07 January 2010

Kamm's Scamm and the Times' Nuclear Trigger Hoax Pt II

Kamm's Scamm and the Times' nuclear trigger hoax is gradually unravelling, ironically and amusingly thanks to David Albright, Kamm's would-be nuclear expert.

Here's my first comment sent to Kamm's blog:

"Well thanks for pointing us to Albright's article, as it shows the scale of both your own and the Times' deceit.
I remind readers that The Times, in the original article, referred to 'Iran's nuclear trigger: document in full' and  'Iran's secret nuclear trigger document: full translation ', mentioning nowhere that what they published as a pdf file was NOT the original document.
Kamm finally was forced to admit, only after being challenged on the authenticity of the document, that "It was in fact a retyped version of the relevant parts of that original document. The original document contained a lot of classified information. The Times did not publish the original document, because of the danger that it would alert the Iranian authorities to the source of the leak. The full version of the document is in the hands of the IAEA."
However, the inference was that the Times had been in possession of the original document at one time or had at least seen the original document.
Albright's article reveals the truth:
"the Times’ source removed headings from the original Farsi-language document and retyped the text in order to protect intelligence-sensitive information. The source made it clear that it had taken these steps to protect its sources and methods and made no attempt to conceal such steps from the Times...ISIS understood that the source provided the document to relevant governments and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in a different form....Nevertheless, the lack of an original document obviously complicates public assessments of the authenticity of the document...thorough vetting of the document should continue."
Consequently, The Times or David Albright have never seen the original document, and can therefore not vouch for its authenticity."

Here's the second comment:

"Kamm writes: "no one with diplomatic and scientific expertise has challenged their authenticity or what they reveal about Iran's nuclear deceit"

Hmmm. So exactly who is Norman Dombey? Oh that's right, he's Professor Emeritus of Theoretical Physics at Sussex University. I would assume that would mean he had some 'scientific expertise'...

And what did he write?

"I have read nothing in the documents published by the Times to be able to conclude that they are describing an initiator for a nuclear weapon."

Kamm's reliance on Albright is desperate. see Scott Ritter's article "The Nuclear Expert Who Never Was" and especially the comments by Alexander DeVolpi:

"ALBRIGHT. Having been acquainted with David Albright since the early 1980s on the Washington NGO scene, I regrettably must second Scott Ritter's outing of Dave's overworked credentials.   My official role at Argonne National Laboratory in arms-control and verification technology led me to relevant contracts with the Defense Nuclear Agency well before the beginning of formalized on-site inspection, including OSIA, as well as interactions with all the DOE weapons labs, with DOD, and at overseas laboratories.  My volunteer activities allowed contribution of technical expertise to various NGO groups with which I collaborated, such as the FAS, NRDC, ACA, CDI, and others.  My professional activities at Argonne (and other laboratories) involved nearly 40 years of lab, field, and analytical activities in instrumentation, nuclear physics, nuclear engineering, reactor safety, radioisotopes, experiments, verification technology, and arms control.  I have technical papers, review articles, and patents to back this up.
  Besides being a technical consultant to the joint FAS/NRDC (Federation of American Scientists/Natural Resources Defense Council) verification project, I worked with European arms-control projects involving Soviet and Eastern European counterparts before the Cold War came to an end (http://www.NuclearShadowboxing.Info).  Despite a half-century close involvement, I don't recall Dave's (or anyone else's) position as a 'Senior Staff Scientist' for the FAS (although they could use some professional help nowadays on nuclear issues).

  Aside from Albright's book compilation on fissile materials, there are some other useful contributions he has made to arms control and non-proliferation, such as his interpretation of country-specific proliferation activities.  Dave's a friendly guy, but I always found him shallow on experience, and now realizing that he was once on the research staff of Princeton University’s Center for Energy and Environmental Studies, I have a better understanding of his predisposition and educational preparation.  With no substantive foundation he has expressed himself as philosophically opposed to nuclear power.  This is not uncommon, particularly with academics associated with Princeton who evince no hands-on or other practical field experience regarding nuclear-weapons, nuclear-reactor technology, or verification methodology."

Gareth Porter has more evidence here, and there's this comment of his:

"A document that had been both edited and retyped could obviously have been doctored by adding material on a neutron initiator.
The reason for such editing could not have been to excise "classified information," because, if the document were genuine, the Iranian government would already have the information.
Furthermore, there would have been ways of avoiding disclosure of the source of the leak that would not have required the release of an expurgated version of the document. The number of the copy of the document could have been blacked out, for example."

I have just received the following e-mail from Kamm:

"Dear Mr Sketchley,

Thank you, as ever, for writing with your views, which you are always welcome to post at TimesOnline. You've used our comments facilities without hindrance or amendment to describe me as a Holocaust denier and a supporter of genocide, but I'm afraid that I'm not willing to provide you with a platform to accuse Times journalists of fraud. As you're aware, I'm following the policy of the editors of Media Lens in that regard, who deleted similar comments from you.


My reply:

"Dear Mr Kamm,

Thank you for your mail. It's your prerogative to censor comments on your own blog for whatever trumped up reason you like, but please don't pretend to be a defender of free speech. I have not accused anyone of fraud. Fraud is the intentional perversion of truth in order to induce another to part with something of value or to surrender a legal right. In my comment I accused both you and the Times of deceipt, which is causing to accept as true or valid what is false or invalid.

Further, fyi I have made an official complaint to the PCC under clause 1 of their Editor's Code of Practice:

"The Press must take care not to publish inaccurate, misleading or distorted information, including pictures."

The evidence that The Times has misled its readers was manifest from the moment you wrote that the document published was in fact a retyped document of parts of the original document, and after reading Albright's comments even more so. Where in Philp's original article is there any mention of the document they published being a 'transcript'?

The Times whole treatment of this has been misleading from the start.

Yours Sincerely,"


David Sketchley said...

Further correspondence with Kamm:

"Dear Mr Sketchley,

I am happy to accept your prerogative to define your own complaint, and of course you're fully at liberty to convey it to the Press Complaints Commission. But my point remains. TimesOnline will not give you a platform to make charges against the probity of Times journalists. In that, we're merely following the precedent of the editors of Media Lens, who delete similar comments from you from their site.

You're welcome to add this email to your complaint to the PCC, and we'll await the outcome.

Oliver Kamm"

My reply:

"Dear Mr. Kamm,

As I said before, you can do what you like on your own blog.

Oh, I forgot to mention that your accusation that I described you "as a Holocaust denier" is also false and mendacious. I actually described you as a "holocaust-denier". As you are well aware there is an enormous difference between Holocaust with a capital H, referring to the mass slaughter of Jews in WWII, and holocaust with a small h, which is a mass slaughter of people.

When I read that you accept the civilian toll in Iraq since 19 March 2003 as a genocide or holocaust, or the deaths of half a million children in Iraq between 1991-2001 as a genocide or holocaust, then I will gladly withdraw the comment."

David Sketchley said...

"I actually described you as a "holocaust-denier""


David Sketchley said...

Gareth Porter comments on the "barrage of disinformation" coming from "the media empire controlled by Rupert Murdoch".