Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Dr. Rihab Taha, aka "Dr. Germ," is being released
after a second beheading this week of an American hostage. ("The United States sent Taha her first bugs in April 1986," the New York Daily News noted drily in 2002.) When the Bush invasion of Iraq was imminent, she gave an interview to ABC:

Although U.S. Seceteray of State Colin Powell says Iraq still has chemical and biological weapons, Dr. Rihab Taha says the weapons, including 2,200 gallons of anthrax, were all destroyed over a decade ago.

"In summer of 1991, the whole quantity was completely destructed by [the] Iraqi side and the bombs and the warheads, and UNSCOM [United Nations Special Commission] themselves verified this matter," Taha told ABCNEWS' Diane Sawyer.

In Iraq's declaration to the United Nations in December, the country rebutted claims it has nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. The U.S. and Britain dismissed the 12,000-page declaration and United Nations weapons inspectors reported a discrepancy between the amount of anthrax Iraq produced and what it had accounted for. However, Taha said the biological section of the report, which she said she helped compile, was honest and transparent.

"We spent a lot, hundreds of hours with them, clarifying these things to them. If they are fair, they should close this matter," she said.

At the time, that was seen as outrageous. It doesn't seem quite so outrageous now.

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