''Khidhir Hamza: The bogus intelligence source''
Wednesday, October 15, 2003 @ 00:15:36 CST

By Imad Khadduri
Former Iraqi nuclear scientist
YellowTimes.org Guest Columnist (Canada)


(YellowTimes.org) -- Belatedly, in a September 29, 2003 article in the New York Times by Douglas Jehl, the Defense Intelligence Agency has awkwardly admitted that most of the intelligence and information offered by the Iraqi National Congress (INC) for the past several years, which was provided by Iraqi defectors of questionable credibility, was of little to no value, all at a cost of $150 billion, more than 300 dead American soldiers, and at least 10,000 dead Iraqi civilians.


A prominent and callous epithet of such defectors mentioned in the above article is Khidhir Hamza, the self-claimed Iraqi atomic "Bomb Maker." Given a short lived assignment in the Iraqi nuclear program in 1987 to lead the atomic bomb design team, he was kicked out a few months later for petty theft. Reduced to a non-entity in the accelerated nuclear weapons program between 1987 and the start of the 1991 war, he retired from the Iraqi Atomic Energy Commission in 1989 and became a college lecturer, a stock market swindler and a shady business middle-man.

Upon his escape from Iraq in 1994, leaving his family behind, he was shunned asylum by the Iraqi opposition groups themselves, the CIA and the British intelligence agencies that were supporting these groups.


Seeking refuge as a lecturer in Libya, he still managed, through the INC, to initiate his usefulness to them by the publication of a series of three articles in the British Sunday Times in 1995 claiming through fake documents supplied by "authoritative sources" that Iraq was currently making atomic bombs. The Sunday Times passed them on to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for its valuation, but decided not to report the IAEA's findings that the documents were "not authentic." The Sunday Times has not yet acknowledged using forgeries in their stories about Iraq's supposed nuclear weapons.


Panicking after his son's arrival to Libya in order to appeal with him to return to Iraq to protect his family, he once again knocked on the doors of the IAEA, the INC and the CIA, but to no avail.


Only when Hussain Kamel, the man in charge of all weapons of mass destruction (WMD) work and research in Iraq since the late eighties, had escaped to Jordan in August 1995 and informed the IAEA about his efforts to hide the scientific reports on WMD research in his chicken farm, did the CIA feel that Hamza would be useful to them and then nestled him to their bosom.


Once settled, Hamza went into hyperspin, giving interviews, writing a book, appearing on TV talk shows and speaking before congressional committees forwarding the premise that Iraq had rejuvenated its nuclear weapons program and was within just a few years from a few atomic bombs.


His false claims are dealt with in detail in my recently published book, "Iraq's Nuclear Mirage," and in an article "Saddam's bomb maker is full of lies" that was published on November 27, 2002 and is also included in the above mentioned site.


He kept up his barrage, in a CNN interview, until the last week before the occupation of Iraq. He was then sent by the Pentagon to Iraq behind American tanks to "counsel" on the country's nuclear industry, with a very lucrative salary.


He is at present aiding the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) in the handling of Iraqi nuclear scientists and engineers. Several of them have been interned for having come forward with their meager information while others are being refused their passports to leave Iraq.


Strangely, none of the American media that fell over themselves in the past few years by hosting Hamza for his hyperbolic lies about Iraq's potential nuclear arsenal have now considered approaching him during the past six months to follow up on his claims of a rejuvenated nuclear weapons program. He was most certainly useless to David Kay's fruitless investigations.


Lest the American media have lost their sense of accountability, others have not.


[Imad Khadduri has a MSc in Physics from the University of Michigan (United States) and a PhD in Nuclear Reactor Technology from the University of Birmingham (United Kingdom). Khadduri worked with the Iraqi Atomic Energy Commission from 1968 until 1998. He was able to leave Iraq in late 1998 with his family. He now teaches and works as a network administrator in Toronto, Canada.]

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