Chestertown, MD, January 6, 2003 — Scott Ritter, former Chief Weapons Inspector for the United Nations Special Commission in Iraq (UNSCOM), will discuss “WAR WITH IRAQ: HOW DID WE GET HERE?” on Thursday, January 30, 2003, at 7:30 p.m. in Washington College's Tawes Theater. This timely talk is free and the public is encouraged to attend.
As a chief weapons inspector for the UNSCOM, Ritter was labeled a hero by some, a maverick by others, and a spy by the Iraqi government. Ritter has had an extensive and distinguished career in government service. He is a ballistic missile technology expert who worked in military intelligence during a 12-year career in the U.S. armed forces, including assignments in the former Soviet Union and in the Middle East. In 1991, Ritter joined UNSCOM and took part in more than 30 inspection missions, 14 as chief. In 1995, his team discovered in Iraq missile guidance equipment purchased from Russia through a Palestinian agent.
In January 1998, he led the U.N. weapons inspectors back to Iraq only to blocked by Iraqi officials who accused him of being a spy. Following Iraq's decision to block further inspections, Ritter found the U.S. and the U.N. Security Council unwilling to confront Iraq's position and resigned proclaiming that the “illusion of arms control is more dangerous than no arms control at all.” His experience in enemy territory has resulted in a book, Endgame: Solving the Iraq problem Once and for All, and a film exposing the results of America's foreign policy in the Persian Gulf and the devastating effects of the United Nations economic sanctions on the people of Iraq.
The talk is sponsored by Washington College's William James Forum and Goldstein Program in Public Affairs, established in honor of the late Louis L. Goldstein, 1935 alumnus and Maryland's longest serving elected official. The Goldstein Program sponsors lectures, symposia, visiting fellows, travel and other projects that bring students and faculty together with leaders in public policy and the media.