Former chief U.N. nuclear inspector Mohamed El Baradei suggests in a new memoir that Bush administration officials should face international criminal investigation for the “shame of a needless war” in Iraq.
Freer to speak now than he was as an international civil servant, the Nobel-winning Egyptian accuses U.S. leaders of “distortion” in the run-up to the 2003 Iraq invasion, when then-President George Bush and his lieutenants claimed Iraq possessed doomsday weapons despite contrary evidence collected by El Baradei’s and other arms inspectors inside the country.
El Baradei wrote in “The Age of Deception,” being published by Henry Holt and Company that the Iraq war taught him that “deliberate deception was not limited to small countries ruled by ruthless dictators,”
He repeatedly chided Washington for reluctant or hard-line approaches to negotiations with Tehran and Pyongyang. El Baradei cites examples, including the conclusion by his inspectors inside Iraq that certain aluminum tubes were designed for artillery rockets, not for uranium enrichment equipment to build nuclear bombs, as Washington asserted
Writing of the official US attitude before the 2003 Iraqi invasion, he said he was shocked at what he was witnessing
He called it aggression where there was no imminent threat,” a war in which he estimated that hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians were killed.
In such a case, he proposed the World Court should be asked to rule on whether the war was illegal. And, if so, “should not the International Criminal Court investigate whether this constitutes a ‘war crime’ and determine who is accountable?” El Baradei, the 68-year-old legal scholar, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency from 1997 to 2009 and recently a rallying figure in Egypt’s revolution