- Nov 17, 2002
Here is an interesting article about the Iraqi scientist who buried the centrifuge parts in his rose garden:
My take on the article: more evidence there was no revival of the Iraqi nukes program, and more evidence the Bush administration tries to manipulate intelligence to get the answers they want. It also supports the belief that our efforts to contain Iraq were effective. Finally, it's a shabby way to treat someone who helped us.Is Iraqi Intel Still Being Manipulated? The sad and secretive tale of an Iraqi scientist
His story seemed, in the beginning, a godsend for the Bush administration. In early June, Iraqi nuclear scientist Mahdi Obeidi revealed to CIA investigators that in 1991, just after the Persian Gulf War, he had gone into his backyard to bury gas-centrifuge equipment used to enrich uranium.
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But for the Bush administration, things quickly began to go wrong with the Obeidi story. True, Obeidi said he?d buried the centrifuge equipment, as he?d been ordered to do in 1991 by Saddam?s son Qusay Hussein and son-in-law Hussein Kamel. But he also insisted to the CIA that, in effect, that was that: Saddam had never reconstituted his centrifuge program afterward, in large part because of the Iraqi tyrant?s fear of being discovered under the U.N. sanctions-and-inspections regime. If true, this was a terribly inconvenient fact for the Bush administration, after months in which Secretary of State Colin Powell and other senior officials had alleged that aluminum tubes imported from 11 countries were intended for just such a centrifuge program. Obeidi denied that and added that he would have known about any attempts to restart the program. He also told the CIA that, as the International Atomic Energy Agency and many technical experts have said, the aluminum tubes were intended for rockets, not uranium enrichment or a nuclear-weapons program. And he stuck by his story, despite persistent questioning by CIA investigators who still believed he was not telling the full truth.
Soon, not only was Obeidi no longer a marquee name for the Bush team, he was incommunicado. Whisked off to a safe house in Kuwait, with no access to phones or the Internet, he waited in vain for what he thought had been offered to him: asylum in the United States and green cards granting permanent residency to him and his eight-member family.
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