In 1998, Ritter resigned his post as chief weapons inspector for the UN Special Commission (UNSCOM) in Iraq, due to a conflict regarding the goals of the UNSCOM mission. A vocal critic of the Bush administration's current policy on Iraq, he believes the UN inspectors destroyed 90–95 percent of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction in the seven years they spent there. He also argues that it would be impossible for Iraq to have built, without detection, new weapons in the four years since the inspectors left.
Ritter graduated from Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He began his military career as an intelligence officer for the United States Marine Corps, where he served with the Marine Corps Rapid Deployment Force as the lead analyst regarding the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the Iran-Iraq War. He is the author of the book Endgame: Solving the Iraq Problem—Once and For All, and director of the documentary In Shifting Sands: The Truth About UNSCOM and the Disarming of Iraq.
This is the fourth year for the Social Activism Speaker Series, which focuses attention on current social and political issues by inviting prominent activists to speak to the Caltech community and the public, and to share their experiences and perspectives. This series is coordinated with the help of the Caltech Y, and is made possible by contributions from the President's Office, Student Affairs, Caltech Auxiliary and Business Services, the Alumni Association, the Diversity Initiative Fund, the Mellon Foundation, the Graduate Student Council, Jack and Edith Roberts, and the Associated Students of Caltech.
The Social Activism Speaker Series will continue in 2003 with Adam Shapiro and Huwaida Arraf, cofounders of the International Solidarity Movement, on Wednesday, January 8, at 8 p.m., and Theodore Postol, MIT professor and critic of the nuclear missile defense program, on Wednesday, April 2, at 8 p.m.
Ramo Auditorium is located near the center of campus, on the south side of the Baxter building and south of Beckman Auditorium. Free parking is available in the lots south of Del Mar Boulevard between Wilson and Chester Avenues, and in the parking structure at 370 South Holliston Avenue.
For more information, visit http://sass.caltech.edu or contact Greg Fletcher, Caltech Y, (626) 395-6163.
Media Contact: Deborah Williams-Hedges (626) 395-3227 [email protected]
Visit the Caltech Media Relations Web site at: http://pr.caltech.edu/media