New Smoking Gun: U.S. and UK KNEW Saddam Did NOT Possess WMDs

We’ve reported again and again and again and again and again that everyone knew that Iraq didn’t have weapons of mass destruction (WMDs).

Indeed, the architects of the Iraq war admitted that it was illegal … and really fought for oil (and Israel).

Today, a new smoking gun has  been disclosed.  The Guardian notes:

Tony Blair went to war in Iraq despite a report by South African experts with unique knowledge of the country that showed it did not possess weapons of mass destruction, according to a book published on Sunday.

God, Spies and Lies, by South African journalist John Matisonn, describes how then president Thabo Mbeki tried in vain to convince both Blair and President George W Bush that toppling Saddam Hussein in 2003 would be a terrible mistake.

Mbeki’s predecessor, Nelson Mandela, also tried to convince the American leader, but was left fuming that “President Bush doesn’t know how to think”.


The claim was this week supported by Mbeki’s office, which confirmed that he pleaded with both leaders to heed the WMD experts and even offered to become their intermediary with Saddam in a bid to maintain peace.

South Africa had a special insight into Iraq’s potential for WMD because the apartheid government’s own biological, chemical and nuclear weapons programme in the 1980s led the countries to collaborate. The programme was abandoned after the end of white minority rule in 1994 but the expert team, known as Project Coast, was put back together by Mbeki to investigate the US and UK assertion that Saddam had WMD – the central premise for mounting an invasion.

Mbeki, who enjoyed positive relations with both Blair and Saddam, asked for the team to be granted access.

“Saddam agreed, and gave the South African team the freedom to roam unfettered throughout Iraq,” writes Matisonn, who says he drew on sources in Whitehall and the South African cabinet. “They had access to UN intelligence on possible WMD sites. The US, UK and UN were kept informed of the mission and its progress.”

The experts put their prior knowledge of the facilities to good use, Matisonn writes. “They already knew the terrain, because they had travelled there as welcome guests of Saddam when both countries were building WMD.”

On their return, they reported that there were no WMDs in Iraq. “They knew where the sites in Iraq had been, and what they needed to look like. But there were now none in Iraq.”

In January 2003, Mbeki, who succeeded Mandela as president, sent a team to Washington to explain the findings, but with little success. Mbeki himself then met Blair for three hours at Chequers on 1 February, the book relates.

He warned that the wholesale removal of Saddam’s Ba’ath party could lead to a national resistance to the occupying coalition forces. But with huge military deployments already under way, Blair’s mind was clearly made up. When Frank Chikane, director-general in the president’s office, realised that the South Africans would be ignored, it was “one of the greatest shocks of my life”, he later wrote in a memoir.

Matisonn adds: “Mandela, now retired, had tried as well. On Iraq, if not other issues, Mandela and Mbeki were on the same page. Mandela phoned the White House and asked for Bush. Bush fobbed him off to [Condoleezza] Rice. Undeterred, Mandela called former President Bush Sr, and Bush Sr called his son the president to advise him to take Mandela’s call. Mandela had no impact. He was so incensed he gave an uncomfortable comment to the cameras: ‘President Bush doesn’t know how to think,’ he said with visible anger.”


Mbeki’s spokesman, Mukoni Ratshitanga, confirmed that Mbeki met Blair at Chequers to advise against the war and the UK’s involvement in it. Blair disagreed, Ratshitanga said, insisting that he would side with Bush.

“President Mbeki informed the prime minister that the South African government was about to send its own experts to assist and encourage the Iraqis to extend full cooperation to the UN weapons inspector, Dr Hans Blix,” Ratshitanga said. “He urged the prime minister to await the report of the SA experts before making any final commitment about going to war against Iraq.


Mbeki also had a phone conversation with Bush in 2003 and tried to discourage him from going to war, the spokesman said. “President Bush said he would rather not go to war but needed a clear and convincing signal that the Iraqis did not have WMDs to enable him to avoid the invasion of Iraq.

“President Mbeki informed him about the report of the SA experts which by then had already been sent to the UN secretary general, Dr Hans Blix and the UN security council. He informed President Bush that the report of the SA experts said Iraq had no WMDs. President Bush said he did not know about the report but would obtain a copy from the US ambassador at the UN, New York.”

It is not known whether Bush did obtain a copy of the report.

Mbeki later contacted Blair to ask him to find out from the US president what would constitute a “convincing signal” from Saddam, promising that he would contact Saddam to persuade him to send such a signal, according to Ratshitanga. “President Mbeki understood from his sources and was convinced that Prime Minister Blair received his message as reported above, but did not convey it to President Bush.”

Blair’s office did not deny the meeting with Mbeki or the specifics of what was said.

But the U.S. and UK wanted war … not peace.  They even rejected an offer from Saddam Hussein to leave Iraq and allow in weapons inspectors.

Postscript: Obama and Clinton did the same thing in Libya and Syria.

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  • jadan

    The invasion of Iraq was the beginning of a “strategy of tension” in which the US systematically eliminated strong Arab leaders to destabilize civil societies in Arab nations. The US provoked factional discord in Iraq, following its encouragement of Islamic radicalism in Afghanistan via OBL. Saddam Hussein & M. Ghadafy had introduced order and suppressed radical Islam, creating modern secular states, more or less. Israel lives in fear of a unified Arab world. The US has led the way in destroying Arab civil society and provoking secular conflict that guarantees no Arab state may pose a serious threat to US/Israeli hegemony. This is a despicable policy, so loathsome that it is not discussed. Turkey’s behavior is its NATO obligation. Why does the truth require laborious accumulations of evidence while lies require no evidence, or intelligence?

    • Tom

      I would agree with all of your points except for any of this being US foreign policy. It’s Israel’s foreign policy, using the US as its gangster muscle. Israel merely identified America’s Achilles’ heel, our political system of legalized bribery that equates money with free speech, and used it to seize control of our decision-making apparatus. Having Bush as a leader “who doesn’t know how to think” is exactly what his Zionist handlers wanted.

      • jadan

        Hate to think of Israel as the tail wagging the dog….must be some remnant of national pride from more innocent times coloring my view. This policy is just about as evil as evil can get!

      • mulga mumblebrain

        A perfect comment, utterly correct in every syllable.

    • Sarastro92

      It’s far beyond “strategy of tension”.. and I don’t think oil was a big factor… the US majors don’t
      have a bigger role now (after Shock and Awe) then they did before in Iraq.

      The overriding policy in the Middle East is wholesale regime change turning the
      region into a smoldering pile of rubble presided over by jihadi war lords. Iraq
      was the first to go, followed by Libya, Syria, and Yemen. Finally it will be Iran.

      This dubious strategy was formulated as “Operation Clean Break” by
      traitorous neoCon- Likuds who led the charge for the Iraq attack (well prepared
      by Clinton- Albright) … Clean Break was originally conceived by the notorious
      Bernard Lewis.

      The US has extended Clean Break from the ME to more globally, with Russia the
      current target. Clean Break is the only consistent explanation of US foreign
      policy in the ME and now globally. That couple with full spectrum dominance, and the Wolfowitz Doctrine reiterated by Bush as “the Big Enchilada” of complete global dominance. Mad stuff.

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    Creating the Enemies We Now Fight Against We’ve extensively documented that the U.S. and Israel created Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups in an attempt to fight other enemies.

  • (BBC-2004) The Power of Nightmares 1: The Rise of the Politics of Fear The Power of Nightmares is a BBC documentary film series, written and produced by Adam Curtis.

    Its three one-hour parts consist mostly of a montage of archive footage with Curtis’s narration.

    80, 782 views, and still going up!

    • Tom

      This is one of the best documentaries out there, along with Adam Curtis’ “The Century of the Self”. Both (and many others!) are available dirt cheap at the Dollar DVD Liberty Project for those who would like their own hard copy. A great resource for The Awakened who are building an educational library that can’t go down with the internet.

      • I appreciate your suggestion, but I have all of information from the many books I have purchased over many decades, and from the book store here at Global Research as well for the reader that I am. Thanks again Tom!

  • Silverado

    Alright, enough already! When do the arrests of the guilty like Geo “Baby” Bush and Tony Blair and their partners in crime start?? You know, it’s one thing to name names but this doesn’t end until there’s arrests. And arresting & jailing these two world class, war mongering, criminal neocons would be a great place for justice to start.
    Have you noticed yet that these criminals don’t travel the world any longer unless it’s on some govt protected meeting in some well protected exotic location teaming with others of their ilk?? They KNOW they’ll soon be arrested if they ever step foot out of the US as the war criminals and the mass murderers they are, especially in Europe. I’d personally give away anything I had to see that for myself – the day justice comes down hard on those that don’t deserve any. How fitting should that happen…

  • mulga mumblebrain

    Any interested party knew that Iraq had disarmed by the mid 90s, but the sanctions were kept on so that the West could study the collapse of a society for future reference, and because murdering innocents, particularly children, is an enterprise that the ruling psychopaths in the West highly value. One corollary is the epidemic of paedophilia in the West, and others are the continued murder of 20,000 children a day under the ‘Washington Consensus’ of exploitative Free Market capitalism, Israel’s regular outbursts of mass child murder in Gaza and the condemning of tens of millions of Western children to poverty as the neo-liberal cancer eats its way through one society after another.

  • guest

    Saddam was on the verge of employing the greatest of weapons of mass destruction that sent chills down Washington spines and throughout the feudal monarchies of the Persian Gulf. He was on the verge of circumventing the U.S. dollar.