7 February 2003. Thanks to A.

Well, l was sent this and thought it was interesting, it is from Glen Rangwala 
an Iraq analyst at Cambridge University.

    Note on why this material is particularly important. 

    It is suspected that the main reason that the British Government has 
    been forced to use this material is that the Secret Intelligence 
    Service or MI6 simply does NOT agree with Government claims of a 
    direct Iraq-Al Qa'ida link, has no information to support it and 
    refuses, in this case, to manufacture evidence to suit the British 
    Government. Taken with the sparseness and poor quality of the 
    evidence that Powell was able to present to the United Nations after 
    12 years of intelligence gathering by the CIA, NSA, DIA, NRO, 
    Israel's Mossad, Turkey's MIT, Britain's MI6 and GCHQ, defectors, 
    Kurds and the like, it would seem that Washington is also still 
    desperately short of convincing, let alone 'Smoking Gun', evidence. 
    Hardly a profoundly sound basis for war, unless this is only a smoke 
    screen and the real reason is, as some critics have always claimed, 
    to gain control of the strategic high ground and the regions oil 

    The British government's latest report on Iraq's Weapons of Mass
    Destruction, which claims to draw on "intelligence material", has 
    been revealed as a wholesale plagiarism of three articles, one of them by 
    a graduate student in California. The compiler did not even clean up 
    the typos or standardize the spelling.

    The report, released by the British government last Monday, is
    entitled "Iraq - Its Infrastructure Of Concealment, Deception And
    Intimidation". It is reproduced online at
    http://www.number-10.gov.uk/output/Page7111.asp (references below to 
    page numbers relate to the downloadable Word version).

    The first sentence of the document claims that it draws "upon a 
    number of sources, including intelligence material".

    This is somewhat misleading.

    The bulk of the 19-page document (pp.6-16) is directly
    copied without acknowledgement from an article in last September's 
    Middle East Review of International Affairs entitled "Iraq's Security and
    Intelligence Network: A Guide and Analysis".


    The author of the piece is Ibrahim al-Marashi, a postgraduate 
    student at the Monterey Institute of International Studies. He has confirmed
    that his permission was not sought; in fact, he didn't even know 
    about the British document until Glen Rangwala, a Cambridge-based Iraq 
    analyst,mentioned it to him.

    It's quite striking that even Marashi's typographical errors and 
    anomolous uses of grammar are incorporated into the Downing Streetdocument. 

    For example, on p.13, the British dossier incorporates a misplaced 

      "Saddam appointed, Sabir 'Abd al-'Aziz al-Duri as head"..

    Likewise, Marashi's piece also states:

      "Saddam appointed, Sabir 'Abd al-'Aziz al-Duri as head"..

    The other sources that are extensively plagiarised in the document 
    are two authors from Jane's Intelligence Review:

    Ken Gause (an international security analyst from Alexandria, 
    Virginia), "Can the Iraqi Security Apparatus save Saddam" (November 2002), 

    Sean Boyne, "Inside Iraq's Security Network", in 2 parts during 

    None of the sources are acknowledged, leading the reader to believe 
    thatthe information is a result of direct investigative work, rather 
    than simply copied from pre-existing internet sources.

    The fact that the texts of these three authors are copied directly 
    results in a proliferation of different transliterations (eg different 
    spellings of Ba'th, depending on which author is being copied).

    There are two types of changes incorporated into the British 

    Firstly, numbers are increased or are rounded up. So, for example, 
    the section on "Fedayeen Saddam" (pp.15-16) is directly copied from 
    Boyne,almost word for word. The only substantive difference is that Boyne
    estimates the personnel of the organisation to be 18,000-40,000 
    (Gause similarly estimates 10-40,000). The British dossier instead writes 
    "30,000 to 40,000". A similar bumping up of figures occurs with the 
    description of the Directorate of Military Intelligence.

    The second type of change in the British dossier is that it replaces
    particular words to make the claim sound stronger. So, for example, 
    most of p.9 on the functions of the Mukhabarat is copied directly from 
    Marashi'sarticle, except that when Marashi writes of its role in:

      "monitoring foreign embassies in Iraq"

    this becomes in the British dossier:

      "spying on foreign embassies in Iraq".

    Similarly, on that same page, whilst Marashi writes of the 

      "aiding opposition groups in hostile regimes"

    - the British dossier renders this as:

      "supporting terrorist organisations in hostile regimes".

    Furher examples from the section on "Fedayeen Saddam" include how a
    reference to how, in Boyne's original text, its personnel are

      "recruited from regions loyal to Saddam", referring to their 
      original grouping as "some 10,000-15,000 'bullies and country bumpkins.'"

    becomes in the British government's text a reference to how its 

      "press ganged from regions known to be loyal to Saddam" ... "some
      10,000-15,000 bullies."

    Clearly, a reference to the "country bumpkins" would not have the
    rhetorical effect that the British government was aiming for.

    Finally, there is one serious substantive mistake in the British 
    text, in that it muddles up Boyne's description of General Security (al-Amn 
    al-Amm),and places it in its section on p.14 of Military Security (al-Amn
    al-Askari). The result is complete confusion: it starts on p.14 by 
    relating how Military Security was created in 1992 (in a piece copied from 
    Marashi), then goes onto talk about the movement of its headquarters - in 
    1990(in a piece copied from Boyne on the activities of General Security). The 
    result is that it gets the description of the Military Security Service 
    wholly wrong, claiming that its head is Taha al-Ahbabi (whilst really he 
    was head of General Security in 1997; Military Security was headed by Thabet

    Apart from the obvious criticism that the British government has
    plagiarised texts without acknowledgement, passing them off as the 
    work of its intelligence services, there are two further serious problems. 

    Firstly,it indicates that the UK at least really does not have any 
    independentsources of information on Iraq's internal politics - they
    justdraw upon publicly available data. Thus any further claims to
    information based on "intelligence data" must be treated with even more 

    Secondly, the information presented as being an accurate statement 
    of the current state of Iraq's security organisations may not be anything 
    of the sort. Marashi - the real and unwitting author of much of the 
    document - has as his primary source the documents captured in 1991 
    for the Iraq Research and Documentation Project. His own focus is the 
    activities of Iraq's intelligence agencies in Kuwait, Aug90-Jan91 - this  is 
    the subject of his thesis. As a result, the information presented as relevant 
    to how Iraqi agencies are currently engaged with Unmovic is 12 years old.

    For reference, here are a few other summary comments on the British

    Official authors are (in Word > Properties) P. Hamill, J. Pratt, A.
    Blackshaw, and M. Khan.

    p.1 is the summary.

    pp.2-5 are a repetition of Blix's comments to the Security Council 
    on the difficulties they were encountering, with further claims about the
    activities of al-Mukhabarat. These are not backed up, eg the claim 
    that car crashes are organised to prevent the speedy arrival of inspectors.

    p.6 is a simplified version of Marashi's diagram at:
    http://cns.miis.edu/research/iraq/pdfs/iraqint.pdf (Very Nice PDF-Jeremy)

    p.7 is copied (top) from Gause (on the Presidential Secretariat), 
    and(middle and bottom) from Boyne (on the National Security Council).

    p.8 is entirely copied from Boyne (on the National Security 

    p.9 is copied from Marashi (on al-Mukhabarat), except for the final
    section, which is insubstantial.

    p.10 is entirely copied from Marashi (on General Security), except 
    for thefinal section, which is insubstantial.

    p.11 is entirely copied from Marashi (on Special Security), except 
    for the top section (on General Security), which is insubstantial.

    p.12 is entirely copied from Marashi (on Special Security).

    p.13 is copied from Gause (on Special Protection) and Marashi 
    (Military Intelligence).

    p.14 is wrongly copied from Boyne (on Military Security) and from 
    Marashi(on the Special Republican Guard).

    p.15 is copied from Gause and Boyne (on al-Hadi project / project 

    pp.15-16 is copied from Boyne (on Fedayeen Saddam).

    A final section, on the Tribal Chiefs' Bureau, seems to be copied 
    from a different piece by Cordesman.

    For more information please contact Glen Rangwala
    +44(0)1223 335759 or gr10009@cam.ac.uk

    Daniel O'Huiginn
    O9, Queens' College, Cambridge
    07789 260207 01223 260207