- The Washington Times - Friday, January 24, 2003

NEW YORK Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz yesterday delivered a strong denunciation of Iraq, charging that it refused to cooperate with U.N. weapons inspectors and that Saddam Hussein is in violation of Security Council resolutions calling for his disarmament.
"A process that begins with a massive lie and proceeds with concealment, penetration, intimidation and obstruction cannot be a process of cooperative disarmament," said Mr. Wolfowitz, at a heavily touted address to the New York-based Council on Foreign Relations.
"Instead of a high-level commitment to disarmament, Iraq has a high-level commitment to concealing its weapons of mass terror."
Specifically, he said, Baghdad is refusing to allow U.N. inspectors to use a U-2 spy plane, on loan from the United States, for surveillance activities.
He also noted that Iraq has been shooting at unmanned U.S. planes patrolling the "no-fly zones." U.N. officials and many council members believe these flights to be unjustified by existing council resolutions.
Mr. Wolfowitz noted that Iraq has denied permission for scientists and experts to be interviewed privately by weapons inspectors, and repeated U.N. complaints from 1998 that Iraq had refused to account for tons of missing chemical and biological weapons, including VX, ricin, botulinum, anthrax and other toxins and germs.
"Evidence of WMD material is being relocated to agricultural areas, private homes, hidden beneath mosques or hospitals," said Mr. Wolfowitz, one of the most hawkish members of the administration. "It is a shell game played on a grand scale with deadly serious weapons."
Mr. Wolfowitz said that Iraqi officials had threatened with death scientists who cooperated with U.N. investigators, targeted U.N. computer networks for cyber-terrorism, and had infiltrated U.N. inspection teams.
"Today we know from multiple sources that Saddam has ordered that any scientist who cooperates during interviews will be killed as well as their families," he said. "Furthermore, we know that scientists are being tutored on what to say to the U.N. inspectors and that Iraqi intelligence officers are posing as scientists to be interviewed by the inspectors."
Many of these accusations were not documented. A U.S. official said later that these could not be corroborated because they were based on confidential intelligence.
U.N. inspectors could not be reached for comment yesterday, because of a daylong meeting of their advisory board.
Hans Blix, chief of the U.N. Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission, (Unmovic) acknowledged some problems with Iraq's cooperation yesterday, during a break in the proceedings.
Specifically, he said, the issue of overflight was problematic.
Mr. Blix and Mohammed ElBaradei, the executive director of the International Atomic Energy Agency, are to present the Security Council on Monday with an evaluation of their findings so far.
The inspectors, who met with Iraqi officials in Baghdad last weekend and with their own advisory boards later, are expected to issue a report that outlines both cooperation and conflict.
Iraqi Gen. Hussam Mohammad Amin told reporters in Baghdad yesterday that he expects the inspectors to file "a gray report," not particularly damning or praising of Iraq's performance in the first 60 days.
"Iraq has failed to account for weapons, failed to answer questions, failed to allow private interviews, failed to identify scientists, failed to permit aerial reconnaissance, failed to explain its procurements, failed to encourage cooperation with the inspectors, failed to provide what the inspectors asked for, which was credible evidence of destruction of weapons of mass destruction," said State Department spokesman Richard Boucher on Wednesday. "In sum, Iraq is failing to disarm. We need to face these facts. We need to deal with this reality and not pretend that inspectors can disarm Iraq while Iraq is actively blowing smoke and hiding its programs."
Mr. Wolfowitz drew heavily Iraq's historical refusal to cooperate with international inspectors to illustrate his points about current-day intransigence.
He drew from U.N. and U.S. intelligence to catalog the gallons and tons of toxins known to have been produced and often weaponized before 1997.
Mr. Wolfowitz's remarks were the latest in a near-daily schedule of briefings and appearances by senior Bush administration officials aimed at rallying flagging support for a U.S.-led military action against Iraq.
The administration in November won an unexpected victory with the unanimous support of the 15-member council to a tough resolution that demands Iraq disarm or face "serious consequences."
Washington says this is all the authorization it needs to go to war, although several council nations including France, Russia, Germany and Syria say that a second resolution explicitly authorizing force is required. But key allies remain wary of a military engagement that does not have a clear blessing from the council.

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