Monday, June 30, 2003

David Kay has been appointed by CIA Director George Tenet to be Special Advisor for Strategy regarding Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction Programs. This means Kay will go to Iraq and lead the 1,300-member Iraq Survey Group to find those missing weapons of mass destruction. This is an extraordinary development for a number of reasons:

  1. Who is David Kay? He used to work for the International Atomic Energy Agency. He is the former U.N. Special Commission chief nuclear weapons inspector, and as such spent time in Iraq right after the Gulf War looking for nuclear weapons on behalf of the United Nations. He is a former secretary general of the Uranium Institute, now called the World Nuclear Association, an apologist for nuclear power generation (whose co-chairman is currently Hans Blix!). Much more intriguingly, he is a former Corporate Senior Vice President of Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), an extremely successful privately owned military contractor. He has spent much of the last five to ten years giving presentations in favor of attacking Iraq based on its alleged possession of weapons of mass destruction (for example, see here and here and here and here and here and here and - ahem - here in a Judith Miller article maintained on a State Department web site). Kay's own professional reputation lies in the balance if such weapons of mass destruction are not found.

  2. SAIC is an employee-owned corporation based in San Diego that is known for its extreme aggressiveness in obtaining government, mainly military, contracts, and for its extreme financial success (some background here and here, and a recent story here). It is deeply embedded in the Pentagon. It has been heavily involved in contracts involving the Pentagon's plans for a missile defense system and the Future Combat Systems Program (remember that missile defense, the transformation of the military, and the removal of Saddam are express plans of the PNAC'ers; while PNAC wrote about the need for a 'Pearl Harbor', SAIC likes the expression 'electronic Pearl Harbor' in order to drum up business). SAIC makes electronic counterterrorism equipment, and has benefitted mightily from the 'war on terror' which followed 9-11.

  3. SAIC is involved in Iraq in at least three ways:

    • the construction and operation of a U. S. propaganda radio station at Umm Qasr, which will be part of a network including a nationwide propaganda television channel and an 'independent' propaganda newspaper

    • the management of the Iraqis who the Pentagon plans to instal as the lead bureaucrats for the Iraqi government of the future

    • some other matter which is secret enough that the company won't talk about it, although a good guess might be that it has to do with electronic spying.

  4. The timing of Kay's departure is interesting. He had a very high-level and presumably very lucrative position at a top military contractor until October 2002, when he left to work for yet another think tank (which specializes in miliary policy and terrorism). It is an odd career move, but it freed him up to be an 'independent' commentator in favor of the attack on Iraq (another guy who recently worked for SAIC is anthrax patsy Steven Hatfill). Do you think he ever really left SAIC?

  5. The contract with respect to the Iraqi future government is odd. In February 2003 the Pentagon established the Iraqi Reconstruction and Development Council under the "Future of Iraq Project" (for background see here). Most members appear to have been drawn from the Iraqi Forum for Democracy, and are led by Emad Dhia. The Iraqis started planning in offices near the Pentagon, were taken to Vienna to prepare for their future duties, and are now in Baghdad. They are employees of SAIC, and therefore we have an example of the ultimate in privatization: the leaders of the future Iraqi bureaucracy are employees of an American corporation! The complete failure of the Americans to properly run Baghdad has probably delayed whatever plans the Pentagon had for these bureaucrats of the future, and it remains to be seen how this all plays out. Khidir Hamza, the man who supplied much of the propaganda background for the lies regarding nuclear weapons of mass destruction, is part of the group being organized by SAIC.

  6. One of the great puzzles of the attack on Iraq is the fact that the Americans have still not yet planted the weapons of mass destruction. With all the military in place it should have been a relatively simple matter to fly in some suspicious chemicals and laboratory equipment, and immediately 'find' them. Why hasn't this happened already? Did they try to do it and suffered some mishap which would account for the delay? Are they afraid that they cannot produce materials that look genuine? Are they afraid that someone in the military or the CIA would leak details of the planting? Obviously, being caught would be disastrous, so it will require a top expert to do the job. Is David Kay that expert? Might he be getting assistance from some military contractor that he used to work for that happens to be in Iraq for other secret and not-so-secret purposes?

We know the weapons aren't there due to the conveniently forgotten testimony of General Hussein Kamel and others, and due to the fact that American rewards and interrogation (carrots and sticks) applied to Iraqi scientists have not revealed one iota of evidence that such weapons still exist or existed prior to the attack on Iraq. We know that Cheney and Rumsfeld and Bush were in receipt of CIA intelligence that should have left them unable to continue to use the excuse of weapons of mass destruction posing an imminent threat to the United States, but in the face of that intelligence they lied over and over again. Now a man who has been warmongering against Iraq for years based on the statement that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction, and a man with connections to a large military contractor with extensive ties to the Pentagon's missile defense program and Future Combat Systems Program, is being sent out to find these weapons. Do you think he'll find what he's looking for?