Ritter admits the interference of CIA in Iraq and UNSCOM
Iraq, Politics, 2/24/1999
One of UNSCOM's former inspectors in Iraq, Scott Ritter, has written that the US Central Intelligence Agency has since 1992 planted its spies among members assigned by the UN to monitor the Iraqi armament program.
In a book expected to be published in April under the title "End Game," on which the US daily New York Times reported on Tuesday, Ritter wrote that the CIA worked closely with UNSCOM inspectors in preparing operational and logistic backing for most complicated tasks carried out by UNSCOM in Iraq.
Ritter added that the most important of the CIA missions was in June 1996 when it recruited nine civilian spies in a group assigned to inspect the Iraqi presidential buildings.
UN Deputy Spokesman for the Secretary-General, Manoel de Almeida e Silva Question refused to comment yesterday on the latest allegations by Scott Ritter saying "I suggest you contact UNSCOM directly. They would be prepared to talk to you."
The US Pentagon spokesperson Kenneth Bacon said about the publication of the book and the need to obtain clearance for publishing it "Mr. Ritter is an American, and he -- but he worked for UNSCOM. He signed a contract with an agency that used to be called the On-Site Inspection Agency and was provided by that agency to UNSCOM, but he worked under UNSCOM's control. He didn't have U.S. security clearances. He worked directly for UNSCOM. And UNSCOM, as you know, is an independent agency."
Bacon added that Ritter "had a contract, because he was provided -- he was one of the experts provided by the U.S. government to UNSCOM. Under that contract, he is free to release without any pre-publication review information that's already in the public domain or that is unrelated to his contract. So if he has information that's in the public domain or that's unrelated to his contract, he can release that information in articles, on television, in books, without any pre-publication review. It's his duty under the contract -- it's his obligation under the contract to decide whether information he releases meets these tests. That's what we wrote to -- most recently in February -- wrote to Mr. Ritter's lawyer to make clear, that it was up to him to come forward for pre-publication review if he felt that he had any information that met these tests."
Bacon said about the allegations by Ritter that "as a matter of policy, do not comment on allegations about supposed intelligence matters. I believe the article refers to Mr. Ritter's views on these issues as speculation. Certainly, we have made it very clear and have been very open about this, that the United States Government has provided a lot of support to UNSCOM, as have some 60 other nations. We did so because we were obligated to do so under Security Council resolutions."
US State Department deputy Spokespman Jim Foley said yesterday "What you're asking me is what was asked and answered several months ago, when apparently Mr. Ritter made similar charges which seemed to be unfathomable except as elements which can only serve Saddam Hussein's propaganda machine. They are otherwise inexplicable."
Foley addad "The point I was making earlier is that it's hard to determine exactly where Mr. Ritter stands or what he believes on any given subject. He has said that the United States worked to prevent intrusive inspections. He has charged that the United States has pushed intrusive inspections, which he's deemed provocative. He has charged that we denied intelligence support to UNSCOM (the UN Agency in charge of disarming Iraq). He has also charged that we gave undue intelligence support to UNSCOM. He has argued that the United States had been avoiding military confrontation with Saddam Hussein. He is also charging that we undertook military confrontation with Saddam Hussein. That was his reaction back in December. Of late, I believe he has come out against UN sanctions against Iraq."
Scott Ritter was the subject of much controversy and at the center of many US -Iraq confrontations where Iraq alleged that the US was using UNSCOM to spy on Iraq and not simply trying to disarm it. These disputes escalated to military conflict whereby the US attacked Iraq militarily for its position and alleged lack of cooperation after UNSCOM submitted a report saying Iraq has refused cooperation, a charge strongly rejected by Iraq.
Ritter accuses Washington and London of playing with UNSCOM to strike Iraq
Egypt for reconsidering UNSCOM work
Iraq halts UNSCOM cooperation
Scott Ritter alleges US interfered to hamper Iraqi inspection efforts
Please add a link on your webiste pointing to ArabicNews.com and bookmark ArabicNews.com & subscribe to our daily email news bulletin.
| Advertise on ArabicNews.com. MyFlowers.com sold more than $2700 of flowers in one month advertising on ArabicNews.com! Make your company, and products a success. Special rate for new and small business. Inquire!Advertising Info