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
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
- 10 February 2004: The CIA posts information on the Iraqi Rewards
Program on its website
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
- 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
- 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
- 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?
- 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
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
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
- 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