Fri, Mar 14, 2003
'Revelation' Lacks Credibility, on All Fronts
attempting to make Secretary of State Colin Powell look like a
fool, showed doting journalists what it said was the drone Powell
referred to recently, when the Secretary warned that Saddam had
UAVs that could spread chemical or biological agents.
Iraq said this contraption, a 24½-foot-wingspan, fuel
tank-fuselage, stick and rag machine was what Powell was warning
the world about -- and the journalists ate it up.
Iraq says the machine does not have the 150+km (93+ mile) range
Powell claims (which would make it "illegal"); and, in any event,
Iraq says this isn't a true UAV -- it's more like a radio-control
machine, requiring ground controllers to stay in sight of it, and
within five miles or so. The machine apparently had no internal
Whether Saddam's boys are telling the truth about this
particular machine, or not, there are still a number of unresolved
issues surrounding it:
Iraq says the machine was in the semi-annual
report, issued in January of this year, though that declaration
erroneously said the wingspan was four meters (about 13 feet). Iraq
says that was a typo.
- In its release Monday of last week's report, "Unresolved
Disarmament Issues, Iraq’s Proscribed Weapons Programs,"
UNMOVIC said this machine had not been declared by Iraq.
- Regardless later developments and reports, the drone was
definitely not included in the December 8 "comprehensive
declaration" submitted to the UN, the so-called, "full, final and
complete accounting of weapons programs."
- Interestingly, although UN inspectors had toured the very
location where the R/C airplane [tagged, RPV-30A]was shown to
reporters as recently as February 10, those inspectors hadn't seen
it. Their excuse: they were looking for smaller aircraft!
- Iraq says that the big machine was missed, because it is so
easy to disassemble. They neglected to explain why it would have
been disassembled and hidden at that time.
- In this week's oral report, chief weapons inspector Hans Blix
neglected to mention the aircraft's existence.
- Iraq says it is working to answer current questions about the
UAV program, and the RPV-30A in particular.
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