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Geoff Metcalf
March 10, 2003

“Without seeking, truth cannot be known at all. It can neither be declared from pulpits, nor set down in articles, nor in any wise prepared and sold in packages ready for use, Truth must be ground for every man by itself out of its husk, with such help as he can get, indeed, but not without stern labor of his own.”    --John Ruskin

Chief UN weapons inspector Hans Blix has proven himself to be a disingenuous, duplicitous slug, and reportedly US officials are p.o.-ed about his fictional objectivity.

Blix apparently didn’t bother to inform the Security Council about an Iraqi remotely piloted drone in his oral presentation to Foreign Ministers.  Rather, a report declassified by the UN recently contained the hidden bombshell of omission.  Buried in a 173-page single-spaced epic is the epiphany that inspectors had recently found an undeclared Iraqi drone with a wingspan of 7.45m. 

What’s the big whoop?  It suggests an illegal range that could threaten Iraq’s neighbors with chemical and biological weapons.

US officials were irate that Blix did not inform the Security Council about the drone and apparently tried to sequester the report in the 173-page single spaced tome.

Honoré De Balzac once said, “A flow of words is a sure sign of duplicity.”

According to the report, “Recent inspections have also revealed the existence of a drone with a wingspan of 7.45m that has not been declared by Iraq.”  Although they don’t report the capabilities or specifications of the drones, Iraq is restricted from having them by the same UN rules as missiles (which limit range to about 92-miles).

In February Secretary of State Colin Powell told the Security Council Washington had evidence that Iraq had test-flown a drone in a race-track pattern for 500km non-stop.  Blix documented the claim but didn’t feel compelled to tell anyone.

So what you ask?  Connect the dots.  Elsewhere in the labyrinth of words inspectors give warning that Iraq still has spraying devices and drop tanks that could be used in dispersing chemical and biological agents from aircraft. “A large number of drop tanks of various types, both imported and locally manufactured, are available and could be modified,” it says.  Gosh-oh-gee-golly….and Hans didn’t think that sufficiently salient to articulate to the Security Council when he spoke to them?

“The truths we accept are so multiple that honesty becomes little more than a strategy by which you manage your tendencies toward duplicity.” noted cultural scholar Ann Douglas.

The report also details the possible chemical and biological arsenal that British and US Forces could face in an invasion of Iraq.  Reportedly,

·        Iraq has huge stockpiles of anthrax

·        May be developing long-range missiles

·        Could possess chemical and biological R400 aerial bombs

·        Scud missiles,

·        And even smallpox. 

Any non-French, German or Iraqi member of the Security Council would probably find those facts significant.

General Powell was compelled to resort to reading passages from the paper out loud in the Council chamber. He pointed out that it chronicled

  • Nearly 30 times when Iraq had failed to provide credible evidence to substantiate its claims
  • 17 instances when inspectors uncovered evidence that contradicted those claims.
  • However, Powell’s draft copy (from a meeting of the inspectors’ advisory board last week) did not contain the crucial passage about the new drone.

The Blix decision to declassify the internal report is the first time the UN has made public its suspicions about Iraq’s banned weapons programs, rather than what it has been able to actually confirm. 

An obvious questions is why declassify a report that (when the details were read) would come back and bite him so hard? 

·     “Unmovic has credible information that the total quantity of biological warfare agent in bombs, warheads and in bulk at the time of the Gulf War was 7,000 liters more than declared by Iraq.

·     This additional agent was most likely all anthrax,” it says.

·     There is “credible information” indicating that 21,000 liters of biological warfare agent

·     Including some 10,000 liters of anthrax, was stored in bulk at locations around the country during the war

·     And was never destroyed.

·     “Some” reassurance about Iraq’s missing botulinum toxin which Unmovic believed is “unlikely to retain much, if any, of its potency” if it has been stockpiled since 1991.

John Ruskin once observed, “The essence of lying is in deception, not in words.”

Recently a well intended friend was asking why go after Iraq when North Korea is rattling nuclear sabers so loudly?  My response was and is; we should have already finished with Iraq and now be engaged in dulling the North Korean sabers before they fuel their nuclear arsenal. 

© 2003 Geoff Metcalf - All Rights Reserved

Geoff is a veteran media performer. He has had an eclectic professional background covering a wide spectrum of radio, television, magazine, and newspapers.  A former Green Beret and retired Army officer he is in great demand as a speaker. Metcalf has hosted his radio talk show on the ABC/Disney owned and operated KSFO and in worldwide syndication.