US Indymedia Global Indymedia Publish About us
Printed from Boston IMC :
IVAW Winter Soldier

Winter Soldier
Brad Presente

Other Local News

Spare Change News
Open Media Boston
Somerville Voices
Cradle of Liberty
The Sword and Shield

Local Radio Shows

WMBR 88.1 FM
What's Left
WEDS at 8:00 pm
Local Edition
FRI (alt) at 5:30 pm

WMFO 91.5 FM
Socialist Alternative
SUN 11:00 am

WZBC 90.3 FM
Sounds of Dissent
SAT at 11:00 am
Truth and Justice Radio
SUN at 6:00 am

Create account Log in
Comment on this article | View comments | Email this article | Printer-friendly version
News ::
10 Mar 2003
Modified: 10:24:56 PM
Saddamís Bombmaker Exposes a Tyrantís Quest for Nukes
March 10, 2003 Ė Those who know Saddam Hussein
say White House claims about the Iraqi leader are
true, and his chief ambition really is to possess a
nuclear weapon.

Saddam is said to want the bombs so that he can
threaten Israel, and for the prestige and security he
thinks it will give him. Iraqís dictator may have been
within only months of building a nuclear weapon
when the U.S. invaded Iraq in the first Gulf War and
set the program back. Now there is a guessing
game among experts as to how close he is.

Those who have known Saddam say if he is
allowed to stay in power, he will have a nuclear
bomb before long. And Saddam has said in the
past, if he gets it, he will use it.

Pat Robertson spoke with the former architect of
Iraq's nuclear weapons program, Dr. Khidhir
Hamza, for an inside look at Saddam Husseinís
quest for weapons of terror and mass destruction.

PAT ROBERTSON: A week ago I read a fascinating
book called Saddamís Bombmaker. It was
published in the year 2000, but itís certainly right
up-to-date today. Itís by the man who headed the
Atomic Energy Commission for Saddam Hussein
that was his bomb maker. He was able to flee the
country and is now in the United States, and itís a
pleasure to have the author of this very fascinating
book with us today, Dr. Hamza. Dr. Hamza is the
co-author of that book. And Doctor, itís a delight to
have you with us on "The 700 Club" today. Thank
you for being with us.

DR. KHIDHIR HAMZA: Thank you, Pat.

ROBERTSON: In your book you indicated that the Osirak nuclear facility, that reactor was
close to bringing a bomb. Tell us how important Menachem Beginís strike was. That
was a preemptive strike. How important was that to the world?

HAMZA: Actually, what it did is delay, it did not eliminate the danger of Iraq making a
nuclear weapon, or rather Saddam making a nuclear weapon. What we were planning
was using the French fuel we had, to turn the fuel into plutonium by extracting from the
spent fuel the plutonium in a facility sold to us by the Italians. By hitting the reactor they
destroyed that route, the plutonium route to the bomb. What happened is then we
picked up another route, which is the enrichment route, uranium enrichment route.
Thatís, of course, much longer. It took a lot of research and development to get there.

ROBERTSON: Well, if that strike hadnít taken place, though, Iraq would have had a bomb
within a year then, wouldnít it?

HAMZA: Yes. Yes, within a couple of years probably. The estimate was that Iraq would
make something like four kilograms a year from that reactor. You need minimum of five
kilograms for a bomb. So probably within two years after the reactor start we could have
had a bomb, yes.

ROBERTSON: The complicity of the FrenchÖ in your book it was shocking that not only
were they selling material, but they were upping the price four and even as high as ten
times. The Germans were doing the same thing and then there was a British company
that was bought by Iraqi intermediaries. Tell us about those participants.

HAMZA: Actually, when we went to France, they started with 25 million. The International
Atomic Energy told us the facility, all of it with all the other parts we need for the nuclear
reactor, would cost, all of it, no more than 50 million. We paid, in the end, more than 200
million. When we asked them why, they said, "We price all our contracts in Iraq at actual
cost multiplied by four." So you see, 75 percent net profit in everything they do inside
Iraq. So they had a bonanza in Iraq which is very lucrative. Thatís why you see Chirac
has right now a personal representative, in addition to the French ambassador, sitting
in Baghdad talking to the Iraqi government, every step along the way trying to prevent the
war and trying to present at least the fiction of compliance to the world.

ROBERTSON: You mention in your book something that was really horrifying, that there
were bunkers and in the bunkers were various types of chemical agents, nerve gas,
etc., that Saddam knew our troops would explode as they moved into Iraq. Would you
elaborate on that?

HAMZA: Yes. He asked us, actually, to make one nuclear weapon from the French fuel
we had. You see the French, when the reactor was destroyed, they didnít take the fuel
back. They left it in Iraq. And the fuel is bomb-grade, so that you can take the uranium
out of it and use it directly in a bomb. So extracting the uranium from the fuel was a
problem to us at the time, at least we presented it as a bigger problem than it actually
is. And Saddam delayed that option.

And instead he got two other options, which is putting biological and chemical weapons
on the path of U.S. troops coming to Baghdad. Actually, the Nasiriyah explosion ó
which spread a lot of chemicals among the U.S. troops and probably one of the causes
of the Gulf War syndrome, probably the main cause of the Gulf War Syndrome ó was
one of these explosions. Iraq had several. Saddam put several of these in front of the
U.S. troops, and they were huge depots with thousands of bombs in them, and
presumably he will claim that the U.S. Air Force blew them up. Actually, he put dynamite
in them and wired them and made them ready to explode once the U.S. forces come
near them.

ROBERTSON: In essence, he was booby-trapping this. Well, you said that, knowingly or
unknowingly the Pentagon was sort of complicit in this because they denied that there
was any reality in the Gulf War Syndrome. And what youíre saying is the Gulf War
Syndrome that affected at least 100,000 troops was caused by these poisonous

HAMZA: Yes, actually I was contacted here by some of the Gulf War groups that are
trying to present their case. And what I did [was] I didnít go along with this. I didnít want
to go against the Pentagon or the U.S. government in this because I thought they are
party, I mean, the whole thing is really, it is a human catastrophe.

But the biggest part of the catastrophe is the Iraqis. If you go to the south of Iraq, you will
see so many cancers, mutilated babies that come out with all kinds of diseases,
disfigured people, diseases, very strange diseases. Hospitals are full of them. What is
bad is, when I contacted several UN organizations that go inside Iraq to try to get them
to make some kind of statistics of how many cancer cases there are in the South, they
refused to get along. They are afraid the Iraqi government will stop them from going
there anymore. So what we have, really, whatever you have here in the U.S. as Gulf War
Syndromes, you can multiply it at least by ten times and you will get as many Iraqis and
a really bad situation over there.

ROBERTSON: You worked directly for Saddamís son-in-law who later had some kind of
a brain tumor operation, was mentally unstable, defected. Tell us more about him.

HAMZA: Oh, he was a realÖexcuse the word, "thuggish" group. I mean, you work with
them, they rule the country, they want to be treated like princes. And he did. He wanted
me to treat him like heís a prince, a crown prince. But heís really very thuggish. Itís like
dealing with the Mafia. And what happened is that immediately I got there and they were
in a panic. I went there in 1987. I became working with him as director of the nuclear
weapon program, and he wanted a bomb in six months. And he would call me two,
three oíclock at night, every day, waking me up. "What is going on? What happened?" It
was a veryÖ it was a nightmare. Working with him was a nightmare.

But what he showed me was the extent to which you can buy technology from Europe.
He had an agent in Europe named Ali Abd al-Muttalib. He is wanted now by almost all
Europe and U.S. law enforcement. And Ali Abd al-Muttalib hasÖsomething like 100
million a week transferred to him ó thatís in addition to the large contracts ó which is
just spending money, about 5 billion a year. And when I went to Germany, he was the
agent of Kamil, thatís Saddamís son-in-law. When he calls one of the major
corporations in Germany or anywhere in Europe, they come running to the Iraqi
embassy and they gave us anything we wanted, including some contraband. For
example, I asked even for low enriched uranium and they will say they will look into it.

So you can see the influence this man has within Europe was tremendous and how
they fawn upon him when he comes over, how they try to supply everything he asks for.
Germany supplied Iraq with missile technology with, most of it is proscribed, the
flow-forming technology where they make the missile case, outer casing and many of
the other parts of the technology of making engines for the missile. Which makes Iraq
has the capability, if it is left alone now, to have missiles that can deliver nuclear

ROBERTSON: Doctor, you know thereís so much debate now: "Well, we must have more
inspections." The Germans, the French are saying, "Well, letís allow more time for
inspectors." There were inspections going on while you were head of this Atomic
Energy Commission. What did they find? And what will they find?

HAMZA: They found nothing in four years. In four years what they could find was the
large facilities. So when they went to large buildings and blew them up, thatís fine. But
the equipment were not there, most of the equipment. They were hidden somewhere
else. The people were not there. They were spread along smaller units and working out
of trucks, out of bungalows, out of small offices, houses. So what you have here is really
a semblance of dismantling the program. Just the appearance of doing so. The actual
program is somewhere else.

And what Iraq did, instead of having, for example, the biological weapon programs in
three large facilities, it is separate now among something like 50 facilities. The nuclear
weapon program is more than 70, 80 units by now, spread all over the country, in
houses and hospitals. The computer I used to work on is sitting now in a hospital wing
in Saddamís city outside, in the outskirts of Baghdad in a hospital for the mentally
insane. So you can see the man stops at nothing. Mosques, hospitals, schools,
houses, residential districts, they are all used to hide weapons of mass destruction. So
an inspector, unless he has some inside intelligence, has no way, really, of knowing
where to go.

ROBERTSON: So what youíre saying is that this inspection regime being pushed by the
French and the Germans and others is nothing but a charade?

HAMZA: Exactly. Letís look at the history. From 1991 until 1995, they could not find the
biological weapon program despite it is located in three large facilities. Iraq never
admitted it and they could not find it in four years. And mind you that then, between 1991
and 1995, they had 3,000 inspectors. What we have now is something like 200. So
3,000 inspectors in four years, they couldnít find the program thatís just in three large
buildings. Now how can they find the program right now thatís on trucks, on mobile
units, underground, and in houses and hospital wings? How can they find that now?

Iraq actually is becoming really good at hiding facilities and equipment and other
programs of this kind. The nuclear weapon program was not declared by Iraq until 1995
when Kamil himself, the head of the Iraqi military industry, escaped to Jordan and
defected. So you have really, without inside intelligence, the inspectors can find nothing.
Now we gave them that. The U.S. gave them that. I testified in the Senate a way to give
them that and it was incorporated in the U.S. draft resolution which was approved, and
that is take the scientists out of the country with their families and debrief them there,
because the scientists are prisoners and they really have a hostage situation with their
family. Their families are hostages and they are prisoners. If they say anything, they are
dead or a member of their family is dead. When I left Iraq, three times they tried to kill my
son. So take them out with their families. They have not done that and they refuse to do

ROBERTSON: One last question. And I know this is going to be a messy war, but if you
were advising President Bush, and undoubtedly youíve had a chance to do something
like that, what do you tell him? Go forward? Be resolute regardless of the UN?

HAMZA: Oh, the UN is useless. The UN never helped anybody. Remember, I mean, the
last 50 years, any serious decision was taken out of the UN really. What you have here
in the Middle East, the Middle East itself is a bomb that is going to explode one day.
What you have is resentment there and hostility to the U.S., born out of frustration with
the regimes. We have really bad governments over there, and a group of dictators who
are not ready to give power to anybody. They will not relax their grips on the region, so
what they would do to stay in power is militarize, arm, and be more oppressive. This is
the only way they could control the keg they are sitting on.

By taking Saddam out, and taking over Iraq and turning it into a democracy ó it doesnít
have to be the best democracy in the world, it can have elements of democracy like you
started with South Korea to a degree, where it is now much more democratic than it
was ten years ago ó by turning Iraq into a democracy and relieving the tension
gradually in the region and trying to push the region or nudge it gradually into a more
open and democratic governments, you are relieving a lot of people, taking the pressure
from these societies which are really bottled up for too long.

I would say to President Bush, "You will be received a hero in Iraq. The U.S. forces will
be received like liberators." And they were in 1991 when they invaded and went through
the South. They were received like heroes, like liberators. And really forget about what
the Arab governments are saying. They are trying to defend their thrones. They are trying
to stay where they are. Just go in like we did in Afghanistan and then Iraq, and then
gradually the region will have to change its ways and relieve the pressure on these poor
citizens who are really too oppressed and too demoralized for too long.

ROBERTSON: Dr. Hamza, I see thatís all the time, but thank you so much. This book,
ladies and gentleman, amplifies a great many things youíll find fascinating. It is a very
well-written bookÖitís still available. Dr. Khidir Hamza, Saddamís Bombmaker, [former]
head of the Iraqi Atomic Energy Commission.
Add a quick comment
Your name Your email


Text Format
Anti-spam Enter the following number into the box:
To add more detailed comments, or to upload files, see the full comment form.


Iraqis are living only (english)
10 Mar 2003
only a short distance from a rogue nuclear nation. Saddam needs nuclear arms to protect his people from attacks be any nation with nuckes. It's complete racism to allow Jews in Israel to have nukes and not to allow Muslim countries the same proviledge.

Fair is fair.