Irak: Pourquoi Saddam n’a jamais eu d’ADM (Why Saddam never had WMD’s)

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Chemical and biological weapons which Saddam is endeavoring to conceal have been moved from Iraq to Syria. Ariel Sharon
Saddam transferred the chemical agents from Iraq to Syria. No one went to Syria to find it. Lieutenant General Moshe Yaalon
There are weapons of mass destruction gone out from Iraq to Syria, and they must be found and returned to safe hands. I am confident they were taken over. (…) Saddam realized, this time, the Americans are coming. They handed over the weapons of mass destruction to the Syrians. General Georges Sada
Damascus has an active CW development and testing program that relies on foreign suppliers for key controlled chemicals suitable for producing CW. George Tenet (CIA, March 2004)
Syria’s President Bashir al-Asad is in secret negotiations with Iran to secure a safe haven for a group of Iraqi nuclear scientists who were sent to Damascus before last year’s war to overthrow Saddam Hussein. Western intelligence officials believe that President Asad is desperate to get the Iraqi scientists out of his country before their presence prompts America to target Syria as part of the war on terrorism.The issue of moving the Iraqi scientists to Iran was raised when President Asad made a visit to Teheran in July. Intelligence officials understand that the Iranians have still to respond to the Syrian leader’s request.  A group of about 12 middle-ranking Iraqi nuclear technicians and their families were transported to Syria before the collapse of Saddam’s regime. The transfer was arranged under a combined operation by Saddam’s now defunct Special Security Organisation and Syrian Military Security, which is headed by Arif Shawqat, the Syrian president’s brother-in-law. The Iraqis, who brought with them CDs crammed with research data on Saddam’s nuclear programme, were given new identities, including Syrian citizenship papers and falsified birth, education and health certificates. Since then they have been hidden away at a secret Syrian military installation where they have been conducting research on behalf of their hosts. Growing political concern in Washington about Syria’s undeclared weapons of mass destruction programmes, however, has prompted President Asad to reconsider harbouring the Iraqis. American intelligence officials are concerned that Syria is secretly working on a number of WMD programmes. They have also uncovered evidence that Damascus has acquired a number of gas centrifuges – probably from North Korea – that can be used to enrich uranium for a nuclear bomb. Relations between Washington and Damascus have been strained since last year’s war in Iraq, with American commanders accusing the Syrians of allowing foreign fighters to cross the border into Iraq, where they carry out terrorist attacks against coalition forces. (…) Under the terms of the deal President Asad offered the Iranians, the Iraqi scientists and their families would be transferred to Teheran together with a small amount of essential materials. The Iraqi team would then assist Iranian scientists to develop a nuclear weapon. Apart from paying the relocation expenses, President Asad also wants the Iranians to agree to share the results of their atomic weapons research with Damascus. The Syrian offer comes at a time when Iran is under close scrutiny from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) which is investigating claims that Iran is maintaining a secret nuclear bomb programme.  The Daily Telegraph
While Western governments were able to pressure Moscow to alter its weapons shipments, Bashar al-Assad may not have limited himself to over-the-counter weapons purchases. The Syrian military’s unconventional weapons arsenal already has a significant stockpile of sarin. The Syrian regime has also attempted to produce other toxic agents in order to advance its inventory of biological weapons. Several different intelligence sources raised red flags about suspicious truck convoys from Iraq to Syria in the days, weeks, and months prior to the March 2003 invasion of Iraq. These concerns first became public when, on December 23, 2002, Ariel Sharon stated on Israeli television, « Chemical and biological weapons which Saddam is endeavoring to conceal have been moved from Iraq to Syria. »[24] About three weeks later, Israel’s foreign minister repeated the accusation. The U.S., British, and Australian governments issued similar statements. The Syrian foreign minister dismissed such charges as a U.S. attempt to divert attention from its problems in Iraq.[27] But even if the Syrian regime were sincere, Bashar al-Assad’s previous statement— »I don’t do everything in this country, »—suggested that Iraqi chemical or biological weapons could cross the Syrian frontier without regime consent. Rather than exculpate the Syrian regime, such a scenario makes the presence of Iraqi weapons in Syria more worrisome, for it suggests that Assad might either eschew responsibility for their ultimate custody or may not actually be able to prevent their transfer to terrorist groups that enjoy close relations with officials in his regime. Two former United Nations weapon inspectors in Iraq reinforced concerns about illicit transfer of weapon components into Syria in the wake of Saddam Hussein’s fall. Richard Butler viewed overhead imagery and other intelligence suggesting that Iraqis transported some weapons components into Syria. Butler did not think « the Iraqis wanted to give them to Syria, but … just wanted to get them out of the territory, out of the range of our inspections. Syria was prepared to be the custodian of them. » Former Iraq Survey Group head David Kay obtained corroborating information from the interrogation of former Iraqi officials. He said that the missing components were small in quantity, but he, nevertheless, felt that U.S. intelligence officials needed to determine what reached Syria. Baghdad and Damascus may have long been rivals, but there was precedent for such Iraqi cooperation with regional competitors when faced with an outside threat. In the run-up to the 1991 Operation Desert Storm and the liberation of Kuwait, the Iraqi regime flew many of its jets to Iran, with which, just three years previous, it had been engaged in bitter trench warfare. Subsequent reports by the Iraq Survey Group at first glance threw cold water on some speculation about the fate of missing Iraqi weapons, but a closer read suggests that questions about a possible transfer to Syria remain open. The September 30, 2004 Duelfer report, while inconclusive, left open such a possibility. While Duelfer dismissed reports of official transfer of weapons material from Iraq into Syria, the Iraq Survey Group was not able to discount the unofficial movement of limited material. Duelfer described weapons smuggling between both countries prior to Saddam’s ouster. In one incident detailed by a leading British newspaper, intelligence sources assigned to monitor Baghdad’s air traffic raised suspicions that Iraqi authorities had smuggled centrifuge components out of Syria in June 2002. The parts were initially stored in the Syrian port of Tartus before being transported to Damascus International Airport. The transfer allegedly occurred when Iraqi authorities sent twenty-four planes with humanitarian assistance into Syria after a dam collapsed in June 2002, killing twenty people and leaving some 30,000 others homeless. Intelligence officials do not believe these planes returned to Iraq empty. Regardless of the merits of this one particular episode, it is well documented that Syria became the main conduit in Saddam Hussein’s attempt to rebuild his military under the 1990-2003 United Nations sanctions, and so the necessary contacts between regimes and along the border would already have been in place. Indeed, according to U.S. Defense Department sources, the weapons smuggling held such importance for the Syrian regime that the trade included Assad’s older sister and his brother-in-law, Assaf Shawqat, deputy chief of Syria’s military intelligence organization. Numerous reports also implicate Shawqat’s two brothers who participated in the Syrian-Iraqi trade during the two years before Saddam’s ouster. While the Duelfer report was inconclusive, part of its failure to tie up all loose ends was due to declining security conditions in Iraq, which forced the Iraq Survey Group to curtail its operations. The cloud of suspicion over the Syrian regime’s role in smuggling Iraq’s weapons—and speculation as to the nature of those weapons—will not dissipate until Damascus reveals the contents of truck convoys spotted entering Syria from Iraq in the run-up to the March 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. U.S. intelligence officials and policymakers also will not be able to end speculation until Bashar al-Assad completely and unconditionally allows international inspectors to search suspected depots and interview key participants in the Syrian-Iraqi weapons trade. Four repositories in Syria remain under suspicion. Anonymous U.S. sources have suggested that some components may have been kept in an ammunition facility adjacent to a military base close to Khan Abu Shamat, 30 miles (50 kilometers) west of Damascus. In addition, three sites in the western part of central Syria, an area where support for the Assad regime is strong, are reputed to house suspicious weapons components. These sites include an air force factory in the village of Tall as-Sinan; a mountainous tunnel near Al-Baydah, less than five miles from Al-Masyaf (Masyaf); and another location near Shanshar. While the Western media often focus on the fate of Iraqi weapons components, just as important to Syrian proliferation efforts has been the influx of Iraqi weapons scientists. The Daily Telegraph reported prior to the 2003 Iraq war that Iraq’s former special security organization and Shawqat arranged for the transfer into Syria of twelve mid-level Iraqi weapons specialists, along with their families and compact disks full of research material on their country’s nuclear initiatives. According to unnamed Western intelligence officials cited in the report, Assad turned around and offered to relocate the scientists to Iran, on the condition that Tehran would share the fruits of their research with Damascus. The Middle East Quarterly (Fall 2005)
The pilots told Mr. Sada that two Iraqi Airways Boeings were converted to cargo planes by removing the seats, Mr. Sada said. Then Special Republican Guard brigades loaded materials onto the planes, he said, including « yellow barrels with skull and crossbones on each barrel. » The pilots said there was also a ground convoy of trucks. The flights – 56 in total, Mr. Sada said – attracted little notice because they were thought to be civilian flights providing relief from Iraq to Syria, which had suffered a flood after a dam collapse in June of 2002. (…) Mr. Sada said that the Iraqi official responsible for transferring the weapons was a cousin of Saddam Hussein named Ali Hussein al-Majid, known as « Chemical Ali. » The Syrian official responsible for receiving them was a cousin of Bashar Assad who is known variously as General Abu Ali, Abu Himma, or Zulhimawe. (…) Syria is one of only eight countries that has not signed the Chemical Weapons Convention, a treaty that obligates nations not to stockpile or use chemical weapons. Syria’s chemical warfare program, apart from any weapons that may have been received from Iraq, has long been the source of concern to America, Israel, and Lebanon. The NY Sun

Reprenant l’excellent travail de recension de drzz, Guy Millière explique pourquoi Saddam ne pouvait avoir d’ADM ni de liens avec Al Qaeda: … tout simplement parce que nos médias enterrent systématiquement les dossiers!

Irak, Al Qaida, armes de destruction massive

Guy Milliere
Les 4 vérités
Le 11 octobre 2006

Les falsifications de l’histoire contemporaine ne concernent pas seulement Israël et les groupes islamistes, mais aussi l’Irak. Après avoir échoué à sauver le régime de Saddam Hussein, la diplomatie française s’est évertuée à dire que son renversement était une grave erreur, que, quels que soient ses défauts, celui-ci était un laïc sans relations avec le terrorisme et Al Qaida. L’essentiel des journalistes des grands médias, qui sont pour tout ce qui est contre (contre l’Amérique, Israël, l’Occident) n’ont cessé d’en rajouter depuis. L’expression « l’Irak est un bourbier » est devenue un lieu commun.

L’idée que Saddam n’a jamais eu d’armes de destruction massive (sinon peut-être, du gaz allemand pour exterminer les Kurdes) passe pour une évidence. Celui qui parle de liens entre Saddam et islamistes passe pour un naïf ou un idiot. J’ai décrit plusieurs fois cette mise en condition de l’opinion par le totalitarisme soft : nul besoin de barbelés, de coups de matraque, d’emprisonnements. Tenez les médias, maintenez un semblant de pluralisme, excluez tout ce qui viendrait contredire la « vérité officielle », et attendez le résultat.

J’ai déjà demandé ici ce qu’étaient devenus les stocks de vx ou de gaz Sarin décrits et comptabilisés par les inspecteurs de l’ONU avant que Saddam ne les mette à la porte en 1998. Je vais aujourd’hui plus loin. Je demande pourquoi aucun écho n’a été donné, en ce pays, au dossier très documenté de l’International Institute for Strategic Studies (iiss.org) de septembre 2002, « Iraq WMD Dossier Statement », où figurent tous les détails concernant les armes chimiques et biologiques dont disposait le régime. Je demande pourquoi nul n’a parlé du rapport de la CIA (cia.gov) publié le 28 mai 2003, lui aussi très détaillé, sur les laboratoires mobiles irakiens de fabrication d’armes chimiques, «Iraqi Mobile Biological Warfare Agent Production Plants », pourquoi l’enquête de Gary Milhollin et Kelly Motz sur la provenance des armes chimiques irakiennes (New York Times, « The Means to Make the Poisons Came From the West», 13 avril 2003) n’a suscité aucun élan de curiosité, même minimale. Je demanderai enfin pourquoi les écrits très précis du général Ion Mihai Pacepa, ancien chef des services secrets roumains, sur la contribution de l’URSS aux programmes d’armes chimiques et bactériologiques irakiens, et le rôle concret de la Russie dans leur escamotage juste avant la guerre (« Russia Hid Saddam’s WMD », Frontpage magazine, 2 octobre 2003) n’ont intéressé personne en ce pays, alors qu’il en a été traité sur Foxnews, sur CNN, sur CBS, et même sur la BBC. Nul ne me répondra.

Face au totalitarisme soft, j’aggrave mon cas. Mais qu’importe : Saddam avait des liens avec al Qaida et avec le terrorisme islamique. Ceux qui diraient le contraire devraient me dire ce qu’ils pensent de tout un ensemble d’articles et de documents dont (comme pour les armes de destruction massive irakiennes), je ne donne ici qu’un mince échantillonnage. Mark Bowden dans « Tales of the Tyrant » (The Atlantic Monthly, mai 2002) donne tous les détails sur les camps d’entraînement au terrorisme en Irak sous Saddam. Christopher Dickey, dans « The Saddam Files », Newsweek, 13 juillet 2004, explicite les liens entre Saddam et la quasi-totalité des mouvances de l’islamo-terrorisme, Ray Robison, ancien de la CIA, commente le décryptage d’une partie des documents retrouvés à Bagdad après la chute du régime et donne des extraits de texte très significatifs (« Was Saddam Regime a Broker for Terror Alliances ? », foxnews.com, 26 juin 2006). Comment ne pas citer le livre bref, précis et accablant de Stephen F. Hayes, « The Connection : How al Qaeda’s Collaboration with Saddam Hussein Has Endangered America » (Reed Elsevier, 2004), mais aussi tous les articles de Hayes publiés par le Weekly Standard, ainsi que les références citées sur un excellent blog, que je recommande, ici .

Ceux qui disent que Saddam n’avait aucun lien avec Al Qaida ne me diront pas ce qu’ils pensent de ces textes, qui pour eux, n’existent pas. Si nous étions au temps du totalitarisme dur, je serais sans doute déjà mort. Le totalitarisme soft a un avantage : il vous réduit au silence, mais vous laisse la vie sauve.

Voir aussi:

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