Memo To: Sen. Carl Levin [D MI]
From: Jude Wanniski
Re: David Kay is a Snake
You may remember, Senator, last June I posted a memo here to you when I heard you were planning to investigate Iraq. At the time, I urged you to also investigate David Kay, who had been named by CIA Director George Tenet to head for Iraq and look for the weapons of mass destruction that neither the United Nations inspectors nor the U.S. military could find. Now you had him testify today and I note all the anti-war folks are cheering because he says he could not find any WMD and that he thinks U.S. intelligence is to blame for thinking he did have WMD. Of course he had to say all this because he could not find any evidence of Iraqi weapons OR OF IRAQI WEAPONS PROGRAMS, as it has become clear there were neither dating back to 1991, when the last vestiges of the "programs" Iraq had in the 1980s during its war with Iran were destroyed at the orders of the United Nations Security Council. What Kay is doing instead is to argue before your committee that Saddam was actively engaged in thinking about reconstituting WMD as soon as he had the chance, and it was a good thing to go to war to cut him off at the pass.
This is all the Pentagon hawks need out of Kay, which is how he was set up to begin with as the Snoop who would lead a massive Survey Group into Iraq to find WMD which the intelligence services must have known they would not find. Why? Because when Kamal Hussein, Saddam's son-in-law, defected in 1995, he spilled the beans on the programs Saddam had engaged in during the 1980's and where there were still precursor chem/bio agents stashed away. But it was clear back then to the CIA and DIA that once the chem/bio agents were destroyed, Saddam could not reconstitute them without building an industrial capability that they knew had not taken place. UNSCOM's chief weapons inspector said so in 1998, when he was trying to close the books on Iraq by finding those remaining "agents" that had not yet been accounted for.
Ritter argued that Iraq had been qualitatively disarmed and was no threat to anyone, but his mission was to "quantitatively" disarm Iraq, and that the CIA and State Department were interfering with that mission. You should really get Ritter before your committee. He was a hero to the warhawks in 1998 when he blasted the State Department for interfering with his mission, but had to be demonized by the hawks when it became clear he wasn't really saying war was necessary to disarm Saddam. I recall David Kay dropping poison on Ritter in late 2002, before a congressional committee, saying Ritter was either lying in 1998 or lying in 2002. It was too complicated for Congress to figure out.
You might also ask George Tenet back, to find out why Kay was picked for the assignment. He has a PhD in something. Political science? Public Relations? But nothing close to training in nuclear, chemical or biological science. He did work in a bureaucratic capacity for Hans Blix in the 1980's, but was let go for reasons not clear, but certainly not in Kay's favor. Kay is also sometimes listed as having been UNSCOM's chief weapons inspector in 1991-92, but he never worked a day in his life for UNSCOM. The highest rank he had was as deputy director of the IAEA team in Iraq for nine months in '91-92. Check it out.
As a reminder... here is last June's memo...
Hans Blix and David Kay
Jun 30 2003
Memo To: Sen. Carl Levin [D MI]
From: Jude Wanniski
Re: Please Check Out David Kay
Iíve heard that you are planning to have the Democrats on the Senate Armed Services Committee investigate Iraq, as Chairman John Warner does not seem very enthusiastic about turning over any rocks on this subject, fearing what may crawl out. While you are at it, I would hope you might check out David Kay, who has been named by CIA Director George Tenet to head up a team that will now fan out over Iraq in search of those elusive weapons of mass destruction. On the surface, at least, it seems to me that Kay has already been compromised ≠ if he worked for the CIA at the same time he was a UN weapons inspector some years back. Here is a column that appeared over the weekend on worldnetdaily.com by Dr. Gordon Prather, who has had his eye on David Kay for several months, wondering how he ever got to be an inspector in the first place. As far as I can tell, Prather is the only observer who seems to know whatís going on here. He is a nuclear physicist who was the army's chief scientist in the Reagan years.
* * * * *
Hans Blix' Swan Song
By Gordon Prather
June 28, 2003
Hope you watched Hans Blix on TV this week, either being interviewed by Charlie Rose or on C-SPAN. You need to hear what Blix says with your own ears. The media elite frequently perhaps deliberately incorrectly reports what he says.
Some had it that Blix, retiring this month as chairman of the U.N. Monitoring and Verification Commission on Iraq, had blasted the Bush-Cheney administration in those interviews.
Blix didn't blast Bush-Cheney, even though he justifiably could have.
"High level officials" -- in both the Bush-Cheney and Clinton-Gore administrations -- and their media sycophants have been waging a jihad against Blix for years, mostly for his stewardship from 1981 until 1997 as director general of the U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency.
Because those officials wanted above all else to depose Saddam Hussein, and they knew that most of us wouldn't support a pre-emptive strike against Saddam unless we believed he was about to nuke us in our jammies.
But, before leaving the IAEA, Blix had reported that Saddam had never come close to producing enough fissile material to make even one nuke and that his multi-billion-dollar nuke-development program had been utterly destroyed, either in the Gulf War or by the IAEA in the years thereafter.
So, the warhawks had to discredit Blix. Incompetent. Hadn't discovered that Saddam Hussein had an illicit nuke program before the Gulf War. Hadn't discovered, much less destroyed, all the elements of it after the war.
Of course, ferreting out illicit nuke programs is not the IAEA's job. That's a job for our "intelligence community," and their nuke assessments were as wrong on the eve of Bush-Quayle's Operation Desert Storm as they are turning out to be for Bush-Cheney's Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Which brings us to attempts by David Kay to discredit his former boss, Hans Blix.
David Kay was a U.N. bureaucrat -- an IAEA section chief -- from 1983 until 1991. Then he served briefly, from April 1991 until January 1992, as deputy director of the IAEA Iraq Action Team.
Remember the televised Iraqi-IAEA standoff in the parking lot?
There were reports that Kay was "fired" soon after "because of his connections with the U.S. intelligence community."
In subsequent interviews, Kay admitted that he made what he called a "Faustian bargain" with the intelligence community:
"Once you were dealing in a clandestine, competitive environment, you needed access to satellite photography, access to signals intercept, access to measurements of [radioactivity] leakage and contamination from the programs, so you could identify where it is.
"Access to defectors -- who, after all, were not defecting to the U.N.; they were defecting to national governments -- to use them.
"So, from the very beginning, you needed that expertise; but I can say for myself personally -- and I'm really only comfortable talking about myself -- although a number of us discussed this in the early days, I realize it was always a bargain with the Devil -- spies spying."
Although Blix publicly denied that Kay was "fired," it's very clear that Blix would never have countenanced such "Faustian" bargains by one of his underlings.
How did Kay repay Blix for defending him? Well, he repeatedly testified before congressional committees in the months preceding Operation Iraqi Freedom as to the ineptness of Blix and the U.N. inspection regimes. Kay argued that Saddam certainly had "weapons of mass destruction" that the UN inspectors would never find and that it would ultimately be necessary to invade and occupy Iraq to find them.
Wait a minute. Isn't that the same David Kay that CIA Director Tenet has just put in charge of finding those WMDs that even the U.S. occupation force has been searching for and can't find?
Yes, it is.
And didn't Kay just claim to have found an important cache of nuke stuff that Blix and ElBaradei missed? Engineering drawings for a "sub-critical" gas centrifuge, buried in 1991 before the IAEA got to Iraq?
Yes, but Blix knew the Iraqis hadn't given him all the drawings, and noted in his 1997 report:
"However, since the IAEA has assessed as credible Iraq's claim to have successfully developed and tested a single cylinder sub-critical centrifuge machine which could have been exploited to produced highly enriched uranium in weapon-significant amounts, the recovery of the drawings would do little to change the assessment of Iraq's capabilities in this area."
And what was that assessment?
That Saddam had never come close to producing enough fissile material to make even one nuke.
* * * * *
Physicist James Gordon Prather has served as a policy implementing official for national security-related technical matters in the Federal Energy Agency, the Energy Research and Development Administration, the Department of Energy, the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Department of the Army. Dr. Prather also served as legislative assistant for national security affairs to U.S. Sen. Henry Bellmon, R-Okla. -- ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee and member of the Senate Energy Committee and Appropriations Committee. Dr. Prather had earlier worked as a nuclear weapons physicist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California and Sandia National Laboratory in New Mexico.