Voice from the Commonwealth
Commentary, World Views and Occasional Rants from a small 'l' libertarian in Massachussetts

"If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest for freedom, go home and leave us in peace. We seek not your council nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." - Samuel Adams

Tuesday, February 18, 2003

Hussain Al Shahristani, former chief scientific advisor to the Iraqi Atomic Energy Commission, says Saddam's WMD programs are deep underground.

A former top Iraqi scientist said on Tuesday he believed Saddam Hussein had dismantled his nuclear program but was making chemical and biological weapons that were hidden deep underground beyond the eyes of U.N. inspectors.

"There's no way that they can really find them, unless by pure accident," Shahristani, a former chief scientific advisor to the Iraqi Atomic Energy Commission, told a briefing organized by an association of foreign journalists in the Philippines.

"These materials are hidden deep underground or in a tunnel system."

"My understanding is that the nuclear program has been, for all practical purposes, dismantled," he said. "But the program to produce chemical and biological weapons continued even during the years when the inspectors were in Iraq in the 1990s."

Shahrastani quoted his informants as saying Saddam was banking on 50,000 to 100,000 soldiers to defend the city, but the scientist doubted they would fight to the last man.

"Based on contacts that we are having with the people inside Iraq, who are talking with the military all the time, the general understanding of the population now is that the army is not going to fight," he said. "The army is not going to defend Saddam."

< email | 2/18/2003 10:59:00 AM | link

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