From the February 2003 Idaho Observer:
U.S. WMD intelligence in Iraq based on outdated college paper
The world awaited U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell's Feb. 4, 2003 address to the UN Security Council where he was expected to make a strong case for going to war against Iraq. His performance, by most theatrical standards, was second to none. The substance of his report, however, was lacking credibility. The chain of evidence he presented -- intercepted cell phone communications and video footage -- was not established and could just as easily been taken completely out of context as a sign of U.S./U.K. desperation to justify to the world an invasion and occupation of Iraq. Two days later the world experienced a post-Powell anticlimax when it was discovered that U.S./U.K. intelligence with regard to Iraq was based, in part, on an outdated paper authored by a California college student of Arab descent.
by Julian Rush
The government's carefully coordinated propaganda offensive took an embarrassing hit tonight (Feb. 6, 2003) after Downing Street was accused of plagiarism.
The target is an intelligence dossier released on Monday and heralded by none other than Colin Powell at the UN yesterday.
Channel Four News has learnt that the bulk of the nineteen page document was copied from three different articles - one written by a graduate student.
On Monday, the day before U.S. Secretary of State, Colin Powell addressed the UN, Downing Street published its latest paper on Iraq.
It gives the impression of being an up to the minute intelligence-based analysis -- and Mr. Powell was fulsome in his praise.
Published on the Number 10 web site, called Iraq -- Its Infrastructure of Concealment Deception and Intimidation, it outlines the structure of Saddam's intelligence organisations.
But it made familiar reading to Cambridge academic Glen Ranwala. It was copied from an article last September in a small journal: the Middle East Review of International Affairs [http://meria.idc.ac.il/journal/2002/issue3/jv6n3a1.html]
It's author, Ibrahim al-Marashi, is a postgraduate student from Monterey, California. Large sections do indeed appear, verbatim.
For example, a section six paragraphs long on Saddam's Special Security Organisation has the exact same words as in the California student's paper.
In several places Downing Street edits the originals to make more sinister reading.
Number 10 says the Mukhabarat -- the main intelligence agency -- is spying on foreign embassies in Iraq.
The original reads: monitoring foreign embassies in Iraq.
And the provocative role of supporting terrorist organisations in hostile regimes has a weaker, political context in the original: aiding opposition groups in hostile regimes.
Even typographic mistakes in the original articles are repeated. Of military intelligence, al-Marashi writes in his original paper: The head of military intelligence generally did not have to be a relative of Saddam's immediate family, nor a Tikriti. Saddam appointed, Sabir Abd Al-Aziz Al-Duri as head... (Note the comma after appointed).
Downing Street paraphrases the first sentence: Saddam appointed, Sabir 'Abd al-'Aziz al-Duri as head during the 1991 Gulf War.
This second line is cut and pasted, complete with the same grammatical error. Plagiarism is regarded as intellectual theft.
Government dossier: (page 13), published Jan 2003:
Saddam appointed, Sabir 'Abd al-'Aziz al-Duri as head during the 1991 Gulf War. After the Gulf War he was replaced by Wafiq Jasim al-Samarrai. After Samarrai, Muhammad Nimah al-Tikriti headed Al-Istikhbarat al-Askariyya in early 1992 then in late 1992 Fanar Zibin Hassan al-Tikriti was appointed to this post.
al-Marashi document (section: MILITARY INTELLIGENCE) published Sept. 2002:
Saddam appointed, Sabir 'Abd al-'Aziz al-Duri(80) as head of Military Intelligence during the 1991 Gulf War.(81) After the Gulf War he was replaced by Wafiq Jasim al-Samarrai.(82)
Note: Mr. Rush is a reporter from the U.K. There has been a virtual media blackout on this story in the U.S. dominant media. Coverage of this significant story has been of European, particularly British origin.
On one hand we can be disgusted that the U.S. and the U.K. (the only two nations on Earth who support war in Iraq) are so desperate to justify such an endeavor they would commit such a petty crime as plagiarism. College students who submit plagiarized work receive a failing grade, are expelled from class or ordered to remove themselves from campus altogether.
The commission of such an offense by a senior statesman should, one would think, be picked up by the American dominant media.
On the other hand, we can be thrilled that the age of information that has replaced rights to privacy with government intrusion into our lives also places the likes of Secretary of State Powell into a virtual fishbowl.
For those who have eyes to see and ears to hear, we live in an age where everything we want to learn about is at our fingertips. The world's library is in our homes so long as we have a computer, a modem, power and a desire to know the truth. (DWH)
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