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Interpreter of 'Saddam Tapes' Disagrees With ABC's 'Take' on the Story

Susan Jones | Senior Editor | Friday, February 17, 2006

Interpreter of 'Saddam Tapes' Disagrees With ABC's 'Take' on the Story

(CNSNews.com) - A four-day Intelligence Summit that runs Friday through Monday in Arlington, Va., is re-igniting debate over Iraq's weapons of mass destruction -- what weapons did Saddam have, when did he have them, and what did he do with them?

As Cybercast News Service reported earlier this week, the organizers of the Intelligence Summit have 12 hours of Saddam Hussein's audio recordings from the mid-1990s.

On Wednesday night, ABC News played excerpts from those tapes, including one where Saddam Hussein predicts a terrorist attack on the United States. But Bill Tierney, the man who interpreted the tapes, is suggesting that ABC News downplayed the story when it aired excerpts on Wednesday night.

"Terrorism is coming," Saddam says in one excerpt played on ABC News. "I told the Americans a long time before Aug. 2 and told the British as well ... that in the future there will be terrorism with weapons of mass destruction."

Saddam asks, "In the future, what would prevent a booby-trapped car causing a nuclear explosion in Washington or a germ or a chemical one? This is coming, this story is coming, but not from Iraq."

The way ABC News told the story, Saddam was saying that Iraq itself would not launch a WMD attack on the United States.

But on Thursday evening, the translator of those tapes, former U.N. weapons inspector Bill Tierney, told Hannity Colmes he disagrees with ABC's interpretation of what Saddam was saying.

"I disagree completely, because Saddam also says in other tapes that the war is ongoing," Tierney said, according to a transcript of the program.

"And when I was there [in Iraq] as an inspector, what struck me is that these people were still in the fight. There was no change of heart like you had in Germany after World War II. They were still in the fight. It makes perfect sense."

Asked about reports that Iraq's WMD was destroyed in 1998 when President Bill Clinton did pinpoint bombing, Tierney also rejected that notion.

"I'm going to tell you something. Before we went in there, the Iraqis moved all their equipment out except for a few massive machines that they couldn't move. That -- that four days of bombing was a joke," Tierney said on Hannity Colmes.

Tierney also said Iraq "rebuilt everything" after the bombing.

In the months leading up to the invasion of Iraq on March 19, 2003, the Bush administration argued that the war was necessary as a preemptive strike because Saddam had WMD and there was a danger that he would use them against the U.S. or its allies.

Since then, President Bush has been repeatedly blasted, particularly by Democrats, for "lying" about the existence of Iraq's WMD.

Although many people now say the WMD wasn't there when the U.S. went to war in Iraq, others insist the full story is not yet known.

Saturday's discussion at the Intelligence Summit in Arlington will focus on what conference organizers call "smoking gun evidence" of Iraqi WMD.

See Earlier Stories:
Intelligence Summit to Air 'Saddam's WMD Tapes' (15 Feb. 2006)
Secret Saddam WMD Tapes Subject of ABC Nightline Special (15 Feb. 2006)