portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article

imperialism & war

Ignored looting indicative of US disinterest in WMD

All of Iraq, from factories and mansions to government ministries, party headquarters, and military installations is being picked clean by looters. Why is there no US concern that critical evidence of WMD is being lost and destroyed?
The military stands idly by while crowds of Iraqi looters ransack official buildings and the homes of government officials, taking computers, destroying files and official records, and sometimes torching or dumping into the street whatever remains. Where the discovery of Saddam's elusive weapons of mass destruction is so important a part of any attempt to "justify" an international crime of almost unparalleled proportion, one would think that these potentially rich documentary resources would be carefully guarded and preserved pending detailed analysis by intelligence and weapons experts.

Never in the course of their existence did UNSCOM or UNMOVIC have access to such a limitless trove of official data, yet the fact is that some of their greatest successes were achieved not by the chance discovery of the weapons themselves or their means of production, but by plodding analysis of shipping manifests, production inventories, budgetary details, funding authorizations, staffing requirements, expense vouchers, and the thousand and one other mundane bureaucratic records that make major capital programs virtually impossible for governments to conceal.

Instead of protecting these sites for the evidentiary treasure they might contain (or even to prevent the destruction of important public records critical to the reestablishment of civil administration), the military's inaction is insuring that no records of anything will survive. Considering that in addition to the foregoing, the US/UK forces have a legal obligation to preserve important records, one is forced to wonder if so cavalier an attitude is more than just negligence.

At the end of World War II, one of the highest Allied priorities was the capture and preservation of Nazi and Japanese records. This has been true in virtually every war ever fought. Yet in Iraq - with so many of Saddam's secrets as yet unknown or unproven - the opposite seems to be true. Already we have seen the official focus purposefully shifted from "defending against weapons of mass destruction" to "liberating Iraq," and no credible evidence of WMD has yet been found. The apparent disinterest in preserving or analyzing potentially valuable Iraqi records suggests that the US and UK are not at all interested in resolving these unanswered questions - perhaps because they already know there's nothing to find. This conspicuous disinterest in any case supports the widely held and growing belief that "Weapons of Mass Destruction" were never the real issue at all, but mere pretext for the long-planned conquest of Iraq as the first step in establishing the US as the dominant force in the Middle East.
Definite advantage 11.Apr.2003 00:31

x

A definite advantage: if no records exist, then no "discovery" of WMD can ever be substantiated or verified. The US is free to plant whatever it wants without fear the "evidence" will be inconsistent with the documentary record.

from the memory hole 11.Apr.2003 07:27

winston smith

And remember the "intelligence" reports the theif in cheif used to get the war up and running, the ones saying they heard a top iraqi official giving the okay to move the wmd's into position and use them ???? but none were used none have been found. Just another detail quickly forgotten and unquestioned.

Good point 11.Apr.2003 09:53

The Redcoat

The administration went to great pains to make sure the UN inspectors looked at everything. But now all bets are off.