Hans Blix, UN chief weapons inspector: ’’Cheney threatened to discredit me’’
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A former UN chief weapons inspector says he is ready to testify about the false US allegations which led to the Iraq war before a tribunal.
Hans Blix, in a Sunday interview with Al Jazeera television said he and the Head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Mohamed ElBaradei, were subjected to implicit threats from US Vice President Dick Cheney in the run-up to the Iraq war.
The former top UN inspector said Cheney had also threatened to defame ElBaradei and him if they refused to provide the "required" information on Iraq’s alleged weapons of mass destruction.
"The Bush administration misled Americans and the world by creating a hype about weapons of mass destruction in order to justify the invasion of Iraq," Blix added.
The Swedish constitutional lawyer had earlier in 2004 told NBC News that, "It is probable that the governments were conscious that they were exaggerating the risks they saw in order to get the political support they would not otherwise have had.’’
Blix, who was the director general of the IAEA from 1981 to 1997, added that he is ready to testify about the false US allegations before an international tribunal.
After the invasion of Iraq and the US failure to find the alleged WMD in the country, intelligence officials were severely criticized for relying "too much on defectors and exercising too little critical judgment in assessing their information."
Earlier in January 2008, members of the House Judiciary Committee called for starting impeachment hearings against Cheney.
The House Judiciary Committee members accused Cheney of "manipulating intelligence to deceive Congress and the American people about a fabricated threat of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction and an alleged relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda."
Following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Vice President Dick Cheney made a false claim on NBC that Iraq had been the ’geographic base’ for the attacks.
However, President George W. Bush acknowledged on September 17, 2003 that, "We have no evidence that Saddam Hussein was involved with the 11 September attacks."
CS/HGH, Mon, 22 Dec 2008.