Saddam Hussein Had Secret Uranium Enrichment Program

In the year 2000, two years after Iraq expelled U.N. arms inspectors, two Iraqi scientists paid a discreet visit to Saddam Hussein in his presidential palace.

They had come to brief the Iraqi dictator on their progress in enriching uranium using plasma separation. If successful, their efforts could have given Saddam the fissile material he was seeking to make a bomb.

"You can tell that one of the scientists is nervous on the tape," former FBI translator Bill Tierney told NewsMax. "He is telling Saddam of all these wonderful things they can do with the plasma process, which they initially developed in the 1980s for the nuclear weapons program.

The scientist tried to convince Saddam to change course and use the technology for purely peaceful purpose, but the Iraqi dictator just listened politely. "You can imagine him nodding his head as you listen to the tape," Tierney said.

Tierney believes the tapes will vindicate the pre-war analysis of Iraqi WMD programs. "If anything, after translating 12 hours of these tapes, I believe the U.S. intelligence analysis didn't go far enough," he told NewsMax.

Tierney worked with U.N. arms inspectors in Iraq in the late 1990s, and experienced Iraq's "cheat and retreat" efforts first hand. He will release the original Arabic tapes and English language translations Saturday at the Intelligence Summit, a privately-funded conference in Arlington, Va. As non-U.S.-origin materials, they are not classified.

The plasma enrichment program was so well-protected by the Iraqi regime that U.N. arms inspectors had never discovered it. "This not only shows the capabilities the Iraqis had, but also the weakness of international arms inspection," Tierney believes. "Arms inspection regimes just don't work."

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