Secret Saddam WMD Tapes Subject of ABC Nightline Special

By Sherrie Gossett | July 7, 2008 | 8:22 PM EDT

(1st Add: Includes additional comments from former federal prosecutor John Loftus.)

( - Secret audiotapes of Saddam Hussein discussing ways to attack America with weapons of mass destruction will be the subject of an ABC "Nightline" program Wednesday night, a former federal prosecutor told Cybercast News Service.

The tapes are being called the "smoking gun" of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in Iraq. The New York Sun reported that the tapes have been authenticated and currently are being reviewed by the U.S. House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

The panel's chairman, Rep. Peter Hoekstra (R-Mich.), declined to give the Sun details of the content or context of the recordings, saying only that they were provided to his committee by former federal prosecutor John Loftus.

Loftus has been tight-lipped about the tapes, telling the Sun only that he received them from a "former American military intelligence analyst." However, on Wednesday he told Cybercast News Service, "Saddam's tapes confirm he had active CW [chemical weapons] and BW [biological weapons] programs that were hidden from the UN."

On Tuesday night, Loftus told Cybercast News Service that ABC's "Nightline" would air an "extensive report" on the tapes Wednesday night. Loftus also described an ABC News "teaser," which reportedly contains audio of Saddam Hussein discussing ways to attack America with WMD. "Nightline will have a lot more," said Loftus.

The tapes are scheduled to be revealed to the public Saturday morning at the opening session of The Intelligence Summit, a conference which brings together intelligence professionals from around the world.

Loftus is president of The Intelligence Summit. Its advisory council includes generals, a former F.B.I. official, a former senior Israeli Mossad officer and the former chair of the British Joint Intelligence Committee, according to information posted on the summit website. Currently a private attorney, Loftus says he works pro bono to help intelligence agents obtain lawful permission to declassify and publish the "hidden secrets of our times."

He purportedly has held some of the highest security clearances in the world with special access to NATO Cosmic, CIA codeword and Top Secret nuclear files.

This year's Intelligence Summit will bring together top terrorism experts including Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld, author of "Funding Evil," 9/11 investigator Jean-Charles Brisard, author of "Zarqawi: the New Face of Al-Qaeda;" former CIA agent Michael Scheurer, author of "Imperial Hubris," and Richard Marcinko, former head of SEAL Team Six, and author of "Rogue Warrior."

The Intelligence Summit will be featured not only in the Wednesday Nightline report but also on ABC World News Tonight.

In a March 2005 addendum to the Iraq Survey Group (ISG) report on Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction, ISG head Charles Duelfer wrote that while there continue to be reports of WMD in Iraq, the ISG found "such reports are usually scams or misidentification of materials or activities."

A limited number of cases involved the discovery of old chemical munitions produced before 1990, Duelfer wrote. He also reported in the addendum that a large collection of audiotapes from Iraq's Revolutionary Command Council meetings chaired by Saddam was in the process of translation. While he conceded there were "remaining uncertainties," the chief weapons hunter said it was "not likely" the documentation would provide "significant surprises" regarding WMD.

Loftus told Cybercast News Service that the documentation referenced by Duelfer ended in 1991, and was not related to the new audiotapes.

"[T]here were no weapons," Sen. Hillary Clinton, (D-N.Y.) recently commented, "or if there were, they certainly weren't used or they were in some way disposed of or taken out of the country." Her comments were reported in The New York Sun.

On Tuesday night, Loftus praised a Cybercast News Service article published on Oct. 4, 2004, entitled Saddam Possessed WMD, Had Extensive Terror Ties.

The exclusive report featured documents showing numerous efforts by Saddam Hussein's regime to work with some of the world's most notorious terror organizations, including al Qaeda, to target Americans.

The documents also demonstrate that Saddam's government possessed mustard gas and anthrax, both considered weapons of mass destruction, in the summer of 2000, during the period in which United Nations weapons inspectors were not present in Iraq. The papers showed that Iraq trained dozens of terrorists inside its borders.

See Related Story: Intelligence Summit to Air 'Saddam's WMD Tapes'

See Earlier Story: Exclusive: Saddam Possessed WMD, Had Extensive Terror Ties

Make media inquiries or request an interview with Sherrie Gossett.

Subscribe to the free daily E-Brief.

E-mail a comment or news tip to Sherrie Gossett.

Send a Letter to the Editor about this article.