Linked with Stop The Iran War Before It Starts.
He says: ”I have never given Iraq a clean bill of health! Never! Never! I’ve said that no one has backed up any allegations that Iraq has reconstituted WMD capability with anything that remotely resembles substantive fact. To say that Saddam’s doing it is in total disregard to the fact that if he gets caught he’s a dead man and he knows it. Deterrence has been adequate in the absence of inspectors but this is not a situation that can succeed in the long term. In the long term you have to get inspectors back in”. (full text).
William Scott Ritter, Jr. (born July 15, 1961) is most noted for being a critic of United States foreign policy in the Middle East stemming from his experiences as a United Nations weapons inspector in Iraq. Prior to the US invasion of Iraq in March, 2003, Ritter repeatedly stated that Iraq possessed no weapons of mass destruction (WMDs). Because of the prevailing political climate in the United States at the time, Ritter was widely condemned for this position. In retrospect, much of Ritter’s pre-invasion critique of US policy has been vindicated. (wikipedia).
Listen to this video: BACK FROM IRAQ, The US Soldier Speaks.
Listen to the many audios: through Soundpress.
Scott Ritter – USA
Read: The Scott Ritter’s Archive.
Listen to: Scott Ritter on “Target Iran: The Truth About the White House’s Plans for Regime Change”, October 16th, 2006 on Democracy Now.
Military background: Ritter was born into a military family in 1961. He graduated from Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, with a Bachelor of Arts in the history of the Soviet Union and departmental honors. He was first in the U.S. Army serving as a Private in 1980.
He was commissioned as an intelligence officer in the United States Marine Corps in May 1984. He served in this capacity for twelve years. He initially served as the lead analyst for the Marine Corps Rapid Deployment Force concerning the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the Iran-Iraq War. During Desert Storm, he served as a ballistic missile advisor to General Norman Schwarzkopf. Ritter later worked as a security and military consultant for the Fox News network.
Weapons inspector: Ritter served from 1991 to 1998 as a United Nations weapons inspector in Iraq in the United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM), which was charged with finding and destroying all weapons of mass destruction and WMD-related manufacturing capabilities in Iraq. He was chief inspector in fourteen of the more than thirty inspection missions in which he participated.
In January of 1998, his inspection team into Iraq was blocked from some weapons sites by Iraqi officials, and Ritter was accused by Iraq of being a spy for the CIA. He was then expelled from Iraq by its government in August 1998. Shortly thereafter, he spoke on the Public Broadcasting Service show, The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer.
I think the danger right now is that without effective inspections, without effective monitoring, Iraq can in a very short period of time measured in months, reconstitute chemical and biological weapons, long-range ballistic missiles to deliver these weapons, and even certain aspects of their nuclear weaponization program**. (Full text on wikipedia).
** see: SCOTT RITTER on OnlineNewsHour, August 31, 1998 (full text http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/middle_east/july-dec98/ritter_8-31.html): Questioning both the United States’ and the United Nation’s resolve to rid Iraq of weapons of mass destruction, U.N weapons inspector Scott Ritter resigned from his post after seven years of service. Following a background report, Elizabeth Farnsworth speaks with Mr. Ritter about his decision.
He says also: “I’ve been called a spy of Israel since 1996, and since I made my documentary film in 2000 the FBI has investigated me as an agent of Iraq. The FBI has also opened up an investigation into my wife calling her a KGB spy. So there is this form of harassment taking place”. (full text).
Read: Is Iraq a True Threat to the US? by Scott Ritter, July 20, 2002 in the Boston Globe, re-published on Common Dreams.
Read: his resignation letter from the UNSCOM.
(Written June 2000) Excerpt: … From a WMD perspective, Iraq today is not the Iraq of 1991. What took Iraq decades to build through the expenditure of billions of dollars could not, under any rational analysis, have been reconstituted since December 1998. Iraq’s nuclear enrichment infrastructure has been reduced to zero, and Iraq lacks the funding, technology, and time required to reconstitute it. In theory, some practical work could have been carried out in the field of high-explosive lens development, but any serious effort would require the diversion of controlled stocks of specialized explosives that had been used for manufacturing the lenses, something that would be readily discerned once IAEA inspectors return to work. In addition to the fact that UNSCOM was thoroughly monitoring all activity related to the Al Samoud missile project, the major facilities related to the development efforts of this permitted missile system were bombed and either destroyed or heavily damaged during Operation Desert Fox. When, in the summer of 1999, the CIA detected signs of reconstruction at these facilities, the Clinton administration immediately warned of an imminent threat. However, such assessments were not shared by the scientists and technicians of UNSCOM, who knew Iraq’s capabilities better than anyone. One study, prepared in July 1996 by a British missile expert, set the tone for all reports that followed: … (full long text).
Read: Interview with Scott Ritter, by Scott Harris, Sept. 15, 2003.
He further says: “I personally am enthralled with the concept of Tony Blair being held accountable for his words and his actions. I’m heartened that a democracy can say, ‘We stand for something greater than the office of the prime minister. We stand for the rule of law, we stand for values and ideals that do not accept an elected representative lying to their people.’ Now here in the United States, there seems to be a greater willingness, on the part of the people of the United States, according to polls, to give the president a break. Tragically, I feel that many Americans would accept the fact that the president misled them or lied to them, distorting the threat posed by Iraq, if we had gone in there, booted Saddam Hussein out with relatively few casualties and we were treated as liberators and our boys and girls were home now. I think Americans would say, ‘Well who cares about the weapons. That guy’s a bad man. We found the mass graves, etc.’. But the problem is, they’re not home, and they’re starting to come home more and more of them tragically, in body bags or mutilated, or destroyed psychologically by the effects of war. In addition to this, we’re suddenly faced with this huge price tag, billion of dollars a week and it’s going to go up in the weeks and months to come. Who’s paying for that? The American public is”. (full text).
Read: Opinions on US policy in the Mideast. (wikipedia, pull down).
And he says: “My goal in Baghdad was to facilitate a debate here in the United States on America’s policy toward Iraq, a debate that’s been sadly lacking. We’re facing a critical moment in American history and I believe this is something that has to be more thoroughly looked at. Why go to Iraq? You’re talking to me now because I went to Iraq. I’ve been saying the exact same thing for years and I didn’t get the call from Time magazine”. (full text).
Find a link to all his different texts also on wikipedia.
Window Into Pre-War Planning, Jan. 27, 2007;
Person of the week (Sept. 2002): Scott Ritter;
Another Neocon Disaster Awaits, Jan. 29, 2007;
World War 4 report, Jan. 15, 2007;
Recognize gaps in information, Jan. 3, 2007;
And: Evil schemes from Western Mass to the White House, Jan. 28, 2007, By Hallie Ephron.