The Last Iraqi WMD person released | Charles Duelfer

The Last Iraqi WMD person released

One of the best known WMD technocrats to UN weapons inspectors, Mahmud Faraj Bilal Al Samarrai, was among 15 Iraqis released from prison a few days ago. A Justice Department official was quoted as saying that they were released by the Iraqi High Tribunal (whose members identities are secret for security reasons) “after finding no charges to bring against.” Bilal, like Amer Rasheed released a couple weeks ago, spent nine years in prison before the secret Iraqi High Tribunal concluded they could find no charges to bring against them.
Bilal was interviewed at length by UN inspectors and Iraq Survey Group inspectors. His statements have not been found to be in great error. Yet he spent 9 years in jail. His superior in the Iraq CW program, General Faiz Abdullah Shahine (head of the infamous CW research and production facility known as the al Muthanna State Establishment) was never even detained and has reportedly lived a very successful business life–as he did during the Saddam regime. Why? Bilal, must have been asking himself this question for a long time. I suspect “Why?” is a question many Iraqis ask themselves every day…

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