Iraq Documents

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August 11, 2008

What I would like to do in this short presentation is to explain why the Commission has been insisting so much over the last months on getting documents relevant to the WMD proscribed programs.

Finding documents is not an aim per se. Getting documents from the Iraqi side, on the other hand, would enable us to have a full understanding of the way those weapons were conceived, produced and in some cases destroyed.

Some documents could indeed be considered as prohibited items themselves, since they contain sensitive information on the way to produce, for instance, chemical weapons. If Iraq wishes or tries to keep relevant documents for building new weapons of this kind in the future, this is a prohibited act. Therefore, we think it makes sense from the perspective of clearing up issues related to proscribed programs as well as strengthening ongoing monitoring, to keep asking for such documents.

Iraq has been claiming for years that it does not hold any more documents. However, we know that Iraq has always been able to bring forward new information when under pressure from the Commission or the Security Council. The question is therefore not so much to wonder if Iraq still has documents, but how much does it hold back. For example, the Commission would like to get documents from the Ministry of Defense, such as orders, related to the destruction of weapons. Can we accept Iraq’s declaration that there are no documents proving that such orders were given? For such a crucial decision, the Office of the President would not have been informed in writing? We believe it would, and we would like to have access to these papers.

What documentation the Commission has been able to gain access to clearly indicates that these and other organizations did in fact produce a document trail which would be relevant to the Commission’s work. Iraq has taken a strategic decision to deny the Commission access to these, and other archives. One question, especially in light of the fact that access to these documents would provide the Commission with a verifiable body of data is why? Why would Iraq seek to secretly maintain these document archives? For what purpose?

In the past, the Commission received confidential declarations on the destruction or disappearance of documents. We therefore try to confront the statements with facts.

We are concerned Iraq does have documents. The millions of pages of documents obtained by the Commission and the IAEA in August 1995 at the Haidar Chicken Farm following the defection of Hussein Kamal are a matter of concern. Since August 1996, whenever Iraq tried to make a point of significance, such as the special biological warfare briefing provided to the Commission by Lieutenant General Amer al-Sa’adi in September 1995, relevant supporting documentation has been produced.

The Iraqi document story is a long, complex one that is ever changing and often self-contradictory. I will brief the Council on two items which will show that the Iraqi version of events concerning their handling of documents is puzzling, and that the Commission has reason to be concerned that significant documentary resources related to past proscribed programs could today exist in Iraq.

I. The first item is a document dated 1993 obtained by an UNSCOM inspection team in March 1998. It deals with an establishment formerly known as the Al-Farouk Factory, or Project 144/5. It produced fixed and mobile launchers for the Al Hussein missile. According to the official Iraqi version of events, this factory, together with all other relevant sites and facilities associated with Project 144 (the Iraqi SCUD missile program), had assembled all relevant documentation by September 1991.

All of it was handed over to representatives of Hussein Kamal for destruction no later than October 1991. This document refers to a meeting held on 20 February 1993, in which the factory undertakes to ensure that no official documents related to the work of the Commission remain at either the factory or at any establishment with which the factory dealt. The document states that documents will be removed to alternative sites and that “soiled” documents will be destroyed, with the exception of documents pertaining to the factory’s commercial section. This newly discovered document raises serious concern for the Commission, for the date of the activity in question does not coincide with the detailed chronology prepared by Iraq to support its elaborate story relating to the Haidar Chicken Farm document cache. Additionally, the document makes specific references to both alternative sites and the keeping of commercial documentation. Alternative sites is a euphemism for hide sites, and is indicative of the systematic approach undertaken by Iraq to conceal and safeguard material and documents from the Commission. Commercial documentation has proven to be among the most useful category of documentation to the Commission. Contracts enable us to track the importation of material to be accounted for, as well as provide a pointer into the intent and capabilities of proscribed programs. Is there a reason for Iraq to retain these documents in such a secretive fashion, [other than] for hiding the information contained within them from the Commission?

II. The second item pertains to the Haidar Chicken Farm itself. Iraq has undertaken systematic efforts to move around, reclassify, destroy or retain documents related to its past proscribed weapons programs. Iraq has admitted such. Iraq has declared to the Commission a program from April 1991 until February 1993 to hide documents from the Commission, destroy duplicate sets of documents, and microfiche documents. Iraq claims that this effort was ordered by one man, Hussein Kamal, and that it was done in secret from the rest of the Iraqi leadership. The Iraqis claim that the Chicken Farm cache is the product of this secret effort. However, the Iraqi story does not stand up to close scrutiny.

Establishing the veracity of the Chicken Farm story is critical to the verification of all current Iraqi declarations. The events of August 1995 uncovered major aspects of concealment on the part of Iraq. In order to accept Iraq’s current declarations that the Haidar Farm cache represents the totality of the Iraqi retained documentation and material, the Iraqi version of events leading up to the discovery of this material needs to be accurate and verifiable.

What will now be shown are photographic images which cast doubt on what was found at the Haidar Farm represented all of Iraq’s retained proscribed documentation and material. Furthermore, Iraq’s declaration that the mechanism used to safeguard and conceal the Farm cache from the Commission was the act of a single man, vice the actions of a centrally orchestrated campaign on the part of the Government of Iraq, is also brought into question.

The first slide shows an image of the Haidar farm, commonly known as the chicken farm. You see on this picture, taken on 26 July 1995, that containers have been brought to this farm, which belongs to Hussein Kamal, the son-in-law of Saddam Hussein. The containers can be seen there, between two sheds. There are about ten of them. Iraq has since claimed that these containers were used to transport the annual potato harvest. However an examination of imagery for previous years, as well as the years since 1995, revealed no indication that such containers or for that matter any like them, were present for his purpose at the Haidar Farm.

On 8 August 1995, Hussein Kamal left the country.

On 9 August, as seen on the next slide, there are no more containers in front of the farm. A lot of trucks are coming in and out. Boxes and crates are stacked up in this location, near where the Commission eventually discovered boxes and crates of similar dimensions containing documentation relating to Iraq’s past proscribed weapons programs.

On the third slide, you see a picture taken on 19 August, a day before the arrival on the spot of the Executive Chairman and his team. You can see that there are no more trucks or containers. In one of those containers present when UNSCOM inspected the site, documents on the biological program were found, along with documents pertaining to all areas of Iraq’s proscribed weapons programs.

We have some concern that the Chicken farm might have been cleansed before the arrival of the team. The Farm manager himself stated that he was taken into custody by the Special Security Organization on 9 August the same day that we see considerable activities on the farm. Iraq denies any involvement on the part of the Special Security Organization with the Farm. Iraq claims the arrest and subsequent investigations into the Chicken farm were carried out by Military Industrialization Commission [MIC] Security. The political leadership of Iraq concocted stories to tell UNSCOM, what actually occurred at the Farm. The current story, that the investigation was carried out by Military Industrialization Commission Security personnel who themselves were relieved of their duties in October 1995 due to their close ties with Hussein Kamal, is difficult to accept. The Commission is expected to believe that MIC Security became aware of the document cache on 9 August and forgot to report it until late 18 August. The reality of the matter might be, as reported by the Farm manager, that the Farm was seized by Special Security on 9 August, and that material was brought to the site at that time. The Farm had been used to store material earlier. This material was probably contained in the containers observed in July 1995. Special Security, concerned about the revelations of data expected to be made by Hussein Kamal brought material back to the farm for the purpose of discovery by the Commission. However, this material was not at the Haidar Farm on 8 August 1995. High-level defectors have informed the Commission that this material was, on 8 August, stored at a number of locations throughout the Baghdad area to include residences associated with several high-ranking Iraqi Government officials. The Special Security Organization might have quickly acted to consolidate those caches, and from 9 August until 18 August, worked to sort the material into two categories: what was to be turned over to the Commission, and what was to be retained.

While the Commission does not have strong evidence to state with absolute assurance that this was the case, its available data is credible and raises questions to which Iraq should answer. We have informed Iraq that one of the best solutions towards resolving this issue would be to turn over to the Commission for examination the official Iraqi investigation into the Haidar Chicken Farm. Iraq has refused to do so, and claims that no such investigation took place.

An analysis of documents which could have been present in the Chicken Farm include:

  • integration drawings for the SCUD missile. Of all technical drawings, this is the one needed if Iraq is to be able to resume production of the SCUD missile.
  • “Cookbooks” for chemical agent. These are the detailed recipes and manuals for producing the chemical precursors and agents, None were found.
  • Any meaningful documentation concerning the biological weaponization programs.

The Commission views the analysis of the contents of such documents as being critical to any final assessment. Continued Iraqi possession of these documents would be of concern.

The question we ask of the Council is: should we accept the declaration made by the authorities of Iraq concerning the Chicken Farm?

Does the Council consider it legitimate that the Special Commission keeps on searching for and investigating the fate of the ten missing containers or not? Should we keep on looking for new documents that might be available in the Presidential Office or in the hands of the Ministry of Defense or other Ministries and/or State Organizations, the inspection of which are matters of great sensitivity and potential friction, or should we stop looking for such evidence?

Those are, Monsieur le President, the questions the Commission is asking of the Council.

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