Skip to comments.Ritter Says He Won't Be Silenced
Posted on 01/23/2003 11:21:11 AM PST by Shermy
Scott Ritter said he doesn't want forgiveness.
Speaking publicly for the first time about the sex charge he was arrested for in 2001, the former U.N. arms inspector and one of the leading critics of the Bush administration's plans to attack Iraq said he has been held accountable for breaking the law. And it would be a shame, he said Wednesday, that his arrest could derail his efforts to help prevent a war in the Middle East.
"I think it's important to put a human face on this, to remind people that there are issues out there bigger than a two-year-old dismissed case," he said. "I'm not asking people for forgiveness.
In June 2001, he was charged in a police sting operation with trying to lure a 16-year-old girl he met on the Internet to a Burger King. Later in Colonie Town Court, the case was adjourned in contemplation of dismissal after six months. Half a year later, the case was sealed.
"I was arrested on June 15 (2001) and charged with a class B misdemeanor," he said. "I think it's important for people to know that I stood before a judge in a public court, with my wife by my side ... and the case was dismissed."
Ritter, 41, a Delmar resident, spent Wednesday afternoon in a frenzy of television and newspaper interviews. He had been at the center of a national controversy that exploded this week when the arrest came to light.
A former Marine, Ritter served as a U.N. weapons inspector for seven years. He resigned in 1998, saying that Iraq remained a threat. He also accused the United States of damaging the inspection process by using intelligence from the U.N. to determine subsequent bombing sites.
In September, Ritter visited Iraq to urge Saddam Hussein to allow inspectors back into the country. Hussein agreed to do that a few days after Ritter left.
On Wednesday, Ritter said he's trying to put his life back together after the attention of the last few days. He declined to speculate on who may have released information from the sealed file.
"The timing is definitely suspicious," he said. "I have no insights as to who or why. I know what the impact is, which was to prevent me from getting on an airplane as I planned to do so ... to fly to Baghdad."
Ritter was to fly to Iraq on Tuesday to meet with the country's government, along with many other figures in the peace movement, to help avoid a war. Ritter bowed out of the trip because of the recent attention.
Colonie police Chief John Grebert said he did not blame any of his staff for the controversy. Though the case was sealed, he said, his detectives were not barred from talking about it, according to two lawyers he consulted. Furthermore, the case had been reported on Channel 13 in 2001 and many people were already familiar with it.
"This case is going on two years old," he said. "This case has been discussed fairly openly over the past year. A person who becomes more and more of a public figure increases the chance that anyone's going to talk."
WNYT Ch. 13 had the story on the arrest in 2001, but did not identify the man charged as the former weapons inspector. The station has said Ritter was charged under his given name -- William S. Ritter -- and the station did not make the connection at the time.
Ritter said this would be the last time he plans to discuss the situation with the media. He said he has been encouraged by hundreds of positive e-mails from around the country. His family is also with him.
"I'm very supportive of Scott, 100 percent or more," said his wife, Marina. "I'm very proud of him and everything that he has achieved."
Ritter and Marina, who married 12 years ago after they met in the former Soviet Republic of Georgia, are parents of two young children. Ritter said it was difficult explaining to his kids about what happened, but expects to soon put this behind him.
"I will continue to speak where I'm invited and permitted to speak," he said. "This will not silence me."
Staff writer Mike Goodwin contributed to this report.
It certainly won't silence you, but now everybody will know that your opinions are the opinions of a pedophile, and they will treat them accordingly.
Gee I don't remember anyone discussing this in the past two years until it got outed here on Free Republic on 18 January 2003!
As long as that face is a female,16 and under. Ha!,This guy is a non issue.
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Ritter can flatter himself that he can't be silenced, but if he doesn't get his mush-filled mug on camera, or his garbage thoughts in print, he is silenced no matter what.
How did this prevent Ritter from flying to Baghdad, exactly?
Yeah, but who's going to listen to Ritter without thinking of an overweight 41 year old man masturbating in front of a teenager.
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