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Inspectors Include Man With Leadership Role in Sex Fetish Clubs

November 28, 2002|From Washington Post

WASHINGTON — The United Nations' Iraq weapons inspections team includes a 53-year-old Virginia man with no specialized scientific degree and a leadership role in sadomasochistic sex clubs.

The U.N. acknowledged that it did not conduct a background check on Harvey John "Jack" McGeorge of Woodbridge, Va., who was in New York waiting to be sent to Iraq as a munitions analyst.

McGeorge was picked for the diplomatically sensitive mission over some of the most experienced disarmament sleuths in the world. A U.N. spokesman said McGeorge was part of a group recommended by the State Department, which in turn said it was merely forwarding names for consideration.

"As the United Nations, with people applying from many countries, we do not have the capability to do that," Ewen Buchanan, a spokesman for the inspection commission, said of background checks.

McGeorge is a former Marine and Secret Service specialist who offers seminars on "weaponization of chemical and biological agents" for $595 a session. Since 1983, he has been president of his own firm, Public Safety Group Inc., which sells anti-bioterror products to governments.

McGeorge does not possess a degree in one of the specialized fields -- such as biochemistry, bacteriology or chemical engineering -- that the United Nations says it seeks in its inspectors.

An Internet search of open Web sites conducted by the Washington Post found that McGeorge is the co-founder and past president of Black Rose, a Washington-area S&M group, and the former chairman of the board of the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom. He is also a founding officer of the Leather Leadership Conference Inc., which "produces training sessions for current and potential leaders of the sadomasochism/leather/fetish community," according to its Web site. Several Web sites describe McGeorge's training seminars as involving various acts conducted with knives and ropes.

McGeorge said Friday that a State Department official invited him to apply and he was not asked about his S&M background. But he said he would tender his resignation if the Washington Post printed a story.

"I have been very upfront with people in the past about what I do, and it has never prevented me from getting a job or doing service," McGeorge said. "I am who I am. I am not ashamed of who I am, not one bit. But I cannot allow my actions, as they may be perceived by others, to damage an organization which has done nothing to deserve that damage."

McGeorge defended his training and experience, saying: "I was a military ordnance explosive disposal specialist. I was very well trained on chemical and biological agents."

Half the 100 inspectors picked so far were recommended by governments and the other half came from people applying directly. Buchanan said the United Nations considers McGeorge's private life irrelevant to his role as a munitions analyst.

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