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Powell's "Fraudulent" Speech to the U.N.
By ROBERT FISK
The Independent, Feb. 6, 2003
"[W]hen General Powell started blathering on about 'decades' of contact between Saddam and al-Qa'ida, things went wrong for the Secretary of State. Al-Qa'ida only came into existence five years ago, since Bin Laden - 'decades' ago - was working against the Russians for the C.I.A., whose present day director was sitting grave-faced behind General Powell. And Colin Powell's new version of his President's State of the Union lie - that the 'scientists' interviewed by U.N. inspectors had been Iraqi intelligence agents in disguise - was singularly unimpressive. The U.N. talked to scientists, the new version went, but they were posing for the real nuclear and bio boys whom the U.N. wanted to talk to."
"General Powell said America was sharing its information with the U.N. inspectors but it was clear yesterday that much of what he had to say about alleged new weapons development - the decontamination truck at the Taji chemical munitions factory, for example, the 'cleaning' of the Ibn al-Haythem ballistic missile factory on 25 Nov. - had not been given to the U.N. at the time. Why wasn't this intelligence information given to the inspectors months ago? Didn't General Powell's beloved U.N. resolution 1441 demand that all such intelligence information should be given to Hans Blix and his lads immediately? Were the Americans, perhaps, not being 'pro-active' enough?"
"The worst moment came when General Powell started talking about anthrax and the 2001 anthrax attacks in Washington and New York, pathetically holding up a teaspoon of the imaginary spores and - while not precisely saying so - fraudulently suggesting a connection between Saddam Hussein and the 2001 anthrax scare. When the Secretary of State held up Iraq's support for the Palestinian Hamas organisation, which has an office in Baghdad, as proof of Saddam's support for 'terror' - there was, of course, no mention of America's support for Israel and its occupation of Palestinian land - the whole theatre began to collapse. There are Hamas offices in Beirut, Damascus and Iran. Is the 82nd Airborne supposed to grind on to Lebanon, Syria and Iran?"