expertise. - FreeRepoublic's shermy, citing Vanity Fair, January 2004
1998 : (DONALD RUMSFELD COMMISSION : DECLASSIFICATION OF NUCLEAR SECRETS HAD RESULTED IN NUCLEAR PROLIFERATION) Even before the China scandal broke, experts outside the administration faulted the openness as promoting the bomb's spread. ... a bipartisan commission of nine military specialists led by former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said the "extensive declassification" of secrets had inadvertently aided the global spread of deadly weapons. - "Spying Isn't the Only Way to Learn About Nukes," By WILLIAM J. BROAD, the New York Times, May 30, 1999
1998 : (STATE DEPT HEAD OF ARMS CONTROL, JOHN HOLLUM, TELLS CONGRESS THAT THE NUCLEAR TEST BAN TREATY ELIMINATES THE POSSIBILITY OF A RENEWED NUCLEAR ARMS RACE) John Holum, who heads arms control at the State Department, told* Congress last year  that the test ban "essentially eliminates" the possibility of a renewed international race to develop new kinds of nuclear arms. - "Spying Isn't the Only Way to Learn About Nukes," By WILLIAM J. BROAD, the New York Times, May 30, 1999
1998 : (IRAQI INTELLIGENCE AGENT KNOWLEDGEABLE ABOUT SADDAM HUSSEIN'S REGIME'S FRONT COMPANIES AND A NUCLEAR DEAL BETWEEN IRAQ AND SOUTH AFRICA IS ARRESTED, TORTURED AND FINALLY INJECTED WITH THALLIUM BEFORE HE ESCAPES IRAQ) A former Iraqi intelligence officer responsible for setting up front companies for illegal overseas purchases claims that Iraq has arranged to purchase nuclear weapons material (including uranium) from Armscor, South Africas state armaments directorate. During the Iran-Iraq war Armscor supplied Iraq with advanced 155mm howitzers. These sales are handled through a front company in Jordan.
For five years he personally ran a procurement network based in Dubai for the Special Security Organization, the elite of Saddam's vast intelligence apparatus, in charge of overseas procurement and responsible for hiding key equipment and material for Saddam's weapons programs. He was arrested by the regime in 1998, viciously tortured, given an injection of thalium and dumped on the street. Bleeding from his nose, mouth and stomach, he managed to escape to Northern Iraq and ultimately to Turkey, where human-rights workers treat him successfully for thallium poisoning Thalium poisoning a favorite method of the regime for executing its enemies, becasue it causes a slow, painful death.-- via "Bio-Chemical Weapons & Saddam: A History, " Various Sources , 02-20-03 , by PsyOp
1998 : (UK LABOUR MP GALLOWAY'S 'MIRIAM CAMPAIGN' BEGINS) UK Labour MP George Galloway appointed him [Fawaz Abdullah Zureikat : Businessman] to the MP's Miriam campaign, which began in 1998.- "The King of Cuba (GALLOWAY!)," News of the World , April 27, 2003
(* My note : Galloway would later be caught with his hand in the cookie jar in the Oil for Food scandals. )
1998 : (GABON'S PRESIDENT OMAR BONGO TRAVELS TO THE US; GABON HIRED WILSON'S SECOND WIFE, THE FRENCH WOMAN JACQUELINE, AS A LOBBYIST. PIERRE SALINGER AND OTHER LOBHBYISTS WERE ALSO EMPLOYED) Heres a French language article regarding a 1998 trip by Gabon President Omar Bongo to the United States. Apparently, the Gabonese hired Wilsons second wife Jacqueline as a lobbyist in support of the trip. Another who worked with her was the famous Pierre Salinger, known for many things, eg he was JFKs press secretary and for his TWA 800 theories. But even more lobbyists were engaged, they apparently had a too many cooks in the kitchen kind of conflict, and the trip didnt come off well Joseph Wilson was very present at the events of the visit. -- Source: FreeRepublic's Shermy using this source
Salinger wrote a book on the first Gulf War, Dossier. In it are about ten pages of a recounting of conversations between Saddam and Wilson. I can only guess Wilson was the source.
-- Source: FreeRepublic's Shermy , in 1 posted on 04/16/2004 1:01:47 PM PDT by Shermy
1998 : (RUSSIAN MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS GENERAL PRIMAKOV, ONCE OVER IRAQ'S WMD PROGRAMS IN THE 1970s, LATER PROMOTED TO SOVIET FOREIGN INTELLIGENCE SERVICE BEFORE BEING PROMOTED TO BE RUSSIA'S MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS, BECOMES RUSSIAN PRIME MINISTER) In the late 1970s, [Soviet] Gen. Yevgeny Primakov ran Saddam's weapons programs. After that, as you may recall, he was promoted to head of the Soviet foreign intelligence service in 1990, to Russia's minister of foreign affairs in 1996, and in 1998, to prime minister. What you may not know is that Primakov hates Israel and has always championed Arab radicalism. He was a personal friend of Saddam's and has repeatedly visited Baghdad after 1991, quietly helping Saddam play his game of hide-and-seek. - "Russian Collusion in Iraq," By Ion Mihai Pacepa, Washington Times , August 22, 2003
1998 : (PAKISTAN TAKES DELIVERY OF NODONG MISSILES FROM NORTH KOREA IN EXCHANGE FOR PROVIDING NORTH KOREA WITH ABDUL QADEER KHAN'S STOLEN CENTRIFUGE TECHNOLOGY) In 1998, Pakistan took delivery of long-range Nodong missiles from North Korea. These weapons, capable of carrying a nuclear warhead for 900 miles, brought almost every Indian city within range of a nuclear strike from Pakistan. Khan has since [only in 2004] confirmed the quid pro quo for this deal: centrifuge technology for producing weapons-grade uranium. - "How US put rogue atom scientist out of business," By David Blair in Islamabad, The Telegraph (UK) (Filed: 09/02/2004)
1998 : (BIN LADEN ISSUES A SERIES OF THREATS AGAINST AMERICANS; IRAQ ALSO ISSUED ITS OWN THREATS DEMANDING THAT SANCTIONS BE LIFTED) Following the "resolution" of the second crisis, in late February 1998, through the mediation of U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, bin Laden began to issue a series of bloody-minded threats against Americans. Soon Baghdad was issuing its own threats, asserting that its proscribed weapons of mass destruction had been eliminated and demanding that sanctions be lifted.
The threats issued by bin Laden, the threats issued by Iraq, and the preparations for the bombing all moved in virtual lockstep. - "The Iraqi Connection: Did Osama bin Laden act alone? Not likely. ," BY LAURIE MYLROIE, Thursday, September 13, 2001 12:01 a.m. EDT http://opinionjournal.com/extra/?id=95001120
1998 : (IRAQI INTELLIGENCE OFFICER AL MAMOURI IS TRANSFERRED TO HIS 'TEACHING' POST IN ITALY) He was transferred to his teaching duties in 1998, although all the Iraqi Embassy will say of his sudden departure [around July 2001] is that he had money problems. - "Hijacker 'given anthrax flask by Iraqi agent'," by DANIEL MCGRORY, The London Times, SATURDAY OCTOBER 27 2001
1998- early: (SUDAN OFFERS US INTELLIGENCE A CHANCE TO LOOK INTO SUDAN FOR TERRORIST ACTIVITIES) A senior Sudanese official made an offer to allow US intelligence to look inside Sudan for terrorist activities to the F.B.I. -- send a counter-terrorism team to Sudan, and we will help in any way we can, it said. The FBI wrote back four months later, in June, declining to take them up on it.
1998 : (AL QAEDA : MOUSSAOUI TRAINS IN AFGHANISTAN) According to US officials, Zacharias Moussaoui trains in Afghanistan - info from "Yemeni Fugitive Was Critical To Unfolding of Sept. 11 Plot," By Peter Finn, Sunday, July 14, 2002, page A01, Washington Post
1998 : (CHINA, OSAMA BIN LADEN, US CRUISE MISSILES) Chinese nationals visited Osama bin Laden terrorist camps in Afghanistan after a U.S. cruise missile attack there in 1998 and paid for the right to study and remove unexploded missiles, according to a conversation between two alleged veterans of the camps that was secretly taped by Italian police....(Washington Post, 20 Oct 01) http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&node=&contentId=A23933-2001Oct19¬Found=true
1998 : (CUBAN SPY, MONTES IS PICKED TO GO ALONG WITH HELMS ON A TRIP TO CUBA) Montes (Later determined to be a spy for Cuba) accompanied two senior aides to Sen. Jesse Helms (R-NC) on a trip to Cuba; Helms was at that time the chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and one of the most vehement opponents of Cubas leftist government.
1998 : (US : CONGRESS PASSES HR 4655, IRAQ LIBERATION ACT OF 1998) Congress passed the "Iraq Liberation Act of 1998" and President Clinton signed it, everyone saw the wisdom of removing Saddam as soon as possible. After listing 11 brutal grievances against Saddam Hussein, including the butchering of 180,000 people, Congress advised, "it should be the policy of the United States to support efforts to remove the regime headed by Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq and to promote the emergence of a democratic government to replace that regime." - H.R. 4655, "Iraq Liberation Act of 1998" - "President Bush's Authorization to Use Force Against Iraq," http://www.freerepublic.com/perl/redirect?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.american-partisan.com%2Fcols%2F2002%2Frazzano%2Fqtr4%2F1009.htm | October 9, 2002 | LPR from "Precedent? Ill Give You A Precedent," by Linda A. Prussen-Razzano, Dallas Bureau Chief , The American Partisan, October 9, 2002
1998 : (IRAQ : US PASSES IRAQ LIBERATION ACT : 'RADIO FREE IRAQ' BEGINS BROADCASTING FROM CZECHOSLAVAKIA) In 1998, secretary of state, Madeleine Albright testified to Congress that it would be "wrong to create false or unsustainable expectations" about what US support for the divided Iraqi opposition groups could achieve. That fall the US Congress passed the Iraq Liberation Act, making it official US policy "to remove the regime headed by Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq and to promote the emergence of a democratic government." Congress earmarked $5 million in aid to Iraqi opposition groups and $5 million for Radio Free Iraq, which began broadcasting in 1998 from Prague. - "Is it too late for a popular uprising inside Iraq?Refugees report signs of unrest in Baghdad," by Peter Ford, The Christian Science Monitor, 1/27/03
1998 (JOHN WALKER LINDH 'SULAYMAN' LEAVES FOR YEMEN) : After graduating from an independent studies high school at 16, Lindh departed for Yemen in 1998 to study Arabic with his parents' blessing. - "TRAITOR'S TEARS" by BRIAN BLOMQUIST, New York Post , 10/05/02
1998 : (NORTH KOREA : ALBRIGHT'S ASSERTION THAT THE NORTH KOREANS WERE NOT IN VIOLATION OF THE CARTER TREATY IS WRONG; TOM DELAY CALLS FOR SUSPENSION OF AGREEMENT TO BUILD REACTORS FOR NORTH KOREA) Also on Friday, radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh produced a speech by House Majority Whip Tom DeLay showing that as far back as 1998, intelligence sources were contradicting Albrights assertion at the time that the North Koreans were not in violation of the Carter-negotiated treaty. Way back in 1998, DeLay had called for the suspension of the $4 billion to $6 billion agreement to build two light-water nuclear reactors and to provide other assistance to North Korea until the president certifies that the North Korean government has agreed to cease its efforts to build these weapons and the means to divert them. Limbaugh commented that Wendy Sherman had "made a buffoon of herself by insisting the Clinton administration had no reason to believe North Korea was breaking its word, despite warnings from "Defense Intelligence Agency people, CIA people, as DeLay was reporting in 1998. "Theyre all circling the wagons to protect Clinton, Limbaugh told his listeners.http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/771904/posts
1998 : (MAN STEALS BUNDLE OF CLASSIFIED BRIEFING MATERIALS FROM STATE DEPARTMENT) In 1998, a man walked into the State Department executive secretary's office -- just six doors away from Albright's office -- picked up a bundle of classified briefing materials in plain view of two secretaries, and left. - 'Highly classified' State Department computer missing," CNN.com - US - 'Highly classified' State Department computer ..., April 17, 2000
JANUARY 1998 : (UNSCOM TEAM FINDS IRAQI CHILDREN'S PRISON - ACCORDING TO LATER INTERVIEW WITH SCOTT RITTER) Q : You've spoke about having seen the children's prisons in Iraq. Can you describe what you saw there?
A: The prison in question is at the General Security Services headquarters, which was inspected by my team in Jan. 1998. It appeared to be a prison for children toddlers up to pre-adolescents whose only crime was to be the offspring of those who have spoken out politically against the regime of Saddam Hussein. It was a horrific scene. Actually I'm not going to describe what I saw there because what I saw was so horrible that it can be used by those who would want to promote war with Iraq, and right now I'm waging peace.
(* Douchebag. You should have reported it.)
JANUARY 1998 : (SCOTT RITTER UNDER INVESTIGATION FOR SPYING- HE SAYS THE SUSPICION WAS HE WAS DOING IT FOR ISRAEL, FBI CONCERNED HE WAS DOING IT FOR RUSSIA) But in January 1998, he learned the Federal Bureau of Investigation was investigating him for espionage with the Israelis.
''The idea of it, questioning me on the subject of patriotism!'' he said.
To add to his ire, he had been told that the F.B.I. also held concerns about his wife, whom he had met in Votkinsk, where she had worked as a Soviet translator. Some in the F.B.I. thought she might be an agent, ''a hostile penetration attempt.'' He was furious.
- according to Ritter, take with large grain of salt.- "Scott Ritter's Iraq Complex: One man's continuing war with Saddam, Washington -- and himself ," by Barry Bearak, New York Times Magazine, November 24, 2002
1998 : (US SEC OF STATE MADDIE ALBRIGHT GOOFS UP) By 1998, Unscom itself was flagging. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright had earlier declared that even if Iraq disarmed, sanctions would continue as long as Saddam was in power. Iraqis had one less reason to cooperate. They grew more brazen in blocking inspections, and the Security Council was letting them get away with it. At the same time, Ritter was contending with a reputation as a cowboy. Some promising inspections were canceled from above at the last minute. Richard Butler, the Australian who succeeded Ekeus as Unscom's chief, told me these missions were of the ''kick-the-door-down variety'' and he thought them ''ill conceived and possibly dangerous.'' . - "Scott Ritter's Iraq Complex: One man's continuing war with Saddam, Washington -- and himself ," by Barry Bearak, New York Times Magazine, November 24, 2002
JANUARY 2, 1998 : (IRAQ, ATTACK ON UNSCOM INSPECTORS) Rocket attack on the headquarters of the UNSCOM inspectors in Baghdad; it did not cause damage because the rocket did not explode. No 'group' claimed responsibility for the attacks. * The Iraqi regime condemns the attack saying it was the act of saboteurs hostile to Iraq. - TIMELINE OF THE IRAQI CRISIS 1997-1998
(* My note: Uh, sure it was...)
JANUARY 13, 1998 : (IRAQ BLOCKS UNSCOM INSPECTORS) Iraq temporarily withdraws cooperation, claiming the inspection team had too many US and British inspectors. - "Key events in UN weapons inspections in Iraq," By AP September 17 2002 *
Iraq blocks a U.N. inspection team, saying the team is not balanced, having too many British and American inspectors. Eventually the UNSCOM team leaves Iraq.- "Iraq Timeline," campaign for UN reform, http://www.cunr.org/priorities/Iraq_timeline.html
JANUARY 22, 1998 : (IRAQ REFUSES TO ALLOW UNSCOM INSPECTORS TO VISIT "PRESIDENTIAL SITES") Iraq refuses inspection of presidential sites. - "Key events in UN weapons inspections in Iraq," By AP September 17 2002
JANUARY 28, 1998 : (CLINTON STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS WARNS OF US ATTACK ON IRAQ) President Clinton delivers his State of the Union address, and says the US is prepared to carry out a military attack against Iraq. Clinton address applauded - TIMELINE OF THE IRAQI CRISIS 1997-1998
JANUARY 31, 1998 : (SPAIN : ETA ASSASSINATES SPANISH POLITICAL LEADER & HIS WIFE) Basque ETA gunman shoots dead the leader of a Spanish political party and his wife in Seville.
I think we now know EXACTLY what Berger took.
It was also in response to Operation Desert Fox that Iraq strengthened its alliance with Al Qaeda and began co-planning a major counter-offensive against the US--Bodansky's "Bin Laden" gets into this.
Apart from that, this article raises a lot of interesting questions, more than it answers for me. It mentions "Butler, known for his repeated clashes with Iraq officials, was eventually forced out of his U.N. job by the French and Russian ambassadors in June 1999. . .Eventually, the Russians and French, looking to
resume business ties with the Iraqis, forced Butler to the sidelines." Did Russian and French business interests have anything to do with UNSCOM privately coming to "the conclusion that what else may still remain was not of 'signifcant' consequence"? Did this in turn have anything to do with the fact that "National Security Adviser Sandy Berger was known to be 'uncomfortable' with
Butler"? If the reason for Clinton getting rid of Butler was "Butler's aggressive attitude. . .ran contrary to the Clinton White House policy to 'get rid of Saddam Hussein'", then why is it that "With Butler gone, Clinton and Albright decided to push the Iraq weapons issue to the back-burner"? Some pieces of the puzzle are missing here.
SNL did a great skit about the Saddam-Monica connection one time...
Saddam: Oh, Bill, by the way- tell Monica "thanks for the hat!"
The UN has WMD? Well, that explains a lot!
Great list of 1998 events.
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