Tuesday, October 18, 2005

What a conspiracy feels like

Thought I'd link to this extract from Scott Ritter's new book (he's the guy who was co-ordinating weapons inspections in Iraq in the mid-90s). Towards the end of the extract, he goes to tell his boss that he suspects his organisation has been infiltrated by the CIA:

I carefully typed up a point paper outlining my concerns and specifying the information I had gathered, and requested a meeting with Duelfer in the U.N. cafeteria.

I slid the paper across the table to Duelfer, and began my brief. He listened without expressing any emotion, casually reading the paper as I made my case. He sat in silence for some time after I finished, contemplating what I had said. Finally, he looked at me. "Scott, I can't comment on any of this. All I would say is that you probably would do very well not to ever mention it again."

"Charles, we work for UNSCOM," I replied. "If what I have written here is true, we have the potential for a compromise that could not only end UNSCOM, but perhaps endanger the lives of some of our inspectors. We have to inform the executive chairman of this, and at least launch some sort of inquiry with the United States to find out if there is any validity to this, and if there is, to stop it before it's too late."

Duelfer looked at me, frustrated. "Scott, I can't make it any clearer than this. I cannot discuss this. This never happened. And if I were you, I'd drop the matter right now. If you go forward, even to tell [Rolf Ekéus, the UNSCOM chairman] you will be opening a huge bag of trouble for you. I would imagine you'd have the FBI come down on you very, very hard, and you don't want that. Take my advice and back off."

I sat there, letting Duelfer's words sink in. Was he aware of the operation?

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