May 27, 2007

Corroboration of Scott Ritter

Despite efforts by the establishment to discredit Scott Ritter, he says, with the authority or a US Marine and senior United Nations weapons inspector in Iraq, that the Iraqi nuclear weapons program was completely dismantled.

At a May 7, 2007 panel discussion at the University of the District of Columbia, Col. W. Patrick Lang spoke about this issue. Lang was chief of the Middle East section with the Defense Intelligence Agency for seven years. Here's what Lang had to say:

Well, I had the advantage of being around in DIA in the first Gulf War, and for several years thereafter, before I left to go into business, and I knew, with great certainty, having participated, along with my friends and companions out at CIA, in the total destruction of the Iraq nuclear program, to the point that—I won't say how we did that, but it was a very thorough job. And that went on for a couple years, and it wasn't any doubt at all, that it was just wreckage, and the only thing left were a bunch of people, maybe 5,000 scientists, engineers, technicians, who were very smart folks who had nothing to work with. And we knew that was just gone.

And then, if you talk about the biological weapons program, that was never more than research, in my opinion. It was research... Every Arab country plays around with biological warfare research. It's kind of a prestige item. It shows "we're big people," you know that "we're doing that kind of stuff."

And then there was the chemical weapons thing. Well, you know, people are frightened of chemical weapons with good reason. In this room here, some sarin would wipe us all out easily. But this is not really a strategic weapon. In fact, this is really a battlefield tactical weapon. Even the most persistent kinds are not persistent for a very great period of time. And it isn't the kind of thing you can threaten the life of a great country with, really. It's harassment basically. Even a real job in the subway in Tokyo, but you know, including in the subway in New York City; yet this is not something which threatens the life of the United States.

... even though I'd been away for a few years—I'd been hanging around the Middle East all that time, since I left—and I knew very well that these things did not fill the bill for the terrible, terrible threat that was being portrayed. And the nuclear program, we'd smashed it up so totally that I didn't see how they could be doing more than maybe trying, after '98—that's when the inspectors left.

This also corroborates my feeling that chemical weapons don't deserve to be classified as weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Doing so dilutes the importance of the concept of WMD; it undermines the phsychological deterrent effect of the concept of WMD by mixing true WMD with weapons that have been used routinely throughout modern history.


No Quarter Blog, May 24, 2007. The transcript is to appear in the in the May 25, 2007 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.

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