Skip to comments.Tom Brokaw: President Clinton Thought Saddam Hussein Had WMD
Posted on 12/15/2011 12:30:38 PM PST by DBCJR
...Tom Brokaw recounted some of the rationale behind why the Bush administration believed that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction before the invasion of Iraq, even noting that President Clinton had also believed in the presense of WMD.
Brokaw related evidence that the Iraqi dictator had tried to deceive Iran into believing he possessed WMD, and noted that the people of Iraq lived in "sheer terror" and were afraid to talk to the NBC anchor when he visited the country during Saddam Hussein's reign.
(Excerpt) Read more at newsbusters.org ...
As a 1990 report prepared for the Pentagon by the Strategic Studies Institute of the US War College admitted: "Throughout the [Iran-Iraq] war the United States practised a fairly benign policy toward Iraq... [Washington and Baghdad] wanted to restore the status quo ante ... that prevailed before [the 1979 Iranian revolution] began threatening the regional balance of power. Khomeini's revolutionary appeal was anathema to both Baghdad and Washington; hence they wanted to get rid of him. United by a common interest ... the [US] began to actively assist Iraq."
In March 1981, US Secretary of State Alexander Haig excitedly told the Senate foreign relations committee that Iraq was concerned by "the behaviour of Soviet imperialism in the Middle Eastern region". The Soviet government had refused to deliver arms to Iraq as long as Baghdad continued its military offensive against Iran. Moscow was also unhappy with the Hussein's vicious repression of the Iraqi Communist Party.
Using its allies in the Middle East, Washington funnelled huge supplies of arms to Iraq. Classified State Department cables uncovered by Frantz and Waas described covert transfers of howitzers, helicopters, bombs and other weapons to Baghdad in 1982-83 from Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Kuwait.
Howard Teicher, who monitored Middle East policy at the US National Security Council during the Reagan administration, told the February 23, 1992, LA Times: "There was a conscious effort to encourage third countries to ship US arms or acquiesce in shipments after the fact. It was a policy of nods and winks."
According to Mark Phythian's 1997 book Arming Iraq: How the US and Britain Secretly Built Saddam's War Machine (Northeastern University Press), in 1983 Reagan asked Italy's Prime Minister Guilo Andreotti to channel arms to Iraq.
The January 1, 1984 Washington Post reported that the US had "informed friendly Persian Gulf nations that the defeat of Iraq in the three-year-old war with Iran would be 'contrary to US interests' and has made several moves to prevent that result".
Central to these "moves" was the cementing of a military and political alliance with Saddam Hussein's repressive regime, so as to build up Iraq as a military counterweight to Iran. In 1982, the Reagan administration removed Iraq from the State Department's list of countries that allegedly supported terrorism. On December 19-20, 1983, Reagan dispatched his Middle East envoy none other than Donald Rumsfeld to Baghdad with a hand-written offer of a resumption of diplomatic relations, which had been severed during the 1967 Arab-Israel war. On March 24, 1984, Rumsfeld was again in Baghdad.
On that same day, the UPI wire service reported from the UN: "Mustard gas laced with a nerve agent has been used on Iranian soldiers ... a team of UN experts has concluded ... Meanwhile, in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, US presidential envoy Donald Rumsfeld held talks with foreign minister Tariq Aziz."
1983: With Reagans Approval, US Allies Supply Iraq with Weapons to Use against Iran
Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Egypt supply Iraq with US howitzers, helicopters, bombs, and other weapons with the secret approval of the Reagan administration. [New Yorker, 11/2/1992; Phythian, 1997, pp. 35] Italy also funnels arms to Iraq at the insistence of President Reagan who personally made the request to Prime Minister Guilio Andreotti. [Friedman, 1993, pp. 51-54; Phythian, 1997, pp. 36]
1983: Reagan Administration Approves Helicopter Sale to Iraq
The Reagan administration approves the sale of 60 civilian Hughes helicopters to Iraq, even though it is widely understood that the helicopters can be weaponized with little effort. Critics will regard the sale as military aid cloaked as civilian assistance. [Phythian, 1997, pp. 37-38]
1983: NSC Approves Sale of Helicopters to Iraq; Later Used in Poison Gas Deployment
Secretary of Commerce Howard Baldridge and Secretary of State George Shultz successfully lobby the National Security Council (NSC) adviser to approve the sale of 10 Bell helicopters to Iraq in spite of objections from other NSC members. It is claimed that the helicopters will be used for crop spraying. These same helicopters are later used in 1988 to deploy poison gas against Iranians and possibly Iraqi Kurds (see March 1988). [Washington Post, 3/11/1991; Phythian, 1997, pp. 37-38]
1983: Iraq Increases Chemical Bombardment of Iran
Iraqs use of chemical weapons against Iran increases significantly. The US is informed of Iraqs use of chemical weapons toward the end of the year. [Shultz, 1993, pp. 238; Jentleson, 1994, pp. 48; Cole, 1997, pp. 87]
1983: Iran Shows Photos of Chemical Weapons Victims to UN
Iranian diplomats bring photographs to the United Nations and several national capitals showing the swollen, blistered and burned bodies of injured and dead Iranians who have been victims of Iraqi chemical attacks. [New York Times, 2/13/2003]
April 12, 1983: Iraq Threatens Iran with New and Morally Objectionable Weapons
Iraq warns Iran of new weapons [to] be used for the first time in war not used in previous attacks because of humanitarian and ethical reasons that will destroy any moving creature. [US Department of State, 11/1/1983 ]
July 1983-August 1983: Iraq Uses Chemical Weapons against Iranians and Kurdish Insurgents
Iraq uses a chemical agent with lethal effects against Iranian forces invading Iraq at Haj Umran [US Department of State, 11/21/1983 ; Central Intelligence Agency,
October 21, 1983: Iraq Attacks Iranian Village with Chemical Weapon
An Iraqi warplane drops a chemical bomb near the Iranian village of Bademjan. Iranian ambassador Said Rajaie Khorassani claims, ]A white fume spread in the area causing severe skin injuries and several cases of loss of eyesight among people in the vicinity and 11 people lost their lives. [Vallette, 3/24/2003]
November 1, 1983: State Department Warned Iraq Using Chemical Weapons Almost Daily
US State Department official Jonathan T. Howe tells Secretary of State George P. Shultz that intelligence reports indicate that Saddam Husseins troops are resorting to almost daily use of CW [Chemical Weapons] against their Iranian adversaries. [US Department of State, 11/1/1983 ; Washington Post, 12/30/2002; London Times, 12/31/2002]
US State Department official Jonathan T. Howe sends Secretary of Defense Lawrence Eagleburger a memo reporting that US intelligence has determined that Iraq has acquired a CW [chemical weapons] production capability, primarily from Western firms, including possibly a US foreign subsidiary and that Iraq has used chemical weapons against Iranian forces and Kurdish insurgents. Referring to the US policy of seeking a halt to CW use wherever it occurs, Howe says the US is considering approaching Iraq directly, but in a way that avoids playing into Irans hands by fueling its propaganda against Iraq. Significantly, the memo acknowledges that the US has so far limited its efforts against the Iraqi CW program to close monitoring because of our strict neutrality in the Gulf war, the sensitivity of sources, and the low probability of achieving desired results. [US Department of State, 11/1/1983 ]
How Did Iraq Get Its WMD? - We Sold Them To Saddam
By Neil Mackay and Felicity Arbuthnot The Sunday Herald - UK 9-6-2
The US and Britain sold Saddam Hussein the technology and materials Iraq needed to develop nuclear, chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction.
Reports by the US Senate's committee on banking, housing and urban affairs -- which oversees American exports policy -- reveal that the US, under the successive administrations of Ronald Reagan and George Bush Snr, sold materials including anthrax, VX nerve gas, West Nile fever germs and botulism to Iraq right up until March 1992, as well as germs similar to tuberculosis and pneumonia. Other bacteria sold included brucella melitensis, which damages major organs, and clostridium perfringens, which causes gas gangrene.
Classified US Defence Department documents also seen by the Sunday Herald show that Britain sold Iraq the drug pralidoxine, an antidote to nerve gas, in March 1992, after the end of the Gulf war. Pralidoxine can be reverse engineered to create nerve gas.
The Senate committee's rep orts on 'US Chemical and Biological Warfare-Related Dual-Use Exports to Iraq', undertaken in 1992 in the wake of the Gulf war, give the date and destination of all US exports. The reports show, for example, that on May 2, 1986, two batches of bacillus anthracis -- the micro-organism that causes anthrax -- were shipped to the Iraqi Ministry of Higher Education, along with two batches of the bacterium clostridium botulinum, the agent that causes deadly botulism poisoning.
One batch each of salmonella and E coli were shipped to the Iraqi State Company for Drug Industries on August 31, 1987. Other shipments went from the US to the Iraq Atomic Energy Commission on July 11, 1988; the Department of Biology at the University of Basrah in November 1989; the Department of Microbiology at Baghdad University in June 1985; the Ministry of Health in April 1985 and Officers' City, a military complex in Baghdad, in March and April 1986.
The shipments to Iraq went on even after Saddam Hussein ordered the gassing of the Kurdish town of Halabja, in which at least 5000 men, women and children died. The atrocity, which shocked the world, took place in March 1988, but a month later the components and materials of weapons of mass destruction were continuing to arrive in Baghdad from the US.
The Senate report also makes clear that: 'The United States provided the government of Iraq with 'dual use' licensed materials which assisted in the development of Iraqi chemical, biological and missile-system programmes.'
This assistance, according to the report, included 'chemical warfare-agent precursors, chemical warfare-agent production facility plans and technical drawings, chemical warfare filling equipment, biological warfare-related materials, missile fabrication equipment and missile system guidance equipment'.
Donald Riegle, then chairman of the committee, said: 'UN inspectors had identified many United States manufactured items that had been exported from the United States to Iraq under licences issued by the Department of Commerce, and [established] that these items were used to further Iraq's chemical and nuclear weapons development and its missile delivery system development programmes.'
Riegle added that, between January 1985 and August 1990, the 'executive branch of our government approved 771 different export licences for sale of dual-use technology to Iraq. I think that is a devastating record'.
It is thought the information contained in the Senate committee reports is likely to make up much of the 'evidence of proof' that Bush and Blair will reveal in the coming days to justify the US and Britain going to war with Iraq. It is unlikely, however, that the two leaders will admit it was the Western powers that armed Saddam with these weapons of mass destruction.
Spoken like a true democrap lick-spittle.
Life is short. My time is valuable. Pull your head out of yourself.
Well now you are insane, a liar and in dire need of a shower for consorting with these loons listed as authors, none of whom even claimed that US shipped nerve gas to Iraq. You should be ashamed of yourself but I am somehow sure you are not.
Physician, heal thyself.
Others on the thread have called you a liar, insane, a history revisionist and more.
Perhaps we're all wrong. Perhaps we're not and you're everything stated above.
Gore and the Clintons, among other prominent Demwits, all made the same kinds of accusations and statements about Saddam Hussein’s use of chemical WMDs and quest for nukes (which is documented). Thanks DBCJR.
Note: this topic is from December 15, 2011. Thanks DBCJR. May be a re-ping. Gosh, maybe Clinton or Brokaw, just misspoke.