The target is an intelligence dossier released on Monday and heralded by none other than Colin Powell at the UN yesterday.
Channel Four News has learnt that the bulk of the nineteen page
document was copied from three different articles - one written by a
On Monday, the day before the US Secretary of State, Colin
Powell addressed the UN, Downing Street published its latest paper on
It gives the impression of being an up to the minute intelligence-based analysis - and Mr Powell was fulsome in his praise.
Published on the Number 10 web site, called "Iraq - Its
Infrastructure of Concealment Deception and Intimidation", it outlines
the structure of Saddam's intelligence organisations.
But it made familiar reading to Cambridge academic Glen
Rangwala. It was copied from an article last September in a small
journal: the Middle East Review of International Affairs.
It's author, Ibrahim al-Marashi, a postgraduate student from Monterey in California. Large sections do indeed appear, verbatim.
A section, for example, six paragraphs long, on Saddam's
Special Security Organisation, the exact same words are in the
Californian student's paper.
In several places Downing Street edits the originals to make more sinister reading.
Number 10 says the Mukhabarat - the main intelligence agency - is "spying on foreign embassies in Iraq".
The original reads: "monitoring foreign embassies in Iraq."
And the provocative role of "supporting terrorist organisations
in hostile regimes" has a weaker, political context in the original:
"aiding opposition groups in hostile regimes."
Even typographic mistakes in the original articles are repeated.
Of military intelligence, al-Marashi writes in his original paper:
"The head of military intelligence generally did not have to be
a relative of Saddam's immediate family, nor a Tikriti. Saddam
appointed, Sabir Abd Al-Aziz Al-Duri as head..." Note the comma after
Downing Street paraphrases the first sentence: "Saddam
appointed, Sabir 'Abd al-'Aziz al-Duri as head during the 1991 Gulf
This second line is cut and pasted, complete with the same grammatical error.
plagiarism is regarded as intellectual theft.
Government dossier: (page 13), published Jan 2003
"Saddam appointed, Sabir 'Abd al-'Aziz al-Duri as head during
the 1991 Gulf War. After the Gulf War he was replaced by Wafiq Jasim
After Samarrai, Muhammad Nimah al-Tikriti headed Al-Istikhbarat
al-Askariyya in early 1992 then in late 1992 Fanar Zibin Hassan
al-Tikriti was appointed to this post.
These shifting appointments are part of Saddam's policy of
balancing security positions. By constantly shifting the directors of
these agencies, no one can establish a base in a security organisation
for a substantial period of time. No one becomes powerful enough to
challenge the President."
al-Marashi document: (section: "MILITARY INTELLIGENCE", published sept 2002 - relevant parts have been underlined
Saddam appointed, Sabir ‘Abd al-‘Aziz al-Duri(80) as head of Military Intelligence during the 1991 Gulf War.(81) After the Gulf War he was replaced by Wafiq Jasim al-Samarrai.(82)
After Samarrai, Muhammad Nimah al-Tikriti(83) headed Military Intelligence in early 1992(84) then in late 1992 Fanar Zibin Hassan al-Tikriti was appointed to this post.(85) While Fanar is from Tikrit, both Sabir al-Duri and Samarrai are non-Tikriti Sunni Muslims, as their last names suggest.
Another source indicates that Samarrai was replaced by Khalid
Salih al-Juburi,(86) demonstrating how another non-Tikriti, but from
the tribal alliance that traditionally support the regime holds top
security positions in Iraq.(87)
These shifting appointments are part of Saddam’s policy of balancing security positions between Tikritis and non-Tikritis, in the belief that the two factions would not unite to overthrow him. Not only that, but by
constantly shifting the directors of these agencies, no one can
establish a base in a security organization for a substantial period of
time, that would challenge the President.(88)