Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Scientist says US censored Iraq WMD report

An Australian scientist involved in the US search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq said the CIA censored his reporting so that it suggested the weapons existed, according to an interview on Monday. "We left the impression that, yes, maybe there were ... WMD out there," Barton said. "So I thought it was dishonest." Barton, an experienced weapons hunter who joined the UN search for Saddam Hussein’s illicit arsenal in 1991, said the censorship in the US investigation began after Charles Duelfer became the new head of ISG in February 2004. Barton said Duelfer wanted "a different style of report altogether" which he had discussed with US President George W Bush and the CIA. Barton said the report was to have no conclusions.

"I said to him, ‘I believe it’s dishonest,"‘ Barton told the programme. "If we know certain things and we’re asked to provide a report, we should say what we found and what we haven’t found and put that in the report." The ISG was allowed to mention a find of aluminum pipes but were not allowed to mention that their probable intended use was not nuclear. The report was not allowed to mention two trailers held at the ISG camp which the CIA had previously labeled mobile biological weapon laboratories, Barton said. "They were nothing to do with biology," he said. "We believed that they were hydrogen generators." Barton said he quit immediately after the report was completed and stated in his resignation letter that it was because the process was dishonest. Link

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