Agam's Gecko
Monday, April 03, 2006

ormer member of the Iraq Survey Group, Ray Robison continues to publish translations and analyses of some newly released documents of the Saddam regime, but I wanted to pay particular notice to the remarks in the minders' report Ray published last week. Following the itinerary description for that particular day's inspections, the report continued:
1- I was informed by the team leader (Coalfield) that during the past days two clothing suitcases belonging to inspector Greg Lavender and the inspector (probably Coalfield: translator’s note) were broken into and their contents dispersed. They informed the hotel who promised to buy them new ones. But for the inspector the problem is not with the suitcases but the infraction and he does not want to make a problem but requests that this infraction be stopped.

2- When we visited Badr company there were Turkish and Russian experts at the site and they had to hide away from the inspectors. We demand your (General Director of the Office of National Supervision: translator’s note) instructions for what to do in case there is a face to face between the agency’s inspectors and the experts.

3- During his meeting with the general director of Badr company the team focused on how the new machinery is being imported. The director told them that it is advertised in the newspaper and middlemen or equipment agencies apply for the bid. He also told them that the equipment agency for Badr company is Al Ariqa company.

4- A copy of the special instructions for dealing with journalists was given to the director of Oumm Al Maarek company.
The presence of Russian and Turkish experts hiding within a target site -- while the UN inspectors were working -- is a significant piece of information (in light of separate revelations that Russians had passed detailed intelligence of US force structure to Saddam prior to the invasion). But it's also interesting that the inspectors apparently kept secret the subject of note 1.

Finally, recalling the voluntary reporting restrictions that CNN worked out with Saddam prior to his overthrow, I'd like to see those special instructions dealing with journalists, cited in the last note. All the main news providers were following the inspectors around to report their activities. Instructions for dealing with them could be real interesting. Maybe it will turn up as the mountain gets filtered.

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