Blix lashes out at Pentagon “bastards”, says Washington views UN as “alien power”
Outgoing chief United Nations weapons inspector Hans Blix has described certain members of the American administration as "bastards" who set out to undermine him during his three years at the helm.
In an uncharacteristic outburst to a British newspaper published Wednesday, Blix said, "I have my detractors in Washington. There are bastards who spread things around, of course, who planted nasty things in the media. Not that I cared very much."
In an interview to The Guardian, Blix also accused Washington of regarding the UN as an "alien power" which it hoped would sink without trace.
Asked if he believed he had been the target of a deliberate smear campaign, Blix told the daily, "Yes, I probably was at a lower level."
Regarding the way he was treated over weapons inspections in Iraq, Blix said, "By and large my relations with the US were good" but claimed that as the war against Iraq loomed, Washington "leaned on" his inspectors to produce more damning language in their reports.
He added that US President Bush's administration was especially upset that the inspectors did not "make more" of their discovery in Iraq of cluster bombs and drones in the run-up to the US-led war against Baghdad and Saddam’s regime.
Meanwhile, on Tuesday, Blix said most of the US intelligence information on Iraqi weapons of mass destruction was not "solid" and should not have been used to justify the US-led invasion of Iraq.
Iraqis "had many years to learn how to hide things, but nevertheless, most of intelligence has not been solid," Blix told ABC News.
"I think they (Bush and Blair) believed, believed in what they saw, and I think Tony Blair clearly believed in what they saw, but some of the material did not hold water, " Blix said.
"I mean if you want to start a war on this basis, then I think the intelligence should be good, not just, 'Sorry about that, it was wrong intelligence,'" he said.
Blix, who is expected to retire at the end of the month, told The Guardian that he is convinced that there are officials in Bush's administration "who say they don't care if the UN sinks under the East river, and other crude things."
Blix said he "remained agnostic" when asked if he believed weapons of mass destruction would ever be found in Iraq.
He said the prospect of them being uncovered was passing by "quite fast and instead of talking about (finding) WMD they're talking about the programs. We know for sure that they did exist ... and we cannot exclude they (the US-led forces) may find something." (Albawaba.com)
© 2003 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)