03-22-2006, 11:48 AM
Saddam's FM was on CIA payroll
WASHINGTON (AFP) - Iraq's foreign minister under Saddam Hussein spied for the CIA before the US-led invasion in 2003 in return for a 100,000 dollar payment, a US television station reported.
In September 2002, Iraq's top diplomat Naji Sabri traded information on Hussein's alleged weapons program for cash in a French-sponsored New York City hotel room meeting, NBC reported, citing intelligence sources.
US intelligence agents believe Sabri was fully aware he was selling information to the CIA, it said.
During the cloak-and-dagger meeting, Sabri told the CIA's middleman that Saddam possessed chemical weapons and wanted a nuclear bomb but needed much more time to build one than the CIA estimate of several months to a year. (cont'd on site)
03-22-2006, 11:55 AM
I believe this piece , and I will cut Bush some slack , still think the inspections were the way to go , and The CIA was duped , should have relied on more info comming in .......I want to believe Bush didnt lie ......But the people around him fed him a bunch of shít ........
03-22-2006, 01:11 PM
Naji Sabri huh? Interesting developement for sure. I bet Naji is shiating bricks now that his name is out.
I'm not really surprised by this story. It's been reported that Israel and other informants (now we know one more) led the US to believe Saddam had WMD. Now they are telling us that they were sent to Syria. Hopefully we learned our lesson the first time.
L.A. BRONCOS FAN
03-22-2006, 09:48 PM
Iraqi diplomat gave U.S. prewar WMD details
Saddam’s foreign minister told CIA the truth, so why didn’t agency listen?
In the period before the Iraq war, the CIA and the Bush administration erroneously believed that Saddam Hussein was hiding major programs for weapons of mass destruction. Now NBC News has learned that for a short time the CIA had contact with a secret source at the highest levels within Saddam Hussein’s government, who gave them information far more accurate than what they believed. It is a spy story that has never been told before, and raises new questions about prewar intelligence.
What makes the story significant is the high rank of the source. His name, officials tell NBC News, was Naji Sabri, Iraq’s foreign minister under Saddam. Although Sabri was in Saddam's inner circle, his cosmopolitan ways also helped him fit into diplomatic circles.
In September 2002, at a meeting of the U.N.’s General Assembly, Sabri came to New York to represent Saddam. In front of the assembled diplomats, he read a letter from the Iraqi leader. "The United States administration is acting on behalf of Zionism," he said. He announced that there were no weapons of mass destruction and that the U.S. planned war in Iraq because it wanted the country’s oil.
But on that very trip, there was also a secret contact made. The contact was brokered by the French intelligence service, sources say. Intelligence sources say that in a New York hotel room, CIA officers met with an intermediary who represented Sabri. All discussions between Sabri and the CIA were conducted through a "cutout," or third party. Through the intermediary, intelligence sources say, the CIA paid Sabri more than $100,000 in what was, essentially, "good-faith money." And for his part, Sabri, again through the intermediary, relayed information about Saddam’s actual capabilities.
The sources spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the case.
The sources say Sabri’s answers were much more accurate than his proclamations to the United Nations, where he demonized the U.S. and defended Saddam. At the same time, they also were closer to reality than the CIA's estimates, as spelled out in its October 2002 intelligence estimate.
For example, consider biological weapons, a key concern before the war. The CIA said Saddam had an "active" program for "R&D, production and weaponization" for biological agents such as anthrax. Intelligence sources say Sabri indicated Saddam had no significant, active biological weapons program. Sabri was right. After the war, it became clear that there was no program.
Another key issue was the nuclear question: How far away was Saddam from having a bomb? The CIA said if Saddam obtained enriched uranium, he could build a nuclear bomb in "several months to a year." Sabri said Saddam desperately wanted a bomb, but would need much more time than that. Sabri was more accurate.
On the issue of chemical weapons, the CIA said Saddam had stockpiled as much as "500 metric tons of chemical warfare agents" and had "renewed" production of deadly agents. Sabri said Iraq had stockpiled weapons and had "poison gas" left over from the first Gulf War. Both Sabri and the agency were wrong.
Continued at link