Friday, September 01, 2006

John Gee. Whistleblower

"(Australian) Dr. John Gee accuses the CIA of interfering with the work of the Iraqi Survey Group and points fingers at others who couldn't grasp that "there was no WMD in Iraq."
Starting in Australia. Dr. John Gee is considered "an expert on chemical weapons" and was part of the Iraq Survey group (a group of scientists made of British, Australian and American scientists sent into Iraq to attempt to find the WMDs). Gee and other Australians have been truth telling with little attention from the US domestic press. Rod Barton, who resigned in March 2004 from the Iraq Survey Group at the same time as Gee, has published The Weapons Detective which, UPI reported, maintained that: "British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Australian Prime Minister John Howard both knew before the invasion that the intelligence on Iraqi WMDs was false. . . . When shown the pre-war Iraqi WMD Australian intelligence assessment, Howard even asked, 'Is that all there is?'" Peggy Lee remix: "Is That All There Is To A War?"
Apparently so. Lies and more lies.
Speaking to Samantha Hawley on PM, Gee stated: "There were no WMD in Iraq and we were all wasting our time pursuing the illusion that there was something there." Australia's ABC reports that Gee "says he quit his job in 2004 because the group was focusing on trying to justify pre-war judgements rather than establish facts." Appearing on the 7:30 Report, Gee discussed his interaction with Australia's Foreign Affairs Minister Alexander Downer which was dismissive. Appearing on the show, Rod Barton backed up Gee's account. Alexander Downer states that Gee is "a scientist and we took his advice very seriously."
That's one issue. Samantha Hawley (PM) noted another: "At the time of his resignation, Doctor Gee was serving under a contract with the Defence Department. He claims his resignation letter never even made it to his superiors there, because it was stopped by the Foreign Affairs Minister Alexander Downer." Downer denies blocking the resignation letter, which included references to CIA interference, and states that he "raised it [the issue] with Mr. [Charles] Duelfer himself."
On the letter that Downer denies suppressing, Marian Wilkinson (Sydney Morning Herald) reports that it "outlines in detail interference by the CIA and the Bush Administration in first reports abou tthe weapons hunt to avoid finding that Iraq did not possess weapons of mass destruction."
The Scotsman notes: "The CIA analysts in teams searching for chemical and biological weapons were the same ones who concluded before the invasion -- officially called Operation Iraqi Freedmon -- that they must exist, Gee wrote in his resignation letter. 'Much of the two teams' work is geared to trying to justify pre-OIF judgements rather than any attempt to establish the facts surrounding Iraq's WMD programs,' Gee wrote in March 2004."
Gee and Barton resigned in March of 2004. In the United States, members may be more aware of David Kay who resigned January 23, 2004 and stated that he didn't believe WMD "existed." Kay headed the Iraq Survey Group. When he resigned, Charles Duelfer took over after being appointed by the then-CIA director George Tenet.
The Duelfer Report would come out in September 2004 and an 'epilogue' in March of 2005. No WMD were ever found. However, despite admitting that Gee informed of the fact that there were no WMDs in Iraq, Downer still stood side by side at a press conference with Charles Duelfer in April of 2004 and called the search "a work in progress.""

The good news:
"SAMANTHA HAWLEY: Doctor Gee says he's waited until now to reveal his allegations to assist his former colleague Rod Barton, another Australian weapons inspector in Iraq who also quit the survey group and last year challenged the Government over the existence of WMDs.

JOHN GEE: In effect he's asked me to assist him with his efforts, because he's talking about... he's about to engage on a campaign speaking about openness in government and I was quite happy to join that.

SAMANTHA HAWLEY: Doctor Gee says he and Rod Barton are planning a number of public speeches to argue their case."
I'll try to recruit them to Sibel's cause.

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