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Monday, June 14, 2004

UN Officer Clarifies World Tribune Story: Esoteric * Fact Finding

Many of you may have read the June 11th story on World Tribune which boldly declared:
The United Nations has determined that Saddam Hussein shipped weapons of mass destruction components as well as medium-range ballistic missiles before, during and after the U.S.-led war against Iraq in 2003.
Full Story
As with any news I read on the internet that is not easily verified elsewhere, I went to the source to get to the bottom of the story. I contacted the UN (by email), referenced the article, and asked whether any of the World Tribune Story was true? UNMOVIC Public Information Officer Ewen Buchanan responded saying, "In some parts its true, elsewhere not (for example the 2003 claim)."

Buchanan continued saying:
We at UNMOVIC have not claimed that WMD, missiles or dual-use equipment and materials were being deliberately hidden from inspectors in scrap yards outside of Iraq. From our investigations, which are still ongoing, it would appear that the equipment found to date was taken out of Iraq for its scrap value, along with several hundred tons of scrap material that leaves Iraq each day for Jordan. The scrap traders in Jordan tell us that they sort, recycle and sell on all the material they receive within a month of its arrival (that's how they make their money). So, it would seem that the items which had previously been subject to monitoring by UNMOVIC in Iraq, and have recently been seen in Jordan and the Netherlands by my inspector colleagues, have come out of Iraq fairly recently.
Buchanan pointed out that their investigations are still ongoing and that there is much still to be uncovered.

More proof that you can't believe everything you read on the internet... but rest assured, Esoteric * Diatribe is committed to bringing you the truth. Especially about waffles.

For more information on this story check out: and look for the latest report to the Security Council.

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