Scott Ritter

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Scott Ritter (2007)

William Scott Ritter Jr. (born July 15, 1961) was a United Nations weapons inspector in Iraq between 1991 and 1998. He later worked as a security and military consultant for Fox News.



  • Iraq is not disarmed, the commission can not verify that all weapons and capability to produce weapons are indeed disposed of, destroyed, removed, or rendered harmless in accordance with provisions of the Security Council resolution.
    • Weapons inspector: Stop catering to Baghdad. CNN August 27, 1998


  • While we were never able to provide 100 percent certainty regarding the disposition of Iraq's proscribed weaponry, we did ascertain a 90-95 percent level of verified disarmament. This figure takes into account the destruction or dismantling of every major factory associated with prohibited weapons manufacture, all significant items of production equipment, and the majority of the weapons and agent produced by Iraq.
  • The UN stopped using Chalabi's information as a basis for conducting inspections once the tenuous nature of his sources and his dubious motivations became clear. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the mainstream US media, which give prominent coverage to sources of information that, had they not been related to Hussein's Iraq, would normally be immediately dismissed.
  • This is not about the security of the United States. This is about domestic American politics. The national security of the United States of America has been hijacked by a handful of neo-conservatives who are using their position of authority to pursue their own ideologically-driven political ambitions. The day we go to war for that reason is the day we have failed collectively as a nation.
  • Our guys working this area for a living all believe Chalabi and all those guys in their Bond Street suits are charlatans. To take them for a source of anything except a fantasy trip would be a real stretch. But it's an article of faith among those with no military experience that the Iraqi military is low-hanging fruit.
  • [War] isn't a Nintendo game… There's no hitting reset and coming back to life. If you turn your head around the corner in the streets of Baghdad and take one between the eyes, your brain is gone. Maybe you turn around the corner and you take one in your chest and it'll sever your spinal cord and you can spend the rest of your life in a wheelchair. That's war! Maybe you step on a landmine and there goes your leg, you lose an arm, you lose eyesight. That's war! And we're talking about going to war. There better be a hell of a good reason for this. There better be a reason worthy of the sacrifice we're asking Americans to make. And you know, it's not just going to be Americans dying in this war; we're going to be killing Iraqis, by the thousands. I have to tell you, as a former Marine, I was involved with the worlds most efficient killing machine. We were the best led, best trained, best equipped warriors anybody's ever seen, and we are today. When we go to war we will slaughter those who oppose us, because that's what we do, and we do it better than anyone else. If you get in my way, I will kill you. You try hurt one of my marines, I'm taking you down. And I will continue to go until my government tells me to stop. We are the dogs of war and when we are unleashed there is nothing but hell. That's the reality of war. For God's sake, don't unleash the dogs of war unless there's an absolute necessary to do so.


  • [Operation] Rockingham was spinning reports and emphasizing reports that showed non-compliance (by Iraq with UN inspections) and quashing those which showed compliance. It was cherry-picking intelligence.
  • This is a book about a lie and the liars who told it to the American people. It is also about citizenship and the responsibility of all Americans to hold themselves to the highest standards of citizenship, including holding accountable those we elect to represent us in higher office. It is about truth, justice and the rule of law and the danger imposed on us all by those who lie, pervert justice, and absolve themselves from the rule of law.
    • Frontier Justice: Weapons of Mass Destruction and the Bushwhacking of America, 2003


  • One of the big problems is — and here goes the grenade — Israel. The second you mention the word "Israel," the nation Israel, the concept Israel, many in the American press become very defensive. We’re not allowed to be highly critical of the state of Israel. And the other thing we’re not allowed to do is discuss the notion that Israel and the notion of Israeli interests may in fact be dictating what America is doing, that what we’re doing in the Middle East may not be to the benefit of America’s national security, but to Israel’s national security. But, see, we don’t want to talk about that, because one of the great success stories out there is the pro-Israeli lobby that has successfully enabled themselves to blend the two together, so that when we speak of Israeli interests, they say, "No, we’re speaking of American interests."

    It’s interesting that AIPAC and other elements of the Israeli Lobby don’t have to register as agents of a foreign government. It would be nice if they did, because then we’d know when they’re advocating on behalf of Israel or they’re advocating on behalf of the United States of America.

    I would challenge The New York Times to sit down and do a critical story on Israel, on the role of Israel’s influence, the role that Israel plays in influencing American foreign policy. There’s nothing wrong with Israel trying to influence American foreign policy. Let me make that clear. The British seek to influence our foreign policy. The French seek to influence our foreign policy. The Saudis seek to influence our foreign policy. The difference is, when they do this and they bring American citizens into play, these Americans, once they take the money of a foreign government and they advocate on behalf of that foreign government, they register themselves as an agent of that government, so we know where they’re coming from. That’s all I ask the Israelis to do. Let us know where you’re coming from, because stop confusing the American public that Israel’s interests are necessarily America’s interests.

    I have to tell you right now, Israel has a viable, valid concern about Hezbollah in southern Lebanon. If I were an Israeli, I would be extremely concerned about Hezbollah, and I would want to do everything possible to nullify that organization. As an American, I will tell you, Hezbollah does not threaten the national security of the United States of America one iota. So we should not be talking about using American military forces to deal with the Hezbollah issue. That is an Israeli problem. And yet, you’ll see The New York Times, The Washington Post and other media outlets confusing the issue. They want us to believe that Hezbollah is an American problem. It isn’t, ladies and gentleman. Hezbollah was created three years after Israel invaded Lebanon, not three years after the United States invaded Lebanon. And Hezbollah’s sole purpose was to liberate southern Lebanon from Israeli occupation. I’m not here to condone or sing high praises in virtue for Hezbollah. But I’m here to tell you right now, Hezbollah is not a terrorist organization that threatens the security of the United States of America.

    • October 16, 2006
  • I'll say this about nuclear weapons. You know I'm not sitting on the Joint Chiefs of Staff, I'm not in on the planning. I'll take it at face value that the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff successfully eliminated nuclear weapons in the first phase of the operation.

    But keep in mind this. That the Bush Administration has built a new generation of nuclear weapons that we call 'usable nukes.' And they have a nuclear posture now, which permits the pre-emptive use of nuclear weapons in a non-nuclear environment, if the Commander in Chief deems U.S. forces to be in significant risk.

    If we start bombing Iran, I'm telling you right now, it's not going to work. We're not going to achieve decapitation, regime change, all that. What will happen is the Iranians will respond, and we will feel the pain instantaneously, which will prompt the Bush administration to phase two, which will have to be boots on the ground. And we will put boots on the ground, we will surge a couple of divisions in, probably through Azerbaijan, down the Caspian Sea coast, in an effort to push the regime over. And when they don't push over, we now have 40,000 troops trapped. We have now reached the definition of significant numbers of U.S. troops in harm's way, and there is no reserve to pull them out! There's no more cavalry to come riding to the rescue. And at that point in time, my concern is that we will use nuclear weapons to break the backbone of Iranian resistance, and it may not work.

    But what it will do is this: it will unleash the nuclear genie. And so for all those Americans out there tonight who say, 'You know what - taking on Iran is a good thing.' I just told you if we take on Iran, we're gonna use nuclear weapons. And if we use nuclear weapons, the genie ain't going back in the bottle, until an American city is taken out by an Islamic weapon in retaliation. So, tell me, you want to go to war with Iran. Pick your city. Pick your city. Tell me which one you want gone. Seattle? L.A.? Boston? New York? Miami. Pick one. Cause at least one's going.

    And that's something we should all think about before we march down this path of insanity that George Bush has us headed on.

    • October 16, 2006
  • I consider myself to be a true friend of the Israeli people. But I define friendship as someone who takes care of a friend, who just doesn't use or exploit a friend. And, you know, there's that old adage: 'Friends don't let friends drive drunk'.
    • Speech at New York Ethical Culture Society, 2006 [1]



  • What separates these sites from the others is that Iran claims the allegations about them are a product of Israeli intelligence, and as such are deemed to be fabrications designed to provoke Iran. “No country,” Kazem Gharibabadi, Iran’s ambassador told the Board of Governors before its vote on the June 19 resolution, “opens its territory to the inspections only based on continuous allegations provided by its own enemy, even if it is evident that the result of which will prove those allegations to be false.” Iran’s position... does not appear to be out of fear over what would be discovered—indeed Iranian President Hassan Rouhani told the United Nations in September 2019 that, “If the U.S. Congress ratifies the JCPOA and lifts all sanctions permanently, Iran is ready to pursue the immediate ratification of the Additional Protocol in the Iranian parliament as a permanent law.”... Indeed, Foreign Minister Zarif noted in a tweet that “an agreeable solution is possible” for the IAEA’s request for access to the two nuclear sites in the country—but not if Iran was subjected to pressure in the form of a Board of Governor’s resolution predicated on Israeli intelligence. “We’ve nothing to hide,” Zarif tweeted. “More inspections in Iran over last 5 yrs than in IAEA history. An agreeable solution is possible, but Res will ruin it.” Zarif’s warning was of no avail.

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