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Iraq Confidential: The Untold Story of the Intelligence Conspiracy to Undermine the UN and Overthrow Saddam Hussein Paperback – September 28, 2006

3.9 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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The Best Worst President: What the Right Gets Wrong About Barack Obama by Mark Hannah
"The Best 'Worst President'" by Mark Hannah and Bob Staake
A noted political commentator and renowned New Yorker illustrator team up to give Barack Obama the victory lap he deserves. Learn more
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Editorial Reviews

Review

'I find myself totally in sympathy with Scott Ritter's central proposition, which is not that the intelligence agencies failed, but that the intelligence was made subordinate to policy; Scott speaks with the authority of someone who has been there.' - The Rt. Hon. Robin Cook (1946-2005) 'Ritter's revealing testimony confirms what some of us have suspected, but never heard set out so vividly.' - John Kampfner, Editor of the New Statesman 'a rermarkable book' - the Daily Mail --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Scott Ritter was the UN's top weapons inspector in Iraq between 1991 and 1998. Before working for the UN he served as a captain in the US marines and as a ballistic missile adviser to General Schwarzkopf in the first Gulf War. He opposed the build-up for war in 2003, claiming that Iraq had been effectively disarmed. Ritter lives in New York State.

Seymour Hersh is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist currently writing for the New Yorker. In his long and distinguished career he has been the first to expose many of the major scandals in US foreign policy, from the May Lai massacre in Vietnam to Abu Ghraib.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Nation Books; 1 edition (September 28, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 156025887X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1560258872
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,123,283 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By cvairag VINE VOICE on October 22, 2005
Format: 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.
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Format: 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.
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Format: 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.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Throughout the 1990s we were told Iraq wasn't complying with UN resolutions -- they arrogantly flaunted the inspections regime (UNSCOM) formed to prove compliance. This book, by a US Marine officer and weapons inspector with wide experience in Iraq, destroys many of those claims.

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.
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Format: Hardcover
Vastly informative. Monumental. This book answers just about everything you wanted to know about Iraq and its weapons of mass destruction programs. If the Iraq/wmd issue confuses you but you still want to make sense of it, this is the book that will unravel the knot for you. The book is written by a former weapons inspector who spent almost a decade ON THE GROUND in Iraq looking for wmd, so the author has extensive FIRST HAND experience. He is not just a journalist writing about things second or third hand. It is also refreshing to read a book on the subject by a person without a political agenda. In this book, Ritter tells you just about everything that the inspectors found (and didn't find) in Iraq over a period of many years, and does so candidly without the distorting filter of politics. It's also a great read. The writing style is direct and clear. Truly enthralling, spellbinding, entertaining. And yet it's scholarly also. Excellent in every respect. Ritter leaves no leaf unturned. One of the best nonfiction books I have read in a long time (and I read at least one book a week). Very good stuff.
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