U.N. Wire 180703 Iraq
- U.N. Wire 180703
Body Tentatively Identified As Former U.N. Weapons InspectorFriday, July 18,
A body discovered today in central England has been tentatively identified
as David Kelly, a British Ministry of Defense adviser and former U.N.
weapons inspector who went missing yesterday and is at the center of a
controversy over British allegations of Iraq's weapons program.
The cause of death of the body, found by police in a wooded area about five
miles from Kelly's home in Southmoor, about 20 miles southwest of Oxford,
was not yet known, police told reporters today. "But what I can say is that
the description of the man found ... matches the description of Dr. David
Kelly," Acting Superintendent David Purnell of Thames Valley Police told
reporters (Michael McDonough, Associated Press/Yahoo! News, July 18). A
police spokeswoman told Agence France-Presse that the clothing on the body
matched a description of the clothing worn by Kelly (AFP, July 18).
Kelly's family reported him missing late yesterday when he failed to return
after going for a walk. The body was to be identified tomorrow (McDonough,
Kelly has reportedly been named by the British government as a possible
source for a BBC report on a "sexed up" dossier about Iraq's alleged weapons
of mass destruction. The news report, which accused officials of hyping
intelligence in order to justify war in Iraq, sparked a bitter disagreement
between the government and the BBC.
Kelly said in a meeting Tuesday with a parliamentary committee that he did
not believe he was the source of the BBC report (CNN.com, July 18).
U.S. President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair
yesterday defended the war in Iraq and the controversial intelligence used
to justify it.
"Our people are going to find out the truth. And the truth will say that
this intelligence was good intelligence," Bush said in a joint White House
press conference with Blair.
"We won't be proven wrong," he said.
In an earlier speech to Congress, however, Blair expressed more skepticism,
saying that "history will forgive" the two leaders if Iraq's alleged weapons
of mass destruction are never linked to terrorism. "If we are wrong, we will
have destroyed a threat that, at its least, is responsible for inhumane
carnage and suffering," he said (VandeHei/Allen, Washington Post, July 18).
Both leaders are under scrutiny for citing intelligence that Iraq had tried
to buy enriched uranium ore from Niger.
CIA Director George Tenet, who has taken responsibility for allowing the
faulty intelligence to remain in Bush's Jan. 28 State of the Union address
months after it had been proven a fake, said a White House official insisted
it remain in the address, according to a member of the Senate Intelligence
Democratic Senator Richard Durbin of Illinois, who was present during a
four-hour closed-door meeting with Tenet on Wednesday, said Tenet named the
official. Durbin would not reveal the name because of the confidentiality of
"There was this negotiation between the White House and the CIA about just
how far you could go and be close to the truth and unfortunately those 16
words were included in the most important speech the president delivers in
any given year," Durbin told ABC's Good Morning America yesterday. "The more
important question is who is it in the White House who was hell-bent on
misleading the American people and why are they still there?" he asked.
White House spokesman Scott McClellan called Durbin's account "nonsense" and
"an attempt to continue to rewrite history" (AP/USA Today, July 18).
AP reports that Mahdi Shukur Obeidi, the Iraqi scientist who made headlines
last month when he dug up centrifuge parts from his Baghdad back yard,
recently told the CIA that high-strength aluminum tubes purchased by Iraq
were not intended for nuclear bomb production. In his State of the Union
address, Bush suggested they were.
Former Iraq weapons inspector David Albright and chief U.N. nuclear
inspector for Iraq Jacques Baute both said they had learned of Obeidi's
communication with the CIA.
Albright said that according to Obeidi, "since '91 they hadn't resurrected a
nuclear weapon program."
The White House last month said Obeidi's uncovered equipment was evidence of
Iraq's nuclear ambitions, but U.S. officials did not report on Obeidi's
challenge to assertions that the program had been restarted.
The CIA did not comment yesterday when asked about Obeidi's comments
(Charles Hanley, AP/Yahoo! News, July 18).
A voice message purported to be from Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and
denouncing Bush and Blair as liars was broadcast yesterday by the television
stations Al-Arabiya and Al-Jazeera. The 20-minute broadcast coincided with
the 35th anniversary of a coup that brought Hussein's Baath party to power
"What will the two liars Bush and Blair say to their people and to
humanity?" said the voice, which reportedly could not be independently
confirmed as Hussein's. "What will they tell the world? What they said was
wrong and baseless." Apparently referring to intelligence about Iraq's
weapons programs, the speaker said the two leaders had tried to "picture the
situation differently and lay responsibility on others" (Kevin Sullivan,
Washington Post, July 18).
Independent Study Finds Postwar Effort At Critical Juncture
A Center for Strategic and International Studies study, commissioned by the
U.S. Defense Department, says the window of opportunity for postwar success
in Iraq is closing and demands immediate action.
"The 'hearts and minds' of key segments of the Sunni and Shi'a communities
are in play and can be won, but only if the Coalition Provisional Authority
and new Iraqi authorities deliver in short order," said the 10-page report,
Noting "rising anti-Americanism in parts of the country," the report
recommended internationalization of the rebuilding of Iraq and a
reassessment of U.S. forces and tactics in light of a "steady deterioration"
in security. The report also said the Coalition Provisional Authority should
improve communications with Iraqis and open 18 regional offices (Vernon
Loeb, Washington Post, July 18).
Mass Grave Found
U.S. military sources said yesterday they had found a mass grave in northern
Iraq thought to contain the bodies of up to 400 people. About 25 sets of
remains, all women and children, have been exhumed from the grave, each with
a bullet hole in the skull. The military said the size of the disturbed area
suggests between 200 and 400 people are buried there.
Since the end of the war, at least 60 mass graves have been discovered,
according to AP, some containing hundreds of corpses (AP/Yahoo! News, July