CIA Iraqi Rewards Program

In February 2004, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) caused
worldwide amusement when they published details of their Iraqi
Rewards Program on their website http://www.cia.gov. Through this program,
the top spying outfit of the U.S. government attempted to solicit
intelligence information from the public about “recently-made”
Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD).

The Iraqi Rewards Program is no joke. (See this
CNN Report.)

The CIA waited for the fuss to die and took down the English
version of the page. However, I had a copy of the web page saved
in an e-mail. So, I promptly published it as an archive on Moral
Volcano.

SHOT_CIA_Iraqi_Rewards_Program_Email

Timeline

  • 10 February 2004: The CIA posts information on the Iraqi Rewards
    Program on its website
    at
    http://www.cia.gov/cia/english_rewards.htm. It contains a
    feedback form (“secure online form”) through which members of the
    public can send information to the CIA.
  • 12 February 2004: News spreads world over.
  • 12 February 2004: I make a backup of the web page in an e-mail.
  • Interim: The page at http://www.cia.gov/cia/english_rewards.htm
    vanishes from the CIA website. Almost all the links now point to the
    Arabic version at http://www.cia.gov/cia/arabic_rewards.htm.
    The secure online form is now available only in Arabic at
    https://comm.cia.gov/cgi/arp_form.cgi.
  • July 2004: The Moral Volcano site log contains information about
    a visitor who had visited the site after typing
    “Iraqi Rewards Program” english translation
    in Google. I check the CIA website
    and find that the English version has been taken down. I then use
    e-mail back of the English web page and publish it as an archive
    of the CIA web page.
  • 17 September 2004: I forward the e-mail to John Young, who maintains
    an archive of leaked secret government documents. Now, the English
    version of the Iraqi Rewards Program web page is available on his
    Cryptome.org website.
  • 7 October 2004: A CIA report, authored by Charles Duelfer, who
    advises the director of central intelligence on Iraqi weapons, said
    Iraq’s WMD program had essentially been destroyed in 1991 and Saddam
    ended Iraq’s nuclear program after the 1991 Gulf War. U.S. Vice
    President Dick Cheney later rejected the reports findings and said
    he believed Iraq may have moved its WMDs across the border into
    Syria.
  • 13 December 2004: I notice that the CIA contact page at
    http://www.cia.gov/cia/contact.htm still points to the missing
    english_rewards.htm page. Will someone tell them?
    SHOT_CIA_Website_Broken_Link
  • Well, I did? I use their contact form to tell them about the
    broken link. I also give them my e-mail address.
  • 23 December 2004: The
    CIA
    replies
    (“We removed the English-language
    versions of the Iraqi Rewards Program because the pages were being used
    inappropriately by visitors.”) that it will update the broken link. They
    use a different domain to send e-mail. ucia.gov seems to stands for
    unclassified
    CIA
    .
    SHOT_CIA_Reply
    I have blurred the name of the webmaster in the above image.
  • 13 January 2005: U.S. officials announce that the 1,700-strong Iraq
    Survey Group had wrapped up physical searches in Iraq for weapons of
    mass destruction. They have concluded that prewar Iraq had no WMD
    stockpiles.
  • 26 April 2005: CIA has officially ended the search for Iraqi WMD.
    CIA man Charles Duelfer posted an addendum to the October 2004 report.
    The addendum stated that an official transfer of WMD material from Iraq
    to Syria was unlikely. It could not, however, rule out an “unofficial”
    transfer of WMD material.
  • 28 July 2008: The CIA has given their website a makeover to their
    website. The English and Arabic links to the Arabic version (the only
    one) of the Iraqi Rewards Program page is still on the home page but
    they are broken. I use their “contact CIA” page to notify them about
    the broken link.
  • 29 July 2008: The CIA has fixed the link.
    Maybe, one day, the CIA will remove the link in a covert action.
  • 12 January 2014: CIA has moved to an all HTTPS website.
    The old link to Arabic version is still there on the home page.
    The Arabic version is now at
    https://www.cia.gov/about-cia/iraqi-rewards-program.html.