Mohammed El Baradei and The International Atomic Energy Agency have produced a phony letter (apparently from a Mohammed J. Abbas) to undermine the American election. Just as an Islamist bomb was used in Madrid to undermine the Spanish election, so it seems that Islamist interests have produced a New York Times bomb to attempt to undermine the re-election of George Bush.
El Baradei is no friend of the US, and this is the second occasion in which phony documents on Iraq have been used in an attempt to influence US opinion. Both attempts found a willing assistant in the New York Times, just as the phony Rathergate memos found a willing accomplice in CBS.
The Phony Story
The phony story is that 380 tons of explosives, out of 600,000 tons of explosives (Wretchard, via LGF) dispersed throughout Iraq by Saddam Hussein, were looted from a place called Al Qa Qaa because US troops did not guard the place properly. The story is false, as well as trivial.
Cliff May of NRO on the phony memo that started NYTrogate, from a source in the US government:
“The Iraqi explosives story is a fraud. These weapons were not there when US troops went to this site in 2003. The IAEA and its head, the anti-American Mohammed El Baradei, leaked a false letter on this issue to the media to embarrass the Bush administration. The US is trying to deny El Baradei a second term and we have been on his case for missing the Libyan nuclear weapons program and for weakness on the Iranian nuclear weapons program.”
The thought that “looters” made off with the weapons is laughable, as Captain Ed demonstrates, conjuring up images of dozens of guys spending many weeks filling hundreds of pickup trucks with bombs as the Army was on KP duty, or some such nonsense. The idea that Saddam dispersed his weapons is logical, just as he may have done with his WMD. The idea that Mohammed El Baradei kept “quiet since learning of it from Iraqi authorities Oct. 10 to give the U.S.-led multinational force and Iraq’s interim government ‘an opportunity to attempt to recover the explosives before this matter was put into the public domain’” is ridiculous, given who El Baradei is and what his agenda is.
Who is Mohammed El Baradei?
Mohammed El Baradei, pictured above recently in Iran, is the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency operation of the UN. At best he is an adversary of the United States; at worst an enemy. He is an Egyptian, who began his career in 1964, under the Arab Socialist Nasser, in the Egyptian Diplomatic Service in New York and Geneva, where he served during both of Egypt’s wars against Israel, the six-day war of 1967 and the 1973 war waged by Anwar Sadat. It is apparent that El Baradei sides with those opposing us in the war against Islamofascism. (We’re not surprised to have discovered that he has a law degree from NYU by the way.) He opposed the Iraq War, and is helping Iran get nuclear weapons. Roger Simon in June:
UN nuclear watchdog Mohammed El Baradei says “the jury is still out” on whether the Mullahs are seeking the bomb.
Yeah, fat chance. El Baradei helped Iran buy time by assisting Iran in playing France, Britain and Germany for fools, telling them that Iran “was cooperating better with global non-proliferation efforts and voiced confidence that it would make good on a pledge to suspend uranium enrichment activities.” That was April, but now things are different, from ABC:
TEHRAN, Iran Oct 24, 2004 — A uranium conversion facility in Iran is nearing completion, a top official said Sunday, only days after European countries offered a deal in which Iran would reportedly have to give up all nuclear activities. State-run radio quoted Mohammed Ghannadi, second in charge of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, as saying the Isfahan uranium conversion facility in central Iran was nearing completion. “The Isfahan UCF facility is operational by 70 percent right now,” Ghannadi told 21 lawmakers during a visit to the plant, which Iranian officials said was inaugurated in March.
Even putting the best possible explanation on El Baradei’s motives makes him an adversary of the United States, as Tom McGuire demonstrates.
The Niger Sting
Mohammed El Baradei also played a role in the true story of Iraq seeking yellowcake from Iraq. He sought to discredit American and British intelligence on the Niger story, by coming up with — get this: a phony memo:
In March ElBaradei told the Security Council that documents that said Iraq tried to procure uranium from Niger were crude forgeries.
You will recall that the New York Times played a leading role in hyping that story as well, publishing the allegations of the once-famous Joseph Wilson in an op-ed piece.
Well, it turns out the story about Niger and yellowcake were true, but the “crude forgeries” were produced by agents of France, seeking to undermine the US case for war, according to the Telegraph:
The Italian businessman at the centre of a furious row between France and Italy over whose intelligence service was to blame for bogus documents suggesting Saddam Hussein was seeking to buy material for nuclear bombs has admitted that he was in the pay of France. The man, identified by an Italian news agency as Rocco Martino, was the subject of a Telegraph article earlier this month in which he was referred to by his intelligence codename, “Giacomo”.
His admission to investigating magistrates in Rome on Friday apparently confirms suggestions that – by commissioning “Giacomo” to procure and circulate documents – France was responsible for some of the information later used by Britain and the United States to promote the case for war with Iraq. Italian diplomats have claimed that, by disseminating bogus documents stating that Iraq was trying to buy low-grade “yellowcake” uranium from Niger, France was trying to “set up” Britain and America in the hope that when the mistake was revealed it would undermine the case for war, which it wanted to prevent.
The International Atomic Energy Agency is Lying
The International Atomic Energy Agency, headed by the self-same Mohammed El Baradei, said this to the New York Times:
The United Nations inspectors disdained by the Bush administration had managed to monitor the explosives for years. But they vanished soon after the United States took over the job.
But this is not what the US soldiers on the ground saw (NYT):
A senior Bush administration official said that during the initial race to Baghdad, American forces “went through the bunkers, but saw no materials bearing the I.A.E.A. seal.”
And, courtesy of NZ Bear:
This matches perfectly with the NBC story: NBC News reported that on April 10, 2003, its crew was embedded with the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Division when troops arrived at the Al Qaqaa storage facility south of Baghdad. While the troops found large stockpiles of conventional explosives, they did not find HMX or RDX, the types of powerful explosives that reportedly went missing, according to NBC.
And MSNBC today:
An NBC News crew that accompanied the U.S. soldiers who seized the base three weeks into the war confirmed that troops saw no sign of the missing HMX and RDX.
Here’s a link to NBC’s more nuanced take today. Here are some more reports from the soldiers who were there in April 2003, via Kerry Spot. And here’s a further link from Captain Ed, noting that CBS documented Army searches of Al Qa Qaa as part of the search for WMD — which some of the material found there appeared to be.
So someone is lying: either the US military and the NBC crew embedded with them, or Mohammed El Baradei and the United Nations. Not a tough call.
We note for the record that the Times has been on a pathetic climb-down from its original story almost from the moment the story appeared on Monday. See Hugh Hewitt, Tom McGuire, Captain Ed, and I’m sure there will be many others in the next couple of days, such as Ralph Peters’ great deconstruction of events here.
Time to Out Mohammed El Baradei
Cliiff May also sees El Baradei as central to this scandal. The CIA and the Mossad must have tapes of this fellow, demonstrating his unwholesome activities regarding US interests. It would be nice to land an October surprise on him.
ADDENDEM: for a humorous take on that October Surprise, please see my related post called The Sting.