TBIMG Question #22 - Inspectors

by Dr. Madhi Obeidi and Kurt Pitzer

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Liz
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TBIMG Question #22 - Inspectors

Unread postby Liz » Mon Jul 30, 2007 11:19 am

Pg. 173-174. “We’re onto you,” he said. “I know you are hiding things.” He was looking for any inch of hesitation. The image of the documents and components buried in my garden flashed into my mind. I knew what could happen to me and my family if he were to get any hint that those secrets were hidden there. I went on the offensive as my best defense, using what I knew to be his weakness: his lack of technical knowledge in the nuclear field. “Look here,” I said. “A centrifuge program consists of the following: conceptual design, basic design, detailed design, manufacturing, erection of buildings, construction of a prototype, and building a plant for production. Let me ask you a simple question. Which of these am I hiding?” He balked at my antagonistic tone, so I continued in an effort to end the interview. “Sir, I have been talking for many months to your colleagues who are competent and qualified technical people,” I said. “I am a technical man myself. Discussions with your colleagues have been going well for the past few years. Now all of a sudden you appear accusing me of hiding something, yet you can’t say what I am hiding. I feel that you do not possess the minimum credentials to discuss this with me.” He looked at me blankly, and then his face turned red. His hands fumbled here and there for his papers, and I felt he was looking for a way to get out of the room. The interview was over. I hadn’t planned to be so aggressive with Ritter. But he had cut close to the bone. We never met again.

Why did Scott Ritter back down?
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Unread postby ThirdArm » Mon Jul 30, 2007 12:05 pm

Dr O gave as good as he got. I think Scott Ritter wasn't prepared for a solid reasoned defense such as Dr O put up.
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Unread postby Theresa » Mon Jul 30, 2007 12:20 pm

Dr. Obeidi would have been a fantastic poker player. He was a master at bluffing people. He knew his own strengths and more importantly, his opponent's weaknesses, and used them to full advantage.

The inspector backed down because Dr. O was right about him, he didn't have the technical knowledge, and he was aware that Dr. O knew that. Any further questioning along those lines would have just reinforced his lack of expertise, and he probably was trying to save face.

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Unread postby gemini » Mon Jul 30, 2007 12:26 pm

ThirdArm wrote:Dr O gave as good as he got. I think Scott Ritter wasn't prepared for a solid reasoned defense such as Dr O put up.


Or since they had not found any such evidence, Scott Ritter had nothing to confront his story with. Dr Obeidi was running a good bluff since he must have known all the building and structural evidence was destroyed and his plans were all that was left. The US was looking for something more substantial and thought they were further along in their production.
It sounds like since the technical people had already talked to him, Ritter was sent in to try a harsher approach and it didn't work.
Last edited by gemini on Mon Jul 30, 2007 2:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread postby Betty Sue » Mon Jul 30, 2007 2:23 pm

Fantastic poker player, indeed! :cool: Scott Ritter didn't realize he was so "close to the bone" and might have gotten somewhere by demanding that Dr. O produce whatever he had hidden. But Ritter 'folded' instead of 'calling,' and the bluff worked. He seemed to fear looking foolish.
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Unread postby Liz » Mon Jul 30, 2007 4:09 pm

I agree with all of you. Dr. O outsmarted Scott Ritter. And Scott didn’t want to look foolish. I wonder if he still continued to suspect that Dr. O was hiding something. I also wonder if he was too embarrassed about his lack of technical expertise to put someone else in charge of pressing Obeidi further. I don’t think anyone else went after Obeidi after that, but I can’t remember now. :blush:

A little off topic here....Did you all see that Iraq won the Asian Cup in Soccer?
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Unread postby ThirdArm » Mon Jul 30, 2007 5:36 pm

Liz wrote:I agree with all of you. Dr. O outsmarted Scott Ritter. And Scott didn’t want to look foolish. I wonder if he still continued to suspect that Dr. O was hiding something. I also wonder if he was too embarrassed about his lack of technical expertise to put someone else in charge of pressing Obeidi further. I don’t think anyone else went after Obeidi after that, but I can’t remember now. :blush:

A little off topic here....Did you all see that Iraq won the Asian Cup in Soccer?


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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Mon Jul 30, 2007 5:55 pm

I agree that Dr. Obeidi was a better bluffer than Scott Ritter. He knew he had done a good job covering his tracks and Ritter was on a fishing expedition.

I did see that Iraq won the soccer tournament. It's nice to see some good news coming their way.
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Unread postby nebraska » Mon Jul 30, 2007 8:16 pm

I suspect he backed down because he didn't really know what he was doing and Dr. O knew it. If Ritter had truly understood what he was doing, he would have been able to call Dr. O's bluff.

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Unread postby Raven » Mon Jul 30, 2007 8:37 pm

I can't add anything today. Everyone has said it perfectly!
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Unread postby Betty Sue » Mon Jul 30, 2007 9:12 pm

Yes, I read about Iraq's unexpected Asian Cup soccer victory. This book has made me feel a little closer to the Iraqis, so I was thrilled at the jubilation in that battle-scarred land. "Those players planted happiness in every Iraqi's heart. I wish I could kiss them one by one. I hope this happiness lasts forever," said one Iraqi. So Pollyanna Betty Sue began imagining this event softening all of the hearts and bringing all of the people together in peace. :cloud9: Religion isn't working to bring peace there. Why not sports?
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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Mon Jul 30, 2007 9:16 pm

BettySue, I'm right there with you. It may not last long but it was nice to see something that was able to bridge their differences even for a moment or two.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -

Wow! What a ride!

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Unread postby Liz » Tue Jul 31, 2007 1:14 am

Betty Sue wrote:This book has made me feel a little closer to the Iraqis


It did that for me, too, Betty Sue.
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.


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