Thursday, 20 July 2017

Curious confusion over British threat to dump nuclear materials on EU

Letter to the Financial Times:

Your report “UK issues coded warning to Brussels over nuclear waste" (Financial Times, 20 July; https://www.ft.com/content/0c56a4f2-6bc5-11e7-bfeb-33fe0c5b7eaa) is based on a curious confusion and a worrying level of ignorance by anonymous so-called nuclear experts your reporters say have advised the UK Government.

It a is both an empty and, frankly, a totally counter-productive threat to return fissile materials ( and radioactive wastes)  to countries of origin in the EU, as part of a sui-disant  negotiating  posture on Brexit by the UK, in order to  “
 
On 19 January this year, the UK Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS)  announced it  had agreed to the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) taking ownership of 600 kg of material previously owned by a Spanish utility, and  of 5 kg of material previously owned by a German organisation.

BEIS asserted that "These transactions, which have been agreed by the Euratom Supply Agency, will not result in any new plutonium being brought into the UK, and will not therefore increase the overall amount of plutonium in the UK." adding  it had "agreed to these transactions on the grounds that they offer a cost-effective and beneficial arrangement, which allows the UK to gain national control over more of the civil plutonium located in the UK, and facilitates conclusion of outstanding contracts with the Spanish and German" (http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-statement/Commons/2017-01-19/HCWS422/).


 


Preceding this, three years ago, on 3 July 2014 the UK announced that it had struck an agreement with German and Swedish governments to take title to 140 kgs of plutonium in the former case, and 800 kgs in the latter, arising from the reprocessing at Sellafield and management at Dounreay respectively of spent nuclear fuel from the two nations. https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201415/cmhansrd/cm140702/text/140702w0003.htm#140702100000002)
And, earlier, in April 2013, BEIS's predecessor department, DECC, announced in a statement on management of oversees owned plutonium   it was taking over 750 kg of plutonium belonging to German utilities, 1,850 kg previously loaned from France, and 350 kg from Dutch firm GKN. At the same time, 650 kg of plutonium stored at Sellafield was transferred from German to Japanese ownership.(https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/written-ministerial-statement-by-michael-fallon-management-of-overseas-owned-plutonium-in-the-uk)
 A similar deal with Germany in in 2012 saw the UK take ownership of  4,000 kgs of plutonium. (http://fissilematerials.org/blog/2012/07/united_kingdom_takes_owne.html)
Thus the overseas ownership of plutonium in the UK has gradually been transferred to the UK. Thus there is no prospect of any ship sailing towards  Antwerp (or any other EU port) as the nuclear expert cited fancifully imagined.
It is possible that some of reprocessing waste arising from the chemical separation of imported foreign spent  nuclear fuel at Sellafield could be returned-to-sender in a fit of pique  by DexEU. However, BEIS has already- through its predecessor department- indicated it wanted to adopt a policy of substitution" based on "radiotoxic equivalence" to  the reprocessing nuclear waste stockpile to minimize the volumes of waste shipped back to continental Europe.
A BEIS official told me at a nuclear policy forum meeting of interested non-governmental parties on 18 July that the department has a team of dedicated staff looking in detail at all the ramifications of withdrawal from Euratom for UK nuclear policy. Perhaps DexEU officials should consult these in-house experts over Euratom before issuing  empty threats.




These transactions, which have been agreed by the Euratom Supply Agency, will not result in any new plutonium being brought into the UK, and will not therefore increase the overall amount of plutonium in the UK.
The Department has agreed to these transactions on the grounds that they offer a cost-effective and beneficial arrangement, which allows the UK to gain national control over more of the civil plutonium located in the UK, and facilitates conclusion of outstanding contracts with the Spanish and German counterparties. The revenue from the transaction is also expected to be of significant benefit to the UK and sufficient to cover the cost of the long term management of the additional plutonium.
 

Parliament is more than the debating chamber, it's a 10,0000 strong village

A version of this letters was published in The Guardian on 19 July:

Simon Jenkins  'Journal' article ("A parliament that listens has to get out of London," Guardian,  17 July; https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jul/17/brexit-britain-needs-mps-out-of-westminster-provinces-neglected) repeats arguments he has made before that Parliament should relocate outside of London.


This argument would only make sense if all MPs did at Westminster was to  occasionally make speeches and ask ministers questions in the House of Commons chamber. But they don't!


The Palace of Westminster is a community of  some 10,000 people, from reporters, Hansard recorders and editors, MPs' secretaries and researchers, canteen and restaurant staff, librarians, IT and digital media networking staff, select committee administrators and researchers, excellent librarians, as well as administrative and security officials, cleaners, electricians, plumbers, gardeners, etc


Many of these staff  live in, or within travel distance of,  London; it is simply not practical for all of these people to upsticks and move to live, albeit temporarily in a regional city, however  nice it may be. The same applies to many national organizations who lobby  Parliament. They are located in London partly  to  take advantage of this ease of access to our lawmakers and policy formulators.


Additionally, Parliament at Westminster works synergistically with Whitehall, around the corner, as governmental officials and ministers  go back and forth, sometimes at  very short notice, to appear before MPs in committees or in the case of ministers, answering urgent last minute questions  from MPs in the House of Commons chamber. Such scrutiny by our  elected representatives would not be possible  if ministers were based in London, but Parliament was hundreds of  miles - and several hours - away.


Sir Simon has clearly not thought through the full implications of his proposals.

Thursday, 13 July 2017

U.K. on path to becoming nuclear rogue state

Letter submitted to New York Times:
 
Regarding “Plan to Withdraw From European Nuclear Treaty Stirs Alarm in Britain” (July 13; https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/12/world/europe/euratom-brexit.html), this report overlooks the most important element of the British Government plan to quit the Euratom treaty that governs nuclear activities - including nuclear explosive materials - in European Union countries, possibly because the reporter relied solely on  nuclear industry sources, for whom this is a highly inconvenient truth.

On July 13 the U.K. Government published its so-called position paper on “Nuclear materials and safeguards issues,”  


which includes the  key  suggestion the U.K. will: “take responsibility for meeting the UK’s safeguards obligations, as agree with I.A.E.A (International Atomic Energy Agency).”


The U.K. government has earlier explained they intend U.K. nuclear security regulator, the Office for Nuclear Regulation (O.N.R.) to take over from the independent  safeguards inspectors from Euratom, to ‘self-police’ the British nuclear industry against military misuse.


Just imagine if Iran or North Korea proposed to do that!

 
It should also be noted that even under the Euratom safeguards regime the U.K has withdrawn fissile nuclear materials, including plutonium, from safeguards on at least 650 occasions since the U.K’s trilateral safeguards treaty with Euratom and I.A.E.A came into force in 1978 (http://www.hse.gov.uk/nuclear/safeguards/withdrawals.htm)

  

This British proposal puts this N.A.T.O ally of the U.S on track to becoming an atomic rogue state, creating a very dangerous global precedent.

 

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Electric vehicles and storage of renewable electricity


Letter sent to The Times:

Your correspondent Ian Templeton asks ("Turning electric dreams into motoring reality," Times letters, July 8; https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/turning-electric-dreams-into-motoring-reality-52g7grjzn) asks 'why does no one seem to be asking how the huge increase in the demand for electricity is to be met' as electric car use expands?

They have. A month ago at the Chatham House think tank in London I listened to American energy guru Amory Lovins, director of the Rocky Mountain Institute, which specialises in energy research, explain how electric  car expansion can act as a national storage system for renewable electricity.

This is surely the most radical implication of electric cars.

Lovins convincingly argued that  many people in the electricity industry long thought that the two renewable sources of electricity that vary widely over time—windpower and solar photovoltaics (PVs) —could provide only a fewpercent of total generation without endangering reliability. Those who still believe this now face  increasingly severe reality tests.

He stressed that Germany and other countries are successfully powering their grids with "astonishingly high fractions of renewable generation" by combining five techniques: a) leveraging diverse generation sources across interconnected regional and national grids, b) improving
renewables’ forecasting and predictability, c) integrating dispatchable renewables, d) adding
distributed storage, and e) leveraging demand response.
(https://www.rmi.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/2014—Amorys-Angle-Ramping-Up-Renewable-Electricity.pdf).

 This way the future surely lies.

Monday, 10 July 2017

Nuclear hypocrisy from Government yet again!

Letter sent to Morning Star:
 
In his article on nuclear proliferation on Friday, (7 July; http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/a-b81f-North-Korea-must-be-brought-to-the-negotiating-table#.WWNhTOSWyM8 )  Sean Morris, national Secretary of the Nuclear Free Local Authorities, correctly commented that the  hugely important  Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty - which has been skillfully negotiated in New York over the past three  weeks -  has barely received any  coverage in the British media.

Inexplicably, this is also true for the Morning Star, despite your  continuous coverage of the  dangers of nuclear weapons.

Following the decision on  Friday at the United Nations of 122 countries to conclude a multilateral treaty to globally ban nuclear weapons  the foreign office issued an extraordinarily self-serving and hypocritical statement justifying the UK's absence from the treaty negotiations and rejection of its obligations.

 The FCO asserted: "The unpredictable international security environment we face today demands maintenance of our nuclear deterrent for the foreseeable future."
It added it backed the 1968 nuclear nonproliferation treaty (NPT) instead as the diplomatic vehicle to finally achieve a nuclear weapon-free world.

 But when this treaty was commended to the United Nations by the British minister for disarmament in 1968 ( in papers I discovered at the National Archives), he told the diplomatic delegations:  "My government accepts the obligation to participate fully in the (nuclear disarmament) negotiations required by NPT article 6 (which required all signatory states to negotiate nuclear disarmament in good faith and at an early date) - and it is our desire these negotiations should produce speedy results."

 Not one nuclear weapon has been negotiated away by any British government in the 49 years since.

Friday, 7 July 2017

World leaders at G20 Hamburg meeting overshadowed by global nuclear weapons ban at United Nations in NewYork


While the G20  club of global leaders meet in Hamburg today, and even more important meeting  will end at the United Nations in New York  after three weeks of painstaking negotiations -  concluding with an earth-shattering global ban on nuclear weapons (“A giant step towards a nuclear free world is in reach – but will it be sabotaged at the last minute?” www.opendemocracy.net/uk/rebecca-johnson/giant-step-towards-nuclear-free-world-is-in-reach-but-will-it-be-sabotaged-at-las)

Here is the final text of the treaty they have negotiated, under positive pressure for several years of brilliant lobbying from many disarmament NGOs, led by the estimable and indefatigable ICAN (International Campaign to Abolish nuclear Weapons)


 

I played a small part in this process, attending the Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons in the Austrian Capital in December 2014, sponsored by the Austrian Foreign Ministry, which produced the following declaration at the end of an extraordinary diplomatic meeting, boycotted by the UK, but attended by the United States.

 


 

 

Pledge  presented at the  Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons  by Austrian Deputy Foreign Minister Michael Linhart

Having hosted and chaired the Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons from 8-9 December 2014 and in light of the important facts and findings that have been presented at the international conferences in Oslo, Nayarit and Vienna, Austria, solely in her national capacity, and without binding any other participant, wants to go beyond the summary just read out. After careful consideration of the evidence, Austria has come to the following inescapable conclusions and makes the subsequent pledge to take them forward with interested parties in available fora, including in the context of the NPT and its upcoming 2015 Review Conference:

Mindful of the unacceptable harm that victims of nuclear weapons explosions and nuclear testing have experienced and recognising that the rights and needs of victims have not yet been adequately addressed,

Understanding that the immediate, mid- and long-term consequences of a nuclear weapon explosion are significantly graver than it was understood in the past and will not be constrained by national borders but have regional or even global effects, potentially threatening the survival of humanity,

Recognizing the complexity of and interrelationship between these consequences on health, environment, infrastructure, food security, climate, development, social cohesion and the global economy that are systemic and potentially irreversible,

Aware that the risk of a nuclear weapon explosion is significantly greater than previously assumed and is indeed increasing with increased proliferation, the lowering of the technical threshold for nuclear weapon capability, the ongoing modernisation of nuclear weapon arsenals in nuclear weapon possessing states, and the role that is attributed to nuclear weapons in the nuclear doctrines of possessor states,

Cogniscent of the fact that the risk of nuclear weapons use with their unacceptable consequences can only be avoided when all nuclear weapons have been eliminated,

Emphasizing that the consequences of a nuclear weapon explosion and the risks associated with nuclear weapons concern the security of all humanity and that all states share the responsibility to prevent any use of nuclear weapons,

Emphasizing that the scope of consequences of a nuclear weapon explosion and risks associated raise profound moral and ethical questions that go beyond debates about the legality of nuclear weapons,  

 

Mindful that no national or international response capacity exists that would adequately respond to the human suffering and humanitarian harm that would result from a nuclear weapon explosion in a populated area, and that such capacity most likely will never exist,

Affirming that it is in the interest of the very survival of humanity that nuclear weapons are never used again, under any circumstances,

Reiterating the crucial role that international organisations, relevant UN entities, the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, elected representatives, academia and civil society play for advancing the shared objective of a nuclear weapon free world,

Austria regards it as her responsibility and consequently pledges to present the facts-based discussions, findings and compelling evidence of the Vienna Conference, which builds upon the previous conferences in Oslo and Nayarit, to all relevant fora, in particular the NPT Review Conference 2015 and in the UN framework, as they should be at the centre of all deliberations, obligations and commitments with regard to nuclear disarmament,

Austria pledges to follow the imperative of human security for all and to promote the protection of civilians against risks stemming from nuclear weapons,

Austria calls on all states parties to the NPT to renew their commitment to the urgent and full implementation of existing obligations under Article VI, and to this end, to identify and pursue effective measures to fill the legal gap for the prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons and Austria pledges to cooperate with all stakeholders to achieve this goal,

Austria calls on all nuclear weapons possessor states to take concrete interim measures to reduce the risk of nuclear weapon detonations, including reducing the operational status of nuclear weapons and moving nuclear weapons away from deployment into storage, diminishing the role of nuclear weapons in military doctrines and rapid reductions of all types of nuclear weapons,

Austria pledges to cooperate with all relevant stakeholders, States, international organisations, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movements, parliamentarians and civil society, in efforts to stigmatise, prohibit and eliminate nuclear weapons in light of their unacceptable humanitarian consequences and associated risks.

Here is the introduction to my 93,000 word submission.


 

 Uranium Exploitation and Environmental racism:

Why environmental despoliation and the ignorance of radiological risks of uranium mining cannot be justified by the nuclear weapons states for the procurement of the raw stock material for their nuclear explosives

Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Human Weapons

8-9 December 2014, Hofburg Palace Vienna, Austria

Dr David Lowry, United Kingdom

Environmental policy and research consultant, member, Nuclear Waste Advisory Associates (NWAA), senior research fellow, Institute for Resource and Security Studies, (Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA), former director European Proliferation Information Centre (EIC), former research fellow, Energy and Environment Research Unit, Open University , United Kingdom

Context

I want make this submission following on the presentation by Dr Arjun Makijani of the US-based Institute for Energy and Environmental Research in the US in session 1b, who highlighted the often overlooked environmental degradation, lack of remediation and health hazards posed by uranium mining for the raw materials to make nuclear explosives for the nuclear arsenals of the nuclear weapons states (NWS). I note that this joint human health and environmental concern is the focus of an excellent and disturbing poster exhibition outside the main door to the stage of this Conference Hall.

I also note the conclusions of the interpretation of existing environmental law to military nuclear activities discussed in depth and breadth by the excellent panel in Session IV.

Both this conference and the predecessor Civil Society Conference in Vienna over the weekend have heard the moving testimony of radiation victims from the testing and belligerent us eof nuclear weapons: the Japanese “Hibakusha”, direct victims of nuclear wepons deliberately used upon on their communities, and the US, Marshallese Islanders, Australian indigenous peoples, and Kazakh “Downwinders, who have sufferd from nuclear testing.

But there are hundreds of thousands of radiation victims worldwide from the production of nuclear weapons, even if we remain lucky enough that they are never used by deliberate decision, or detonated by accident.

I raised this matter of concern with the United Kingdom delegation, representing the country of which I am a citizen, in the margins of this conference, to be told the exposure to radiation from uranium procurement was a long time ago. That is true, but the impact of exposure lives on through genetic transfer across generations, as the compensation agreements in the United States ( surprising not mentioned by the US

Ambassador to this conference in either contribution he made from the floor) have demonstrated recognise the responsibility of current political administrations for past administration’ actions.

Therefore, as my own Government has declined to take moral responsibility for the significant deleterious impact of the production process for the procurement of the raw uranium that, in its converted form, now makes up the nuclear explosives in each of the UK ‘s 180 nuclear warheads, I will set out below some examples of the impacts, especially to inform my own Government why they have a duty to wider humanity to take responsibility for the desecration of sacred land and for damaging the heath of exposed indigenous peoples and their successor generations, especially as indigenous people’s land in former colonies were used as the sources of the UK’s uranium used in nuclear warheads.

Governments have accepted the importance of recognizing and mitigating the carbon footprint of the production process of commercially tradable goods; they also need to accept the radiological footprint of past nuclear explosive materials production needs to be mitigated, and act accordingly in a moral fashion.

Nuclear warheads, even if never detonated, have not only an extraordinary financial cost, but even more importantly , an ecological, environmental, and enduring health cost – both radiological and toxicological - to the people whose communities have been exploited for the procurement of the uranium, which in processed and manufactured form, currently sits in the global nuclear arsenals of over 16,000 warheads, to no positive benefit a huge detriments for the human communities from which it was expropriated.

This submission includes as illustration primary materials ( and associated references) covering problems encountered in the major uranium production countries (Australia, United States, Canada, Kazakhstan, & Namibia, and some more minor ones such as the Czech Republic, France and eastern Germany).

Prolegomena

In March 2009 , an American Civil Society non governmental organization, Beyond Nuclear, published in its regular information bulletin, Thunderbird, a review and summary of a conference held in Washington DC in February 2009, addressing the issue of the impact on indigenous people of uranium mining, milling and its waste streams. I reproduce the summary immediately below:

Beyond Nuclear Bulletin

March 5, 2009

Standing Room Only as Indigenous Speakers Describe Atomic Genocide

It was standing room only at the huge PowerShift 2009 youth conference on climate change in Washington, DC, February 27, when Beyond Nuclear hosted a panel that included three indigenous activists, a scientist and a prominent actor. The panel - Human Rights, Uranium Mining and Unfolding Genocide - featured actor, James

Cromwell; French nuclear scientist, Bruno Chareyron, Manuel Pino of the Acoma Pueblo; Sidi-Amar Taoua, a Touareg from Niger; and Mitch, an Australian Aboriginal. The panel held a press conference, briefed legislators on Capitol Hill and spoke at PowerShift to more than 500 students.

The activists described how uranium mining has disproportionately targeted indigenous communities across the world and represents a deliberate genocide. Mine workers were poorly protected and informed and suffered from often deadly diseases without proper treatment. Most disused mine sites have never been cleaned up while water supplies remain contaminated. "Poison Wind," a documentary by Jenny Pond, was also shown to a packed room at Busboys and Poets in Washington, DC at an event hosted by Cromwell.

The three days of events represent the beginning of a new Beyond Nuclear campaign to draw attention to the consistent violation of fundamental human rights caused by uranium mining.

The Beyond Nuclear tour of indigenous speakers on human rights and uranium mining received a variety of press coverage, including an article by Agence France Presse that appeared in the Melbourne Age, the Melbourne Sun and the Economic Times (of India) among other publications. View the articles here. In addition, James Cromwell was interviewed live on CleanSkies TV.


 

The history of neglect

Uranium mining legacies remediation and  renaissance development: an international overview

In an overview paper, Peter Waggitt

Today’s legacy problems arose because due to the lack of legislation in earlier

times. With no obligation to plan for, or undertake remediation and with no funds

having been put aside to carry out the work, remediation did not happen. This last

point is a major issue when legacy remediation programmes are discussed or efforts

are made to plan work. Mining legacy remediation is a very expensive business,

more so when uranium is involved…. few of the countries most affected by the uranium mine

legacy issue have adequate finance or resources and infrastructure in their regulatory

networks to plan, develop and manage such programmes. Neither do many of

the countries most affected have sufficiently well developed environmental protection

laws and resources.

So the diagnosis is one of neglect and lack of resources. The prognosis is not

very good at first glance due to the vast amounts of financial support required at a

time when there are many other priorities for Governments expenditure in many of

the most affected nations. Public health, education and re-building economies are

all activities competing for the money available. But all may not be lost if legacy

remediation can be incorporated with other development plans.

In today’s market this has increased interest in the possibility of re-treating tailings,

and perhaps other residues from legacy sites, to extract uranium. A number

of proposals are being considered by mining companies and governments in former

uranium mining centres around the world. Such plans should only be considered

if they are a component of a comprehensive remediation programme. Any

new processing scheme should be designed to ensure that the end state of the project

will be a remediated site i.e. no new legacy is created.

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Chilcot verdict on Blair and the invasion of Iraq: here is the demonstrable dissembling of a "pretty straight sort of guy"


In an interview published today with Sir John Chilcot,chairman of the Inquiry into the Iraq Invasion in 2003,  conducted by BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg (“Tony Blair 'not straight' with UK over Iraq, says Chilcot;” http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-40510540), Chilcot offered his opinion that the evidence Mr Blair gave the inquiry was "emotionally truthful" but he relied on beliefs rather than facts.

I do not believe this is an accurate conclusion to draw, as it is demonstrable Blair dissembled to Parliament, as I set out below.

 



Jack Straw MP, former Labour Foreign Secretary at the time of the invasion of Iraq in March 2003, asserted to Parliament yesterday: “For the avoidance of doubt, however, the whole Security Council judged in November 2002 that there was a threat to international peace and security from Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction.

Firebrand  Respect MP, George Galloway, who had correctly predicted  mass chaos in Iraq if the invasion went ahead, bellowed back: “Because they believed you and Colin Powell.”

Veteran Labour MP, on whose speech Straw had intervened, retorted:Because they were fooled.”
(http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201415/cmhansrd/cm150129/debtext/150129-0002.htm#15012949000001)
Flynn had been about to reveal, when Straw executed his disruptive intervention, that Straw and Blair had already known that Saddam’s Iraq  no longer had WMDS in the autumn of 2002, when the United Nations was hoodwinked. He was in full flow pointing out: “We are being denied the truth. I find it astonishing that the right hon. Member for Blackburn (Mr Straw) does not agree there were no weapons of mass destruction. It is amazing if he still believes there was an imminent threat to British territory. I have a document—I have no time to go into its detail—referenced by Tony Blair as evidence of the existence of weapons of mass destruction and the threat posed. It concerns a meeting on 22 August 1995 at which the principal person giving evidence was a General Hussein Kamal. For goodness’ sake, read the document!”

What was behind this claim? You can read the full  15 page text of the document Flynn flourished in the House of Commons here: http://www.casi.org.uk/info/unscom950822.pdf

But what was its provenance? Immediately below I reproduce an exchange between the editor of  media-watching  group, Media Lense, and the Today  Programe over an item on Iraqi  WMD claims several months before the now notorious  sexed up claims  by Andrew Gilligan on the same programme ( it also involved Gilligan, then the today Programme defence  specialist)

 

 

 

Today item on Iraqi defectorMedia Lens editor editor at medialens.org
Mon Mar 3 19:26:40 GMT 2003    

 

·         Previous message: [Media-watch] FW: Bombing of Iraq

 

·         Next message: [Media-watch] Today item on Iraqi defector

 




 


 

Hello,

 

 

 

Don't suppose anyone on this list has access to a transcript from last Friday's

 

Today programme from about 0750? I'd like to see

 

just what coverage they gave to the late Iraqi defector Hussein Kamel and his

 

testimony regarding Iraqi's "weapons of mass destruction". Reliable defector or

 

not, either way recent revelations re: the Kamel debriefing by UN weapons

 

inspectors undermine Bush and Blair. But the story seems to have virtually sunk

 

without trace (though there was a curious little article by Julian Borger in

 

Saturday's Guardian).

 

 

 

Please see the exchange below with Today editor

 

Kevin Marsh......

 

 

 

David Cromwell

 

Media Lens

 

<A

 

href="http://www.MediaLens.org">http://www.MediaLens.org

 

 

 

 

 

From: Media Lens editor

 

[mailto:editor at medialens.org] Sent: 03 March 2003 09:46To: Kevin

 

MarshSubject: Today programme on Iraqi defector Hussein Kamel

 

Dear Kevin Marsh,

 

The report below [from FAIR, previously posted, and not included here]

 

regarding Iraqi defector Hussein Kamel appears to be crucial regarding Iraq's

 

supposed weapons of mass destruction - the crux of the case for war, so Bush and

 

Blair tell us....

 

The Today programme picked this up last Friday - a very short item at 0638

 

between Edward Stourton and defence correspondent Andrew Gilligan. Virtually

 

nothing since then. It surely merits much closer attention.

 

I look forward to hearing from you.

 

regards,(Dr) David Cromwellco-editor, Media

 

Lenshttp://www.MediaLens.org

 

3 March, 2003Thanks for this - we did, actually, do rather more than you

 

recall: we also covered the item at 0750 in an interview withou t defence

 

specialist, extracts from the document, and interview with Dan Plesch and an

 

interview with Rolf Ekeus who supervised the original debriefKJM

 

 

 

 

 

Remember, this was early March 2003, a few weeks before  the UK Parliament was to make its fateful vote to invade Iraq, based substantially on the believe Iraq  had WMDs, and was threatening to use them.

 

 

 

 

 

Here is an extraordinary, contemporary article about an article  in the International magazine Newsweek, that  broke the claims that Saddam had  already destroyed  his WMDs several years before 2003

 


 

What did Kamel Say?

 

Posted on 6 March 2003

 

Last week Newsweek reported that Hussein Kamel told the CIA that Iraq did destroy all its chemical and biological weapons. You’ll remember Kamal as the son-in-law who defected, became a Western informant, then stupidly went back to Iraq, where he was quickly executed.
Newsweek had been one of many publications that had held Kamel up as an information goldmine, one that proved Iraq was up to no good.
The Newsweek story failed to make clear how this information fit in with their years of other reporting.

 

 

 

 Nobody gives much guidance on how much of what we think about the programs is based on Kamel. Much of what he said was backed up by documents, so it can’t be all wrong.
March 3, 2003 Newsweek
Exclusive: The Defector’s Secrets
John Barry
Hussein Kamel, the highest-ranking Iraqi official ever to defect from Saddam Hussein’s inner circle, told CIA and British intelligence officers and U.N. inspectors in the summer of 1995 that after the gulf war, Iraq destroyed all its chemical and biological weapons stocks and the missiles to deliver them.Kamel was Saddam Hussein’s son-in-law and had direct knowledge of what he claimed: for 10 years he had run Iraq’s nuclear, chemical, biological and missile programs.
Saddam’s stone wall: Iraq still hasn’t satisfied the U.N. inspectors.(Saddam Hussein)(Irag shows no sign of changing its negative attitude toward weapons inspection by the United Nations)(Brief Article)
Gregory Beals John Barry
04/27/1998
Newsweek
Earlier this month, a report by another U.N. body, the International Atomic Energy Agency, revealed that Iraq tried to revive its nuclear-weapons program after the end of the Persian Gulf War in 1991. When the agency demanded an explanation, Baghdad said an “unauthorized” program had been run by Lt. Gen. Hussein Kamel, Saddam’s luckless son-in-law, who defected to Jordan in 1995 and then returned to Iraq, where he was killed. That effort now seems to have been shut down, and the IAEA is prepared to give Iraq a clean bill of health on nuclear weapons.
His secret weapon.(Saddam Hussein had a germ-warfare arsenal during Gulf War)
Christopher Dickey
09/04/1995
Newsweek
No hurry: Iraq’s germ-warfare program finally came to light because of the defection on Aug. 8 of Saddam’s son-in-law Lt. Gen. Hussein Kamel Hassan al-Majid, whom Ekeus describes as “the mastermind of the whole biological-weapons program.” With Kamel prepared to spill Saddam’s secrets, the Iraqis suddenly provided Ekeus with reams of information on their outlawed program. The defection will apparently not lead to Saddam’s downfall in the near future. Once again, the dictator was crushing any potential challengers at home. And given the lack of an acceptable successor to Saddam, even U.S. allies in the Middle East were in no hurry to see him fall, as long as he remains politically and militarily weakened.
But the forced revelations have deprived Saddam of his most potent secret weapon. “They kept biology as the prize,” Ekeus told Newsweek. He said the Iraqi strategy was to get economic sanctions fitted without revealing the secret of the biological weapons. Germ warfare could have given Saddam “an ideal strategic weapon,” Ekeus said, assuming he had an effective longrange delivery method. Delivered secretly, it also could have been “the ideal terrorism weapon.” Now if Iraq wants to escape from the economic sanctions that are choking it, Baghdad will have to prove that it has given up its doomsday weapons.
RELATED ARTICLE: Doomsday Arsenal
Iraq now concedes its program to make weapons of mass destruction was far more advanced than it admitted before.
* Biological: Outsiders learned for the first time that anthrax germs and botulism poisons were actually loaded into Iraqi missile warheads and bombs. If inhaled, both agents kill by destroying the ability to breathe. Iraq also loaded a little-known fungal poison called aflatoxin, which may cause cancer, and it experimented with infectious viruses.
* Nuclear: Baghdad also provided new information showing that its nuclear program was more advanced than the allies knew. In August 1990, the month it invaded Kuwait, Iraq reportedly began a crash program to produce a nuclear weapon within a year. It failed.
* Chemical: Iraq’s supply of mustard gas and nerve agents such as sarin was well known, having been used in combat against Iran and Kurdish rebels. Mustard burns skin and lungs but is much less lethal than sarin, which paralyzes.

 




 

Defector’s testimony confuses case against Iraq.
By Julian Borger in Washington.
03/01/2003 The Guardian 

Hussein Kamel, the former head of Iraq’s weapons programmes whose 1995 defection has been portrayed by the US and Britain as evidence of Iraqi deceit and the futility of inspections, was a “consummate liar”, according to the last weapons inspector to interrogate him.
The transcript of the interrogation, leaked this week to Newsweek magazine and seen by the Guardian, makes it clear that the defector’s testimony on Iraqi weapons of mass destruction was inconclusive and often misleading.
The emergence of the classified statements weakens the case the US and Britain has tried to build against Saddam Hussein, in which Kamel’s defection has been used to bolster claims that Iraq still has thousands of tonnes of chemical and biological weapons for which it has not accounted.
They reveal that Kamel, who was President Saddam’s son-in-law, told UN inspectors that Iraq had destroyed all its chemical and biological weapons and abandoned its nuclear programme after the Gulf war. But he said blueprints, documents, computer files and moulds for missile parts had been hidden.
Rolf Ekeus, the former chief UN weapons inspector who oversaw the interrogation in August 1995, said much of the chemical arsenal had been destroyed by the inspectors, not Baghdad.
Mr Ekeus agreed that the Iraqi government had probably eliminated its biological arsenal but said he remained convinced that “seed stocks” of bacteria had been retained as well as growth media and fermenters so it could quickly reconstitute its arsenal.
Kamel, who had been the director of Iraq’s military industrial establishment, was assassinated soon after his mysterious decision to return to Iraq just weeks after his high-profile defection.
The US and British governments have pointed to the defection to emphasise the extent of Iraq’s weapons programmes and the inherent weakness of inspections.
But Mr Ekeus pointed out that Unscom, the UN special commission on Iraq, had already discovered a lot about the Iraqi pre-war biological programme earlier that year, forcing Baghdad’s admission in July, a month before Kamel’s defection, that it had pursued germ warfare.
The transcript of Kamel’s interrogation reveals a far more ambiguous picture than the one portrayed in Washington and London.
“Kamel was a consummate liar,” Mr Ekeus said.
While the transcript of the interrogation makes it clear that the defection was less than a breakthrough, it had a psychological impact on Baghdad. The Iraqi government, unsure what he was going to tell the inspectors, became much more forthcoming.
Before Mr Ekeus arrived in Amman to interrogate Kamel, the Iraqis invited him to Baghdad to hand over documents and then took him to Kamel’s chicken farm where several metal containers full of documents had been buried.
“They wanted to blame it all on Kamel,” Mr Ekeus said. “But Kamel was just carrying out the government’s policy.”

 

 

 

In light of this, how did Tony Blair report to Parliament - in the debate and fateful vote that  finally took us to war -  what the British Government ( including Straw ) knew of  the Hussein Kamal claims?

 

 

 


 

18 Mar 2003 : Column 760

 

Iraq

 

[Relevant document: The Fourth Report from the International Development Committee, on Preparing for the humanitarian consequences of possible military action against Iraq (HC444-I).] Mr. Deputy Speaker (Sir Alan Haselhurst): I have to inform the House that Mr. Speaker has selected the amendment in the name of the right hon. Member for Islington, South and Finsbury (Mr. Smith).

 

12.35 pm

 

 

 

The Prime Minister (Mr. Tony Blair): I beg to move,


......
In August, it provided yet another full and final declaration. Then, a week later, Saddam's son-in-law, Hussein Kamal, defected to Jordan. He disclosed a far more extensive biological weapons programme and, for the first time, said that Iraq had weaponised the programme—something that Saddam had always strenuously denied. All this had been happening while the inspectors were in Iraq.
Kamal also revealed Iraq's crash programme to produce a nuclear weapon in the 1990s. Iraq was then forced to release documents that showed just how extensive those programmes were. In November 1996, Jordan intercepted prohibited components for missiles

 

18 Mar 2003 : Column 762
that could be used for weapons of mass destruction. Then a further "full and final declaration" was made. That, too, turned out to be false.
 

A  week later, Llew Smith MP, a Labour back bencher, and opponent of the war, for whom I then worked, asked  Prime Minister Blair this question:


26 Mar 2003 : Column 235W

 

PRIME MINISTER

 

Iraq

 

  Llew Smith: To ask the Prime Minister pursuant to his statement of 18 March 2003, Official Report, columns 761–62, on the information provided by Hussein Kamal on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, if he will place in the Library the text of the interview. [104714]

 

The Prime Minister: Following his defection, Hussein Kamal was interviewed by UNSCOM and by a number of other agencies. Details concerning the interviews were made available to us on a confidential basis. The UK was not provided with transcripts of the interviews.
 


 

But Blair inexplicably did I not find time to share with Parliament the other revelation made by Kamel viz:  “all weapons – biological, chemical, missile, nuclear were destroyed”.

 

It was a disgraceful deception of Parliament; but other MPs should have been less gullible, more inquisitive, and have scrutinized Government assertions with greater commitment by demanding evidence. Pity they didn’t: if they had, hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians and 179  brave British  military may still be alive today. And many more would not be maimed for life.9h ago13:44

 

Here are two more snippets from the debate.

 


 

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Tuesday, 30 April 2013


 

The Truth still matters

 

Tony Blair is at it again!

 

He’s been roughing up the embers of the Iraq fires, on the tenth anniversary of the invasion. In his recent  Newsnight interview, he proclaimed he has long since given up trying to persuade people it was the right decision. His current position seesm to be regime change in Iraq, the removal Saddam, was essential for the peace.But that was not his argument at the time: then, it was all about alleged Iraqi WMDs, and alleged Iraqi non-compliance with UN resolutions.

 

Jack Straw, Blair's Foreign Secretary at the time of the invasion, recalling the build up to the invasion of Iraq, wrote (at page 22) of his memorandum to the Chilcot Inquiry in to the Iraq debacle:

."..the Iraqi rĂ©gime had for four years following the Gulf War, and not withstanding the best efforts of UNSCOM Inspectors and intelligence agencies, been successful in wholly concealing an extensive biological weapons programme (including anthrax bacillus, smallpox virus, VX nerve agent). All that Iraq had admitted was “small scale, defensive” research. It was not until the lucky break of the defection of Saddam Hussein’s son-in-law (Lieutenant-General Hussein Kamel) that even the fact of this programme was revealed."

 


 

He cites Hussein Kamel in support of what he claims was a well-founded belief - shared by all but the then Russian intelligence services - that Iraq possessed WMDs in 2002/03.
But Mr Straw and his then boss, Tony Blair, knew Saddam had no WMD at least six years before he colluded with George Bush to illegally invade Iraq. This was because what was reported originally in US magazine Newsweek in its first issue of March 2003 edition.

 

But it then oddly, but conveniently for warmongers, disappeared from the pre-invasion public debate.

 


Hussein Kamel, the former director of Iraq's Military Industrialisation Corporation - which was in charge of Iraq's weapons programmes - defected to Jordan in 1995 together with his brother Colonel Saddam Kamel. They took with them crates of documents revealing past weapons programmes and provided these to UNSCOM, the United Nations WMD inspection team.
Hussein and Saddam Kamel ill-advisedly agreed to return to Iraq, where they were assassinated on February 23 1996 by agents of their father -in-law, led by 'Chemical Ali', himself later executed.

 

Fifteen days after Hussein Kamel left Iraq he was interviewed by UNSCOM director, Rolf Ekeus, International Atomic Energy Agency deputy director and head of the inspections team in Iraq Professor Maurizio Zifferero and Nikita Smidovich, a Russian diplomat who led UNSCOM's ballistic missile team.
In the transcript of the interview, Kamel states categorically: "I ordered destruction of all chemical weapons. All weapons - biological, chemical, missile, nuclear - were destroyed." Kamel specifically discusses the significance of anthrax, which he portrays as the "main focus" of the biological programme.
Smidovich asks Kamel: "Were weapons and agents destroyed?" Kamel replies: "Nothing remained." He also describes the elimination of prohibited missiles. "Not a single missile left, but they had blueprints and molds for production. All missiles were destroyed." On VX nerve gas, he claims: "They put it in bombs during last days of the Iran-Iraq war. They were not used and the programme was terminated."
Ekeus asks Kamel: "Did you restart VX production after the Iran-Iraq war?" Kamel replies: "We changed the factory into pesticide production. Part of the establishment started to produce medicine ... We gave instructions not to produce chemical weapons."
According to Ekeus "Kamel was a consummate liar." Maybe so, but on this crucial matter it turns out his facts were more truthful and accurate than Tony Blair's.
Former Labour MP Llew Smith, who strongly opposed the invasion - for whom I worked at the time - also raised these matters in an unreported parliamentary debate on Iraq held in June 2003, barely a month after Bush proclaimed "mission accomplished" in Iraq.
Smith pointed out that "we continue to be told that war with Iraq was necessary because Iraq had those weapons of mass destruction which were a threat to the world and because it was willing to use them and could deliver them within 45 minutes, yet we have still not found those weapons."
In fact Smith was the first MP to raise doubts over the now infamous 45-minute claim.
As long ago as October 2002 - just a month after the government's "distorted dossier" on Iraq's fantasy WMD was published - Smith challenged Blair on the basis of the dossier's assertion that Saddam was determined to retain the weapons of mass destruction that the dossier discusses.
And Smith asked him if he would "set out the technical basis for the assertion ... that chemical or biological weapons could be deployed within 45 minutes of an order to do so." Blair disingenuously and shamefacedly lied: "These points reflect specific intelligence information."
I sent Sir John Chilcot the full text of the Kamel interview. (The transcript is available at
:

 

http://www.casi.org.uk/info/unscom950822.pdf).Has he read and understood it?

 

Dr David Lowry is an independent research consultant and a former researcher for Llew Smith MP



Monday, 4 July 2016


 

 

 

As preparations for the invasion of Iraq later that month were ramped-up to deafening decibel levels  in Washington and London, the Guardian’s then Washington Editor, Julian Borger – now World Affairs Editor- filed an intriguing story (“Defector’s testimony confuses case against Iraq,  I March 2003, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2003/mar/01/iraq.julianborger) which included the following revelation: “The transcript of the interrogation of Hussein Kamel, the former head of Iraq’s weapons programmes and Saddam’s son-in-law [who defected in 1995 to Jordan] - leaked this week to Newsweek magazine and seen by the Guardian- reveal that Kamel told UN inspectors that Iraq had destroyed all its chemical and biological weapons and abandoned its nuclear programme after the Gulf war.”

 


Borger opined that “The emergence of the classified statements weakens the case the US and Britain has tried to build against Saddam Hussein, in which Kamel’s defection has been used to bolster claims that Iraq still has thousands of tonnes of chemical and biological weapons for which it has not accounted.”

 

 

 

Despite it obvious and urgent importance, this story almost entirely disappeared from political discourse and scrutiny, and was not followed up in the Guardian, or indeed  any other media, print, broadcast or electronic, subsequently in March 2003, as the drums of war beat louder. Why was this?

 

Immediately below I reproduce an exchange between the editor of  media-watching  group, Media Lense, Dr David Cromwell, and the BBC Today Programe over an item on Iraqi WMD claims several months before the now notorious  ‘sexed-up’ claims  by Andrew Gilligan on the same programme (it also involved Gilligan, then the Today Programme defence  specialist). It is preceded by an open request for further primary source material on an internet list

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Re: Today item on Iraqi defector

 

 

 

From: Media Lens editor editor at medialens.org
Mon Mar 3 19:26:40 GMT 2003    

 

 

 


 

 

 

Hello,

 

 

 

Don't suppose anyone on this list has access to a transcript from last Friday's

 

Today programme from about 0750? I'd like to see just what coverage they gave to the late Iraqi defector Hussein Kamel and his testimony regarding Iraqi's "weapons of mass destruction". Reliable defector or not, either way recent revelations re: the Kamel debriefing by UN weapons inspectors undermine Bush and Blair. But the story seems to have virtually sunk without trace (though there was a curious little article by Julian Borger in Saturday's Guardian).

 

 

 

Please see the exchange below with Today editor, Kevin Marsh......

 

 

 

 David Cromwell, Media Lens

 


 

 

 

  

 

 

 

From: Media Lens To: Kevin Marsh

 

Subject: Today programme on Iraqi defector Hussein Kamel

 

Sent: 03 March 2003 09:46

 

 

 

Dear Kevin Marsh,

 

 

 

The report below [from FAIR, previously posted, and not included here] 

 

regarding Iraqi defector Hussein Kamel appears to be crucial regarding Iraq's

 

supposed weapons of mass destruction - the crux of the case for war, so Bush and

 

Blair tell us.... The Today programme picked this up last Friday- a very short item between Edward Stourton and defence correspondent Andrew Gilligan. Virtually nothing since then. It surely merits much closer attention. I look forward to hearing from you

 

 

 

regards,(Dr) David Cromwell, co-editor, Media

 

 

 

Reply by Kevin Marsh

 

3 March, 2003

 

 

 

Thanks for this - we did, actually, do rather more than you recall: we also covered the item at 0750 in an interview without defence specialist, extracts from the document, and interview with Dan Plesch and an interview with Rolf Ekeus who supervised the original debrief

 

-KJM

 

 

 

Remember, this was early March 2003, a few weeks before  the UK Parliament was to make its fateful vote to invade Iraq, based substantially on the believe Iraq  had WMDs, and was threatening to use them.

 

 

 

Here is the extraordinary, contemporary article about an article in the International magazine Newsweek, mentioned by Borger above, that broke the claims that Saddam had  already destroyed  his WMDs several years before 2003.

 

 

 

What did Kamel Say?

 

 

 

Posted on 6 March 2003

 

 

 

“Last week Newsweek reported that Hussein Kamel told the CIA that Iraq did destroy all its chemical and biological weapons. You’ll remember Kamal as the son-in-law who defected, became a Western informant, then stupidly went back to Iraq, where he was quickly executed.
Newsweek had been one of many publications that had held Kamel up as an information goldmine, one that proved Iraq was up to no good.
The Newsweek story failed to make clear how this information fit in with their years of other reporting….”

 


 

 

 

Exclusive: The Defector’s Secrets

 

Newsweek, March 3, 2003, by John Barry


 

“Nobody gives much guidance on how much of what we think about the programs is based on Kamel. Much of what he said was backed up by documents, so it can’t be all wrong.

Hussein Kamel, the highest-ranking Iraqi official ever to defect from Saddam Hussein’s inner circle, told CIA and British intelligence officers and U.N. inspectors in the summer of 1995 that after the gulf war, Iraq destroyed all its chemical and biological weapons stocks and the missiles to deliver them.Kamel was Saddam Hussein’s son-in-law and had direct knowledge of what he claimed: for 10 years he had run Iraq’s nuclear, chemical, biological and missile programs”

 

 

 

On 4 September 1995, Newsweek had also reported: 

 


“No hurry: Iraq’s germ-warfare program finally came to light because of the defection on Aug. 8 [1995]of Saddam’s son-in-law Lt. Gen. Hussein Kamel Hassan al-Majid, whom Ekeus describes as “the mastermind of the whole biological-weapons program.” With Kamel prepared to spill Saddam’s secrets, the Iraqis suddenly provided Ekeus with reams of information on their outlawed program. The defection will apparently not lead to Saddam’s downfall in the near future. Once again, the dictator was crushing any potential challengers at home. And given the lack of an acceptable successor to Saddam, even U.S. allies in the Middle East were in no hurry to see him fall, as long as he remains politically and militarily weakened.”


 

A decade later, this murky story was taken up in Parliament by veteran Labour MP, Paul Flynn, recently appointed as Shadow Leader of the House of Commons, in a dabat eon theIraqInquiry, hel don 29 January 2015.

 

Jack Straw, the former Labour Foreign Secretary at the time of the invasion of Iraq in March 2003, and then a backbench MP, asserted to MPs in the debate: “For the avoidance of doubt, however, the whole Security Council judged in November 2002 that there was a threat to international peace and security from Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction.”

George Galloway, the firebrand antiwar then  MP for the Respect Party -  who had correctly predicted  mass chaos in Iraq if the invasion went ahead - bellowed back: “Because they believed you and Colin Powell.”

Paul Flynn on whose speech Straw had intervened, retorted:Because they were fooled.”
(http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201415/cmhansrd/cm150129/debtext/150129-0002.htm#15012949000001)
Flynn had been about to reveal, when Straw executed his disruptive intervention, that Straw and Blair had already known that Saddam’s Iraq  no longer had WMDs in the autumn of 2002, when the United Nations was hoodwinked. He was in full flow pointing out: “We are being denied the truth. I find it astonishing that the right hon. Member for Blackburn (Mr Straw) does not agree there were no weapons of mass destruction. It is amazing if he still believes there was an imminent threat to British territory. I have a document—I have no time to go into its detail—referenced by Tony Blair as evidence of the existence of weapons of mass destruction and the threat posed. It concerns a meeting on 22 August 1995 at which the principal person giving evidence was a General Hussein Kamel. For goodness’ sake, read the document!”

What was behind this claim? The full 15 page text of the document Flynn flourished in the House of Commons may be read here: http://www.casi.org.uk/info/unscom950822.pdf

 

In light of this, how did Tony Blair report to Parliament - in the debate and fateful vote that  finally took us to war -  what the British Government ( including Straw ) knew of  the Hussein Kamel claims?

 

 

 

Iraq

 

 

 

[Relevant document: The Fourth Report from the International Development Committee, on Preparing for the humanitarian consequences of possible military action against Iraq (HC444-I).] Mr. Deputy Speaker (Sir Alan Haselhurst): I have to inform the House that Mr. Speaker has selected the amendment in the name of the right hon. Member for Islington, South and Finsbury (Mr. Smith).

 

 

 

12.35 pm

 

 

 

 

 

The Prime Minister (Mr. Tony Blair)
......In August [1995], it provided yet another full and final declaration. Then, a week later, Saddam's son-in-law, Hussein Kamel, defected to Jordan.
He disclosed a far more extensive biological weapons programme and, for the first time, said that Iraq had weaponised the programme—something that Saddam had always strenuously denied. All this had been happening while the inspectors were in Iraq.
Kamel also revealed Iraq's crash programme to produce a nuclear weapon in the 1990s. Iraq was then forced to release documents that showed just how extensive those programmes were. In November 1996, Jordan intercepted prohibited components for missiles
that could be used for weapons of mass destruction. Then a further "full and final declaration" was made. That, too, turned out to be false. (Hansard, 18 March 2003 : Column 762

 


 


 

 

A week later, Llew Smith MP, a Labour back bencher, and opponent of the war, for whom I then worked, asked prime minister Blair this question:

Llew Smith: To ask the Prime Minister pursuant to his statement of 18 March 2003, Official Report, columns 761–62, on the information provided by Hussein Kamel on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, if he will place in the Library the text of the interview. [104714]

 

 

 

The Prime Minister: Following his defection, Hussein Kamel was interviewed by UNSCOM and by a number of other agencies. Details concerning the interviews were made available to us on a confidential basis The UK was not provided with transcripts of the interviews. (emphasis added)
 

 

But Blair inexplicably did not find time to share with Parliament- and hence the public- the other revelation made by Kamel: viz “all weapons- biological, chemical, missile, nuclear were destroyed.”

 


 

 

 

It was a disgraceful deception of Parliament; but other MPs should have been less gullible, more inquisitive, and have scrutinized Government assertions with greater commitment by demanding evidence.

 

 

 

It is a huge pity they didn’t: if they had, hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians and 179 brave British military may still be alive today. And many more would not be maimed for life.9h ago13:44