Thursday, August 31, 2006

WMD expert quit Iraq search over 'flawed methods' of the CIA

AN expert who took part in the hunt for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq said today that he quit because he felt the programme was being used to justifying the United States' decision to go to war.

John Gee, a chemical weapons expert with Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, quit the US-led Iraq Survey Group in March 2004.

His resignation came months before it finally concluded that Saddam Hussein's regime had dismantled its chemical, biological and nuclear weapons programmes years before the US-led invasion in early 2003.

His reasons weren't made public at the time, but Mr Gee today said he resigned because the Iraq Survey Group's activities were "to all intents and purposes determined by the CIA" and its methods and operations were "fundamentally flawed".

The CIA analysts in teams searching for chemical and biological weapons were the same ones who concluded before the invasion - officially called Operation Iraqi Freedom - that they must exist, Gee wrote in his resignation letter.

"Much of the two teams' work is geared to trying to justify pre-OIF judgements rather than any attempt to establish the facts surrounding Iraq's WMD programs," Gee wrote in March 2004.



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