Wednesday, October 12, 2005

The Return of Scott Ritter, Chief Weapons Inspector, UNSCOM

Thank you to Craig Rhodes from the SIDemocrat YAHOO! Discussion Group for this news tip:

Scott Ritter, Former UN Weapons Inspector and author of the newly released Iraq Confidential, was available for media Q & A on Wednesday, October 12 in Washington at a 9 a.m. breakfast briefing at the National Press Club, 529 14th Street NW, 13th floor. The Nation Books and the Government Accountability Project co-sponsored the event.

Patriots for Peace, Massac County, arranged the return of Scott Ritter to Illinois and Paducah, KY. He will speak at 7:00 on October 25th at the Paducah Tilghman Auditorium (directions are available). It is an event open to the public. His speech will be a blueprint for a viable exit strategy from Iraq. His articles and his profile are available on the Internet.

He is the author of several books including Iraq Confidential. His articles have appeared in various media: the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Guardian, AlterNet, CommonDreams,, and others.

Mr. Ritter was a chief weapons inspector under the United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM) for 7 years during the '90's. He spoke out forcefully in the run up to the Iraq invasion. He spoke from personal experience on the ground -- There were no weapons of mass distruction (WMDs). The Rovian Republican machine subsequently attacked Mr. Ritter unmercifully as they do to anyone standing in their way (e.g., McCain, Gore, Wilson/Plame, Kerry, et al.). But Mr. Ritter continued with his criticism undeterred. He has paid his dues and events have vindicated him.

Mr. Ritter is a dynamic and credible speaker. He speaks extemporaneously without notes. This is an opportunity to hear from someone who has earned the respect he has received due to his dogged determination to prevent the invasion in the first place and now to end it. He is possibly the only one offering a viable exit strategy to successfully remove U.S. troops from Iraq -- ASAP.

He will be in the area of Paducah and Murray KY, for 3 days (Oct 25, 26, 27) to speak, sign books at Books-A-Million, meet with various community groups, and grant interviews with regional media. Patriots for Peace could also have a debate arranged in time for Mr. Ritter's visit.

Patriots for Peace has been raising money for this event for several months now. They hope for a large turnout of people from Western Kentucky and Southern Illinois taking advantage of this opportunity to learn.

Plan ahead! Join Craig and the Patriots for Peace! Listen to an expert offering solutions to the Iraq debacle!


At 18 October, 2005 22:05, Blogger Spongeblog said...

I am familure with Ritter. A veteran (a marine I believe). Despite that he does have creditability problems. I didnt make his speach on the 12th. But if anyone catches him on the 25th tell him that "Spongblog" would like to know if he was arrested for soliciting underage girls via the internet. Also, I am dying to know how much he will be paid for his speech.

At 19 October, 2005 12:01, Blogger Philosophe Forum said...

Craig Rhodes read the comment above & responded in an e-mail. The text is below:

It would appear that Spongeblog has learned his lessons well from the Karl Rove slime machine. If it worked on John McCain, Max Cleland, Joseph Wilson, Al Gore, John Kerry then why not try it on Scott Ritter.

Nevermind that Ritter's warnings before the Iraq invasion regarding the lies being used for the rationale for war, have been proven correct.

Nevermind the untold deaths and injury that have resulted from this ill fated neo-con Bush war crime.

Apparently, all of this pales in significance to the right wing blogosphere who are so desperate that they hang their hats on a dismissed case against Ritter in their futile attempt to justify an illegal war and torture.

At this point, every warning that Ritter has made has been proven correct. To question his "creditability" (sic) at this point indicates that Spongeblog is little more than a thirty percenter. As such Spongeblog and his kind have no credibility themselves except among other thirty percenters.

Those who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

As for Mr. Ritter's compensation for public speaking, Toastmasters International would tell you that's between him & his host. Everyone's time is worth something. For some, their time is worth more than others.

At 19 October, 2005 23:29, Blogger Spongeblog said...

Ouch!!! I will take that as a "no" as far as asking Ritter about his arrest. Craig made some points. Now let me make some.

Again I don't see Ritter as credible. He was a former weapons inspector for Clinton and probably has lots of knowledge about wmds. But, he seems to like conflict. I recall Ritter slamming Pres. Clinton for not doing enough to keep Saddam under control in the mid 90s. I wonder what Craig thought about Ritter then? What changed his mind when W became president?

I didn't get my information from Karl Rove. I got it from CNN. (Jan 23 2003) If I understand it right, The case was not dismissed for lack of evidence, but because he agreed to stay out of trouble. It involved a 16 year old girl, and mentioned that he was suspected of "communicating" with a 14-year old girl. If you want to know the details read the story.

I don't want to argue the Iraq war. Craig is obviously much smarter then W, Clinton, Kerry, France, Russia, Germany, Britain, the CIA who all said Iraq had WMDs. Who am I to question Craig?

"glass houses.... stones" What does that mean. I have made mistakes. Many of them. Never chased after teenage girls young enough to be my daughter. I've never been arrested.

Your right Craig. People should be paid for their time. The reason I asked is because I find it funny that Ritter is so opposed to removing Saddam now but slammed Clinton ten years ago for not doing enough. He seems to be making money on the war now. How would Ritter pay the bills if the war ended today.

Is everyone who supports military action in Iraq a "right wringer"? I admit I do not consider myself a right winger. Conservative yes. But right wringer, no. Either way, I appreciate you letting me sound off. I know my views dont jive with yours so thanks for listening to another opinion.

What is a thirty percenter?

Sorry to babble, I tend to do that. This is just the long way of saying (To borrow a phrase form O'reilly) - Enjoy your Kool aid Craig.

At 20 October, 2005 17:28, Blogger Philosophe Forum said...

Craig offers a few points of clarification:

Getting your info from CNN does not necessarily mean that you aren't using Rove's talking points. I doubt you have a direct link to Rove. A case in point, CNN among others including NY Times, Wash. Post etc., helped Rove out a covert CIA agent in retaliation against Joseph Wilson. This is Rove's modus operandi and you're following suit.

Secondly, Ritter broke with Clinton, not because he wasn't doing enough to oust Hussein but because the CIA under Clinton was trying to use UNSCOM as a spy agency for the U.S. thus diverting its mission, which is why Ritter resigned his commission as weapons inspector. I agreed with Ritter then as now. Don't make the mistake of thinking that because I oppose W that I supported Clinton. Only those who live in a B&W world come to such simplistic conclusions.

Regarding your sarcasm about my differing with your dubious list of people and countries who thought there were WMD. You conveniently left out the 5 weapons inspection teams who concluded otherwise.

Weapons inspection regimes under Rolph Ekeus, Richard Butler, Hans Blix (whom W ordered out of Iraq), David Kay, and Duelfer found no WMD. They had staffs of thousands and spent hundreds of millions but found nothing. And it bears noting that Kay and Duelfer were the Administration's men who were sent in after the invasion specifically to find something that would help justify the invasion. "Retroactive Justification" for war as the noted conservative George Will called it.

Both Kay and Duelfer, like the other inspectors before them, came back stating that not only were they unable to find WMD but that there probably never were any. This was what Ritter was saying before the war, which is why he was slimed by the Administration. Meanwhile nearly 2000 American soldiers are dead with thousands more maimed.

Which brings me to your continuing use of Ritter's sliming in your followup post as evidence for the weakness of your position and why I call you a thirty percenter.

I've noticed that thirty percent of any given population will always support their leaders no matter what. It has been estimated that at least thirty percent of the German pop. supported Hitler even when he was in his bunker and Berlin reduced to rubble. We know that thirty percent supported Nixon even as he was waving bye-bye from the heliport after resigning as pres. This thirty percent rule of thumb seems to apply throughout history.

We know from the polls that W's approval rating is now into the 30 percentile range. Therefore, it's hard not to conclude that anyone now supporting this regime is among the thirty percenters. W could BBQ a baby on the WH lawn and the thirty percenters would find a way to defend him.

And yes, I believe that at this late date, with all of the info we now have as to the lies that were used to justify the Iraq invasion, anyone who still defends this war would seem to be a right "wringer".

No true conservative that I know would advocate nor support foreign entanglements much less the Iraq debacle. So contrary to your assertion, your position does not seem to be conservative.

BTW the last time Ritter spoke here, he did it for nothing because, as he stated to me, it was his duty as a citizen. We have insisted on paying him this time, against his wishes, because he and his family deserves it.

Now while I enjoy my kool aide, you can go back to your lazy boy and get your talking points from the bloviating liar, O'Reilly. Have another beer along with that flafel.

At 21 October, 2005 15:56, Blogger Spongeblog said...

Craig, I hope I am not getting on your nerves, but your are fun to talk with and I am enjoying this.
Let me first explain why this sticks in my craw. Ritter (to my knowledge) has not denied the facts of the case as stated in the CNN story (if he has denied it please let me know). Which basically states he solicited a 16 year old girl (who was actually an undercover cop) to meet him at a Burger King to watch him ....well you figure it out. The story also stated he was suspected of "communicating" with a 14 year old girl. As some one who works in a field that deals with this kind of thing I have to ask- What are the chances that this was Ritter's first time? Has he done this and gotten away with it? Maybe, maybe not. We will never know. If yes, I hope it was not your daughter. Now, Craig, you seem like a smart guy. Really I am not being sarcastic. Is there no one else you could find to speak? Now if you will bear with me I want to answer some of your points.


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