Spoke with UNSCOM veteran and Arab translator Bill Tierney re his work on the Saddam tapes that he released in Arabic at the intelligencecsummit.org.
We concentrated on the pericope where two named briefers, Maldoud and Abbas, report to Saddam Hussein with regard a “plasma” component of the Iraqi WMD program that is concealed from UN inspectors.
The date on the briefing is post 2000.
“Plasma” refers to the plasma separation process (PSP) that was developed by U.S. and French teams and then abandoned for other pursuits in the 1970s and 1980s.
Significant is that the Iraq Survey Group final report stated that
Also significant is that neither of the briefers was known to UNSCOM nor is mentioned in the Iraq Survey Group report: their whereabouts then and now is unknown.
Most significant is that Duelfer of the Iraq Survey Group was asked in general by the media (ABC News) about the Saddam tapes, and his general remark was that there is nothing new on the tapes. Duelfer was not asked specifically about any of the details, most especially he was not asked about the “plasma” briefing in 2000.
The PSP is a program that was part of the wide range of programs funded by Saddam to enhance
Tierney confirms as of this date that Duelfer’s silence on the “plasma” detail suggests an inability to comment cogently. Does Duelfer know what was left undone and unexplained by the Iraq Survey Group? Yes. Can he change the open source intelligence landscape? Yes. When? Unknown.
I add that this is not partisan politics. This is real time pursuit of the Iraq WMD teams, plans, material, technology and those who were responsible for pre- and post-war concealment of all of the above. The Bush White House is no more reliable on this inquiry than is the media. This is why it is profound that informed people fix on what can be demonstrated in open sources to be representative of the unexplained. The “plasma” briefing is a distilled essence of the Rosetta Stone of the Saddam tapes.
“Plasma.” Until the national political apparatus faces up to this mystery and speaks candidly of the scale of the threat once represented by Saddam Hussein and now represented by those who were in league with him and continue to sell their skills to rogue state masters, until such time, the risk to the United States and its allies remains.