77 of 79 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inside Testimony from A Hero for Our Times
Scott Ritter is a stand-up guy - of the highest order. Not only has he seen the entire tragedy of Iraq from the inception of Gulf War I through the brutal decade of sanctions, to the unfortunate denouement of U.S. policy in the current war, from unique vantage points first as military attache to Schwartzkopf in Gulf War I, later as U.N. Weapons Inspector in Iraq. Mr...
Published on October 22, 2005 by cvairag
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Tin Tin Meets Republican Guard
Scott Ritter gives a ground level view of the CIA/USA conspiracy to undermine the disarmament verification efforts by UN. Of course, in time one did not really need an inside scoop to realize that USA had only one goal in Iraq, and it had little to do with UN weapons inspection program. It must be noted that, this is not really an inside story since Ritter was never...
Published on January 12, 2009 by Alaturka
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77 of 79 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inside Testimony from A Hero for Our Times,
This review is from: Iraq Confidential: The Untold Story of the Intelligence Conspiracy to Undermine the UN and Overthrow Saddam Hussein (Hardcover)Scott Ritter is a stand-up guy - of the highest order. Not only has he seen the entire tragedy of Iraq from the inception of Gulf War I through the brutal decade of sanctions, to the unfortunate denouement of U.S. policy in the current war, from unique vantage points first as military attache to Schwartzkopf in Gulf War I, later as U.N. Weapons Inspector in Iraq. Mr. Ritter's book provides direct, 'ground-zero' witness to the material facts surrounding the build-up to the war as no other can - his is the one testimony which is unbiased by the ideological slant, special interests, or simply hampered by armchair distance that almost all other accounts are. Thus, the book is required reading for those who want the most accurate and detailed inside account of the most important single issue of the war: the justification for our invasion.
34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ritter inspires confidence,
This review is from: Iraq Confidential: The Untold Story of the Intelligence Conspiracy to Undermine the UN and Overthrow Saddam Hussein (Hardcover)At a time of conflicting arguments concerning the disaster in Iraq, Scott Ritter is among the most credible voices around. A Marine intelligence officer during the 1991 Gulf War, who calls himself a conservative Republican, Ritter voted for George Bush in 2000, in large part because of the Clinton administration's attempts to infiltrate his UN Weapons Inspection team with CIA agents in an attempt to find a way to assassinate Saddam Hussein. When the candidate Bush who renounced the goal of "regime change" morphed into the president Bush who lied and deceived the country into a war of aggression, Ritter became an outspoken critic. His analysis of the Bush regime's motives and the chaos of its war policies is incisive and very persuasive. Every citizen should read this book as well as Ritter's earlier books.
31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating account of Iraq weapons inspections, and CIA corruption,
This review is from: Iraq Confidential: The Untold Story of the Intelligence Conspiracy to Undermine the UN and Overthrow Saddam Hussein (Hardcover)Kevin Bold, if you're going to write something, could you do us all a favor and make it coherent? No wonder conservatives like you just lost the special elections, with a political seachange awaiting you in 2006.
Unlike Mr. Bold, I actually read this book--cover to cover--and came away with a much greater appreciation for the political trials and pressures that squeezed the weapons inspection program in Iraq during the 90's. Clearly, mistakes were made on all sides, and it is also clear that America never wanted inspections to succeed--to do so would have meant the lifting of sanctions.
After fully understanding the history of weapons inspections in Iraq, replete with bad US intelligence, the Iraq War becomes even sadder. Ritter makes it clear that, after 1996 or so, UNSCOM was primarily trying to find documents, not stockpiles. It was clear that Iraq no longer had missiles or launchers to speak of, and no manufacturing capabilities.
While this is not a book about the Iraq War, it will help illuminate the events that eventually led up to it, told from the perspective of an uncompromising and diligent weapons inspector.
30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars the real smoking gun (no mushroom cloud),
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Ritter's account indicts three American Administrations and the CIA. They did everything possible to ensure UN resolutions wouldn't work (while claiming the opposite). `Regime change' (unsanctioned by UN resolutions and international law) was the only acceptable outcome.
Iraqis charged UNSCOM fronted CIA covert operations dedicated to compromise their sovereignty. Turns out they were probably right. The CIA (without notice) used UNSCOM for covert ops. The only problem - the CIA had no real expertise (they were unable to accomplish anything -- least of all regime change with unreliable paid expatriate Iraqis in the mid 90s).
Ritter's most disturbing charge is the politicization of intelligence. CIA information was routinely produced to justify positions supporting previously determined administration goals. Little wonder the CIA was blind on 9/11, the Downing Street Memo, or the absence of Iraqi WMD post invasion.
The trashing of the UN was the perfect touch. We needed to preserve the agenda of a few political `scientists' and conceal their mistakes (incompetence). Why not blame it on the UN?
This work is well worth reading. You decide.
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally, THE TRUTH,
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bush's Lies for War,
Now, George W. Bush says that he accepts responsibility for taking the U.S. to war in Iraq based on faulty intelligence. -This is all wrong.
It was not the intelligence that was faulty; it was Bush's intentions to wage war against Iraq no matter what were the intelligence and the facts. He twisted the intelligence reports and invented lies around his already decided policy.
That's why he is guilty of having launched a war of aggression on lies and deception, and on having violated, in so doing, international law. He should pray that he will never be brought before an international court of justice.
36 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Truth hurts.,
Ritter's book is best summed up by Ritter in these 4 paragraphs from the Epilogue;
"The notion of the war in Iraq resulting from an intelligence failure is very convenient for all parties involved. The intelligence community can simply say that intelligence is a tricky business, and sometimes you get it wrong. This, of course, provides a convenient excuse for the politicians, and compliant media, to contend that they were simply acting in the public interest based upon the information they were given...
...In the end, to accept the concept of Iraq as an intelligence failure, one must first accept the premise that the USA was implementing, as its primary objective for Iraq, the Security Council's resolutions on disarmament. This argument is simpy not sustainable. The behavior of the United States government and its intelligence agencies during my time as an inspector was not that of a government that was serious about disarmament. Support for UNSCOM's mission was, at best, tailored to the political imperatives at any given time. There was a total willingness to compromise the integrity of UNSCOM (and with it the whole notion of multilateral disarmament) for short-term tactical advantages in the battle between the US and Iraqi regimes. Towards the end of the inspections era, elements of the US government actively sought to make UNSCOM's job more difficult by cutting it off from intelligence sources. Disarmament was simply not the USA's principal policy objective in Iraq after 1991. Regime change was.
The CIA was designated as the principal implementer of this policy. Therefore, when one looks at the March, 2003 invasion of Iraq and the subsequent removal of power of the government of Saddam Hussein, the only conclusion that can be reached is that the CIA accomplished its mission. Iraq was, in fact, a great intelligence victory, insofar as the CIA, through its manipulation of the work of the UN weapons inspectors and the distortion of fact about Iraq's WMD programs, maintained the public perception of an armed and defiant Iraq in the face of plausible and plentiful evidence to the contrary. We now know that both the US and UK intelligence services had, by July 2002, agreed to 'fix the intelligence around policy'. But the fact remains that, at least as far as the CIA is concerned, the issue of 'fixing intelligence around policy' predates July 2002, reaching as far back as 1992 when the decision was made to doctor the intelligence about Iraqi SCUD missile accounting, asserting the existence of missiles in the face of UNSCOM inspection results which demonstrated that there were none.
As an American, I find it very disturbing that the intelligence services of my country would resort to lies and deceit when addressing an issue of such fundamental importance to the security of the USA. Intelligence, to me, has always been about the facts. When intelligence is skewed to fit policy, then the entire system of trust that is fundamental in a free and democratic society is put at risk. Iraq, and the role of the CIA in selling the war with Iraq, is a manifestation of such a breach of trust."
We've been had. On the Grand Scale. The problem of "politicization of intelligence" is clearly a bi-partisan issue.
I'm recommending this book for anyone who seeks the truth about Iraq's WMD's. I'm giving this book 5/5 stars just for delivering up the truth, damn the consequences.
27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars non-partisan,
38 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Get your facts straight, San Diego Loser.,
Mr. "Loser" then recites that oft-repeated but false assertion that "U.N. weapons inspectors were kicked out of Iraq in 1998." In fact, the inspectors were withdrawn by Richard Butler, head of the United Nations weapons inspection team in Iraq, in anticipation of President Clinton ordering airstrikes.
As to Seymour Hersh's contributions to this outstanding work, to term the Pulitzer Prize-winning author "JFK's Kitty Kelley" is to demonstrate inexcusable ignorance of Mr. Hersh's body of work which includes "Chain of Command" and "The Price of Power: Kissinger in the White House", along with the prize-winning expose on the My Lai massacre. Perhaps Mr."Loser" should peruse some of Seymour Hersh's work, rather than repeating facile, inaccurate quips.
Finally, as to Scott Ritter's conveniently-timed arrest (coming, as it did, when his opinions were gaining widening attention and support), Mr. "Loser" fails to note that this misdemeanor arrest ended in a prompt, if unpublicized, dismissal. I might suggest that Mr. "Loser's" only other review would seem to indicate his own particular scholarly focus.
23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I don't believe in crystal balls...but,
This man tells the truth now as he did long before the war began.
It's a shame no one listened to him then.
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Iraq Confidential: The Untold Story of the Intelligence Conspiracy to Undermine the UN and Overthrow Saddam Hussein by Scott Ritter (Paperback - September 28, 2006)
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