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February 27, 2006


Mark Jaquith

This would be a bombshell indeed, but everything I have read indicates that this translation of the tapes was made by one person: John Tierney. It might be prudent to wait until the tapes have been translated by many more people, with an open review process... not a closed translation like ABC did or a one-man translation like John Tierney did.


I suspect that either this translation is inaccurate or these papers are simple forgeries. The content of these papers fits a little too conveniently into the Bush Administration's case for war -- we have everything in it: shipping WMD to Syria, seeking nuclear weapons, and terrorist attacks in the United States involving anthrax. However, the only evidence for such activity comes from these papers. Are the papers anymore accurate than the Iraqi defectors who spun yarn after yarn of fables?

In a tape dating to April 1995, Saddam and several aides discuss the fact that U.N. inspectors had found traces of Iraq's biological weapons program. On the tape, Hussein Kamel, Saddam's son-in-law, is heard gloating about fooling the inspectors.

This is a very unusual "secret" conversation since Iraq openly and publicly declared its bioliogical weapons program in March of 1995! So why is Saddam talking with his aides about fooling the inspectors when the inspectors are already aware of Iraq's biological activity?

None of this adds up and my guess is that these "papers" are simple forgeries. These "papers" are receiving very little media attention even among the hard-core Bush cultists, so I seriously doubt their authenticity.

Also, if we want to take seriously the idea that Iraq sent weapons to Syria then this just raises more questions. If Iraq did send weapons to Syria then that would mean Iraq had an active biological and chemical weapons program. So why can't anyone name the facility Iraq was using to produce these weapons?
The references to Iraq's secret weapon facilities are just as vague and generic as descriptions of El Dorado and the lost city of Atlantis.

But the Bush cultists prefer the comfort of lies to the pain of truth -- we went to war over nothing.

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