Chris Hedges and Scott Ritter: The Dismantling of the Iran Nuclear Deal

Don't Attack Iran

Image by Kathryn via Flickr

Dandelion Salad

with Chris Hedges

RT America on Feb 16, 2019

The Iran nuclear deal, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), between China, France, Russia, UK and USA, represented a crowning moment of international diplomacy and stopped the US and its allies from going to war with Iran. Donald Trump’s decision to break the deal threatens to return the world to that precipice. Scott Ritter, a former Marine intelligence officer and UN weapons inspector in Iraq discusses the implications of the lost deal with On Contact host and journalist, Chris Hedges.

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Scott Ritter on Antiwar Radio with Scott Horton (must-listen)

Dandelion Salad

Scott Ritter « Antiwar Radio with Scott Horton and Charles Goyette

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Fmr. UN Weapons Inspector Scott Ritter Warns Against “Politically Motivated Hype” on Iran Nuke Program

https://dandelionsalad.wordpress.com/

Democracy Now!
September 30, 2009

Fmr. UN Weapons Inspector Scott Ritter Warns Against “Politically Motivated Hype” on Iran Nuke Program

Former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter joins us to discuss what he calls “politically motivated hype” over Iran’s nuclear program. The Obama administration has warned of sanctions unless Iran allows inspections of a newly disclosed nuclear site. Iran insists the site has been used for peaceful purposes. The row comes just after Iran’s test-firing of medium- and long-range missiles and before Iranian officials are due to hold talks with the US and five other nations in Geneva. [includes rush transcript]

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With Iran, Obama Needs More Carrot, Less Stick By Scott Ritter + Ahmadinejad – Guns N’ Roses

Dandelion Salad

By Scott Ritter
ICH, November 14, 2008
“Truthdig”, November 13, 2008

The American people have spoken, and the next president of the United States will be Barack Obama. Running on a platform of change, the president-elect will be severely tested early in his administration by a host of challenges, be they economic, military, environmental or diplomatic in nature. How Obama handles these issues will define his tenure as America’s chief executive, and there will not—nor should there be—a honeymoon period. The challenges of these times do not permit such a luxury, something the president-elect had to know and comprehend when he chose to run for office. John McCain and Hillary Clinton, Obama’s defeated rivals, were both correct when they noted that the next president would need to be ready to govern on day one. Barack Obama has until the 20th of January to get his policies in order, because at one minute past noon on that day, he becomes the most powerful man in a volatile world. While the problems he will face are many, I will focus on what I believe are the four most critical issues that will need to be addressed in the first weeks and months of the Obama administration: Iran, Iraq, Pakistan and Russia. This will be done in a series of articles, the first of which will deal with Iran.

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Scott Ritter on RNC, Biden and Possibility of Attack on Iran

Dandelion Salad

Democracy Now!

Sept 3, 2008

Fmr. UN Weapons Inspector Scott Ritter on the RNC, Joe Biden and the Possibility of an Attack on Iran

In these last few months of the Bush administration, as we continue to discuss the war in Iraq and the possibility of an attack on Iran, we turn to a man who was a UN weapons inspector inside Iraq in the 1990s: Scott Ritter. We speak with Ritter about Iran, Joe Biden’s role in the lead-up to the Iraq invasion and much more. Despite being a registered Republican, Ritter is backing Barack Obama.

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Democracy Now! | Fmr. UN Weapons Inspector Scott Ritter on the RNC, Joe Biden and the Possibility of an Attack on Iran.

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Acts of War By Scott Ritter

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ACLU Calls For Investigation Into Raids And Mass Arrests At RNC

Open letter to McCain & Supporters: F*** Off!

‘Where Are the Weapons of Mass Destruction?’ By Scott Ritter

Dandelion Salad

By Scott Ritter
Truthdig
Aug. 8, 2008

In the past two decades I have had the opportunity to participate in certain experiences pertaining to my work that fall into the category of “no one will ever believe this.” I usually file these away, calling on them only when events transpire that breathe new life into these extraordinary memories. Ron Suskind, a noted and accomplished journalist, has written a new book, “The Way of the World: A Story of Truth and Hope in an Age of Extremism,” in which he claims that the “White House had concocted a fake letter from Habbush [Tahir Jalil Habbush, the director of the Mukhabarat], to Saddam [Hussein], backdated to July 1, 2001.” According to Suskind, the letter said that “9/11 ringleader Mohammad Atta had actually trained for his mission in Iraq—thus showing, finally, that there was an operational link between Saddam and al Qaeda, something the Vice President’s Office had been pressing CIA to prove since 9/11 as a justification to invade Iraq.”

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Acts of War By Scott Ritter

Dandelion Salad

By Scott Ritter
07/29/08  TruthDig

The war between the United States and Iran is on. American taxpayer dollars are being used, with the permission of Congress, to fund activities which result in Iranians being killed and wounded, and Iranian property destroyed. This wanton violation of a nation’s sovereignty would not be tolerated if the tables were turned and Americans were being subjected to Iranian-funded covert actions which took the lives of Americans, on American soil, and destroyed American property and livelihood. Many Americans remain unaware of what is transpiring abroad in their name. Many of those who are cognizant of these activities are supportive of them, an outgrowth of misguided sentiment which holds Iran accountable for a list of grievances used by the U.S. government to justify the ongoing global war on terror. Iran, we are told, is not just a nation pursuing nuclear weapons, but is the largest state sponsor of terror in the world today.

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Iran Shows Its Cards By Scott Ritter

Dandelion Salad

By Scott Ritter
Truthdig.com
Jul 14, 2008

There can no longer be any doubt about the consequences of any U.S. and/or Israeli military action against Iran. Armchair warriors, pundits and blustering politicians alike have been advocating a pre-emptive military strike against Iran for the purpose of neutralizing its nuclear-related infrastructure, as well as retarding Iran’s ability to train and equip “terrorist” forces on Iranian soil before dispatching them to Iraq or parts unknown. Some, including me, have warned of the folly of such action, and now Iran itself has demonstrated why an attack would be insane

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Scott Ritter (must-see video)

Dandelion Salad

Thanks to Josh for posting this speech. This is a great speech, Ritter is very personable, goes into the Iraqi WMDs and also talks about those who have little yellow ribbon stickers on their cars to “support the troops”.  ~ Lo

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The Nuclear Expert Who Never Was By Scott Ritter

Dandelion Salad

By Scott Ritter
06/27/08 “TruthDig.com

I am a former U.N. weapons inspector. I started my work with the United Nations in September 1991, and between that date and my resignation in August 1998 I participated in over 30 inspections, 14 as chief inspector. The United Nations Special Commission, or UNSCOM, was the organization mandated by the Security Council with the implementation of its resolutions requiring Iraq to be disarmed of its weapons-of-mass-destruction capabilities. While UNSCOM oversaw the areas of chemical and biological weapons, and ballistic missiles, it shared the nuclear file with the International Atomic Energy Agency, or IAEA. As such, UNSCOM, through a small cell of nuclear experts on loan from the various national weapons laboratories, would coordinate with the nuclear safeguards inspectors from the IAEA, organized into an “Action Team” dedicated to the Iraq nuclear disarmament problem. UNSCOM maintained political control of the process, insofar as its executive chairman was the only one authorized to approve a given inspection mission. At first, the IAEA and UNSCOM shared the technical oversight of the inspection process, but soon this was transferred completely to the IAEA’s Action Team, and UNSCOM’s nuclear staff assumed more of an advisory and liaison function.

In August 1992 I began cooperating closely with IAEA’s Action Team, traveling to Vienna, where the IAEA maintained its headquarters. The IAEA had in its possession a huge cache of documents seized from Iraq during a series of inspections in the summer of 1991, and together with other U.N. inspectors I was able to gain access to these documents for the purpose of extracting any information which might relate to UNSCOM’s non-nuclear mission. These documents proved to be very valuable in that regard, and a strong working relationship was developed. Over the coming years I frequently traveled to Vienna, where I came to know the members of the IAEA Action Team as friends and dedicated professionals. Whether poring over documents, examining bits and pieces of equipment (the IAEA kept a sample of an Iraqi nuclear centrifuge in its office) or ruminating about the difficult political situation that was Iraq over wine and cheese on a Friday afternoon, I became familiar with the core team of experts that composed the IAEA Action Team.

[…]

via TruthDig.com

Taking a Stand Against War By Scott Ritter

Dandelion Salad

By Scott Ritter
05/13/08 “Truthdig

As someone who has been urging focused citizen activism for some time now, I find it heartening that there are those in the United States who put action to words and seek to lead by example. This is the case with Chicago Alderman Joe Moore, who, together with seven of his 49 colleagues (Toni Preckwinkle, Sandi Jackson, Eugene Schulter, Robert Fioretti, Freddrenna Lyle, Ricardo Munoz and Mary Ann Smith), has prepared a resolution for the Chicago City Council opposing war on Iran. By itself, this resolution most probably will not serve to alter the policies currently being pursued by the Bush administration. But when a great American city such as Chicago takes the lead in expressing its rejection of irresponsible national policy, other cities should, and will, take notice.

I have been asked to be a witness, together with other experts on Iran and U.S. Middle East policy, before the City Council as it considers this resolution. I think it is of great importance that the representatives of the people of Chicago vote to adopt it in its entirety. I would also encourage other municipalities to consider similar resolutions opposing war on Iran, and to express their concern through the adoption of resolutions which, collectively, might serve as a notice to the United States Congress, as well as the administration of President Bush, that a war with Iran would not be supported by the citizens of this land.

In preparing for my role as witness, I carefully considered the Chicago resolution in its entirety, and offer my analysis of its content as a primer for interested parties. I sincerely hope that the leadership and courage exhibited by the Chicago council members can be replicated across America in a timely fashion, and that the resultant will of the people is recognized by the Congress in time for effective legislation to be drafted and passed which reduces the threat of U.S.-Iranian conflict.

[…]

via Truthdig

Scott Ritter: By Releasing Intel, US Endorses Israel’s Illegal Bombing of Alleged Syrian Nuke Site (vids)

Dandelion Salad

Democracy Now!
April 28, 2008

Scott Ritter: By Releasing Intel, US Endorses Israel’s Illegal Bombing of Alleged Syrian Nuke Site

The head of the UN’s nuclear watchdog group, Mohamed ElBaradei, has criticized the United States for withholding intelligence that it says showed the construction of a nuclear reactor in Syria that Israel bombed in September. The International Atomic Energy Agency chief was critical of both the US delay in releasing the information and of Israel’s bombing of the site before the IAEA could inspect it. We speak with former UN weapons inspector in Iraq, Scott Ritter.

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http://www.democracynow.org/2008/4/28/un_nuclear_watchdog_chief_blasts_us

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Israeli Bombing of Syria (nukes)

Evidence-based Bombing By Scott Ritter

Dandelion Salad

By Scott Ritter
ICH
04/26/08 “The Guardian

By publishing intelligence on a possible Syrian nuclear facility, the US has endorsed after the fact Israel’s illegal use of force in attacking it

It looks as if Israel may, in fact, have had reason to believe that Syria was constructing, with the aid and assistance of North Korea, a facility capable of housing a nuclear reactor. The United States Central Intelligence Agency recently released a series of images, believed to have been made from a videotape obtained from Israeli intelligence, which provide convincing, if not incontrovertible, evidence that the “unused military building” under construction in eastern Syria was, in fact, intended to be used as a nuclear reactor. Syria continues to deny such allegations as false.

On the surface, the revelations seem to bolster justification not only for the Israeli air strike of September 6 2007, which destroyed the facility weeks or months before it is assessed to have been ready for operations, but also the hard-line stance taken by the administration of President George W Bush toward both Syria and North Korea regarding their alleged covert nuclear cooperation. In the aftermath of the Israeli air strike, Syria razed the destroyed facility and built a new one in its stead, ensuring that no follow-up investigation would be able to ascertain precisely what had transpired there.

Largely overlooked in the wake of the US revelations is the fact that, even if the US intelligence is accurate (and there is no reason to doubt, at this stage, that it is not), Syria had committed no crime, and Israel had no legal justification to carry out its attack. Syria is a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), and under the provisions of the comprehensive safeguards agreement, is required to provide information on the construction of any facility involved in nuclear activity “as early as possible before nuclear material is introduced to a new facility”. There is no evidence that Syria had made any effort to introduce nuclear material to the facility under construction.

While the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the global watchdog responsible for the implementation of nuclear safeguards inspections, has pushed for the universal adherence to a more stringent safeguards standard known as the “additional protocol of inspections”, such a measure is purely voluntary, and Syria has refused to sign up to any such expansion of IAEA inspection activity until such time as Israel signs the NPT and subjects its nuclear activities to full safeguards inspections. While vexing, the Syrian position is totally in keeping with its treaty obligations, and so it is Syria, not Israel, that was in full conformity with international law at the time of Israel’s September 6 2007 attack.

The United States and Israel contend that the Syrian-North Korean construction project was part of a covert nuclear weapons programme. However, even the United States admits that the facility under construction in Syria lacked any reprocessing capacity, meaning its utility for producing plutonium for a nuclear bomb was nil. Rather than serving as the tip of the iceberg for a nuclear weapons programme, it seems more likely that the Syrian facility was intended for the peaceful use of nuclear energy.

Following the same path as Iran, Syria most probably was positioning itself to present the world with a fait acompli, noting that the current US-Israeli posture concerning the regime in Damascus would not enable Syria to pursue and complete any nuclear programme declared well in advance. By building the reactor in secret, Syria would be positioned to declare the completed facility to the IAEA prior to the introduction of any nuclear material, and then hope to hide behind the shield of the IAEA in order to prevent any Israeli retaliation.

But this is all speculation. By bombing the Syrian facility, Israel not only retarded any Syrian nuclear ambition, peaceful or otherwise, but also precluded a full, definitive investigation into the matter by the international community. Perhaps fearful that Syrian adherence to the NPT would underscore its own duplicity in that regard, the Israeli decision to bomb Syria not only allowed the Syrian effort to be defined as weapons-related (an unproven and unlikely allegation), but by extension reinforced the Israeli (and American) contention that the nuclear activity in Iran was weapons-related as well.

The international debate that has taken place about the Syrian facility shows how successful the Israeli gambit, in fact, was, since there is virtually no discussion about the fact that Israel violated international law in attacking, without provocation, a sovereign state whose status as a member of the United Nations ostensibly affords it protection from such assault. The American embrace of the Israeli action, and the decision to produce intelligence information about the nature of the bombed facility at this late stage in the game, only reinforces the reality that the United States has turned its back on international law in the form of arms control and non-proliferation agreements.

The Bush administration seeks to use the alleged Syrian nuclear facility as a lynchpin in making its arguments against not only the Iranian nuclear programme, but also to scuttle the current discussions with North Korea over its nuclear weapons activities. Having embraced pre-emptive war as a vehicle to pursue its unilateral policy of regime change in Iraq (and having sold that conflict based upon hyped-up weapons of mass destruction charges), it should come as no surprise that the Bush administration would seek to support, and repeat, past patterns of behaviour when pursuing similar policies with Syria, Iran and North Korea.

Truth, and the adherence to international law, have never been an impediment to implementation of American policy objectives under the Bush administration.

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

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US ship confronts boats in Gulf + Iranian Boats shot at by U.S. Navy (video)

An Act Of War – Interview: Seymour Hersh

US rebuked Over Syria Nuclear Case + Syrian Nukes: the Phantom Menace

Syrian ambassador rejects US nuclear charges + The Taming of the Assad (lion) (vids)

US Statement on Alleged Syria Nuclear Links

Syria Statement on US Nuclear Claim

US claims North Korean link to Israeli bombing of Syria (+ video)

Syrian ambassador rejects US nuclear charges (video)

If Only Saddam Had Injected HGH By Scott Ritter

Dandelion Salad

By Scott Ritter
ICH
17/02/08 “Antiwar

The recent spectacle of Congressional hearings on the alleged use of steroids and/or Human Growth Hormone (HGH) by Roger Clemons, a professional baseball player nicknamed “the Rocket,” throws into question the viability and functionality of a Congress controlled by the Democratic Party. The House Government Reform Committee, chaired by Representative Henry Waxman (D-California), carried out its own made-for-television version of Court TV, grilling the All Star pitcher and his former trainer over their contradictory statements as to whether or not Clemons actually was injected with a banned performance enhancing substance. While this hearing was underway, thousands of miles away, in Iraq, American service members continued the ugly business of occupying Iraq. That Waxman would abuse his position by pursuing such trivia while Americans continued to fight and die in a war built exclusively on a framework of lies is disturbing.

True, Henry Waxman has chaired numerous hearings, and issued even more statements, which have resulted in several embarrassing questions being asked by the Government Reform Committee of a recalcitrant White House. But none of Henry Waxman’s efforts have produced the high drama of the Clemons hearings, where every word was wrestled with, every context explored. Forensic data was introduced. Reputations were (and are) on the line. The consequences are potentially grave: perjury charges could be brought forward against Clemons and others. What was the source of this commotion? Simply put, a few syringes and a game. Baseball might be the national pastime, perhaps, but it remains a game nonetheless. War is all-too real, and the war in Iraq has cost nearly 4,000 Americans their lives, while wounding tens of thousands more, while killing and wounding hundreds of thousands of Iraqis.

At the same time Henry Waxman’s committee was grilling the Cy Young award-winning pitcher, the House Foreign Affairs Committee was holding hearings of its own, on the issue of Iraq. Another Democrat, Representative Robert Wexler (D-Florida), raised the matter of findings from a report issued by the Center for Public Integrity, issued last month, that document some 935 allegations of false statements made by the Bush administration in the lead up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Of particular interest to Wexler were 56 of those allegedly false statements attributed to the witness seated before the committee, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who had served as the National Security Advisor in the period of time when the alleged false statements were made.

To his credit, Representative Wexler pressed home his point, namely that Condi Rice had lied when she helped make the case for war against Iraq by selectively citing certain intelligence information while suppressing others. Secretary Rice, of course, denied any wrongdoing, leaving America with a curt point-counterpoint exchange which served little purpose when it comes to the matter of the search for truth and accountability through oversight. When Roger Clemons denied the charges leveled at him, the robust overseers of Congressional Constitutional mandate who populate the Government Reform Committee subjected him to a withering round of cross-examination full of recrimination and doubt. Following Wexler’s brief moment of inquiry, Condi Rice was let off without further reproach.

Clearly there are discrepancies between the charges leveled by Wexler and the responses offered by Rice. That the compendium of alleged false statements comes from an independent, non-governmental entity (the Center for Public Integrity) should not serve as a roadblock to further investigation and hearings into the matter: the Government Reform Committee was acting in response to an independent investigation, the Mitchell Report, authorized not by Congress, but rather the Commissioner of Baseball. Unlike the Mitchell Report, however, the matter of Bush administration prevarication concerning the false case made for war in Iraq delves not into the lives of private citizens, where the consequences get no bigger than inflated sports statistics, but rather the words and actions of elected officials which influenced public opinion and the will of Congress in a manner which has cost hundreds of billions of dollars and several thousand American lives.

Congress shouldn’t have to wait for a private organization like the Center for Public Integrity to do its job for it. The misrepresentation of fact, fabrication of falsehoods, and outright lies the Center for Public Integrity documents are all a matter of public record, most of which were derived from statements made before Congress itself.

That Congress puts the so-called integrity of a game ahead of its own Constitutional mandate of oversight of legitimate governance is a travesty. That this travesty is carried out in the face of a pledge by a Democratic-controlled Congress to effectively and responsibly carry out its duty to investigate how and why our nation went to war with Iraq is not only incomprehensible, but reprehensible.

Perhaps if Saddam Hussein had been accused of injecting HGH instead of hiding WMD, Congress would have stepped up to the plate, so to speak, and dug deep into the truth of the matter. Henry Waxman, as well meaning as he is, sits at the head of a legislative process which has lost touch with reality and purpose. Pandering to the no-risk approach of non-governance by pursuing “The Rocket” and allegations of HGH abuse, while ignoring the high-risk demands of legitimate government by pursuing matters pertaining to how the Bush administration manufactured evidence of illusory Iraqi rockets tipped with imagined WMD, represents the ultimate indictment of a Congress, and legislative process, that long ago lost touch with its ultimate purpose of being: the pursuit of the best interests of the American people through the defense of the rule of law as set forth by the United States Constitution.

Scott Ritter is a former UNSCOM weapons inspector in Iraq and the author of Target Iran: The Truth Behind the White House’s Plans for Regime Change (Nation Books, 2006).


FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

see

Iniquities and Inequities of War By Ray McGovern

Dead For Lies by Cindy Sheehan

Charles Lewis (Center for Public Integrity) 935 Lies (and Counting) (video)

Bob Drogin: Curveball: Spies, Lies & the Con Man Who Caused a War (video)

Olbermann: Carolina On His Mind + Fool Me 935 Times… + Cash For Campaign + Bushed + Worst (videos)

Cafferty: Study: 935 False Statements Leading up to the War with Iraq (video)

Center for Public Integrity documents orchestrated campaign that led to Iraq invasion “under decidedly false pretenses”

Condoleezza Rice: Liar, Secretary of State, War Criminal Part 2