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Jared Israel on 'How the Lies of Scott Ritter Reveal the Strategic Goals of the Bizarre Iraq War'
 - A Series

by Jared Israel

Parts:  1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5 


4.  Readers ask, "Why this focus on Scott Ritter?"
Jared Israel replies.

[Posted 15 May 2004]

For a list of articles so far in this series see footnote [1]


Regarding our articles on Scott Ritter, the former UN weapons inspector who  mobilized opposition to the Iraq war, several readers have asked: why are you pursuing him? One wrote:

"I always had nagging doubts about Scott Ritter and you are confirming them and it is interesting but what is the point of bringing this man down? Is he so relevant?"

Here are my thoughts.

Ritter is important because, first of all, he has played a decisive role, creating support for a strong US military (June of 1992), for military action against Iraq (November of 1997 through December 1998) and after that, in a complete about face, working night and day to mobilize sentiment against war with Iraq. [2]

When I first examined Ritter's media coverage I thought, what's bothering me about this?  I saw that Ritter had a virtual open door to the media both when he was a hawk and also later, when he was a dove. Why such coverage both times?  I discovered that Ritter never explained his change from hawk to dove - indeed, he denied he had changed, insisting that so-called neoconservatives had misled people into believing he was ever a hawk. But that was obviously a lie, and the media knew it was a lie since they had broadcast his hawk statements many times.  Yet although the media continued to treat Ritter as big news, they didn't treat his sensationally unexplained reversal as any kind of news! Nor did his political enemies, from Madeleine Albright to George Bush. Why not? Why were they protecting this guy?  Who was this Ritter, who walked between the raindrops?

From our research, especially regarding the demonization of the Serbs and the whitewashing of the PLO, we at Emperor's Clothes have concluded that the US and European establishments have a two-faced geopolitical strategy. This involves hidden sponsorship of Islamic extremism, antisemitism, anti-Slav racism and other horrors.

It is impossible to deduce this strategy from the official statements of US and European leaders alone, because such statements are a form of theater, like the poses struck by supposedly competing 'fighters' in wrestling matches on US television.

The interlocking establishments of the US and Europe are the most effectively duplicitous ruling class in history. We who study it are in the position of paleontologists; we must look for certain bones, certain evidence, from which we can derive information. When we find a huge fossilized tooth we know there was a large animal back then. Ritter is precisely such a tooth.

Or, to mix my metaphors, Ritter is a smoking gun.

Why didn't the media and the Bush administration expose him for:

a) Reversing his conclusions while claiming to use the same facts and

b) Falsely claiming that he had never changed his stand?

Why didn't they loudly and ruthlessly confront the Ritter of 2001 with the statements of the Ritter of 1998? Why didn't they run attack ads: "Will the real Scott Ritter please stand up?" They are quite capable of this sort of thing, you know. And they could easily put together the material. I dug it up with help from a couple of other people at Emperor's Clothes. The media and the government intelligence agencies have thousands of researchers on call, 24/7.

Studying the record, I found that on the rare occasions that CNN, for example, broadcast a program in which someone challenged Ritter for reversing positions, the challenge was weak and the moderator skewed the debate in Ritter's favor.  Sometimes reporters stated outright that Ritter had not changed - an obvious lie.

In 2001 Ritter was arrested on a sex charge which, had it been made public at the time, would have destroyed him as a political force and dealt a crippling blow to the opposition to war with Iraq. What other person could have substituted for Scott Ritter, the UNSCOM inspector who said "Iraq has disarmed!" Answer: nobody.

Then why was he treated with kid gloves?  Why were his court records sealed, so that the media didn't learn he was arrested for 18 months? After the story leaked out, the US Attorney's office in Albany announced they would request permission from the Justice Department to bring Federal sex crime charges against Ritter. Now another 17 months have passed and charges have not been filed, though according to the Albany Times-Union, the case is active.  Why is the Bush Justice Department holding up the prosecution of their' worst enemy'? [3]

Why did only a handful of media outlets even mention Ritter's arrest?

When the media does not cover sensational stories, such as Ritter's reversal on the facts about Iraq, or his sex arrest, when Ritter's supposed enemies do not take advantage of these vulnerable positions to bring him down, then we have a smoking gun.

That is what interests me.

My interest is not whether Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. I am studying Ritter, not Iraq. I am sure the US did not invade Iraq over the issue of weapons. I am convinced they invaded because they wanted to turn Iraq into an Islamist state with close ties to Iran. [I know this is  not the accepted view, among supporters or opponents of the Bush administration. For relevant articles, see ]

The US had to occupy Iraq to set the stage for an acceptable transition to Islamism, which involved weakening or destroying certain forces and empowering others. And then it needed to leave Iraq under conditions that morally strengthened Islamists everywhere.

If I am right, if that is a key part of their strategy, then it stands to reason that:

A) The establishment first needed public support to enable their George W. Bush Puppet to go into Iraq and

B) Then they needed at least part of the public, mobilized by their supposedly anti-war Puppets (Ritter, Ramsey Clark, Chomsky, Soros, Robin Cook, etc.) to clamor for the US to leave, whispering that the whole thing was a scheme by "Those Jews" to help Israel. (Just for the record, the worst thing for Israel is a string of Islamist states from Saudi Arabia to Central Asia.  Saddam Hussein was Israel's enemy; but the Islamists, linked to Iran, are a much bigger threat. Moreover, in the middle east, anger at the US inevitably expresses itself as anger at Israel. The Iraq debacle is a disaster for Israel.)

By mobilizing significant sentiment against war with Iraq, and then feeding it with absurd blunders by Bush et al, the establishment can have its Bush puppet turn Iraq over to the Islamists without appearing to desire that end. Since the debacle will be blamed on so-called neoconservatives, a group which has been falsely identified in the public mind with Israel, everyone will be mad at "The Jews." People who are pro war may tell themselves "The Jews got us into a war we didn't need and then bungled it." Those who opposed the invasion may tell themselves, "The Jews are using the US to fight Israel's battles." The US establishment would then have what it wants, a string of Islamist states from Saudi Arabia to Central Asia, putting vast pressure on Turkey, and then, especially if Turkey fell to militant Islam, putting horrific pressure on the former Soviet Union, not to mention Europe, India and China.

A key strategic goal for this establishment is to present militant Islam as the hard core of opposition to US hegemony even as it covertly uses the Islamists to decimate potential rivals and weaken secular forces.

Inflamed Islam is a weapon, and Iraq is an important  part of the plan. Antisemitism, magnified by the Iraq war, stimulates Muslim extremism which of course has the practical effect of strengthening Islamist forces worldwide.

A horrific hypothesis, and all the worse if it fits the facts! Which gets us back to the question: why study Ritter?  Answer: because he's important and because to understand who he is and what he is being used for, we have to know the facts. Deciding whether I am right or wrong is not just a matter of opinion.  People often write to Emperor's Clothes disputing our 'slant' on things.  But we derive our 'slant' from studying the facts.  To decide whether my hypothesis is right you  need to examine hard evidence.

What Ritter has done, how he has been used and how he has been treated by powerful forces constitutes evidence because my hypothesis about Ritter's behavior coincides with my general theory. First Ritter  provided the main justification for war with Iraq, single-handedly creating a pro-war constituency. Then once that was in motion, he was crucial in creating an antiwar constituency. Both constituencies are needed to effect US policy (if I am right, of course).

(Parenthetically, Ritter is a real bargain for the powers-that-be -- he does two jobs for the price of one! Just recently we've seen the same sort of  thing with Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld, changing costumes and appearing as two astoundingly different characters within a few days!  One day he was virtually egging Congress on by 'warning' that there are vast numbers of even worse pictures of Abu Ghraib prison, which the government then dutifully fetched for Congress as fast as their little legs could run. Did you ever hear of a US presidential administration, let alone this administration, voluntarily and speedily making available horribly negative evidence?

But then, a quick change of costume, and the familiar Rumsfeld -- tough guy, we mean business -- was flying to Iraq to boost the morale of the troops.

It makes your head swim. But it makes sense. Both camps -- pro and antiwar -- must be maintained in order for the US foreign policy establishment to manipulate this nightmare. And capable performers like Rumsfeld and Ritter are asked to play more than one part, like skilled performers in a traveling acting troupe. (You see, it's hard to get good help...)

There's a lot more to this. The point is, in order to facilitate discussion of all these issues, it is most useful to study this huge fossilized tooth called 'Scott Ritter.' What is real? What is illusion? Am I factually correct that the Bush administration could have wiped the floor with Ritter, both regarding his flip from hawk to dove and his 2001 sex arrest, but chose not to do so? And if having seen the facts you agree that I am right, then shouldn't you ask, 'why on earth would they make such choices?' How can you not ask this question? You are looking at a dog with the head of a cat. The facts demand explanation.

I have done considerable research to determine whether I am right or wrong concerning these issues and I am presenting it to you, our readers, so that you may study this giant tooth which will help you assess the real workings of US policy.

So please bear with me. This is not propaganda; it is attempted science. We have a tool, Lexis-Nexis, which allows us to determine what Ritter said to the media, and what the media and the Bush administration said about Ritter on what days or during what weeks or months. Lexis-Nexis can be used with great precision. This is immensely useful for understanding the workings of our establishment in this odd and terrible war, with this strangest of antiwar movements, inspired by a man about whom everything indicates he is an intelligence operative of the highest order. And if this is true, if Ritter is a high placed operative (and you must read the evidence to decide) then we must ask: for what reasons has the Establishment decided to create an antiwar movement?

For what hidden ends?

Jared Israel
Editor, Emperor's Clothes

[Footnotes and Further Reading follows the fundraising appeal]


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Footnotes and Further Reading

[1] Five pieces have so far been posted in Jared Israel's series, 'How the Lies of Scott Ritter Reveal the Strategic Goals of the Bizarre Iraq War':

* "Part 1: Hawk-to-Dove Scott Ritter challenges Emperor's Clothes to Prove he's a Liar. EC accepts." At

* "Part 2: The Source of the Claim that Iraq had Nuclear Weapons was... Scott Ritter," by Jared Israel at

* "Part 3: Reader Says Emperor's Clothes all wrong on Ritter's Nuke Statements; J.I. Responds."

*  "Part 4: Readers ask: 'Why this focus on Scott Ritter?" Jared Israel Respond"

* "Part 5: "The Neocons made me do it!"

[2] In June of 1992 the New York Times published an influential op-ed piece by one Mark Crispin Miller which seemed intended to showcase Ritter. Miller quoted Ritter (already a UN weapon's inspector) disputing General Norman Schwarzkopf's claim that all of Iraq's missiles had been destroyed. Though in appearance a hawk attack on the Bush administration, Miller's article, including Ritter's statement, told people: let's not fool ourselves - Saddam is still deadly. This contributed to shifting public expectation away from the so-called 'peace dividend,' the idea that with the end of cold war the US could spend tax dollars on people rather than war. Miller's it's-still-a-dangerous-world article, given credibility by Ritter's expertise, helped lay the basis for an aggressive military stance, for example Bush Senior's call, on August 6, 1992, for extreme action against Serbia.
The New York Times; View Related Topics; June 24, 1992, Wednesday, Late Edition - Final; SECTION: Section A; Page 21; Column 2; Editorial Desk; LENGTH: 1263 words; HEADLINE: Operation Desert Sham; BYLINE: By Mark Crispin Miller;  Mark Crispin Miller, professor of media studies at The Johns Hopkins University, is author of the forthcoming "Spectacle: Operation Desert Storm and the Triumph of Illusion."

[3] On January 23, 2003, a few days after the Ritter arrest story was discovered by the media in upstate New York, the Albany Times-Union announced that Federal prosecutors had asked for and received the sealed files on Ritter's case.  The Times-Union commented:

[Excerpt from Albany Times-Union starts here]


Now that federal prosecutors in Albany have possession of the records, they must obtain permission from the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington before they can bring a prosecution.

A possible federal case against Ritter could include the charge of using the Internet to entice a minor to engage in criminal activity, sources said.

Over the last week, former prosecutors have questioned the way the Ritter case was handled. Albany County's Clyne, while not discussing the Ritter case, said he would not approve of charges involving the luring of a teenager girl over the Internet to a sexual encounter to be disposed of as a low-level dismissal.

Former Assistant U.S. Attorney Don Kinsella, who retired last year as head of the Albany office's Criminal Division and is now an attorney in private practice, feels Ritter may have gotten off easy.

"He was allegedly involved in what otherwise would be felony conduct, and it was charged as a Class B misdemeanor and disposed of and there's no apparent good reason for it, given the seriousness of the alleged conduct," Kinsella said.

[Excerpt from Albany Times-Union ends here]
The Times Union (Albany, NY); January 25, 2003 Saturday THREE STAR EDITION; SECTION: MAIN, Pg. A1; LENGTH: 821 words; HEADLINE: Feds obtain Ritter records; Albany U.S. attorney's office to look into possible charges against ex-U.N. weapons inspector who was arrested in a 2001 Internet sex sting; BYLINE: Carol Demare And Anne Miller; Staff Writers

A year later the Times-Union reported that:

"The case hasn't been forgotten, Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Spina Jr. said this week. There is no timetable, but action could come within the next couple of months, he said." -- The Times Union (Albany, NY), January 18, 2004 Sunday, Three Star Edition, Pg. E2, 618 words, Action in a possible criminal case against Scott Ritter months away

Notice these phrases, "no timetable" and "action could come within the next couple of months". This report appeared five months ago but action still has not been taken.

Conclusion: Mr. Bush's Justice Department is not interested in prosecuting (or persecuting) Mr. Scott Ritter. Why not?

The Emperor's New Clothes (TENC) *