Federal Agent Claims U.S. Military Lost Key Intelligence Data, Pinpoints WMD sites unsearched, and other WMD went to Syria.
Paul (Dave) Gaubatz is a former U.S. Federal Agent (Arabic linguist/counter-terrorism specialist) who was deployed to Iraq at the beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom. His mission was to search for weapons of mass destruction. Four sites he identified as WMD burial sites have never been searched by the Iraq Survey Group and he has waged a three-year battle to get them searched. He is currently the chief investigator with the Dallas County Medical Examiner in Dallas, TX.
RM: Mr. Gaubatz, what are the four sites in Iraq that haven’t been searched?
DG: Two suspected sites are in the city limits of Nasariyah. Another is about 20 miles south, and the fourth site is in Umm Qasr, near Basra. Chemical and/or biological weapons are at these sites. These are not pre-1991 sites. The WMD was buried under riverbeds and one site pertains to the sewage pipe system. I have not discussed the sewage pipe system with many people, but before the war I had been briefed to search the oil, gas, water and sewage pipes. Saddam was very good about hiding and moving WMD. People need to research how easy it is to do using a gas/oil pipeline.
RM: Can you describe these sites with a little bit more detail?
DG: The first site is within a couple of miles of several thousand U.S. military personnel at Ali Air Base, previously called Talil Air Base. WMDs (chemical and/or biological) are inside concrete bunkers buried under the riverbed of the Euphrates.
The second site is in the sewage pipe system near the Saddam Hospital, where Private Jessica Lynch was a POW. There are pipes within the pipes.
The third site has WMD buried in canals and is approximately 20 miles south of Nasariyah. Missile imprints were seen near the canal.
The fourth site is at Umm Qasr. The WMD are hidden in the channel of the Umm Qasr. An Iraqi police captain assigned to both Nasariyah and Basra had information on this site. Other Iraqis identified this site as well.
RM: Why are you so sure that WMD exists at these sites?
DG: It is more important to ask, “Why were the Iraqis so sure?” Many Iraqi citizens from various backgrounds risked their lives to identify these sites to us. On June 23, 2006, I received an email from an Air Force Office of Special Investigations Special Agent in Nasariyah. He informed me that many of the Iraqi sources who came forward to help myself and other OSI agents had been assassinated by insurgents since 2003. All they ever asked is that we, the U.S. government, inspect the sites they were risking their lives to show us. They had heard President Bush say Saddam Hussein had WMD, and they wanted to help America. Now they are dead and the sites remain unsearched.
The Iraqis we interviewed and who risked their lives had many details about the suspected sites. Many of the areas around the sites had been closed for several months while the area was excavated to bury the weapons. This caused severe hardship to the Iraqis near the site areas. They say high-ranking Iraqi personnel and military trucks come into the area. Low-ranking soldiers often talked to the locals about the WMD being buried. Most people don’t realize that alcohol and narcotics were often used excessively by Iraqi civilians, Fedayeen and military personnel. People talk when they are under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
RM: Why didn’t the Iraq Survey Group and the Bush Administration as a whole rush to have these sites checked?
DG: Our President only gets filtered information provided to him. Charles Duelfer, the former director of the ISG, provided the information he wanted President Bush to obtain. He never informed President Bush that the ISG was negligent by only searching less than 10% of all sites identified. Charles Duelfer said at the beginning of the war and in an interview two weeks ago that “it was dangerous to go to suspected sites, and is still dangerous; the area is a war zone.” This is what we were up against. I have never known of any war that was not dangerous. He should have taken this into consideration before accepting the Director position.
RM: What sort of politics is stopping these sites from being searched?
DG: Politics for personal gain and personal reasons. Congressman Curt Weldon and Congressman Pete Hoekstra wanted to locate the WMD for their own political ambitions. The release of the “breaking news” of 500 WMD shells being found was purely Hoekstra in damage-control mode and old news to anyone who has worked intelligence. Our Administration does not want to find out the truth, because the truth could jeopardize the Republican Party. The sites I identified in 2003 were never searched; there is now a possibility the sites were looted (as Weldon previously said in an interview) and WMD is in the hands of terrorists.
Our Administration, Weldon and Hoekstra can give 100 speeches about how much we are doing to fight the War on Terrorism and how much they support our troops, but until they search the suspected WMD sites only two miles from our troops, they are feeding the American people B.S. Our troops are being killed every day in Iraq. There is a possibility WMD exists near them and can be used against them. Hoekstra and Weldon now want to debate my credibility. If they are really concerned about our troops, spend two days and couple of thousand dollars to search the sites. I support our President, but his advisors prevent the truth and the real intelligence from ever reaching him.
It is also important for Americans to know that I have been told by AFOSI Federal agents (and confirmed by DIA and CIA agents) currently in Nasariyah that many classified intelligence reports submitted by field intelligence officers were lost/misplaced “from the main computer data base” which was located at Prince Sultan Air Base, Saudi Arabia. PSAB was the location where intelligence reports throughout the Middle East were first sent. Our “friends,” the Saudis, informed America well before we went into Iraq that immediately upon launching Operation Iraqi Freedom, we must withdraw from PSAB and other bases located in Saudi Arabia.
This caused chaos in intelligence reporting during the initial stages of the war. Field officers were sending their draft reports to PSAB and many never made it to the locations they were meant to go to, such as the DIA, CIA etc. The CIA and DIA confirmed this to me on June 14, 2006 when I met them in Dallas, Texas. Not all intelligence reports were lost but enough was lost to cause a major disruption in understanding what was happening on the ground in Iraq at the start of the war.
RM: Do you have any other information, such as testimony or hard evidence that indicates Iraq possessed WMD?
DG: Congressmen Curt Weldon and Pete Hoekstra know about the sites but will not speak about it because I stopped them from conducting the WMD searches for their own goals. The CIA knows but has their own political agendas. The DIA agents are very good and know WMD are at the sites I identified. Other U.S. intelligence officers have told me that they also are aware, but once they talked with me they received calls from Congressman Weldon’s office to keep quiet. My proof is my past credibility and my intelligence reports that are at AFOSI HQ at Andrews AFB in Maryland.
RM: Do you have any information about WMD going to Syria?
DG: Ryan, you are the leading expert in this arena. I have reviewed a lot of your work pertaining to Syria and Russia and it is impressive. The intelligence we had suggested that some WMD had been moved to Syria with the help of Russian intelligence, and I have no doubt that this did happen. Right now I am concerned about the WMD we can prevent from being taken by terrorists.
Iraqis from the Suk Ash Shuyak (near Nasariyah) who had family and friends that drove the tractor trailers loaded with WMD said that some had been moved to Syria. WMD (chemical and biological) had been stored in the mosque in the center of the town of Suk Ash Shuyakh right before the war. Some was moved and some was buried. The people of the town said that the Russians provided much of the technology and supplies for WMD materials and were in Nasariyah before the war.
The mosque to this date has never been searched for signs of WMD. The Department of Defense instructed all US intelligence officers that every mosque in Iraq was off-limits and we were not authorized to go inside them. This was a mistake. Every intelligence officer knew that weapons were stored in Iraqi schools and mosques. In war there should never be off-limit areas. The U.S. should have learned this from previous wars. If a mosque is off-limits, then this is where our enemies and their weapons will be hidden. We knew it then and we know it now, but it is politically incorrect to search them.
RM: You have said that thousands of Iranian intelligence operatives entered Iraq before the war. Why would Saddam Hussein allow this and what were they up to?
DG: Right before the war began, Saddam was concentrating on having WMD and related technology hidden and moved. He was also concerned about protecting and hiding himself because he knew it was only a matter of time before we took over Iraq. The Iranians were coming into southern Iraq. Saddam knew this but was focused on fighting the United States.
As history has shown, he already had his hands full and southern Iraq had few supporters of Saddam. When the war started, no one was controlling or observing who came and went across the borders into southern Iraq (except for myself and a handful of agents). The Iranians wanted the Shiite population to control Iraq, which would mean an Iran-controlled Iraq. The Iranians wanted a civil war to distract the U.S. from watching them. The Iranians are behind the issues involving Hezbollah and Israel. The world’s attention is now on this and again no one is watching their actions in Iraq. The Iraqis told U.S. agents in 2003 that Iran would start a civil war in Iraq and no American would ever be safe. No one listened to the field intelligence officers in 2003, and now we are paying the piper.
RM: What sort of intelligence did you receive regarding the activity of Russian intelligence in Iraq shortly before the war and as the war began? What were they up to?
DG: The most important piece of intelligence I received about Russian activity was about their role in moving and hiding WMD during the UN inspections. Again, the best source of information for people to understand the Russian influence is yours and that of Mr. Kenneth Timmerman. The Russians and Iranians have one thing in common: They do not want America to be in the Middle East.
RM: When do you think these sites will be searched?
DG: I have had my ups and downs in regards to this. I am now convinced that if the DIA has their way, the sites will be inspected. If the CIA has their way, they will not be inspected.
On June 14 and 15, 2006, the DIA and CIA discussed the sites with me. They are in the business of obtaining information and not releasing it, unless it is to a media organization that suits their own political agenda. I have not met or talked to the DIA or CIA since.
In June 2006 AFOSI agents in Nasariyah told me that they were ready to go out and search the sites. They only had one obstacle: Money. Congress would have to authorize several hundred thousand dollars to adequately excavate the sites I described. Sections of the Euphrates would have to be dammed, heavy equipment would have to be brought in to unearth the area, and concrete bunkers would have to be opened. You would also have security expenses and would have to keep the sites guarded at all times. AFOSI in Nasariyahh has only five to seven agents. Congressmen Hoekstra and Weldon could assist in getting the money authorized but no one should hold their breath because they will no longer be the heroes and there is no personal gain for them now.
RM: If the Administration offered to have these sites searched, would you require that you be the one leading the trip?
DG: In 2003, I was only one of thousands of intelligence officers working for the US all over the world. I served America for 23.5 years and no one in the public knew me and I was satisfied. I only came forward when President Bush and the ISG announced in late 2004 that the hunt for WMD was over. I simply raised my hand and said there were a few more to be searched. Even Charles Duelfer acknowledged that the ISG had only inspected less than 10% of the sites.
I only asked our government in late 2004 to review my and other agents’ intelligence reports from 2003 and compare them to the sites inspected by the ISG. This would show that our sites were never searched. I never anticipated I would have to battle fellow Republicans to search the sites that U.S. agents and many Iraqis identified in 2003. I left federal service to be with my family more often and do not care about the media or public attention. Fame means nothing to me. If WMD is ever used against America and our children, why would I or any politician be famous? To our children we would have failed.
I have said that I would assist America again by going to these sites. I do not need to go, though. I would rather be at home with my family and let Congressman Weldon, Congressman Hoekstra and Senator Santorum break the news on Fox’s Neil Cavuto Show. They seek fame, I seek security for America.