Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Melanie Phillips Talks to General Georges Sada About the Lost WMD

Melanie Phillips recently met with General Georges Sada, former Air Vice Marshal in Saddam's Iraq, to discuss what he believes happened to the WMDs.

He also says that he lived and worked with the ever-present daily reality of Saddam's tactics of hiding his WMD from the weapons inspectors. Whole environments were transformed and rebuilt - buildings, whole factories - in the largely successful strategy of hiding the stuff. The idea that Saddam suddenly stopped hiding it and secretly destroyed it instead, he says, is utterly ludicrous. Hiding WMD was the unchanging pattern of his regime.

He has listened to the tapes that recently surfaced of Saddam's discussions with his top brass about the problems being caused by the UN weapons inspectors. He says the translations that have so far been made of these tapes are inadequate because the translators, who are of course Arabic speakers, do not however speak Tikriti Arabic, the dialect in which these discussions were conducted. Sada does speak Tikriti. He has translated a crucial three and a half minutes of these tapes, he says, in which Saddam and his generals are discussing how to outwit the UN inspectors; in which they say that the problem of the chemical weapons is solved but the biological are still causing a problem; that this problem will probably be solved with the help of the Russians and the French; and in which Saddam says: 'In the future the terrorism will be with WMD'.

In April 2004, a group of al Qaeda terrorists was caught in Jordan with 20 tons of Sarin gas. When Sada heard of this, he says, his blood ran cold. There was only one place which was capable of producing 20 tons of Sarin: Saddam's Iraq. To his horror, he says, he realised at that moment that Saddam's WMD had got into the hands of al Qaeda.

Earlier this year, Sada was interrogated about his claims by the American House Intelligence committee, to whom he gave the names of the Iraqi pilots. Subsequently, he says, the Committee went to Iraq and spoke to the pilots. The result, he says, is that a major American investigative and diplomatic effort is now under way to finally locate the missing WMD.

But in Britain, I say, people now firmly believe that there were no WMD and that we were taken to war on a lie. Sada looks utterly flabbergasted. 'How can they possibly think that?' he asks in bewilderment and anger, and puts his head in his hands.
I've formerly discussed Georges Sada and his claims about the WMD here.

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