A former U.S. federal agent and counter-terrorism specialist deployed to Iraq before the war says he waged a three-year, unsuccessful battle to get officials to search four sites where he believes the former Saddam regime buried weapons of mass destruction.
Dave Gaubatz, an Arabic linguist who now serves as chief investigator with the Dallas County Medical Examiner, told his story to Ryan Mauro of WorldThreats.com.
Gaubatz said the suspected sites have never been searched by the Iraq Survey Group, the fact-finding mission dispatched by the U.S.-led multinational force. Two sites are within the city limits of Nasariyah, another about 20 miles south and the fourth in Umm Qasr, near Basra.
Emphasizing these are sites established by the Saddam regime after the first Gulf War, Gaubatz said he believes they contain chemical and/or biological weapons.
The former federal agent said the WMD were buried under riverbeds, and one site has a sewage pipe system. Before the war, he said, he had been briefed to search oil, gas, water and sewage pipes.
“Saddam was very good about hiding and moving WMD,” Gaubatz told Mauro. “People need to research how easy it is to do using a gas-oil pipeline.”
Providing more details, Gaubatz said the first site is within a couple of miles of several thousand U.S. military personnel at Ali Air Base, previously called Talil Air Base. The WMD are inside concrete bunkers buried under the riverbed of the Euphrates, he said.
The second site is in the sewage pipe system near the Saddam Hospital, where Pvt. Jessica Lynch was held hostage. There are pipes within the pipes, he noted.
The third site has WMD buried in canals, Gaubatz said, pointing out missile imprints were seen nearby.
The fourth site is at Umm Qasr, hidden in the channel. An Iraqi police captain assigned to both Nasariyah and Basra had information on this site, he said, and other Iraqis identified it as well.
Arguing for the validity of the sites, Gaubatz emphasized that many Iraqis risked their lives to identify them to his team.
Illustrating the danger, he told of receiving an e-mail June 23 from a special agent for the Air Force Office of Special Investigations in Nasariyah informing him that many of the Iraqi sources who came forward to help him and other OSI agents had been assassinated by insurgents since 2003.
“All they ever asked is that we, the U.S. government, inspect the sites they were risking their lives to show us,” Gaubatz said. “They had heard President Bush say Saddam Hussein had WMD, and they wanted to help America. Now they are dead and the sites remain unsearched.”
The Iraqis he interviewed provided many details about the suspected sites, he said. Many of the areas around the sites had been closed for several months while it was excavated to bury the weapons, causing severe hardship to the Iraqis nearby.
High-ranking Iraqi personnel and military trucks come into the area, according to the informants.
“Low-ranking soldiers often talked to the locals about the WMD being buried,” Gaubatz explained. “Most people don’t realize that alcohol and narcotics were often used excessively by Iraqi civilians, Fedayeen and military personnel. People talk when they are under the influence of drugs and alcohol.”
Asked why the Iraq Survey Group and the Bush administration didn’t rush to have the sites checked, Gaubatz replied: “Our president only gets filtered information provided to him. Charles Duelfer, the former director of the ISG, provided the information he wanted President Bush to obtain. He never informed President Bush that the ISG was negligent by only searching less than 10 percent of all sites identified.”
Duelfer, Gaubatz noted, said at the beginning of the war and in an interview recently that “it was dangerous to go to suspected sites, and is still dangerous; the area is a war zone.”
“This is what we were up against,” Gaubatz commented. “I have never known of any war that was not dangerous. He should have taken this into consideration before accepting the director position.”
Gaubatz touched on the announcement in June by Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., and Rep. Pete Hoekstra, R-Mich., of some 500 chemical weapons discovered in Iraq since 2003, calling it “politics for personal gain and personal reaons.”
Hoekstra and Rep. Curt Weldon wanted to locate WMD for their own political ambitions, Gaubatz charged.
“The release of the ‘breaking news’ of 500 WMD shells being found was purely Hoekstra in damage-control mode and old news to anyone who has worked intelligence,” he maintained.
Gaubatz claimed the administration does not want to find out the truth because it could jeopardize the Republican Party.
“The sites I identified in 2003 were never searched; there is now a possibility the sites were looted and WMD is in the hands of terrorists,” he said.
“Our administration, Weldon and Hoekstra can give 100 speeches about how much we are doing to fight the war on terrorism and how much they support our troops, but until they search the suspected WMD sites only two miles from our troops, they are feeding the American people B.S,” he continued.
Gaubatz said he supports Bush, but the president’s “advisers prevent the truth and the real intelligence from ever reaching him.”
Order “Saddams Secrets” from WorldNetDaily’s online store.