Memorandum from Dr Kamil Mahdi
1. Is it not correct that no new banned
weapons were discovered in Iraq by UN weapons inspectors after
1994 with the exception of the Al-Samoud missiles (the illegality
of which was questionable)? Does that not confirm the public statements
made in exile in 1995 by the former head of the Iraqi military
industrialisation commission, the man responsible for managing
the non-conventional weapons programme, Hussain Kamil?
2. Hussain Kamil repeatedly spoke to the
world's media and he was also interviewed by UNSCOM and UK and
UK intelligence agencies. What information was gained from his
3. Hussain Kamil told the respected Arabic
daily Alhayat 25/8/95 (my translation): "Baghdad accepted
Security Council Resolutions relating to WMD and other matters
but tried to wriggle out of this acceptance and of the implementation
of the resolutions, and for years it has tried not to reveal armaments'
secrets. It covered up information on missiles, chemical weapons,
and nuclear and biological programmes leading to direct repercussion
upon Iraq through the continuation of the sanctions and the loss
of the credibility of the Iraqi state; for Baghdad used to announce
that there was nothing left, and was subsequently announcing the
opposite. All those programmes (chemical, biological and nuclear)
and armaments have been destroyed, so what is the advantage of
hiding documents from the UN? . . . (emphasis added) The regime
hid armaments information in the belief that history will vindicate
it, and that Iraq will one day return to being a fighting state.
The objective was clear which is to once again return to Kuwait
and enter Saudi Arabia."
4. Was it not likely that all weapons were
destroyed between 1991 and 1994? And was it not evident that inspection
and monitoring would have been sufficient to control the inevitable
weapons capability that goes with much of modern industry?
5. On 3 September 1995, there was a report
also in Alhayat on Hussain Kamil's meeting with Rolf Ekeus in
which Kamil revealed the presence of an Iraqi spy who was a translator
in the UN mission. Suspecting that Ekeus's translator that day
was the spy, Kamil refused to meet in his presence. On 13 September,
Alhayat reported that the translator in question (a Palestinian)
was not in fact the spy, but that the alleged spy was an older
Palestinian/Syrian who was in New York. The episode reflects that
Hussain Kamil did not want Baghdad to know what he was telling
Ekeus, and strengthens his credibility as a witness at that time.
6. How can it be that the head of the weapons
programme defected, revealed hidden documents, capabilities and
past programmes and yet Iraq could still be construed as an imminent
danger requiring a devastating war?
7. Is it not evident that the weapons were
an excuse for a new colonial adventure? Should the British government
not be held to account for all this death and destruction, and
should Iraq not receive reparations from Britain and the US?
Dr Kamil Mahdi
Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies
University of Exeter
17 June 2003