Just recently, Saddam Hussein's former southern regional commander, Gen. Al-Tikriti, gave the first videotaped testimony confirming that Iraq had WMDs up to the American invasion in 2003 and that Russia helped removed them prior to the war. His testimony confirms numerous other sources that have pointed to Russia's secret alliance with Iraq and the co-ordinated moving of WMDs before the American liberation. Today we've invited three experts on this subject to discuss the details of Al-Tikriti's testimony and its larger significance.
Our guests today are: John Loftus, president of the Intelligence Summit, a non-profit, non-partisan charity to support our intelligence community and a frequent commentator on terrorism for network news. For 25 years, he has been a pro bono lawyer for whistleblowers inside US and NATO intelligence. He held a Q clearance for nuclear weapons, special access to NATO Cosmic, and a codeword clearance for special intelligence. He handled intelligence research for the US Justice Dept. during the Carter and Reagan administrations. Paul (Dave) Gaubatz, a former U.S. Federal Agent (Arabic linguist/counter-terrorist specialist) who was deployed to Iraq at the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom. His mission was to search for WMDs. Four sites he identified were not searched by ISG (Iraq Survey Group) and he has waged a three year battle to get them searched. He is currently the Chief Investigator with the Dallas County Medical Examiner, Dallas, TX. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. Ryan Mauro, who spoke at the recent 2006 International Intelligence Summit on Iraq. He is the 19-year old author of Death to America: The Unreported Battle of Iraq and founder of WorldThreats.com. He was originally hired at age 16 as a geopolitical analyst for Tactical Defense Concepts. He is also a volunteer analyst and researcher for the Northeast Intelligence Network and the Reform Party of Syria and believed to be the youngest hired geopolitical analyst in the country. He can be contacted at TDCAnalyst@aol.com.
FP: Dave Gaubatz, Ryan Mauro and John Loftus, welcome to Frontpage Sympsoium.
Ryan Mauro, your site just recently ran the first videotaped testimony, never-before-seen, of Gen. Al-Tikriti (covered in silhouette and voice modified) discussing how Iraq had WMDs and Russia's role in removing them prior to the war.
Tell us about it.
Mauro: General Al-Tikriti was known as the "Butcher of Basra" and was a southern regional commander for Saddam Hussein, a friend of his. He defected shortly before the Gulf War but has maintained contacts inside Iraq ever since, including weapons scientists.
He has confirmed in previous interviews that Iraq sent nuclear scientists and technology to Libya in the mid-1990s to continue his WMD programs, and that Syria is the holding place for Iraqi WMD today. He said that he had first-hand knowledge of discussions between Iraq and Syria to send their weapons programs to the other for safe harbor, should either Baghdad or Damascus be threatened with occupation.
In this videotape, he has his voice modified and face blacked out. However, I have sources who were at the taping, and who confirmed with the Iraqi embassy that he is legit. In this tape, he confirms that Russia had a secret alliance with Iraq, and that plans were developed to remove WMD from Iraq before an invasion. The Russians obviously wanted to cover their tracks.
FP: John Loftus what do you think of this videotape? And what do your sources tell you about Russia's secret alliance with Iraq and the plans to remove WMDs before the American invasion?
Loftus: At first, there was more than a bit of skepticism. Some of my sources reported that the general had left Iraq three years earlier, and so was not in a position to know anything first hand. However, other sources say that Ryan found a bit of a gem here, and the story is legit.
It all is just a piece in the bigger puzzle, a tile in the mosaic of intelligence analysis. John Shaw, who was a deputy to the undersecretary of defense at the time of the Iraq invasion, corroborates Ryan's thesis outright. Shaw told a shocked audience at the Intelligence Summit that he had numerous UK and Ukranian sources track Russian Spetznatz units down into Iraq. It was these Russian special forces who moved the WMD to Syria.
All the pieces fit, the Russians threw sand in our eyes. They moved the WMD across the border while we went digging holes in the desert. Nice allies.
FP: These revelations destroy the Left's main arguments and vindicate the Bush administration. Why isn't the administration talking about this? Are we afraid of a confrontation with the Russians? Are we going to do anything about this?
Mr. Gaubatz? Before you help us with some of these questions, tell us about what your own sources are saying.
Gaubatz: My sources confirm much of the information that is stated by the individual who claims to be "General Al-Tikriti", but they are suspicious of anyone they can't see or can't hear in their natural voice. Arabic is such a distinctive language that native Arabic speakers can tell a lot about the person by the words, tone, and mannerisms displayed during the conversation. There is little doubt Saddam had WMDs and that the Russians were involved in hiding them and possibly also removing them.
I feel Mr. Loftus, Mr. Mauro, myself, and many others realize WMDs were/are in Iraq, but to convince others is difficult. This silhouette will not do it (again I am not a disbeliever). During the last two months I have had conversations with Congressman Curt Weldon, Congressman Pete Hoekstra, their staff, and even arranged to have three of the original Iraqi sources brought to the Congressmen's office for debriefings (ref:) This still hasn't resulted in suspected WMD sites from being searched in Iraq.
Based on my extensive conversations with the Congressmen and their staff, they are afraid that if they searched the suspected sites in Iraq that I identified, and the WMD has been removed by terrorists, it would destroy the upcoming elections for the Republican Party. If it was done three years ago (as I tried to get done), we would all know. Now politics is involved. We have a tough fight ahead.
FP: Thank you.
Mauro: The reason General Al-Tikriti's testimony needs to be heard is because he was in a position to know what would happen in the event of an invasion of Iraq and plans to hide WMD, and because we have additional information from people like General Georges Sada, the former #2 man in Saddam's air force; Jack Shaw, as Mr. Loftus pointed out; and Ion Pacepa, the former chief of Romanian intelligence, who described plans for Russia to activate a plan to move and hide WMDs out of their rogue state allies should a Western invasion be feared.
While he defected in 1990, it appears that defectors are often better at obtaining information from inside tyrannical regimes than the CIA is. I agree with Mr. Gaubatz that this silhouette won't convince the masses. I've conveyed that concern to Al-Tikriti and discussions are underway to reveal more of what he knows and how best to move forward. I am also working on several other stories that may bring forth additional evidence of a WMD transfer to Syria. A summary of most of the evidence can be seen in my previous FrontPage interview.
The release of documents found in Iraq could be promising as well. In one translated document, we see that the Chinese had information regarding a transfer to Syria, and asked the Germans, specifically Schroeder, about it, who dismissed the idea. Some of the best information and tips I've received have come from readers of my work, and hopefully, if anyone has additional information, they'll email me as well.
FP: John Loftus, a comment on the discussion thus far? And what fight do we have ahead now?
Loftus: What fight? I don't see anyone with a will to fight. Seems like this administration just surrendered to the Russians and Chinese on the Iran vote. The UN sanctions resolution against Iran will not even mention Chapter 42 military sanctions, only Chapter 41. It seems we need Russian votes so badly against Iran, that we are willing to "forget" Russian involvement in Iraq. Some of us remember.
"Someone" in Russia illegally moved advanced Kornet anti-tank missiles into Iraq just before the war. The only two Abrams tanks penetrated were due to these Russian-made hand-held Kornet misssiles. In violation of all international prohibitions against Arms trading with Iraq, the Russians sold Saddam the Kornet, the only missile capable of destroying American tanks.
The Americans used to own the night, due to our night vision equipment, but "someone" in Russia sold the latest version to the insurgents. The list of passive aggressive hostile actions goes on and on. In the first hour of the war, "someone" in Russia electronically jammed our Patriot anti-missile systems causing our rockets to go way of course.
The Kremlin would have us believe that these incidents were caused by corrupt civilians, not by the Russian military. Of course, the Russians count as civilians anyone who temporarily swaps their uniform for civvies, such as the Spetznatz units in Iraq. Do the Russians think we are stupid?
Every senior member of a Western, European or Asian intelligence service whom I have ever met all agree that the Russians moved the last of the WMDs out of Iraq in the last few months before the war. A Syrian journalist who defected to Paris brought with him a map of where the Russians buried the WMDs. Our spy satellites confirmed a huge volume of military trucks and chemical trucks moving into Syria before the war. Do the Russians think we are stupid?
The Russians sold their WMD support to Saddam for oil. That is why Russia got more illegal oil payments from Saddam than all nations on earth combined. The Russians did for Saddam what they did for every Eastern European country they evacuated: they sent in Spetznatz units to shred all records of Russian involvement and truck the WMDs back to Russia.
The problem is only partly with a lazy and indolent media. The problem is that this State Department has decided that all Russian peccadillos must be overlooked for the greater good of preventing Iran from getting WMDs. I think Rumsfled was right when he said that we need an American desk at the State Department. I like Condi and I even liked Colin, but neither of them have tamed the beast of appeasement that dwells in foggy bottom. That is why nothing is ever done about Russian involvement in hiding Iraqi WMD, or anything else. This administration is begging the Russians for votes on Iran. No matter how much we offer, we will never get them.
The Pentagon knows the truth about appeasement and is planning for war. The Iranians know we know and they are planning for war too, only a war against Israel. Kill a few Jews and the Americans will back off is the Iranian game plan. Iran's paid stooges, Hezbollah and Hamas, may have already received some of the Syrian stockpile of Saddams WMDs. I toured the Israeli defenses on the border with Lebanon and the Golan heights, and the IDF officers there are preparing for the day when Saddam's "missing" chemical and biological weapons start showing up in force. I wish the White House was as ready.
FP: This is truly a depressing picture. The Russians, if this is all true, are literally our enemies. The Cold War never ended. We just got the War on Terror on top of it now.
Gaubatz: The interview with General Al-Tikriti needs to be shown, but it would be much better if he would not disguise his voice. I can somewhat understand a silhouette, but see no purpose in disguising his voice. His voice could be analyzed by experts and more people would support our beliefs.
In my intelligence reports during the war I advised all Departments of DOD, DOJ, CIA, etc.... that not only were the Russians involved in many aspects of daily life in Iraq (weapons factories, businesses, supplying non conventional technology/weapons to Iraq) but the Iranians were coming into southern Iraq by the thousands. There was no intelligence failure, only an intelligence dissemination failure.
I have been fighting a 3 year battle to have four suspected WMD sites inspected in southern Iraq. It is unbelievable what I am having to go through. When I speak to Congressmen they want to know what evidence I have to support my claim. I am not a man who normally curses, but "hell" my evidence is ME! The U.S. Government (which most days includes Congressmen) handpicked me to deploy to Iraq specifically to look for WMD. They spent several hundred thousand dollars to send me to 2500 hours of Arabic language instruction, 3 week immersion tours in Jordan, months in Saudi Arabia. I had worked counter-terrorism and counter-intelligence for 15 plus years, and had a Top Secret/SCI clearance. Again, "hell", but all I should have had to do is say I have a "gut feeling" WMD may be at a certain location and the place should have been torn apart. Yet, I provided everything imaginable and can't get them searched.
I can't quit until I pound the media a bit. I read and watch all news everyday, and just shake my head at some of the crap. We have spent weeks on the NSA phone records issue, and all of this was based on an "anonymous source". Yet I contact the media (for the sole purpose of having WMD sites searched so our children will not experience a WMD attack, and everyone of them want me to produce classified documents (which I don't have), they want every Iraqi source identified to talk on TV (they are fearful for their lives), they want pictures of the WMD. If it were that easy I would have carried the barrels on my back to get them out of the terrorists' hands. Greta Van Susteran can spend 1.5 years of almost daily airtime on one possible homicide in Aruba, and I can't get 5 minutes to prevent America from being hit with chemical and biological weapons which can kill millions.
I am just thankful we have people like Jamie Glazov and FrontPageMag who make every attempt to get the truth out.
FP: Well thank you David Gaubatz, we try our best, but it is warriors and soldiers like you gentlemen that courageously get the truth to put in our hands. Ryan Mauro?
Mauro: My Iraqi sources do believe some WMD remain in Iraq, as Mr. Gaubatz says. However, I personally don't see why the Russians would leave anything behind. Mr. Loftus correctly criticizes the State Department. I hold them responsible for a lot of issues not being solved (that could be solved!) such as the WMD, Syria, Iran, etc. At the same time, I'm truly disappointed that the Administration has dropped the ball on this topic. Either the top officials haven't been presented with all this in one lump sum, and only have received fragments here or there, or their incompetent. Or there's some other big game being played that I can't grasp.
I know for a fact that a lot of people in government, military and intelligence believe and have supporting information for this issue. I know average citizens of the Middle East have supporting information (I've received some, coordinates included, but the intelligence agencies never called me back).
If any readers of this Symposium have information and can legally do so, step up and help us press this issue. FrontPage has a very educated and influential readership and together, we can get the truth out to mainstream America.
FP: John Loftus, a final word?
Loftus: Ryan has covered a lot of territory in his book and in his talks that some government agencies simply do not want to discuss. Dave may have uncovered weapons sites so embarrassing that no bureaucrat wants to find them, A lot of folks inside the beltway have bet their careers that no WMD will be found in Iraq. Their careers are more important to them than the truth or the national interest.
As President of the Intelligence Summit, I was appalled to find that so many agencies tried to suppress what Bill Tierney had to say at our conference in February. Bill's expert translation of the long-forgotten Saddam wiretaps shows that this is a very controversial topic to say the least. As a result of Bill's heroic efforts, the President ordered his intelligence community to reverse course, reopen the wmd issue, and accelerate the translation of the documents and tapes we captured from saddam.
All is not last. We have quiet heroes among us. Gary Metz of RegimeChangeIran.com is a key link between Iranian dissidents and American readers. Yet, Gary never gets a cent of compensation from the US Government, despite the fact that his website is read by virtually every iranian desk officer in US intell. Gary is going quietly broke, and will go under unless he gets some financial sponsors from private individuals.
Another quiet hero of mine is Eric Shawn. His new book, "The U.N. Exposed" does just that. The problem of indifference is not confined to American bureacrats, it is endemic at the international level. Still, somehow, we will muddle through. Perhaps because we have such people as Dave, Ryan and Eric who fight for the truth. They are the kind of people who still believe in the meaning behind the words inscribed on the wall at the CIA: "Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."
It has been my honor to be in their company.
FP: And it has been an honor for me to be in your gentlemen's company. Dave Gaubatz, Ryan Mauro and John Loftus, thank you for joining Frontpage Symposium.
By Jamie Glazov
Jamie Glazov is Frontpage Magazine's managing editor. He holds a Ph.D. in History with a specialty in Soviet Studies. He edited and wrote the introduction to David Horowitz's new book Left Illusions. He is also the co-editor (with David Horowitz) of the new book The Hate America Left and the author of Canadian Policy Toward Khrushchev's Soviet Union (McGill-Queens University Press, 2002) and 15 Tips on How to be a Good Leftist. To see his previous symposiums, interviews and articles Click Here. Email him at email@example.com.