White House case against Iraq

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    White House spells out case against Iraq
    September 12, 2002 Posted: 9:04 AM EDT (1304 GMT)

    WASHINGTON (CNN) -- As the Bush administration makes its strongest bid yet for international and domestic support for action against Iraq this week, the White House released a report early Thursday, listing some of the principal accusations against Iraq and its leader.

    "This document provides specific examples of how Iraqi President Saddam Hussein has systematically and continually violated 16 United Nations Security Council resolutions over the past decade, " the report said in a preface. The document is intended to serve as a "background paper" for President George W. Bush's speech to the U.N. General Assembly on Thursday.

    The document bases its claims against Iraq on reports from opposition groups, Iraqi defectors, former Iraqi military leaders, U.N. weapons inspectors and human rights groups. However, several of the statements included in the report are unsubstantiated.

    Titled "A Decade of Deception and Defiance," the report begins with a list of the Security Council resolutions the United States says Saddam has violated, beginning with demands issued November 29, 1990, three months after Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, when the United Nations authorized the use of "all means necessary" to remove Iraq from Kuwait.

    Listed soon after are the original demands from Resolution 687 passed after the end of the Gulf War calling for Iraq to destroy its weapons, stop making more weapons, and submit to weapons inspections. Eleven of the resolutions that follow are mainly calls for Iraq to adhere to Resolution 687, or deplore or condemn Iraq's refusal to do so.

    The list ends with a resolution passed at the end of 1999 -- over a year after Iraq suspended cooperation with UNSCOM (U.N. Special Commission on Iraq) -- urging Iraq to allow weapons inspectors.

    The two remaining resolutions demand that Iraq release prisoners and return property to Kuwait after the Gulf War, and condemns Iraq's repression of civilians.

    The report also lists the dates of 30 statements from the Security Council president "regarding Saddam Hussein's continued violations" of council resolutions, from June 28, 1991, through May 14, 1998, but it does not list specific topics of the statements.

    The document then makes the case that Iraq either is harboring or has the capability to harbor biological, chemical, nuclear and ballistic missiles.

    Citing an article from The New York Times last year, the report refers to an Iraqi defector, Adnan Ihsan Saeed al-Haideri, who said he visited some 20 secret facilities for making chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons.

    Al-Haideri supported his claims with government documents.

    Remaining items accuse Iraq of concealing its biological weapons program from UNSCOM, mainly citing UNSCOM reports, but making two unsubstantiated claims that Iraq is upgrading facilities or trying to procure mobile weapons laboratories.

    The segment on chemical weapons begins with a recounting of the alleged chemical weapons attack by the Iraqi military against Iraqi Kurds in the late 1980s that reportedly killed thousands. The segment also cites accounting inconsistencies by Iraq, identified by UNSCOM, and several unsubstantiated claims Iraq is seeking to develop or purchase chemical weapons production equipment.

    The segment on nuclear weapons cites a report from the International Institute for Strategic Studies which appeared in the media Monday, saying Iraq could "probably" build a nuclear warhead within months if it procured plutonium or enriched uranium from another country.

    The report also concluded Iraq did not currently have a nuclear weapons capability, and probably lacked the systems needed to deliver chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons.

    The nuclear weapons section included unsubstantiated claims that Iraq has the technical expertise to make nuclear weapons, and even that "Saddam Hussein has repeatedly met with his nuclear scientists over the past two years, signaling his continued interest in developing his nuclear program."

    Iraq continues work on ballistic missiles prohibited by Resolution 687, according to the report, which also says Iraq has rebuilt testing structures that were destroyed by UNSCOM.

    The report also cites Iraqi defectors and refugees alleging human rights violations by Iraqi security forces, including attempts to intimidate suspected political opponents by raping or decapitating their family members, routine and systematic physical torture, and even one account from an Iraqi soccer player who said he and his teammates were beaten and humiliated at the order of Saddam's oldest son, Uday, because of poor performances.

    Also cited is an April 1998 report from Max Van der Stoel, a former U.N. Human Rights Special Rapporteur, saying Iraq had executed at least 1,500 people during the previous year for political reasons, and that Iraq had over 16,000 disappearances or persons unaccounted for, the world's highest.

    As it does for many of the human rights allegations, the document cites a U.S. State Department report in alleging that the Iraqi leader threatened parents throughout Iraq with the loss of food ration cards to compel them to enlist their sons between 10 and 15 years of age in a training course for weapons use.

    The report also accuses Saddam Hussein of persecuting the majority Shi'a Muslims by killing and detaining Shi'a clerics, and restricting religious observances.

    In the segment on Iraq's support for terrorists, there is no mention of any link between Iraq and the terrorist network al Qaeda. The segment does list a 1993 assassination attempt on then-President George H.W. Bush and the Emir of Kuwait. Iraq is also accused of sheltering two Palestinian terrorist organizations, and it lists Saddam's decision in 2002 to increase from $10,000 to $25,000 the bounty paid to the families of Palestinian suicide bombers.

    The segment also lists the Salman Pak facility in Iraq, which former Iraqi military officers describe as a secret terrorist training facility. A report filed Monday by CNN's James Martone included a tour of this facility given by Iraqi officials, who maintain it is used for counter-terrorist training for Iraqi security agents.

    The report ends with allegations that Iraq has failed to return property stolen from Kuwait during the Gulf War, and failed to return or account for hundreds of Kuwaitis and others, still missing from the conflict, including one American pilot.

    Also included are reports from the United Nations saying Iraq is diverting money gained from its oil-for-food program to military uses, is delaying issuing visas to humanitarian groups in northern Iraq, and that Saddam is diverting money from illegal oil sales to spend on "his lavish palaces and inner circle, rather than on the humanitarian needs of the Iraqi people."
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