Friday, February 14, 2003

Did CNN doctor Blix transcript?

Compare CNN's to the BBC's.

This is missing from the former:

"I trust that the Iraqi side will put together a similar list of names of persons who participated in the unilateral destruction of other proscribed items, notably in the biological field.

The Iraqi side also informed us that the commission, which had been appointed in the wake of our finding 12 empty chemical weapons warheads, had had its mandate expanded to look for any still existing proscribed items.

This was welcomed.

A second commission, we learnt, has now been appointed with the task of searching all over Iraq for more documents relevant to the elimination of proscribed items and programmes.

It is headed by the former minister of oil, General Amer Rashid, and is to have very extensive powers of search in industry, administration and even private houses.

The two commissions could be useful tools to come up with proscribed items to be destroyed and with new documentary evidence.

They evidently need to work fast and effectively to convince us, and the world, that this is a serious effort.

The matter of private interviews was discussed at length during our meeting.

The Iraqi side confirmed the commitment, which it made to us on 20 January, to encourage persons asked to accept such interviews, whether in or out of Iraq.

So far, we have only had interviews in Baghdad. A number of persons have declined to be interviewed, unless they were allowed to have an official present or were allowed to tape the interview.

Three persons that had previously refused interviews on Unmovic's terms, subsequently accepted such interviews just prior to our talks in Baghdad on 8 and 9 February.

These interviews proved informative. No further interviews have since been accepted on our terms.

I hope this will change. We feel that interviews conducted without any third party present and without tape recording would provide the greatest credibility.

At the recent meeting in Baghdad, as on several earlier occasions, my colleague Dr ElBaradei and I have urged the Iraqi side to enact legislation implementing the UN prohibitions regarding weapons of mass destruction.

In a letter just received two days ago, we were informed that this process was progressing well and this morning we had a message that legislation has now been adopted by the Iraqi National Assembly in an extraordinary session.

This is a positive step.

Mr President, I should like to make some comments on the role of intelligence in connection with inspections in Iraq. A credible inspection regime requires that Iraq provide full co-operation on "process" - granting immediate access everywhere to inspectors - and on substance, providing full declarations supported by relevant information and material.

However, with the closed society in Iraq of today and the history of inspections there, other sources of information, such as defectors and government intelligence agencies are required to aid the inspection process.

I remember how, in 1991, several inspections in Iraq, which were based on information received from a government, helped to disclose important parts of the nuclear
weapons programme.

It was realised that an international organisation authorised to perform inspections anywhere on the ground could make good use of information obtained from
governments with eyes in the sky, ears in the ether, access to defectors, and both eyes and ears on the market for weapons-related material.

It was understood that the information residing in the intelligence services of governments could come to very active use in the international effort to prevent
proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

This remains true and we have by now a good deal of experience in the matter.

International organisations need to analyse such information critically and especially benefit when it comes from more than one source.

The intelligence agencies, for their part, must protect their sources and methods.

Those who provide such information must know that it will be kept in strict confidence and be known to very few people.

Unmovic has achieved good working relations with intelligence agencies and the amount of information provided has been gradually increasing.

However, we must recognise that there are limitations and that misinterpretations can occur.

Intelligence information has been useful for Unmovic.

In one case, it led us to a private home where documents mainly relating to laser enrichment of uranium were found.

In other cases, intelligence has led to sites where no proscribed items were found.

Even in such cases, however, inspection of these sites were useful in proving the absence of such items and in some cases the presence of other items - conventional munitions.

It showed that conventional arms are being moved around the country and that movements are not necessarily related to weapons of mass destruction.

The presentation of intelligence information by the US secretary of state suggested that Iraq had prepared for inspections by cleaning up sites and removing evidence of proscribed weapons programmes.

I would like to comment only on one case, which we are familiar with, namely, the trucks identified by analysts as being for chemical decontamination at a munitions depot.

This was a declared site, and it was certainly one of the sites Iraq would have expected us to inspect.

We have noted that the two satellite images of the site were taken several weeks apart.

(thanks mt)