'Ahmadinejad's bombmaker' – where are you?

On several occasions Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has suggested that if certain Europeans feel so guilty about their complicity in Hitler’s "final solution of the Jewish question," they ought to establish a Jewish state in Europe, allowing the Palestinians to return to their homeland.

There is a critical election coming up in that homeland in March. Perhaps that’s why, according to the Sunday Times, Israel’s armed forces have been ordered by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to be ready by the end of March for possible pre-emptive strikes on Iran.

The rationale? The Israelis claim Iran has a nuclear weapon development program. In particular, Iran is alleged to have in operation numerous small gas-centrifuge uranium-enrichment facilities, hidden in the "private sector," undetectable by the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Sound familiar?

You remember Khidir Hamza, don’t you? The "defector" who authored — on the eve of the 2000 presidential election — "Saddam’s Bombmaker"?

In the fall of 2002, Richard Perle — then chairman of the Defense Policy Board — vouched for Hamza’s authenticity to congressional and administration pooh-bahs.

At Perle’s behest, Hamza also gave interviews and speeches, appeared on TV talk shows and testified before congressional committees.

According to Hamza, the Iraqis were secretly reconstituting a nuke program. They had hundreds of small gas-centrifuge uranium-enrichment facilities, hidden in "farmhouses" and would have enough U-235 to make a nuke or two in a matter of months.

According to Hamza (and Perle), the only way to keep Saddam from nuking us in our jammies would be to invade and occupy Iraq.

That fall, Bush and Blair were busily "fixing the intelligence" to justify a war of aggression that had secretly already begun. In particular, both Blair’s Dossier and Bush’s National Intelligence Estimate were alleged to have "slam-dunk" evidence that Iraq was seeking "yellowcake" from Niger for input to uranium-enrichment facilities and "aluminum tubes" for producing even more gas-centrifuges.

Note that the "yellowcake" and "aluminum tubes" allegations are alarming if — and only if — Hamza’s allegation about Iraq having hundreds of gas-centrifuge uranium-enrichment facilities in farmhouses is true.

Of course, none of these allegations by Bush-Blair-Hamza were true.

What’s worse, we learned just weeks before the Bush-Blair war of aggression against Iraq officially began that the CIA and MI6 (the British equivalent) had known for months — perhaps years — that none of it was true.

To recapitulate, Gen. Hussein Kamal — Saddam’s son-in-law — had defected to Jordan in 1995, carrying with him thousands of documents on Iraq’s "weapons of mass destruction" program, of which he was in charge.

Kamal was extensively interrogated by the CIA, MI6, Rolf Ekeus of the U.N. Special Commission on Iraq and Maurizio Zifferero of the IAEA Action Team.

Basically, Kamal claimed all Iraqi "weapons of mass destruction" and the makings thereof had been destroyed, either during the Gulf War or under his orders in the years immediately thereafter.

"Nothing remained," Kamal said.

After several years of intensive investigations on the ground in Iraq, Ekeus and Zifferero were able to verify that Kamal told the truth.

Ziffereo asked Kamal about Hamza, who had "fled" Iraq shortly before Kamal defected and was — even then — representing himself to the IAEA and to the CIA as having been in charge of Iraq’s nuke program. Quoth Kamal:

"He is a professional liar. … He is very bad."

The publication of Kamal’s assessment in late 2002 was almost immediately confirmed by a genuine Iraqi nuke scientist — Imad Khadduri –who had worked in the Iraqi Atomic Energy Commission from 1968 until 1998, when he immigrated to Canada.

According to Khadduri, in all those years, Hamza "did not, even remotely, get involved in any scientific research — except for journalistic articles — dealing with the fission bomb, its components or its effects."

Hamza was in Iraq’s nuke program for a "few months," but was "kicked out of the program at the end of 1987 for stealing a few air conditioning units from the building assigned to his project."

Hamza "retired from the Iraqi Atomic Energy Commission in 1989 and became a college lecturer, a stock market swindler and a shady business middle-man."

Nevertheless, Hamza became a key figure in the "fixing" of "intelligence" by the neo-crazies.

So, where will the neo-crazies find an Iranian "defector" to tell Congress that Iran has in operation numerous small gas-centrifuge uranium-enrichment facilities, hidden in the "private sector," undetectable by the IAEA?

December 19, 2005