"Iraq targeted Ritter because he was investigating Iraqi techniques of concealing evidence and how Baghdad was able to spy on UNSCOM," says Dowell. Ritter left Iraq Friday — rotated, not withdrawn — after having been stopped from making inspections all week. But the evasion began earlier: As Dowell says, "the Iraqis appear to be aware in advance of UNSCOM's intentions." When the U.N. inspectors went in search of a set of documents from an Iraqi facility Monday, all the documents on their list — and only those — were missing.
As long as Iraq can keep Ritter from counterespionage, it can keep the other U.N. inspectors from succeeding at their jobs.