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October 07, 2004

Scott Ritter: So Right It Verges On Being Rude

I'm just beginning to read the full report of the Iraq Survey Group. And I'm startled to see it states Iraqi nuclear scientist Mahdi Obeidi did hide the centrifuge components and documents on his own -- ie, without regime approval.

The former head of Iraq's pre-1991 centrifuge program [Obeidi] also retained prohibited documents and components in apparent violation of the Regime's directives.
-- Nuclear section of Volume II of the ISG report, page 73 (warning: gigantic pdf file)

As I said here, when Scott Ritter made this claim after Obeidi turned himself in, I didn't believe it. However, I then learned Imad Khadduri concurred with Ritter. Still, I probably wouldn't have bet money on it. (While I did bet someone $1000 that no banned weapons would be found in Iraq, I judged that to be a sure thing.)

I am genuinely surprised by this. I'm also surprised the ISG was honest enough to include it.

If we were a better country, Ritter would be head of the CIA. From the standpoint of justice, it's a tragedy America is so flawed that will never happen. But more than that, from the standpoint of our own safety, it's extremely dangerous that someone with the analytical skills of Ritter has no official influence. It leads to things like 3,000 of my neighbors being crushed and cremated in one morning.

(NOTE: When I say Ritter should be head of the CIA, I'm disregarding the unpleasant claims made about him before the start of the war. I have no idea where the truth lies in that matter. And in any case, while the claims would be relevant to whether he should be appointed to high political office, they have no bearing on his proven analytical ability.)

Posted at October 7, 2004 01:14 AM | TrackBack