Posted by Mike (18.104.22.168) on July 21, 2003 at 23:22:13:
Regardless of the circumstances surrounding the tragic death of David Kelly, it has had one beneficial effect. Millions of people throughout the UK who read The Times and the Independent have just heard the words "Baha'i Faith."
See the extracts below for details.
"...Four years ago, when Dr Kelly was working for the UN in New York, he became a follower of the Bahai faith. "He was modest, self effacing, intelligent and honourable in every way," said Susie Howard, a member of the Abingdon Bahai group to which Dr Kelly belonged. "We are devastated... People are very surprised. He was a private man. When one thinks of what he endured - he led the first weapons inspection team to Iraq - he was very emotionally together, I think..."
"...He was also one of the few inspectors willing to comment on the suffering the regime had inflicted on the Iraqis themselves."
Despite his conventional upbringing - he was born in the Rhondda Valley, the son of an RAF officer and a school teacher, and he grew up in Tunbridge Wells - Dr Kelly had become a follower of the Baha'i faith, which originated in Persia. Fellow inspectors said he went out of his way to get to know the Iraqis.
A teetotaller with a reputation as a principled opponent of the Iraqi regime, he was senior adviser on biological weapons to Unscom, the UN weapons inspectorate, until 1999. That year he took on a similar role as a consultant to the MoD and the Foreign Office."
- Both the above from The Independent, 19th July.
"...He was the bane of Saddam Hussein, who personally wanted him expelled from the country because he knew where ‘the bodies were buriedí...
...It is impossible to exaggerate Dr Kellyís importance throughout the long campaign to disarm Saddam of his bio-weapons arsenal.
In 1988, while Dr Kelly was working at Porton Down, Iraq tried unsuccessfully to obtain a weapons-grade strain of anthrax from the laboratory. At about the same time, Saddam did manage to get some anthrax from the United States.
Dr Kelly led the first team of United Nations biological weapons inspectors to Iraq in 1991, discovering a factory that could have produced enough anthrax to fill several Scud missiles.
Highly trusted by the Ministry of Defence, he used to help with interviews of defectors, and sat in on debriefings that took place when people returned from overseas postings. He always had access to secret intelligence material.
Beneath a softly spoken façade was a steely individual who wanted only to spend his final year before retirement hunting weapons in Iraq...
...His spiritual solace was the Bahaíi faith, a monotheistic religion that believes that Moses, Krishna, Buddha, Zoroaster, Jesus and Muhammad were all Godís messengers. At one time, he served as treasurer of the Spiritual Assembly in Abingdon.
The Bahaíi faith seeks the unification of humanity in one global society. They believe that barriers of race, class, creed and nationality are being broken down, leading ultimately to a universal civilisation.
One of the purposes of the Bahaíi faith is to help make this possible. The worldwide community of some five million Bahaíis is representative of most of the nations, peoples and cultures on Earth.
“David was held in deep respect by everyone who knew him. He was a man of enormous integrity,” Manoocher Sammi, a friend and fellow executive of the Bahaíi faith, said..."
From the front page of The Times, 19th July
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