|Ken Novak's Weblog
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Wednesday, April 23, 2003
: "Six Iraqi scientists working at Baghdad research institutions told The Associated Press they were ordered to destroy some bacteria and equipment and hide more in their homes before visits from U.N. weapons inspectors in the months leading up to the war. All the scientists said they were involved in civilian research projects and all said they knew of no programs for weapons of mass destruction. It was not clear why their materials, ostensibly for nonmilitary research, were ordered destroyed. But their accounts indicate Saddam's regime may have had advance knowledge of at least some of the inspectors' visits, as the United States suspected, and that the regime was concerned about any material that could raise the suspicion of U.N. experts." 8:45:50 AM
Lifestyles of the Rich and Infamous: The regime carefully stored its assets, expected to hide in bunkers and return to power and possessions later. "In the Amiriyah section of Baghdad I met an Iraqi aviation engineer who told me that the government had decreed that the engines be removed from all of Iraq's jets at the international airport. The airport, in fact, is dotted with engineless airplanes. (Two were turned into burned-out hulks anyway by over-eager American troops determined to deprive the regime of any chance to escape.) The military did much the same. The Iraq Air Force buried entire aircraft in its western desert to try to hide them from the Americans. Tanks were buried near Al Kut. Weapons and ammunition were hidden in the nation's schools. ..
Brig. Gen. Sayyad Yassen, a Republican Guard commander, was one of the favored few. He had a home in the compound with a swimming pool, a sauna, and a river view. American troops found $16 million today in another house across the street, and an officer said there could be much more. A white Mercedes with a bullet hole in the front passenger window was parked outside. "These are the real looters," said Sgt. First Class Greg Walker, who took me around in a Hummer." 8:26:50 AM