Monday 10 May 2004

Scarlett Rewarded for Helping Cover Up Dr. Kelly's Murder

by Trowbridge H. Ford

While miscarriages of justice are commonplace - usually wrongful convictions of defendants because of perjured testimony, police misconduct in gaining confessions, overly ambitious prosecutors in combating crime, bribed jurors in reaching verdicts, corrupt judges in directing convictions, and the like - they can be rectified to a considerable degree by appealing convictions to higher courts, initiating counter suits in the same criminal courts against one's tormentors for false imprisonment, and opening civil actions for damages.

Modern states have a multiplicity of institutions and processes to help insure that the facts and law in such cases, especially murders, are properly applied. In fact, their very development was driven by the need of establishing more reliable prosecutors, police, witnesses, jurors, and judges so that rampant crime could be reduced and controlled. Thanks to instititions like inquests, grand and petty juries, sheriffs, impartial juries, reasonable procedures, professional prosecutors, knowledgeable judges, and appropriate punishments, criminal law administration became an increasingly predictable precess in which the state was seen essentially as the unbiased dispenser of justice.

The only area in which its procedures and actions were restricted was in cases of national security in which the preservation of the state itself took precedence over any public or private interest - what has slowly expanded during the past century because of the increasing threats of domestic and international terrorism. In the process, citizens have seen their states manipulating public opinion more to suit their purposes, and limitations of rights to criminal due process, especially jury trials, in order to insure that alleged troublemakers are not free to do what, it seems, they want. States have even resorted to imprisonment without trial to meet alleged public security crises.

But what if these instititions, either by accident or design, choose to see serious crime, especially murders, as either simple accidents or self-inflicted killings? In Britain's case, the record is not good, particularly because of how it met the so-called Troubles in Northern Ireland. The Savile Inquiry to determine if British soldiers deliberately murdered the unarmed protesters on Bloody Sunday has only lined the pockets of lawyers of victims and alleged perpetrators up to now, and the judicial inquiries into Army collusion in some of the outrageous sectarian killings, particularly by loyalists, have only been appointed after the most spirited opposition by Whitehall. What are the remedies if Britain openly tolerated or committed a state-sponsored murder which suited the interests of the governors in Downing Street? The answer seems to be nothing.

In no case are these concerns more transparently evident than in the tragic murder of Dr. David Kelly on Oxfordshire's Harrowdown Hill on July 17, 2003. Kelly was no middle-level microbiologist within the MoD when the murder occurred, but its chief scientific adviser who had played a leading role in all kinds of chemical and biological weapons inquiries. When Dr. Vladimir Pasechnik, Director of Moscow's Institute of Ultra Pure-Biological Preparations (Biopreparat), defected to Britain in 1989, and spilled the beans on how the Soviets had been flagrantly violating the Biological Weapons Convention of 1972, Kelly was the senior principal scientific officer at the Chemical Defence Establishment at Porton Down who helped MI6 evaluate the scientific significance of Pasechnik's claims.

In January 1991, Kelly was the Biological Warfare (BW) Adviser to Porton Down who helped a most secret US/UK team investigate Pasechnik's claims in the USSR. About Kelly's performance in determining that the Soviets were trying to weaponize genetically engineered smallpox, Tom Mangold and Jeff Goldberg have written in Plague Wars: The Terrifying Reality of Biological Warfare: "The more Kelly pressed, the more the Soviets fudged. Kelly has needle-sharp concentration backed up by world-recognized expertise in every aspect of biological warfare. Opponents have learned to their cost that it is pointless to obfuscate or dissimulate with him." (p. 135)

Pasechnik's leads showed that the USSR had been developing ICBMs at Berdsk, Omutninsk, Sverdlovsk until the deadly anthrax accident there in 1979, and Stepnogorsk in the Aral Sea afterwards which could deliver devastating BW warheads to 'deep targets' within the UK and the USA in less than an hour's preparation by only two men. The team's joint-report, prepared for Britain's Joint Intelligence Committee, and in the writing of which Kelly played a leading role, was a wake-up call to London and Washington of the dangers they still faced as the USSR went into its death throes.

In fact, the report was so damning that it helped cause the defection of Dr. Kanatjan Alibekov aka Ken Alibec, Biopreparat's senior technical officer, after Moscow sent a similar team to inspect America's biological warfare facilities in December. Thanks in part to Kelly's presence as an official observer, the Soviets engaged in similar probing of them, but it completely backfired, obliging Alibekov to defect. He confirmed that Kelly had been right in contending that the pitted marks inside the Ololensk test chamber during the earlier trip showed that Moscow had been engaged in an offensive biological weapons program all along.

After the disintegration of the USSR, and the establishment of the trilateral process of 'reciprocal' guidelines for the inspection of one another's BW facilities, Kelly was co-leader of the UK/USA inspections at Pokrov and Berdsk, and then at Omutninsk and Obolensk to document that his previous complaints about its explosive test chamber had been remedied. At Pokrov, Kelly, after viewing hardened bunkers full of hundreds of thousands of hen's eggs to culture BW agents, concluded that it was a strategic weapons system for the delivery of smallpox "... even in the new Yeltsin era." (p.198) At Berdsk, Kelly's team saw theat the Russians had been building a facility which could produce 33 times what UN inspections had established Saddam Hussein's BW production was capable of.

The only good signs of the visits by Kelly's team were at Obolensk where the Russians had finally removed that famous explosive test chamber, new construction had been halted, and the staff size and activity had been greatly reduced. "In essence," Kelly told Mangold and Goldberg in an interview in October 1998, "the place had gone dormant rather than been converted by converts." (Quoted from p. 199.)

After the first Gulf War - when it was still suspected that all of Iraq's BW production capability had not been destroyed by risky air attacks - Rolf Ekeus's United Nations Special Commission on Iraq (UNSCOM) relied increasingly upon Kelly, now of loan from the MoD as its senior adviser on biological defence, to determine what had happened to it, and where all the unemployed Russian BW scientists might have gone. Thanks to Western intelligence reports, especially the input in late 1995 from defector Hussein Kamel - Saddam's son-in-law and former director of Iraq's Military Industrial Corporation - Kelly was not fooled by Baghdad's counterclaims and releases of information to rebut his charges. As Kelly told Mangold and Goldberg in January 1999 - after the UK and USA had launched the Desert Fox air attacks on Iraq to destroy what they believed Baghdad still possessed in the way of biological weapons - it seemed like deja vue with what he had already experienced with Moscow.

Germs: The Ultimate Weapon, written by Judith Miller, Stephen Engelberg, and William Broad, put it this way: "Shown copies of the CIA's 1991 reports years later, several UNSCOM inspectors could only wonder what might have been....Kelly, in particular, saw missed opportunities in the CIA reports....*It would have affected the investigation profoundly,' he said." (p. 131)

Of course, as it turned out after the second Gulf War, Iraq was found not have had any WMD, especially biological ones, after a most extensive and vigorous search - one in which the torture of Iraqis became commonplace in the hope of finding WMD intelligence - and it is easy to imagine why Kelly would have then committed suicide - what the Hutton Inquiry etablished, and Oxfordshire Coroner Nicholas Gardiner saw no public need to review upon the advice of the politically appointed Lord Chancellor Falconer. It is easy to imagine how Kelly would have killed himself because of the loss of self-esteem, colleagues' confidence, and possible employment - what Oxford Professor and suicide expert Keith Hawton was hired by the Hutton Inquiry to authenticate - if that was all there was to the story, what these sources and others would like you to believe.

Mangold essentially concluded his book by contrasting Kelly and American UNSCOM inspector Scott Ritter in the starkest terms. Kelly, thanks to a meeting that French female UNSCOM inspector Annick Paul-Herriot arranged with an Israeli military intelligence (Aman) officer in New York in January 1995, learned that British and German companies had supplied the Iraqis with 32 tons of growth medium - what it could not account for fully later, and what he was sure was being used to develop an anthrax capability: "They could send a couple of Scuds with anthrax warheads against Israel or Kuwait today...The defection of Hussein Kamel and the discovery of the chicken farm documents did put an end to the active programme, but it won't take much to reignite the whole thing," Kelly said in October 1998.

On the other hand, Ritter, according to Mangold and Goldberg, was simply a rude, loose cannon who used his employment by Tel Aviv as an Aman spy to promote his own personal agenda for Saddam's rogue state. "This was a personal matter, and he ran the Israeli operation from his hip pocket." (p. 314) The Israelis told Ritter all about how Iraq was now hiding its growing BW capability from any possible UNSCOM inspection - what became the centerpiece of MI6's dodgy September 2002 dossier, and what Secretary of State Colin Powell emphasized before the Security Council the following February as the Coalition prepared to go to war. According to PLAGUE Wars, Ritter played Saddam's shell game about where the weapons were to a tee - what the CIA was exploiting - until his Russian wife's allegiances, and Ritter's own, given his tight Israeli connections (p. 315), came to the fore - forcing his almost immediate resignation. In sum, according to Mangold and Goldberg, Ritter ruined UNSCOM inspections by giving "...Baghdad the Israeli intelligence card, a mistake when so many neutral, third-world countries are watching the poker game." (p. 316)

The only trouble with this stark contrast was that both Kelly and Ritter were relying upon the same Israeli intelligence service, Aman, and they were both introduced to its agents by the same French UNSCOM inspector, Annick Paul-Henriot, what Mangold and Goldberg saved for an out-of-the-way, vague footnote: "Ritter was not the first to make the Israeli connection. This contact was pioneered by another inspector Annick Paul-Henriot (now deceased), and led directly to UNSCOM's huge break that uncovered the Iraqi purchase of the growth medium from Britain." (note 16, pp. 450-1) Of course, if Ritter could come to see the hollowness of Tel Aviv's claims, and the spying behind CIA's actions, so could Kelly. And so did Kelly, as his interviews with the BBC's Andrew Gilligan and Susan Watts just before his death demonstrated.

What is even more interesting is that no one seemed interested in how Paul-Henriot, whose team had doogedly pursued Rihad Taha, Iraq's infamous Dr. Germ, met her death, especially when after the anthrax attacks in America all kinds of researchers, especially Gordon Thomas, were talking about microbiologists dying mysteriously in droves - what, it seems, was a complete deception to connect Saddam's regime to the attacks on the WTC and the Pentagon. How and when she met her death is apparently nowhere to be found on the web. It is even more mysterious than how and when Vladimir Pasechnik, whose company Regma could always find a place for Kelly, met his end sometime after the 9/11 attacks.

When Kelly then joined these deceased, it seems most likely that the Israelis were behind the deaths of these most experienced experts on Iraqi and Russian BW programs - what Israel feared would unravel completely if Kelly joined Ritter in condemning everything Washington, London, and Tel Aviv had been attempting in Iraq. Certainly, Kelly's death looks like the result of foul play - the external injuries to his body; the lack of deadly drugs in his body, and the loss of blood from it; the fact that it had been moved from where a fatally paralyzing agent had been injected into his ear, etc., explaining why Gardiner would not risk reopening the inquest.

For those who might take comfort in the reopening of the inquest into the apparent murder by nerve gas experiment in May 1953 of another resident of Porton Down, Ronald Maddison, Prime Minister Blair has appointed Sir John Scarlett - the former JIC chairman, and Alistair Campbell's 'mate' when it came time to write up the dodgy dossiers - as MI6's Director General to make sure this doesn't happen in Kelly's case, thanks to more input by Mangold and Goldberg. "Scarlett may not have found WMD," Mark Lawson recently wrote in The Guardian, "but he knows where the bodies are buried."

Of course, the information about the burials lies in SIS headquarters on the South Bank, and Scarlett, like the Agency's former CI chief James Angleton, has gone there to make sure that any revealing bits about the killing are destroyed if there is still any interest in the murder after another 50 years. Angleton covered up everything about CIA's illegal programs, especially MK-ULTRA, after JFK was asssassinated, going to Mexico City to see that all its dealing with Oswald were destroyed, and what better authors to have highlighted the problem for Downing Street than Mangold and Goldberg, co-authors of Angleton's highly acclaimed biography, Cold Warrior.