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The Nuclear Expert Who Never Was

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Posted on Jun 26, 2008
AP photo / Henry Arvidsson / United Nations

An Iraqi Scud missile awaits destruction by United Nations weapons inspectors in Iraq in this undated file photo.

By Scott Ritter

(Page 3)

But an analyst must be viewed in the proper perspective, and this begins by correctly defining who and what one is. David Albright is not a former U.N. weapons inspector, but rather an accidental tourist. To call oneself a weapons inspector suggests that one participated in the totality of the inspection process, and as such can converse readily, based on firsthand experience, about the total spectrum of issues that entails. Albright, based on his flimsy résumé in this regard, is not capable of such, and therefore should stop referring to himself in this manner, and encourage the media to do the same. Likewise, all reference to Albright as “Dr. Albright” should be eliminated, as should any reference which places the words physicist and nuclear in proximity. Let his work be judged on its own merit, and not camouflaged behind misleading perceptions created through false advertising.

In that he never has designed or worked in a nuclear reactor, never has designed or worked on nuclear weapons, in fact never has done anything of a practical, hands-on nature in the nuclear field, to call Albright an expert is a disservice to the term and, again, misleading in the extreme. It is not a sin to merely be informed, or to possess a specialty. But informed specialists are a dime a dozen. There is a reason mainstream media do not turn to bloggers when seeking out expert opinion. And yet, when they turn to “Dr. Albright, former U.N. weapons inspector,” they are getting little more than a well-funded, well-connected blogger. If one takes a closer look at the ISIS Report published by Albright on June 16 and widely quoted in the press since then, one will realize that there simply isn’t any substance to the allegations. Albright’s sole source seems to be a single, unnamed IAEA official, bringing to mind Bob Kelley and his role in facilitating Albright’s “access” to the IAEA in the 1990s. The remainder of the report comprises information already available to the general public, or sheer speculation.

This is, of course, the problem when someone who is not an expert on a given subject attempts to portray himself as just that. Lacking in the foundation of knowledge and experience which generally is expected of a genuine expert, the false “expert” commits error after error, not only of the factual sort but also in judgment. Had Albright in fact been a true nuclear expert, especially one fortified with firsthand experience as a former U.N. weapons inspector, he would not have had any association with Khidir Hamza, the disgraced Iraqi defector who claimed to have firsthand knowledge of Saddam Hussein’s nuclear program. A true nuclear expert would have recognized the technical impossibilities and inconsistencies in Hamza’s fabrications. And a genuine former U.N. weapons inspector would have known that Hamza had been fingered as a fraud by the IAEA and UNSCOM. David Albright instead employed Hamza as an analyst with ISIS from 1997 until 1999.

Albright likewise facilitated the story of former Iraqi nuclear scientist Mahdi Obeidi being told to the world. As a “former U.N. weapons inspector,” Albright had a passing knowledge of Obeidi; the Iraqi was among the scientists that the IAEA team Albright served on questioned in June 1996 (Albright himself claims to have personally questioned Obeidi). Albright helped sell Obeidi’s story about buried uranium centrifuge parts to the media, even though a true nuclear expert would have known that what Obeidi claims to have hidden possessed absolutely no value in the field of nuclear enrichment, and any former U.N. weapons inspector worth his or her salt would have recognized the inconsistencies and improbabilities in the Obeidi story.

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David Albright has a history of being used by those who seek to gain media attention for their respective claims. In addition to the Hamza and Obeidi fiascos, Albright and his organization, ISIS, have served as the conduit for other agencies gaining publicity about the alleged Iranian nuclear weapons program, the alleged Syrian nuclear reactor, and most recently the alleged Swiss computer containing sensitive nuclear design information. On each occasion, Albright is fed sensitive information from a third party, and then packages it in a manner that is consumable by the media. The media, engrossed with Albright’s misleading résumé  (“former U.N. weapons inspector,” “Doctor,” “physicist” and “nuclear expert”), give Albright a full hearing, during which time the particulars the third-party source wanted made public are broadcast or printed for all the world to see. More often than not, it turns out that the core of the story pushed by Albright is, in fact, wrong.

While Iran did indeed possess uranium enrichment capability at Natanz and a heavy water plant (under construction) at Arak (as reported by Albright thanks to information provided by the Iranian opposition group MEK, most probably with the help of Israeli intelligence), Albright’s wild speculation about weapons-grade plutonium and highly enriched uranium proved to be wrong. There was indeed a building in Syria that was bombed by Israel. But Albright’s expert opinion, derived from his interpretation of photographs, consists of nothing more than simplistic observation (“The tall building in the image may house a reactor under construction and the pump station along the river may have been intended to supply cooling water to the reactor”) combined with unfocused questions that assumed much, but were in fact based on little (“How far along was the reactor construction project when it was bombed? What was the extent of nuclear assistance from North Korea? Which reactor components did Syria obtain from North Korea or elsewhere, and where are they now?”). And, most recently, we have Albright commenting about the contents of a computer he hasn’t even laid eyes on, though he feels confident enough to raise the specter of global nuclear catastrophe (“How will authorities learn if Iran, North Korea, or even terrorists bought these designs?” Albright asks when referring to the contents of the Swiss computer).

Nowhere in his résumé does Albright cite any formal training as a photographic interpreter; in any case, one would have to have an intimate knowledge of nuclear facilities in order to know what one was looking at when examining an aerial image. A genuine nuclear weapons expert would have been able to discern the technical faults in the logic of the stories being peddled by Albright. And a genuine former U.N. weapons inspector, well versed in preparing airtight investigations based upon verified intelligence information, would have balked at the shabby nature of the evidence provided. Again, because Albright is neither, he and ISIS play the role of patsy, the middleman peddling misinformation to a media too lazy to conduct their own due diligence before running with a story.

Albright, operating under the guise of his creation, ISIS, has a track record of inserting hype and speculation about matters of great sensitivity in a manner which skews the debate toward the worst-case scenario. Over time Albright often moderates his position, but the original sensationalism still remains, serving the purpose of imprinting a negative image in the psyche of public opinion. This must stop. It is high time the mainstream media began dealing with David Albright for what he is (a third-rate reporter and analyst), and what he isn’t (a former U.N. weapons inspector, doctor, nuclear physicist or nuclear expert). It is time for David Albright, the accidental inspector, to exit stage right. Issues pertaining to nuclear weapons and their potential proliferation are simply too serious to be handled by amateurs and dilettantes.

Scott Ritter was a U.N. weapons inspector in Iraq from 1991 to 1998.


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Ed Harges's avatar

By Ed Harges, June 28, 2008 at 8:43 am Link to this comment

Joe Klein of Time magazine (who is not exactly an Islamofascist) writes:

“You want evidence of divided loyalties? How about the “benign domino theory” that so many Jewish neoconservatives talked to me about—off the record, of course—in the runup to the Iraq war, the idea that Israel’s security could be won by taking out Saddam, which would set off a cascade of disaster for Israel’s enemies in the region? ... Do you actually deny that the casus belli that dare not speak its name wasn’t, as I wrote in February 2003, a desire to make the world safe for Israel?”

The evidence for this is just everywhere, like so much low-hanging fruit. But Rus7355 will tell you it’s anti-Semitic to notice this.

We American taxpayers and soldiers must keep our blinders on, looking neither left nor right — Israel’s meek plough-horses, toiling away without complaint.

http://www.time-blog.com/swampland/2008/06/neocons_gone_wild.html

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By Ed Harges, June 28, 2008 at 7:14 am Link to this comment

Notice that, in arguing against me, Sam accuses his critics of doing what I do not do:

Sam writes: “Why do otherwise apparently intelligent people deny the oil connection?”

But of course, I don’t do that at all.

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By Ed Harges, June 28, 2008 at 7:06 am Link to this comment

Did anyone else notice that the post “By Rus7355, June 28 at 5:31 am” is completely without substance, completely failing to respond to any of the many specifics and sources and facts that its writer refuses to take in?

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By jerry gates, June 28, 2008 at 7:03 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Scott Ritter knows a fake when he sees one in his slaying of the demon , Albright.

  The US neocons have garnered this sort of support from experts like, Rumsfeld on shack and awe, Limbaugh on conservatism, and Pentagon generals as witnesses to the truth concerning Iraq’s WMD’s, all with dubious credentials and most with a paycheck that can be traced to AIPAC or another Lobby which makes hay of the war on terrors largese.

  While Ritter has had his share of being a resident expert for Israel, the US and EU non proliferation policy wonks, has has turned his tail to the good work of exposing graft and corruption as well as panderers to the religious right’s fascination for Armageddon.

  Ritter was a frequent contributer to Information Clearinghouse and had his share of the vitriol there for those who took bed and breakfast with Israeli war mongers, as Ritter is rumored to have done in his earlier days . Information Clearing house is down today, suspiciously , on the heels of a US/EU information shareing agreement which may find US CIA poring over the files in Brussels of this giant among left leaning sites where Ritter had his share of fame and fortune along with the usual insults and rages against the machines of which Ritter was once a member.

  Scott Ritter is Scott Ritter, he is a good writer, and honest analyst and a credible expert in nuclear technology.

  My past, as a nuclear arms custodial agent, serving in NATO in 1975, tells me that the nuke spook game is getting interesting these days as private hands have gotten hold of components which add up to a package of doom for some city in some nation, unbeknownst to Ritter or his former employers. Iran is not the real menace in nuclear arms proliferation when we look at the US turning a blind eye to Pakistan’s program, India’s reluctance to enjoin the US as their supervisor of nukes and the EU’s continueing drive to isolate any rogue nuclear powers as if they had some monoploy on nuclear arms used to make a balance of powers which is trustworthy not to break their codes of conduct concerning the use of such weaponry.

  Iran is an odd case for Ritter and had his view of this nations nuclear program edited by his superiors, while advocating that Iran had not one iota of a weapons program in it’s strategies for becoming a player in the middle east’s Islamic ascendency.

  Islam is not the type of agressor that the US, Israel or the EU, by association are, but still is maligned by the non proliferation advocates as a direct threat to Israel, which we all know doesn’t tolerate being asked to change the policies to make Arabs happy, or Persian leaders who feel that non violent words are the pathway to change, not guns and nukes, which are the barbarian way of being on top of the heaps of resource grabs in hapless nations such as Iraq.

  Albright is an apologist for his masters claims of righteousness , but falls wildy short of being a credible expert on anything other than pandering to big bucks for fun and profit, his own.

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By troublesum, June 28, 2008 at 2:48 am Link to this comment

Who is the junior senator from Illinois who wants to increase aid to Israel?

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By nrobi, June 28, 2008 at 12:54 am Link to this comment

Far from being an erratic and unknowing individual, Scott Ritter for those who take the time to listen and reason, is by far one of the more truthful and legitimate sources of information regarding the “weapons inspections,” that is out there in the world.
Having had his reputation smeared by the Shrub’s administration during the run-up to the Iraq war, he now speaks with the authority and veracity of one for whom knowledge is first hand and actual.
David Albright on the other hand is without doubt, one of the most misinformed and ill-informed people regarding nuclear weapons inspections, nuclear physics and weapons inspections of any kind. To say the he is the most knowledgeable and informed “expert” regarding the weapons inspecting regime of the United Nations is to believe that the sky is purple and the moon made of green cheese.
I sincerely believe that 007 has been pulled into the lies and deceptions of the current illegal and immoral regime of the Shrub and Darth Vader, for no one who is informed about the subject could believe one whit of information that is propounded by this so-called president and his minions.
I for one, would love to see a debate between the “famous and well-informed,”  “Dr. Albright” and Scott
Ritter in a neutral and unbiased forum such as the Commonwealth Club of California or any other forum where there would be someone who could moderate in a balanced and impartial manner.
We would then see the real and unvarnished truth in an atmosphere where no one would be able to lead the discourse other than the moderator. Surely, something like this could be arranged and videod so that the truth would be known.
I am also grateful for the knowledge of a person such as Scott Ritter for one simple fact, he does not toe anyone’s line and speaks the truth as he sees it without regard to party or even political persuasion.

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By THE MANGEMEISTER, June 27, 2008 at 9:42 pm Link to this comment

SamSnedegar I opologize for the the wrong spelling of your name.

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By THE MANGEMEISTER, June 27, 2008 at 9:27 pm Link to this comment

Sam Snedegan Israel is a mouse or a flea in a battle of elephants?Yeah right.Israel has one of the most powerfull militaries in the world and they are armed to the teeth with nuclear weapons.Israel poor with the billions of dollars coming from US tax payers?And Israel has no say about US foreign policy?Google Ariel Sharon:We control America.And when the Israel friendly MSM media say it’s about the oil you can be sure it’s not.Sam Snedegan welcome to the Howard Club Of Denial.

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Ed Harges's avatar

By Ed Harges, June 27, 2008 at 9:06 pm Link to this comment

By cyrena, June 27 at 7:52 pm:

Yeah, Cyrena; the “aid” increase to Israel is a good hint as to how they will deal with the economic fallout from a US war on Iran.

One might think that, since a war on Iran is likely to push oil past $200 a barrel overnight, Israel might hesitate to put itself, along with the whole world, in such dire economic straits.

But the answer is, of course, very simple: the Israelis will simply demand and get a US “aid” increase large enough to offset any economic hardship for themselves. And they’ll probably demand it in Euros — or perhaps gold bullion, or maybe Picassos and Rembrandts.

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By cyrena, June 27, 2008 at 8:52 pm Link to this comment

by Ed Harges, June 27 at 3:36 pm

Ed, thanks for the break down. It’s helpful in putting the pieces together. I didn’t know that Cheney had been concerned about the ‘sanctions happy’ policy back in the 90’s, but I’m not surprised. That would have been when he was in the midst of building Halliburton into the biggest theft operation on the globe. But of course that’s not new. Remember the Anglo-Iranian Oil Co from back in the 50’s, is what got Mossadegh overthrown.

http://www.applet-magic.com/mossadeq.htm

The greed just never quits with the imperialists.

Meantime, Louise posted this on another thread. It will pretty much make you throw up…

US Congress approves Israel aid increase

The US Congress has approved a 170 million dollar increase in security assistance to Israel as part of its new 10-year, 30 billion dollar defense aid commitment to the Jewish state.
The money for Israel was part of a larger supplemental spending bill that included 162 billion dollars for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The legislation gained final approval in a 92-6 Senate vote late Thursday.

More at the link if you can stand it.

http://rawstory.com/news/afp/US_Congress_approves_Israel_aid_inc_06272008.html

Louise wondered how many more Palestinian kids they’d be able to kill with the additional funds. I don’t know. I don’t know if they’ll ever bother to address all of the homeless vets sleeping on our streets either.

I just know that there’s always money for war and for Israel, and never any for us, even though it’s our money. Seems like that would piss off more than just a few of us.

Meantime, I wonder about the posters here (like 007) who are so quick to blast Scott Ritter, and through in these big rah rahs for a guy who just got an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree. What the hell is that? Humane Letters? That sounds more appropriate to my own field, which CLEARLY doesn’t require any advanced knowledge of physics. (good thing for me) And, he WASN’T a US weapons inspector!

I’m so sick of all of these FAKES! Why can’t everybody just be whatever the hell they are, and be good at it? Like, I need a GOOD MOVER. Why? Because I can’t do it myself any longer. Yes, I’m perfectly willing to pay a reasonable sum of money for such services. But, I refuse to hire a ‘re-location expert!’ Unless they call themselves MOVERS, I’m not hiring them. (and I don’t care what if any credentials they’ve got). Matter of fact, I might ask them if they have any ‘advanced education’. If they admit to anything beyond high school, I might not hire them either.

I hate impostors and people who think they’re important when they don’t know shit.

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By SamSnedegar, June 27, 2008 at 6:51 pm Link to this comment

“...Sam, I thought maybe you would be smart enough to avoid claiming that the Iraq war had “NOTHING whatsoever” to do with Israel. I though you would try to maintain some credibility by merely downplaying this, without trying to deny it altogether. But your shouting, hysterical insistence betrays you…”

Don’t be stupid yourself. I never said that Feith, Schumer, Feinstein, Perle, and many other Israeli supporters didn’t WANT to kill Saddam and destroy Iraq. I merely said that THIS isn’t why we went there, and surely isn’t why we STAY there. You can blame it on Israel and the AIPAC lobby if you like, but you are just WRONG to do so.

No oil, no Iraq, Israel be goddamned. Israel has a place in the Bushitter plan however: they got called upon to prepare Lebanon for the invasion which will open up the Syria-Lebanon pipeline to the Med, along with the old Saudi-Lebanon pipeline which opens up the whole mideast oil supply without dealing with the Arabian Gulf and the Red Sea and all that wasted time and motion. It’s a minor part, I admit, and the Israelis don’t like it much, but it is the best the Bushitters are going to do for them, because there are only two verities, (1) oil is all, and (2) Bush is a moron; the third, (3) Israel is behind everything is just wrong and not a verity at all. They are a mouse or a flea in a battle of elephants and lions, and while they have egos big enough for a herd of elephants, they are sadly just a poor, oil-less country in the mideast and have no say at all in the Bushitter policy.

You can want a thousand dollars and of all those who do, some one or two of them will somehow some way find or even steal a thousand dollars, but if you happen to find YOUR thousand in the street after crooks robbed a bank and dropped it on the way out of the bank to their getaway cars, you can’t begin to prove that the robbers robbed the bank so you would get your grand. That is what you are saying: that Israel wanted us to kill Saddam and destroy Iraq, so when we did both of those things, we were complying with Israel’s wishes, not doing our own dirty job of stealing control of mideast oil, along with the necessary murdering and coveting, as well as the lying.

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By troublesum, June 27, 2008 at 5:36 pm Link to this comment

An article on the Israel Lobby which could not be published in any American journal.  http://www.lrb.co.uk/v28/n06/mear01_.html

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Ed Harges's avatar

By Ed Harges, June 27, 2008 at 4:36 pm Link to this comment

re: By cyrena, June 27 at 1:33 pm:

Here’s how it fits together, including the role of oil.

(1) Israel lobby has long enforced a US policy of permanently, mortally hostile, non-negotiable relations with Iraq and Iran. The policy, invented by a career Israel lobbyist named Martin Indyk, is called “dual containment”.

(2) The oil companies traditionally have favored more peaceable relations with oil-producing countries, in order to have access to the oil. Dick Cheney himself complained during the 1990s about the Israel-enforced “sanctions-happy” US policy toward Iran, for example.

(3) In 1996, a group of Israel-first “Americans” wrote a paper opining that the destruction of Iraq (followed by Iran and Syria) was the key to Israel’s happiness.

(4) In 1997, these people persuaded the oil people that since Israel’s lobby will never allow the US to have reasonable relations with these countries, the only way to get at the oil was to destroy these countries FOR ISRAEL. The Israel lobby was able to guarantee Congressional obedience because it controls both the GOP and Democratic parties, whereas oil is a more exclusively Republican constituency. It was the Israel lobby that made the Iraq war politically unstoppable.

(5) That is how the unholy alliance of oil and Israel dragged us to war against Iraq and now against Iran. The oil men are simply along for the ride. They’re not angels, but the policy starts with Israel’s insistence that America pursue a policy, TOTALLY AGAINST OUR MATERIAL INTERESTS, of mortally belligerent relations with these countries. And only the Israel lobby had the political power to FORCE the war on both parties in Congress.

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By Jim Flammang, June 27, 2008 at 4:17 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I don’t know much about nuclear physics, and I don’t know who was or wasn’t a UN inspector, but it is a mistake to paint Albright as some kind of warmonger doing the administration’s dirty work.  In the run-up to the Iraq war Albright, like Ritter, was adamant that the administration’s case was phony.  Just google “ISIS aluminum tubes” and you’ll find articles like this one:

http://onlinejournal.com/artman/publish/article_3087.shtml

“One of the most vocal opponent of the administration’s prewar Iraq intelligence was David Albright, a former United Nations weapons inspector and the president and founder of the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS), a Washington, D.C.-based group that gathers information for the public and the White House on nuclear weapons programs.  In a March 10, 2003, report posted on the ISIS website, Albright accused the CIA of twisting the intelligence related to the aluminum tubes.”

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By troublesum, June 27, 2008 at 3:10 pm Link to this comment

Poor Scott Ritter doesn’t have a clue that Obama is going to fix all of this and then life will be wonderful again.  Don’t worry, be happy.  Join Oprah’s book club.

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By cyrena, June 27, 2008 at 2:33 pm Link to this comment

SamSneddegar,

I get your point about the occupation of Iraq never happening, had it been oil-less. HOWEVER, that doesn’t mean that Israel wasn’t ‘in it’ for the same reason…OIL!

Consider it this way, and maybe it will make more sense. First, OIL is the one thing that Israel didn’t get in the gift from the UN in 1948. It didn’t seem that big of a deal then, and not that many people were giving it a whole lot of thought.

It didn’t take long though, for Israel to covet that oil, just as they’ve coveted everything else, the land, the sea, (water rights have been huge since the beginning of their occupation of Palestinian land) and all the fish in the sea, and pretty much everything else one can think of.

In short, the huge plans long ago involve a major oil pipeline, (one of many actually) between the northern Kurdish region of Iraq, straight to Israel’s doorstep.

That said…Israel had just as much to do with it as the US Oil Cabal has. I know it’s hard to visualize or otherwise rationalize that, UNLESS one can accept the reality that Israel and the US are one and the same, at least in respect to anything that goes on in the Middle East.

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By 007, June 27, 2008 at 1:49 pm Link to this comment

Ritter is known for his erratic behavior and bizarre views while David Albright is known as one of the most gifted analysts on today’s international scene.  “truthdig” must not know the score. 
007

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By Marty, June 27, 2008 at 1:03 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Want where David got his Doctor’s title:
http://www.wright.edu/academics/physics/news_events/07Albright/albright.html it’s a honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree at the 2007

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By Tim, June 27, 2008 at 11:52 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I am once again unable to know whether to listen to Scott or not. Prior to the war in Iraq, I read his book which undeniably claimed ill intent on the part of Husseins government. Then suddenly he was all over the media decrying a rush to judgement. Scott can’t get his stories straight and consistent enough for me to believe anything he writes.

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By mrmb, June 27, 2008 at 11:39 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I think some of you if not most of you are familiar with Dr. Gordon Prather.

Check out his last piece here:

http://www.antiwar.com/prather/

As far as why we went into Iraq I suggest that we go back and pull the archives on israeli politicians and figures who were touring the US and constantly appearing on our TV and radio, speaking tours at various think tanks and universities and organizaions and political gatherings, talking to congress and pushing for the invasion of Iraq.
Have we forgotten that? Or is it a case of selective amnesia?

That little not too distant historical detour should help settle this matter once and for all. If you cant do that then just watch, read and listen to israelis and their mouth pieces here in US and see how they are pushing us into a war with Iran. Thats a dress rehersal of their past successful behaviour.

So, when we finally do go to war with Iran, then dont be surprised that some morons will ask why we did that?
Well, didnt we wanna free those Iranians from the grip of the mullahs and help bring democracy to Iran? Just like the way we did in 1953 and brought progress and democracy to the unappreciative Iranians by overthrowing the commie Mossadegh and installing the modernizing Shah?

Obviously oil is a major factor but israel is the main game. Here is how it works: oil and israel, or israel and oil. Take ur pick, just dont be confused.

Now as far as nuclear weapons are concerned all I will say is that this is the biggest con game I have ever seen. Those that have thousands of highly advanced weapons, constantly do research and upgrade the technology, threaten non nuclear weapon states and black mail them, and actually have the honorary position in the anals of criminals by using them are now pushing so hard for a non nuclear state from not having a civilian nuclear program by threatening Iran with nuclear war.

The duplicity, hypocracy, criminality has no bounds and yet we are so audaciuos to consider ourselves to be the moral leaders of the world!!! Its absolutely amazing.

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Ed Harges's avatar

By Ed Harges, June 27, 2008 at 11:29 am Link to this comment

By SamSnedegar, June 27 at 3:48 am :

Sam, I thought maybe you would be smart enough to avoid claiming that the Iraq war had “NOTHING whatsoever” to do with Israel. I though you would try to maintain some credibility by merely downplaying this, without trying to deny it altogether. But your shouting, hysterical insistence betrays you.

By the way, Sam, I’m sure Doug Feith is very thankful to you for giving him a little help with this rather daunting whitewashing task.

As Jim Lobe comments, concerning Feith’s new book:

“As you can imagine, Israel does not figure prominently in Feith’s book, and you would never guess from reading it that, as early as 1996, Feith — along with David Wurmser and their common mentor, Richard Perle — was already thinking that the ouster of Saddam Hussein was the key to transforming the regional balance of power decisively in favor of Israel….”

http://www.antiwar.com/blog/2008/06/26/when-a-map-is-worth-a-thousand-words/

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By E Lynn, June 27, 2008 at 8:42 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Sam, yes, I whole-heartedly believe we are in Iraq for oil. Not for the good of our country, but in the most simplistic terms, to stay in the game in the ME. But honestly, as I think Ed can agree, Scott Ritter need not harp on the oil argument because he has a very unique and different perspective that I think would be lessened in its veracity if he were just another “we’re in it for the oil” drumbeat.
His personal experience as a REAL former UN weapons inspector strikes a chord on a different level, equally if not more damning in its criticism of this administrations culpability in this fiasco.
Thank you Scott Ritter for providing another side to the story - the side that makes a hell of a lot more sense.

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By Bob Kelley, June 27, 2008 at 6:47 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Scott

Please contact me about your article on David Albright that mentions me several times.

Bob

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By SamSnedegar, June 27, 2008 at 4:48 am Link to this comment

“...Sam, did it occur to you that some people might have their own less than noble reasons for insisting that the Iraq war was a “war for oil”?...”

And who might those people be? Moi? Either it was or it wasn’t a “war for oil,” and to get the truth of THAT, you might have to threaten to shoot Cheney in the face, but if there be ten truly intelligent beings on this planet, those ten people all will recognize that while the USA might have bombed and destroyed Iraq and its dictator, it NEVER would have occupied an oil-less Iraq.

There is only one “intelligent” reason for the occupation of Iraq, and it has NOTHING whatsoever to do with Israel, in spite of the other truth which holds that most of Israelis were DELIGHTED that we occupied Iraq and killed Saddam.

There are two verities: (1) it’s about oil, and (2) Bush is a moron. Never mind my qualifications or yours, try if you can to disprove EITHER of them.

I don’t deny that thousands, maybe millions, of people supported and applauded our occupation of Iraq, and THEIR reasons for being happy had nothing to do with oil . . . some of them may even have wanted to start democracy in the mideast. Whatever THEIR reasons for wanting to go to war, they had NOT ONE THING to do with the REAL reason we took over Iraq and continue to stay there despite the apparent insanity of such a position.

Why do otherwise apparently intelligent people deny the oil connection? Easy: they don’t want to admit to coveting, lying, murdering, and stealing, even as they continue to DO all of those things.

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By AG, June 26, 2008 at 10:26 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

When I was working at the Department of Commerce, an undersecretary of the Office of Export Control, who was a political appointee, called me in to see if I could ‘expedite’ several export applications of computers to Iraq. That was the highest concern to him at the time.

One of the problem with government is political appointees who have no vested interest in protecting the interests of the US. They just want to further their career and to use the position as a stepping stone, granting favors for companies that they want to work for later.

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By cyrena, June 26, 2008 at 10:13 pm Link to this comment

Great piece from Scott, and I appreciate all of the comments as well. What I suspect I most appreciate about the article is that this can be a Universal Application for EVERYTHING in the past decade. (at least). This massive campaign of disinformation at every level of society is what has allowed the destruction. Just some examples that jumped out at me.

•  “Lacking in the foundation of knowledge and experience which generally is expected of a genuine expert, the false “expert” commits error after error, not only of the factual sort but also in judgment. Had Albright in fact been a true nuclear expert, especially one fortified with firsthand experience as a former U.N. weapons inspector, he would not have had any association with Khidir Hamza the disgraced Iraqi defector who claimed to have firsthand knowledge of Saddam Hussein’s nuclear program. A true nuclear expert would have recognized the technical impossibilities and inconsistencies in Hamza’s fabrications. And a genuine former U.N. weapons inspector would have known that Hamza had been fingered as a fraud by the IAEA and UNSCOM. David Albright instead employed Hamza as an analyst with ISIS from 1997 until 1999.”

And THIS my friends, is UNIVERSAL, whatever kind of ‘expertise’ is being claimed. When it’s phony, there are these consequences. As Scott Ritter says: “errors not only of the factual sort, but also in JUDGMENT!”

He’s got another excellent example of how these con artists operate.

•  “…But Albright’s expert opinion, derived from his interpretation of photographs, consists of nothing more than simplistic observation (“The tall building in the image may house a reactor under construction and the pump station along the river may have been intended to supply cooling water to the reactor”) combined with unfocused questions that assumed much, but were in fact based on little…”
 
We read similar simplistic, (and WRONG) ‘interpretations’ from a variety of posters on a variety of blogs, (TD included) everyday.

Here again…we know that this can be applied to far more than David Albright..

•  “…Over time Albright often moderates his position, but the original sensationalism still remains, serving the purpose of imprinting a negative image in the psyche of public opinion. This must stop. It is high time the mainstream media began dealing with David Albright for what he is (a third-rate reporter and analyst), and what he isn’t (a former U.N. weapons inspector, doctor, nuclear physicist or nuclear expert).

The sensationalism remains…imprinting, (and affecting) the psyche of public opinion. We’ve had 8 long years of that, which is how ‘they’ have highjacked our country, and turned us into masses subjected to a totalitarian dictatorship.

And every single ‘branch’ of the ‘estate’ has betrayed us, including the 4th.

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By prosefights, June 26, 2008 at 7:31 pm Link to this comment

let’s all hope.

http://www.theoildrum.com/node/4138/359968

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Ed Harges's avatar

By Ed Harges, June 26, 2008 at 6:05 pm Link to this comment

Sam Snedegar writes that Ritter “is another of those strange creatures which Greenspan noted NEVER TALK ABOUT OIL being “largely” the reason for our occupation of Iraq.”

Oh, and since when is Alan Greenspan some pure and noble, agenda-free crusader for the truth?

Sam, did it occur to you that some people might have their own less than noble reasons for insisting that the Iraq war was a “war for oil”?

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By JMCSwan, June 26, 2008 at 6:05 pm Link to this comment

jackpine savage, (response to June 26 at 5:23 am)

To be fair to the media, jack, I imagine it has to do about their credibility. If their interviewer is well known, i.e. has some kind of official title, goverment or corporate or whatever, then his or her opinions, for the viewers often have more validity, i.e. carry more weight. Media corporations, the editors, and journalists, all naturally have biases, which may go anywhere on any issue. How closely do people listen to someone being interviewed, when that person is simply someone off the street, as opposed to has a pedigree long cv. This is understandable.

I wouldn’t underestimate President G.W. Bush. I imagine, the White House’s decisions and actions, are based on planning for the worst, and hoping for the best. Very, very tricky. The problems facing the world, and accordingly the White House, didn’t materialise out of thin air, when Pres. Bush walked into the Oval Office. They are the culmination of years and years of decisions, from virtually every single person on the planet. Some naturally with greater consequences than others. It’s easy to judge those prior decisions in hindsight; and yet that doesn’t absolve current White House decision-makers from, simply saying ‘well some Pres. in this or that year, created this problem with that decision, so it’s not our fault and we’ll just ignore it’. They don’t have that luxury; and virtually every decision is not going to be liked by at least 50% of the people, who care about the decision. Furthermore, many of the decisions, particularly national security one’s, are made based upon classified information. And ‘intelligence’ is not an exact science. It’s not mathematics. Even in mathematics, as demonstrated in Patch Adams, 4 can be 8; depending on how ‘close’ you are to the ‘problem’. I imagine, when you have to start interpreting the vague nuances of politicians, based on their cultural and socio-political issues, and so on, 4 can be anything from 2 to 2,000. I would imagine the nuance discrepancy of the public statements of any particular politician’s focus of the particular audience, they are speaking to; whether local, national, or international, or all.

Example: What did President Bush mean when he said ‘Go Shopping’ after 9/11? What ‘shopping’ was he encouraging Americans to go and shop for? No journalist asked him that question, that I am aware of. Not long after that he said something to the effect of ‘Americans must pay attention, and be on the lookout, for covert coded messages in the media, by terrorists.’ Now I found that statement very profound.

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By JMCSwan, June 26, 2008 at 6:04 pm Link to this comment

continued…

As for your humourous paragraph 3: My humourous response is as follows: Okay, so imagine you are not just an armchair critic of the White House, but actually working there. How exactly wuold you suggest they attempt to solve the world’s problems, and towards what end-goal? They would surely have to have everything from worst case scenario to best case scenario responses, which would need constant updating, depending on new information. How’s this for a humourous ‘Large Hadron Collider laugh a minute’ idea: Based on ‘shock-doctrine’, a fake ‘Bay of Pigs nuclear wake up call’, which gets the world rivetted to their television sets; and once resolved; a ‘We are sorry to inform you, that the nuclear alert was a joke; we wanted to get your attention.’ How do you imagine many people would respond? Those aware, might think it funny. Those unaware, may be livid! Very tricky, especially legally!!! Especially if some people think the intention was malicious, instead of sincere.

To conclude: I imagine it’s allot like being in a circus and walking on a tight-rope. And unlike circus fans, who are awed, by the tight-rope walkers balancing act, in reaching the other side; in the poltical circus (and more so in the White House political circus), often many of the fans, almost kind of want them to fall. And even when they do fall, and get back up again, and again—like Steve McQueen, in that movie where he is drunk and steals the change from a parking meter, and is told to dig ditches in jail, and the guards beat him up, and each time he just gets up again and again, not too different from that Monty Python skit, CNN showed about Hillary Clinton’s tenacity—how often, do they get an applause? They deserve an applause, or appreciation as much for what they are seen to do correctly, as they do for what they are disapproved of. Don’t they?

It’s not too different from being arm-chair warriors, criticising soldiers on the ground in a combat zone. It’s just a different kind of combat zone, a psychological one. I wouldn’t want the job, would you? However, if or where I am able to make my contribution, I attempt to do so. I imagine that is all any sincere politician can and would ask of the citizens, or voters in their particular constituency. I’d be curious about your opinions!

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By samosamo, June 26, 2008 at 5:56 pm Link to this comment

I believe Scott Ritter. He has the same quality of Keith Olbermann or should I say Olbermann has the same quality as Scott Ritter; a quality of bringing forth information that has a content that makes me believe both and in a manner that makes me believe there could be an end to all this madness.
And don’t be deceived by the msm, they will in most all likely hood not play this information for the masses and will actually try their damnest to switch it around to make Ritter the incompetent and albright the mentor, being just another republican trick.

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By Bu-SHIT-ler, June 26, 2008 at 5:30 pm Link to this comment

These people are so predictable… They can hire all the think thanks they need, consultants, brainwashed MDs, retired pro-war dinossaurs, and many other groups of evil conspirators, consisting of hundreds to thousands of parasitical terrorists running their little psychological schemes, and then polluting Americans’ minds with their “shit-for-brain excuses”. However, some of Us…ALONE (God’s Armies of One) can see through the evil minds of so many, and we’re able to piece together numerous human blunders (poorly executed conspiracies) before coming to a conclusion…it’s very simple…$$$...every step involved has to yield more $$$ into the long-run objective, to create more destruction, more death/genocide, more weapons, more wars, to a more more totalitarian-style of World government with e few bodies running the show. One by one you do not escape your altered destinies once you come to Our attention. All it takes is a simple word in your direction, a written observation, a TV appearance, a brainless expression. From then on, God’s wrath comes when you least expect…on the golf course (while your employees work like slaves for you to live a life of luxury), at your private parties (with your government whores in attendance ready for a bribe), on your private planes (they come down as easily as they go up…lol), etc, etc, etc. I can keep going on forever…the SHIT is so much in Washington, that our government has become corporate America’s whore, and in the end, we’re the ones getting sore…FKD!!!

The Culprits:

Federal Reserve   (Cosa Nostra)  $ $ $ $ $ $ $
Corporate America (Mob Bosses)    $ $ $ $ $ $
Investors       (Mob)        $ $ $ $ $
Wall Street     (Bookies)      $ $ $ $
Lobbyists       (Pimps)        $ $ $
Politicians     (Whores)        $ $
Americans       (Slaves)          $

As you can see from my 2nd diagram, the wealth is non-existant for majority of the people. Supposedly pyramid schemes are illegal in this country, but as you can clearly see, the system is clearly pyramid in form, at least when it comes to wealth. Americans are clearly the slaves, have to fight to be treated with respect, but the whores can do nothing because they’re enjoying bending over and grabbing their ankles. As a slap in the face to the whores, the mob bosses send employment overseas to countries where people are content to be slaves for even less. In addition, the whores are forced to put out in tax breaks and subsidies as a bonus for taking jobs away, creating poverty, increasing crime, keeping industrial military complex thriving, etc., etc., etc…at this rate, the end isn’t too far away for these individuals. As people with Souls get fed up, God’s wrath will only increase on Earth to defeat evil, and keep evil forces in check.

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By SamSnedegar, June 26, 2008 at 3:45 pm Link to this comment

Only thing I see wrong with this Ritter blast is that he never confesses that HE was a CIA plant on the inspection team, and he is another of those strange creatures which Greenspan noted NEVER TALK ABOUT OIL being “largely” the reason for our occupation of Iraq.

Information has a way of proving itself true or false over time, no matter the credentials and/or veracity of the reporter on other matters. In other words, the truth will be the truth no matter if it is stated by a saint or a sinner, and a lie will be proven in time to be false no matter whether the liar is a genius or a moron like our current President.

I don’t much care whether Ritter sandbags some pretender or not, but I’d prefer that he do so by proving various things said by the pretender are bullshit rather than attacking Albright’s education as if he couldn’t buy a PhD as easily as Bush bought a Masters. I don’t believe a DEGREE confers intelligence on ANYONE, including medical doctors, some of whom I have known to be stupid, and on the other hand, I don’t think Scotty’s lack of degrees makes his information less telling or important.

As the bard said, the truth will out, but I don’t think we need Scotty to sandbag Albright.

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By sophrosyne, June 26, 2008 at 2:15 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Scott has done us a major service in his article.  He is so right.  Phonies like Albright abound and the media, which has lost too much credibility, latches on to the sensational.

Does any suspect who the shadowy forces are behind third party reports?  We saw this before we attacked iraq and are seeing it again. Follow the money…who has an interest in the USA attacking Iran and the world suffering massive economic losses?  Who profits from continuing chaos in the ME?

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By psmealey, June 26, 2008 at 2:01 pm Link to this comment

Albright, operating under the guise of his creation, ISIS, has a track record of inserting hype and speculation about matters of great sensitivity in a manner which skews the debate toward the worst-case scenario. Over time Albright often moderates his position, but the original sensationalism still remains, serving the purpose of imprinting a negative image in the psyche of public opinion.

Ironic coming from a guy who has now been sounding the alarm non-stop for six years that the Bush Administration is weeks away from launching an attack on Iran.

Charitably, you can make a case that Ritter’s efforts may have actually prevented such a thing from coming to pass.  But in our collective zeal to find prominent opposing voices to the up is down insanity that is the Bush Administration, we sometimes are too quick to assign credibility to people that may have their own agendas or axes to grind.

That said, it doesn’t make him wrong, just makes me more skeptical about what he’s written.

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By ParanoidMystic, June 26, 2008 at 1:09 pm Link to this comment

What a staggering phony, this Dr. Albright.  Thank you for digging out and reporting the truth for us.  This website is real treasure.

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By SVANDUSEN, June 26, 2008 at 11:18 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

If Scott Ritter and others like him were given the mainstream media exposure that Dr.(?) Albright and his ilk have been given we might not have had to wait eight years to get George W. Bush out of the White House.  The media bears a heavy responsibility for conditioning the public to a “news as entertainment” mentality where celebrity status confers credibility and sensationalism outweighs substance and veracity.

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By dick, June 26, 2008 at 8:17 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Even the gods are egomaniacs, vain, and some are envious. As for us, consider Dr. Hagee, Dr. Albright, etc. Phonys abound, along with their mail-order degrees and expensive titles.

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By jackpine savage, June 26, 2008 at 6:23 am Link to this comment

But Albright plays a U.N. inspector on TV…and that’s plenty close enough for the vast majority of Americans.  After all, only smart, important people are allowed on TV, right?

And anyway, we elected a CEO president…even though he ran every business that he led into the ground.  Again, only smart, important people become CEO’s right?

Assuming we all make it out of this (and let’s be honest, the Large Hadron Collider creating a black hole that ends the world doesn’t seem so bad at this point), historians are going to have a field day with the lies, manipulations, and bad decisions.  They will analyze the years between 1992 and 2009 as the years where America’s Empire fell apart from mismanagement.  Hopefully things won’t be so terrible that i will be able to afford the books, ‘cause they’ll be a laugh a minute.

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