Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Politics Quashed Facts

* AP: Headline: "Ex-WMD Inspector: Politics Quashed Facts"
"A year after Bush administration claims about Iraqi "bioweapons trailers" were discredited by American experts, U.S. officials were still suppressing the findings, says a senior member of the CIA-led Iraq inspection team.
At one point, former U.N. arms inspector Rod Barton says, a CIA officer told him it was "politically not possible" to report that the White House claims were untrue. In the end, Barton says, he felt "complicit in deceit."
Barton, an Australian biological weapons specialist, discusses the 2004 events in "The Weapons Detective," a memoir of his years as an arms inspector, being published Monday in Australia by Black Inc. Agenda.
[]
Barton quotes the American head of the biological team, whom Barton doesn't name, as telling him, "You don't understand how difficult it is to say anything different" from the public CIA line. In the second half of February 2004, the book says, the newly arrived senior CIA officer in the Iraq Survey Group — also unidentified — told Barton he couldn't mention the trailers in a report scheduled for March.
"I don't care that they are not biological trailers. It's politically not possible," Barton recalls him saying."
fact-quashers.

flashback to larisa:
"This smaller unnamed team (of Feith's goons) was tasked with interviewing former Iraqi intelligence officers in hopes of securing help with a “political WMD” problem, a source close to the UN Security Council says.

During the summer of 2003 through the fall of 2003, the team, whose members who were not named by sources, is said to have interviewed many Iraqi intelligence and former intelligence officers. The UN source says that the political problem discussed had more to do with solving the lack of WMD than anything else.

“They come in the summer of 2003, bringing in Iraqis, interviewing them,” the UN source said. “Then they start talking about WMD and they say to [these Iraqi intelligence officers] that ‘Our President is in trouble. He went to war saying there are WMD and there are no WMD. What can we do? Can you help us?’”"

8 comments:

Kathleen said...

Go to New America Media.com and read the article about the contract for presidential helicopters being awarded to an Italian company instead of Sikorski in CT., as payback for Italy's role in procuring the Yellowcake Niger forgeries. So somebody helped them, in a big way.

Don said...

Re: Helicopters

The aircraft itself, the US-101, is an Anglo-Italian design (the EH101)and maintains a high percentage of UK content.

What the article fails to mention is that any foreign company submitting for a defence procurement contract is required (by law, I believe) to have a US parter. In this case, it's Lockheed Martin (with whom Lynne Cheney has ties) and Bell Helicopters (of Texas).

That said, this may be one instance where the better proposal did win. The 101 had a proven track record with 5 air arms before the Sikorsky S-92 even flew. It's a 'mature' system with development paid and the kinks worked out. Reports I've read suggest strongly that the 101 outflys, outlasts, and all-around outperforms its competition.

Selected for the 'Marine One' role, it's also in competition for the Combat Search & Rescue replacement helicopter requirement.

While there may very well be political undertones to the deals, if selected, the service will actually be getting the right equipment for the job.

Don said...

Apologies and Correction: the NAM article does note the Lockheed/Bell partnerships.

Don said...

From Wikipedia:

AgustaWestland opened offices in Philadelphia in 2005, and won a contract to build the new presidential helicopter Marine One and possible future Army contracts with congressman Curt Weldon's support, over the U.S. manufacter Sikorsky Helicopter.

Weldon's daughter Kim works for the AgustaWestland, handling public relations. She is prohibited from lobbying congress or contacting her father or his office on the company's behalf.


So, Weldon, Cheney, and God knows who in Texas.

Politics and politics, and not all overseas...

Kathleen said...

Don,
I'm not an engineer, so I cannot speak to the pros and cons of the competing designs. I do know that CT. is a true blue state, tho and thankfully, the new Italian gov't is launching investigations into Italy's role in the whole Iraq fiasco, Niger forgeries, et al. Thanks for your clarifications.

lukery said...

holy shit!

another major scandal.

those amateurish forgeries have cost how much so far?

Don said...

Sorry, Kathleen, the aircraft nut in me got loose for a moment. From Pennsylvania to Texas to Maryland (home of Lockheed) to Rome, you know someone got greased. While the army might be getting the right equipment (for once), your point on the politicization of the whole thing was well made.

Don said...

another major scandal.

those amateurish forgeries have cost how much so far?


...and damn few details will be covered by the MSM anywhere...