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During [Colin] Powell's speech [to the United Nations, 5/2/03], he also described a compound in northeastern Iraq, run by the Islamic terrorist group Ansar al-Islam, as a "terrorist chemicals and poisons factory."

When reporter Luke Harding of the Observer visited the site three days later, however, he reported finding "nothing of the kind". Describing the site as a "shabby military compound at the foot of a large snow-covered mountain," Harding said that it was "a dilapidated collection of concrete outbuildings at the foot of a grassy sloping hill. Behind the barbed wire, and a courtyard strewn with broken rocket parts, are a few empty concrete houses. There is a bakery. There is no sign of chemical weapons anywhere - only the smell of paraffin and vegetable ghee used for cooking."

Harding added that the people of the town of Khurmal, located about five kilometres away from the compound, were fearful of an American military strike once the war began, "since Mr Powell gave their town's name to the alleged chemical weapons site." And in fact, Khurmal was bombed by U.S. cruise missiles on the first weekend after the war with Iraq began, killing 45 villagers.
pp 98-99
Sheldon Rampton & John Stauber
Weapons of Mass Distraction ยท
The Uses of Propaganda in Bush's War on Iraq
[Robinson Books]

posted by Ian 7/12/2003 01:53:00 PM

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