Monday, March 13, 2006

The Saddam Tapes

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AP photo from the March 13, 1006 Washington Times

(All emphases by Always On Watch)

From the March 13, 2006 article, "Tapes reveal WMD plans by Saddam," which appeared in the Washington Times:
"Audiotapes of Saddam Hussein and his aides underscore the Bush administration's argument that Baghdad was determined to rebuild its arsenal of weapons of mass destruction once the international community had tired of inspections and left the Iraqi dictator alone.

"In addition to the captured tapes, U.S. officials are analyzing thousands of pages of newly translated Iraqi documents that tell of Saddam seeking uranium from Africa in the mid-1990s.

"The documents also speak of burying prohibited missiles, according to a government official familiar with the declassification process.

"But it is not clear whether Baghdad did what the documents indicate, said the U.S. official...

"'Terrorism is coming ... with the Americans,' Saddam said. 'With the Americans, two years ago, not a long while ago, with the English I believe, there was a campaign ... with one of them, that in the future there would be terrorism with weapons of mass destruction....'

"There also exists a quote from the dictator himself, who ordered the tapings to keep a record of his inner-sanctum discussions, that Mr. Tierney thinks shows Saddam planned to use a proxy to attack the United States...."
Bill Tierney, who is fluent in Arabic, has so far has been working on the translation of twelve hours of audiotapes and contends that Saddam was determined to rebuild his weapons program:
"'The tapes show that Saddam rebuilt his program and successfully prevented the U.N. from finding out about it,' he said.
But a lot more material needs to be sorted through:
"House intelligence committee Chairman Rep. Peter Hoekstra, Michigan Republican, told The Washington Times that about 500 hours of additional Saddam tapings are still being translated and analyzed by the U.S. In addition, in Qatar, U.S. Central Command's forward headquarters in the Persian Gulf, sit 48,000 boxes of Iraqi documents, of which the military has delivered 68 pages to the committee...."
Five hundred hours? Tens of thousands of boxes? Why do heads of state accumulate such vast amounts of incriminating material?

In the 2004 book The Bomb in My Garden: The Secrets of Saddam's Nuclear Mastermind, Mahdi Obeidi, head of Saddam's nuclear-development program, tells the story of what he buried in his backyard, on Saddam's orders.

In March 2005, I attended one of Dr. Obeidi's presentations here in the D.C. area. When asked about how he managed to hide forbidden materials from U.N. inspectors, he emphasized how easy it was to fool the inspectors. In his lecture and the question-and-answer period which followed, he also made these unforgettable points:

(1) Dr. Obeidi had three choices as to what to do with the materials in his backyard—abandon the materials for someone to dig up, sell the materials to those in the market for them, or turn them over to the Coalition Forces. He did the last.

(2) Approximately 100 centrifuges and the brain trust of nuclear scientists are on the loose, likely having fled to Syria and Iran.

(3) At the snap of Saddam's fingers, Iraqi scientists would have recommenced the program of WMD's. The immorality of doing so would not have entered into the scientists' consideration because of Saddam's power and the economic realities of making a living.

(4) While developing nuclear weapons, Saddam's public statement was that such development was for peaceful purposes. Dr. Obeidi further cautioned that such a public statement is not to be trusted.

Does that last point sound familiar today as we read the news about Iran's pursuit of nuclear capabilities? Recently discovered preparations by Iran seem to belie peaceful pursuits.

38 Comments:

At 3/13/2006 8:54 AM, Blogger Brooke said...

You mean, UN appointed inspector Hans Blix might not have tried that hard to find WMDs... Huh. Nope, I'm not surprised.

 
At 3/13/2006 9:16 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

In his lecture, Dr. Obeidi pointed out that he could hide the weapons-development program "in plain sight." He also mentioned that the U.N. inspectors were very predictable as to where they would search and extremely trusting of those who were showing the inspectors around.

 
At 3/13/2006 10:47 AM, Blogger Mr. Beamish the Instablepundit said...

Brooke,

Didn't you see the big plates of tuna and tall glasses of wine Hans Blix had to search for WMDs under?
Cut the man some slack.

 
At 3/13/2006 12:32 PM, Blogger Avenging Apostate said...

Wonder what the leftists will say to that. Or maybe they wont say anything and keep on singing their 'songs of ignorance'. It is enough that some understand. You dont come across many understanding people these days anyway.

 
At 3/13/2006 12:49 PM, Blogger Pastorius said...

I don't know about you, AOW, but I've been hearing about these tapes and boxes for two years now.

I think it is very suspicious that we haven't seen this stuff before.

I am inclined to think that our government is covering up something, because unless there is something to cover up, they would only stand to win with the release of this kind of info.

But, what could we be covering up?

I know that Bush has on more than one occasion responded to requests to have the release of this material expedicted by saying that he also wanted it released quickly. He even said he would direct it to be released.

But alas, we have not seen anything other than these twelve hours of tape.

What do you think is going on?

 
At 3/13/2006 1:14 PM, Blogger Mr. Beamish the Instablepundit said...

Pastorius,

I file it under the same reasons we no longer hear about French Roland missiles manufactured in 2002 and German chemical stocks and Russian night-vision equipment and Chinese fiber optic air defense network relays found in Iraq's arsenal.

It's all about "not embarassing our allies" or some shit.

 
At 3/13/2006 2:26 PM, Blogger Mr. Ducky said...

Has anyone ever corroborated (other than "our ally" Achmed Chalabi (possible Iranian double agent that butt screwed us) Obeidi's story.

Pretty pathetic attempt to redeem his Fantastic Iraqi Fiasco.

 
At 3/13/2006 3:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why would anyone in the MSM do that? It would contradict everything the Democrats have been telling us since the tanks rolled out of Kuwait headed towards Bagdad. No WMD's. Bush lied, children died. Where have you been? Nobody investigates things they don't believe.

-FJ

 
At 3/13/2006 5:24 PM, Blogger WomanHonorThyself said...

WMD has been made into some magical word as if there weren't a single solitary one it still wouldnt justify a WAR?..They found stockpiles of chemicals and gasses that were already used against their own pple...whats the big whoop?

 
At 3/13/2006 6:18 PM, Anonymous Patrick said...

I trust NO MUSLIMs when they say they want anything for peaceful purposes. Especially Nuclear capabilities.

 
At 3/13/2006 6:55 PM, Blogger Pastorius said...

According to Atlas Shrugs those 46,000 boxes of documents are being released as of today.

Look at that, I complain, and things happen.

:)

 
At 3/13/2006 6:57 PM, Blogger MissingLink said...

The whole idea of the UN weapon inspections was not realistic, in fact it was idiotic.

I hope they'll learn a bit more from the 500 hours of tapes than just about the WMD.

 
At 3/13/2006 6:57 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Information about Mahdi Obeidi from The Center for Coooperative Research.

And from Newsweek.

From Victor Davis Hanson.

I Googled "Mahdi Obeidi" and got some 150 results returned. Some were blogs, of course.

How credible is Obeidi? The Hanson commentary indicates that Obeidi's story fits neither the right nor the left agenda--probably why his story didn't get a lot of publicity.

 
At 3/13/2006 7:03 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Pastorius,
I've been hearing about these tapes and boxes for two years now.

I think it is very suspicious that we haven't seen this stuff before.


One of the major failings of State prior to 9/11 was the lack of training personnel in the language of Arabic. From the bit I know about Arabic, it is complex--especially for those versed in Romance languages and also for those versed in Russian.

Generally speaking, a minimum of four years of intensive study is required before even a basic understanding of written language is acquired. Understanding audiotapes is even more difficult, particularly when dialects are involved. As a Spanish major, I well know that understanding written language is much easier than understanding audiotapes, especially if background noise is involved.

According to Atlas Shrugs those 46,000 boxes of documents are being released as of today.

Look at that, I complain, and things happen.


Yep, you've got POWER!

 
At 3/13/2006 7:07 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Iraq had plenty of time to hide or to move materials relating to WMD's. Also, Saddam was a megalomaniac who lied to bolster his own ego.

Early in his rule, he used to brag that he was "the new Nebuchadnezzar," the restorer of Babylon.

And today, Ahmadinejad brags that he is the new mahdi.

Same old, same old.

 
At 3/13/2006 7:26 PM, Blogger The Truth Hurts said...

One would hope this will all come out in front of the 2006 elections. For once, I wish the American people could vote based on the FACTS, not the leftist media spin. They've done such a relentless job it's working, at least to some extent.

 
At 3/13/2006 7:44 PM, Blogger Mustang said...

Forget the WMDs. Forget the fact that Saddam sent scuds rocketing toward Kuwait and Israel at the same time. Overlook the fact that Saddam not only used Nerve Gas on the Iranians, he used it against his own people. Hell, ignore 9/11 if you want to. The fact is that Iraq under Saddam needed an ass whipping the the worst possible way. We gave them what they deserved. What is there to argue about?

Now if we could spend as much energy tracking down Osama bin-Stupid as we do arguing about whether or not there was any WMD in Iraq, the bastard would already be caught.

 
At 3/13/2006 8:30 PM, Blogger eyesallaround said...

Hey AOW, For some reason my last email to you kicked back "mail delivery failed"... Long story short, I've had errors loading pictures but they normally say "errors occurred while loading" or something like that. I really like you pictures, so I'm thing what you're doing is A-OK, unless of course it's a huge deal...

 
At 3/13/2006 11:32 PM, Blogger David Schantz said...

I was sure that Iraq had WMD from the begining.

God Bless America, God Save The Republic.

 
At 3/13/2006 11:38 PM, Blogger Mr. Beamish the Instablepundit said...

The same people who look at the chemical stockpiles, the binary artillery shells, the chemical warfare gear, and everything else we've found to make and use WMD with in Iraq and say "It's not a WMD" will piddle themselves madly if you tried to sell them on the idea that an aircraft carrier with plutonium cores, tritium triggers, RDX explosive lensing, and bomb fuselage cases in storage isn't carrying nuclear weapons.

 
At 3/14/2006 12:25 AM, Blogger kevin said...

Gen. Sada said Saddam moved all WMD's out of Iraq into sryia before the war.


>
Read Article

 
At 3/14/2006 9:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course, on the one hand the Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Supreme Leader of Iran, defends the production of nuclear weapons...

and on the other hand he has a standing Fatwa condemning the production of nuclear weapons....(from Wikipedia).

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has issued a fatwa forbidding the production, stockpiling and use of nuclear weapons. The fatwa was cited in an official statement by the Iranian government at an August 2005 meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna.

I wonder if Ali Kamenei ever read Machiavelli's "Discourses on Titus Livy" (Ch XIV)...

The Auguries not only (as was discussed above) were the foundation in good part of the ancient Religion of the Gentiles, but they were also the causes of the well-being of the Roman Republic. Whence the Romans cared more for this than any other institution, and used it in their Consular Comitii, in starting their enterprises, in sending out their armies, in fighting engagements, and in every important activity of theirs, whether civil or military: and they never would go on an expedition unless they had persuaded the soldiers that the Gods promised them the victory. And among the Aruspices there were in the armies certain orders of Aruspices which they called Pollari (guardians of the Sacred Fowls). And anytime they were ordered to fight an engagement with the enemy they desired these Pollari make their Aruspices; and if the fowls pecked away, they fought with a good augury: if they did not peck away, they abstained from battle. None the less, when reason showed them that a thing ought to be done, not withstanding the Aruspices should be adverse, they did it anyway: but then they turned these (aruspices) with conditions and in such a manner so adeptly, that it should not appear they were doing so with disparagement to their Religion: which method was used by Consul Papirus in a most important battle which he waged against the Samnites, which afterward left them entirely weak and afflicted. For Papirus being in the field encountered the Samnites, and as victory in battle appeared certain to him, and because of this wanting to come to an engagement, he commanded the Pollari that they make their Aruspices: but the fowls did not peck away, and the Prince of the Pollari seeing the great disposition of the army to fight and the thoughts to win which were in the Captain and all the soldiers, and in order not to take away this opportunity from the army of doing well, reported to the Consul that the Aruspices were proceeding well, so that Papirus ordered out his squadrons; but some of the Pollari having told certain soldiers that the fowls had not pecked away, they in turn told it to Spurius Papirus nephew of the Consul; and when he reported this to the Consul, he (the Consul) quickly replied that he should attend to doing his duty well, and that as to himself and the army the Aruspices were correct, and if the Pollarius had told a lie, it would come back on him to his prejudice. And so that the result should correspond to the prognostication, he commanded his legates that they should place the Pollari in the front ranks of the battle. Whence it resulted that in going against the enemy, a Roman soldier drawing a dart by chance killed the Prince of the Pollari: which thing becoming known, the Consul said that every thing was proceeding well and with the favor of the Gods, for the army through the death of that liar was purged of every blame and of whatever anger (the Gods) should have had against him. And thus by knowing well how to accommodate his designs to the Aruspices, he (Papirus) took steps to give battle without his army perceiving that he had in any part neglected the institutions of their Religion.

Appius Pulcher acted in a contrary fashion in Sicily in the first Punic war; for wanting to give battle to the Carthaginian army, he caused the Pollari to make Aruspices, and when they reported to him that those fowl did not peck away, he said "Let us see if they would drink," and had them thrown into the sea: whence that giving battle he lost the engagement; for which he was condemned at Rome, and Papirus honored, not so much for the one having lost and the other having won, but because the one had gone against the Aruspices in a prudent manner, and the other fearfully. Nor did this method of making Aurispices have any other object than to have the soldiers go into battle with confidence, from which confidence almost always victory resulted. Which institution was not only used by the Romans, but by those outsiders; of which it seems to me proper to adduce an example in the following chapter.


-FJ

 
At 3/14/2006 9:40 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

FJ,
Contradictory fatwas? Maybe infidels shouldn't have them? Which one applies? Is taqiyya permitted in a fatwa?

For what it's worth, from The Truth Project:

Acquiring nuclear weapons for the defense of Moslems is a religious duty. If I have indeed acquired these weapons, then I thank Allah for enabling me to do so.
-Osama bin Laden, in an 1998 interview with Time magazine

We have the right to kill 4 million Americans, two million of them children.
-Abu Gheith, Al-Qaeda spokesman

If a bomb was dropped on them that would annihilate 10 million and burn their lands…this is permissible.
-Sheikh Nasir bin Hamid al-Fahd, prominent Saudi cleric close to Al-Qaeda

The real matter is the extinction of America. And, Allah willing, it will fall to the ground…keep in mind this prediction.
-Mullah Omar, Taliban leader and ally of Osama bin Laden


Obviously, the above is not of Iranian origin.

"they never would go on an expedition unless they had persuaded the soldiers that the Gods promised them the victory."

Weren't many of the ancients big on augury? I recall some of that in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar.

Of course, one symbol for the Roman army was the eagle.

Possible Greek folklore: birds in the house augur evil. Some years ago, a friend on mine had as yet undiagnosed brain cancer. One evening, he was over at his business partner's house, and a bird came down the chimney. The Greek fellow took this sign seriously and broke off the partnership. In less than two years, my friend was dead.

Ah, the power of superstition that I even recall the above!

Silly PS: Baseball players are inordinately superstitious. Can't break a hitting streak, ya know.

 
At 3/14/2006 11:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I doubt it would be permitted in a fatwa, but perhaps it would be permitted orally for a "press conference in front of Kuffar (Nasabis Innovation)"... guess it would depend upon whether the speaker thought his life in danger or that he was being "wrongly persecuted"...

but perhaps I mispoke earlier... the Grand Ayatollah was only speaking about "uranium enrichment" and not nuclear weapons at his "press conference", and so perhaps has not yet directly contradicted his own fatwa... perhaps he only intends on using "more efficient" plutonium reactors for "peaceful" purposes... like the Indian's in their most recent deal (LOL!)

Taqiyya does not constitute a part of either the Shia Roots nor Branches of Religion, in the same manner as, for example, the Hijab rules do not.

The practice was a method of self-preservation for the Shi'as who historically were the minority and persecuted by Sunni Muslims. Sunnis would sometimes force Shi'as to curse the House of Ali - believing that no devout Shi'a could commit such an act. As a result of this persecution, the idea of Taqiyya emerged. In other words, if a Shi'a Muslim's life is in danger, he may lie as long as he holds his faith true in his heart.

Taqiyya, like any other Islamic tenet, has guidelines and limits. According to many Shia, Taqiyya can only be legally used by a Muslim verbally when he or she is being wrongly persecuted. The situation may be when no matter whichever course of action an individual chooses he has to commit an evil. In that case, he should select the lesser evil.

When one is guilty and is trying to conceal his or her guilt, in Islam, he is not said to be using taqiyya, he or she is considered a debauchee.


-FJ

 
At 3/14/2006 2:27 PM, Blogger Mr. Ducky said...

Very enlightened commentary from , mustang. "We gave them what they deserved".

Notice the accent on we/they and notice that mustang doesn't comment on "we" getting a plank shoved up our butts in the current fiasco.

That primitive military mentality is fine for the few that believe the "war on terror" is anything but the administration's bogey man to keep the prolls in line ... well it might not be a "few" but common sense is returning daily.

 
At 3/14/2006 3:11 PM, Blogger Mr. Ducky said...

I would like mustang to reconcile the fact that in the sad history of slaughter in the twentieth century that muslims are UNDER represented. They really haven't had as much stomach for it as America did when it precipitated 3 million dead in Vietnam and facilitated the destabilization of Cambodia.

If he would like to present a case for the positive use of massive military force post WW II, I would like to hear it. In iraq we see that it just facilitated the same pathetic cycle.

So if he can free himself from the "freedom isn't free" cliches and get down to the bone...just what has the military brought us post WW II?

 
At 3/14/2006 5:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Attaturk...Ottoman Empire... Armenian/Greek massacres...how many millions died?

Sudan...Darfur...how many millions died?

Israel...how many died?

India-Pakistan...how many died?

Under-represented did you say mr. ducky? or did you mean Under-counted?

-FJ

 
At 3/14/2006 5:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ps- I think I need to stop researching Islam. The more I see, the more I admire.

-FJ

 
At 3/14/2006 5:54 PM, Blogger Mr. Beamish the Instablepundit said...

FJ,

ps- I think I need to stop researching Islam. The more I see, the more I admire.

From a military philosophy viewpoint, there is much in Islam to admire. Destroy the enemy! Make him submit! This is Clausewitz without the sugar.

But, Muslims forbid the eating of pork.

For that, they can't possibly be right.

 
At 3/14/2006 6:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

beamish,

Your right. I'll never give up my bacon. Pork fat RULES!

But I still admire the "conservativism" built into their system

-FJ

 
At 3/14/2006 7:16 PM, Blogger City Troll said...

Duck its not what the millitary has brought us since WWII or at any time in our history its what the military has PREVENTED from being brought to us that matters.

The millitaries job is to break things and kill people and to stand between the civilians of this country and whoever wants to break our things and kill us any other use of it is a coruption of its purpose it is a tool to be used for those two purposes period.

As for the documents and tapes, there is a weekly standard journalist that has been bitching for over a year about a warehouse full of captured Iraqi documents that our government hasent had the man power to translate Look it up he has a list of at least twnty documents that the titles only were translated on that he has been persuing the release of through the freedom of imformation act. This is a mag thats to say the least friendly to this administration and they can't even make headway with the beurocrats

 
At 3/14/2006 8:08 PM, Blogger Mr. Beamish the Instablepundit said...

The millitaries job is to break things and kill people and to stand between the civilians of this country and whoever wants to break our things and kill us any other use of it is a coruption of its purpose it is a tool to be used for those two purposes period.

Amen!

War is diplomacy by other means... - Otto Von Clausewitz, "On War"

 
At 3/14/2006 8:46 PM, Blogger Mr. Ducky said...

Yeah Beamish, we know that. If you have a few more pithy aphorisms let me know.

Farmer, as I said, Islam is rather under represented in the log of killing in the 20th century. Add everything up there nd you don't have a Vietnam.

Sorry, but if you want to make your case then work harder.

 
At 3/14/2006 10:28 PM, Blogger Mr. Beamish the Instablepundit said...

Yeah Beamish, we know that. If you have a few more pithy aphorisms let me know.

"If there ever was a leftist who could convince a reasonable person that they actually knew anything, surely a history book would have recorded it by now" - Mr. Beamish, Tales from Reality, page 234,186.

 
At 3/15/2006 12:07 AM, Blogger Mike's America said...

"If there ever was a leftist who could convince a reasonable person that they actually knew anything, surely a history book would have recorded it by now" - Mr. Beamish, Tales from Reality.

I've got to order a pillow with that crocheted on it. Truer words were never spoken.

 
At 3/15/2006 6:54 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

As usual for during the middle of the week, I'm consumed with work matters, but I started this morning with a chuckle over "If there ever was a leftist who could convince a reasonable person that they actually knew anything, surely a history book would have recorded it by now" - Mr. Beamish, Tales from Reality, page 234,186.

All the pages in that tome! It must be longer that The Rise and the Fall of the Roman Empire!

 
At 3/15/2006 8:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ducky,

I added it up over at beaks. They beat us. Better get out your calculator.

-FJ

 
At 3/15/2006 11:47 PM, Blogger Mr. Beamish the Instablepundit said...

AOW,

They're really small pages. :P

 

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