January 23, 2003


Yes, as the world now knows, former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter has been arrested twice in the last 18 months for attempting to solicit sex on the internet from underage girls. Though charges were not filed, an assistant prosecutor in Ritter's hometown near Albany was fired when the local DA discovered that she had dismissed Ritter's case without permission.
Ritter is best known as the UN weapons inspector who visited Iraq several times throughout the '90s and was originally an anti-Saddam hawk until, long after returning from his final trip to Baghdad as an inspector, he abruptly reversed field and began proclaiming that he doesn't believe Saddam is building nuclear weapons. Ritter has since become a darling of the anti-war movement as well as a frequent guest on "Donahue" (but I bet none of you have actually seen him on "Donahue"!)
Since the arrests were revealed two days ago, predictably, conspiracy theories have been flying in all directions- false pedophilia charges, after all, were the sort of thing the Syndicate used to throw at Mulder all the time on "The X-Files." And even though Ritter may very well have done what the authorities said he did, it woudn't surprise me if certain enemies of his had something to do with the arrest story being leaked at this particular moment (a la the Bush drunk-driving arrest revelation in 2000).
In addition, the opposite has been suggested: perhaps someone in a position of power has known of Ritter's (alleged) proclivities for a long time, and that person used the information to blackmail Ritter into radically changing his views on Saddam. A similar scenario was feared when it was revealed a few months ago that a member of the current, Hans Blix-led inspections team, Jack McGeorge, is a leading figure in Washington, DC.'s S&M/bondage community. Though at least that guy is having consensual sex with other adults, and not making a secret of it.
Some have suggested that if the charges against Ritter are true, we can never take anything he says about Iraq seriously again. I don't know that they are true, but I can say that I personally stopped taking Ritter seriously after reading a New York Times Magazine profile (NYTM, 11/23/'02) that gave me the impression that the man isn't far from insane. Notice you haven't seen nearly as much of Ritter in non-"Donahue" media since that profile; aside from CourtTV, you're likely to see even less of him now.

AND WHILE WE'RE ON THE SUBJECT OF WEAPONS INSPECTORS: Band name suggestion of the week: "Inspector Hans and the Material Breach"

Posted by Stephen Silver at January 23, 2003 01:08 AM
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