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Profile: Scott Ritter


Positions that Scott Ritter has held:

  • UNSCOM Chief Weapons Inspector (Summer of 1997 until August 1998)
  • US Marine Intelligence Officer




Quote, November 21

   “The government, both here in the UK and the US, would feed off these media reports [supplied by Operation Mass Appeal], continuing the perception that Iraq was a nation ruled by a leader with an addiction to WMDs.” [BBC, 11/21/03]

Associated Events

Quote, March 9, 2000

   “... from a qualitative standpoint, Iraq has in fact been disarmed... The chemical, biological, nuclear and long-range ballistic missile programs that were a real threat in 1991 had, by 1998, been destroyed or rendered harmless.” [Boston Globe, 3/9/00]

Associated Events

Quote, October 19, 2001

   “Under the most stringent on-site inspection regime in the history of arms control, Iraq's biological weapons programs were dismantled, destroyed or rendered harmless during the course of hundreds of no-notice inspections. The major biological weapons production facility—al Hakum, which was responsible for producing Iraq's anthrax—was blown up by high explosive charges and all its equipment destroyed. Other biological facilities met the same fate if it was found that they had, at any time, been used for research and development of biological weapons...No evidence of anthrax or any other biological agent was discovered.” [Guardian, 10/19/01]

Associated Events

Quote, January 28, 2002

   “The UN stopped using Chalabi's information as a basis for conducting inspections once the tenuous nature of his sources and his dubious motivations became clear. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the mainstream US media, which give prominent coverage to sources of information that, had they not been related to Hussein's Iraq, would normally be immediately dismissed.” [Christian Science Monitor, 1/28/02]

Associated Events

Quote, Summer 2002

   “What Iraq had in 1991 wasn't a [biological] weapon, it was a large chunk of metal with some sludge in it. The only way it was going to kill you was if it landed on your head.” [Christian Science Monitor, 8/29/02]

Associated Events

Quote, July 20, 2002

   “While we were never able to provide 100 percent certainty regarding the disposition of Iraq's proscribed weaponry, we did ascertain a 90-95 percent level of verified disarmament. This figure takes into account the destruction or dismantling of every major factory associated with prohibited weapons manufacture, all significant items of production equipment, and the majority of the weapons and agent produced by Iraq.” [Boston Globe, 7/20/02]

Associated Events

Quote, July 23, 2002

   “The manufacture of nuclear weapons emits gamma rays that would have been detected by now if they existed. We have been watching, via satellite and other means, and we have seen none of this.” [Pitt, 7/24/02]

Associated Events

Quote, July 24, 2002

   “This is not about the security of the United States. This is about domestic American politics. The national security of the United States of America has been hijacked by a handful of neo-conservatives who are using their position of authority to pursue their own ideologically-driven political ambitions. The day we go to war for that reason is the day we have failed collectively as a nation.” [Truth Out, 7/24/2002]

Associated Events

Quote, September 2, 2002

   “But if a case [for war] cannot be made on national security grounds, then one must consider the real possibility that the administration's drive for war with Iraq is being pursued in support of a domestic political agenda, something that should concern all Americans, regardless of political affiliation. The brave men and women in our armed forces have demonstrated their willingness to make the ultimate sacrifice so that our democracy can be preserved. To ask them to do so in support of politically driven motives would not only disrespect those to whom we look for protection, but also dishonor American democracy as a whole. It is up to our nation as a whole to ensure that is not, and never will be, the case.” [Baltimore Sun, 9/2/2002]

Associated Events

Quote, October 2002

   “Our guys working this area for a living all believe Chalabi and all those guys in their Bond Street suits are charlatans. To take them for a source of anything except a fantasy trip would be a real stretch. But it's an article of faith among those with no military experience that the Iraqi military is low-hanging fruit.” [Knight Ridder, 11/1/02]

Associated Events

Quote, winter 2003

   “The Government would feed off those reports [coming from Operation Rockingham] to promote the notion that Iraq was a nation ruled by a dictator addicted to WMD.” [Scotsman, 11/21/03]

Associated Events

Quote, February 11, 2003

   “It is smoke and mirrors. It has nothing to do with reality. It was plain wrong.” [Reuters, 2/11/02]

Associated Events

Quote, summer 2003

   “[Operation] Rockingham was spinning reports and emphasizing reports that showed non-compliance (by Iraq with UN inspections) and quashing those which showed compliance. It was cherry-picking intelligence.” [Sunday Herald, 6/8/03b]

Associated Events

Quote, November 2003

   [Operation] Rockingham's intelligence was built from “single source data of dubious quality.” [BBC, 11/21/03]

Associated Events

Quote, November 21, 2003

   “I was brought into the operation in 1997 because at the UN... I sat on a body of data which was not actionable, but was sufficiently sexy that if it could appear in the press could make Iraq look like in a bad way.” [BBC, 11/21/03]

Associated Events




No related entities for this entity.


Scott Ritter actively participated in the following events:


1991-2003      Complete Iraq timeline

       After the First Gulf War, the British Defense Ministry's Defense Intelligence Staff creates a secret intelligence office known as Operation Rockingham. The purpose of the top secret cell is to collect intelligence that can be used by the US and British to support the case for maintaining UN sanctions on Iraq. After the September 11 attacks, Rockingham helps build Britain's case for the need to use military force against Iraq. [Sunday Herald, 6/8/03a; Sunday Herald, 6/8/03b; Guardian, 11/21/03; BBC, 11/21/03; Scotsman, 11/21/03; Guardian, 11/29/03 Sources: Unnamed British intelligence officials, Scott Ritter] Former US Marine intelligence officer Scott Ritter, who has first-hand knowledge of the operation, will later tell reporters that the members of the cell were backed by officials “from the very highest levels,” including military and intelligence officers, as well as civilian officials from the ministry of defense. [Sunday Herald, 6/8/03a; Sunday Herald, 6/8/03b Sources: Scott Ritter] Sources equate Rockingham to the Pentagon's Office of Special Plans (see August 18, 2003), which is also later accused of producing misleading assessments on Iraq based on the selective use of intelligence. [Guardian, 11/21/03; Sunday Herald, 6/8/03a Sources: Scott Ritter] The operation is similar to Operation Mass Appeal (see 1991-2003), another British intelligence disinformation program.
People and organizations involved: Scott Ritter  Additional Info 

November 21, 2003      Complete Iraq timeline

       Former UN chief weapons inspector and US Marine intelligence officer Scott Ritter tells reporters in the British House of Commons about the existence of two secret British disinformation campaigns—Operation Mass Appeal (see 1991-2003) and Operation Rockingham (see 1991-2003) —which planted stories based on dubious intelligence in the US, British, and foreign media between 1991 and 2003. [Guardian, 11/21/03; BBC, 11/21/03; Scotsman, 11/21/03; Guardian, 11/29/03]
People and organizations involved: Scott Ritter  Additional Info 

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