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Bio-Chemical Weapons & Saddam: A History.
Posted on 02/20/2003 10:29:31 PM PST by PsyOp
Bio-Chemical Weapons & Saddam: A History.
In recent months there has been a great deal of bad information going around in the argument over whether we should attack Iraq, and whether Iraq is a threat to us. Some of that bad information is simple ignorance concerning chemical and biological warfare, and some is deliberate dis-information. Among those charges are that we (1) sold Saddam chemical and biological weapons, (2) equipped his army, (3) helped him in his war with Iraq. These charges are specious but start with a germ of fact. These facts are always twisted, blown out of proportion and presented out of context by those wishing to smear the USA with the taint of Saddams crimes.
To help combat this I have put together a primer on the subject drawing on numerous sources, both published books and internet (they are listed at the end of this article). Because of the confusing nature and volume of relevant information, I have decided to present it in a timeline. This is useful because it helps one to follow the development of chemical and biological weapons, and why they present such a large threat if they fall into the wrong hands. It also lends historical perspective to the subject that is often lacking in other sources.
I have also gone into great detail concerning Soviet and U.S. Bio/Chemical weapons programs to provide additional perspective.
What is presented here is corroborated fact--conspiracy theories notwithstanding. In this case the truth is scarier than any conspiracy theory or work of fiction. If, after reading this, you are not convinced of the need to remove Saddam and others like him--then you probably have bigger issues you need to deal with.
The use of chemical and biological weapons has a long history. While this article may seem long, it is nothing more than a brief synopsis. But people need to know what I have presented here.
1000 BC. Chinese use arsenical smokes sicken enemy troops and make them combat ineffective.
600 BC. Solon of Athens puts hellebore roots in the drinking water of Kirrha to kill the inhabitants.
429 and 424 BC. Spartans and their allies use noxious smoke and flame against Athenian-allied cities during the Peloponnesian War.
400 BC. Scythian archers used arrows dipped in blood and manure or decomposing bodies to prevent wounds from healing.
200 BC. Carthaginians used Mandrake root left in wine to sedate the enemy.
190 BC. Hannibal hurls venomous snakes onto the enemy ships of Pergamus at Eurymedon to panic and injure enemy sailors.
Middle Ages. The use of disease to break sieges of castles and fortified towns is widespread. The most common method is to use catapults to hurl dead human or animal bodies over walls to spread disease. This same method is used to poison water sources.
1155. Barbarossa uses dead bodies to spread pathogens among the enemy during the battle of Tortona.
1346. Black Sea port of Kaffa (now Feodossia, Ukraine). Tartars attacking the port are attacked by rats carrying Plague. They return the favor by catapulting diseased bodies their dead into the city, forcing the defending Genoese to abandon it when Plague spreads. Ships carrying plague-infected refugees (and possibly rats) sailed to Constantinople, Genoa, Venice, and other Mediterranean ports and are thought to have contributed to the second plague pandemic.
1495. The Spanish try wine infected with leprosy patients blood against the French near Naples. Effects are inconclusive.
1650. A Polish artillery general, puts saliva from rabid dogs into hollow spheres for firing against his enemies.
1675. An agreement between the French and Germans, signed in Strasbourg, bans the use of poison bullets.
1710. The Russians cast plague-infected bodies into Swedish-held Reval, Estonia.
1754-1767. French and Indian War. Sir Jeffrey Amherst, commander of British forces in North America, suggested the deliberate use of smallpox to "reduce" Native American tribes hostile to the British. An outbreak of smallpox at Fort Pitt results in the opportunity to execute Amherst's plan. On June 24, 1763, Captain Ecuyer, Amherst's subordinate, gives blankets and a handkerchief from the smallpox hospital to the Native Americans and records in his journal, "I hope it will have the desired effect." This was followed by an epidemic of smallpox among Native American tribes in the Ohio River valley, which may also have been spread by contact with settlers. Transmission of smallpox by fomites (on blankets) is inefficient compared with respiratory droplet transmission.
1785. Tunisians throw plague-infected clothing into La Calle, held by the Christians.
1847. The earliest known patent for a protective-mask is filed in the United State by Lewis P. Haslett.
1854. Lyon Playfair, a British chemist, proposes a cacodyl cyanide artillery shell for use against enemy ships. The British Ordnance Department rejects the proposal as a bad a mode of warfare as poisoning the wells of the enemy.
1861. Union troops advancing south into Maryland and other border states are warned not to eat or drink anything provided by unknown civilians for fear of being poisoned. Despite warnings, there are numerous cases where soldiers think they have been poisoned after eating or drinking.
1863. Confederates retreating in Mississippi leave dead animals in wells and ponds to deny water sources to the Union troops.
1863. U.S. Army General Order No. 100 is issued. It states: The use of poison in any manner, be it to poison wells, or food, or arms, is wholly excluded from modern warfare.
1870s. Robert Koch (later Nobelist) injects Bacillus anthracic into mice, demonstrating microorganisms as causative agents of disease (also tuberculosis, cholera, and insect-borne diseases). Isolation and production of specific pathogens becomes possible.
1874. International Declaration Concerning the Laws and Customs of War is signed in Brussels and includes a prohibition against poison or poisoned arms.
1899. The First Hague Peace Conference bans the use of poisons and is ratified by the United States.
1907. Second Hague Peace Conference retains the ban against poisons.
1914, 27 October. Germans fire 3,000 105 mm shells filled with dianisidine chlorosulfate, a lung irritant, at the British near Neuve-Chapelle, but with no visible effects. To evade the 1899 international ban, the Germans also put shrapnel in the shell so the sole purpose was not gas dissemination.
1914, November. Dr. Hans von Tappen designed a 150 mm howitzer shell containing 7 lb of xylyl bromide and a bursting charge for splintering effect. 18,000 of the shells are fired at Russian positions near Bolimov. Weather comes to the aid of the Russians by providing cold temperatures that prevent the vaporization of the gas. The Germans triy the same shells again on the western front at Nieuport in March, 1915 with equally unsuccessful results.
1915, April. Ypres, the first successful German chemical attack. Pioneer Regiment 35 places 1,600 large and 4,130 small cylinders containing a total of 168 tons of Chlorine opposite the Allied troops defending Ypres, Belgium. The containers are opened and wind blows chlorine gas into allied lines.
As a weapon, the gas is particularly advantageous when used against soldiers in defensive positions. Being heavier than air, chlorine followed the grounds contours and sank into the trenches and shell holes allied soldiers used as protection against shrapnel and bullet. This forced them to abandon their defences in favour of higher ground. Those who did stay found it extremely difficult to fight with watery eyes, heaving stomachs and burning lungs. Many allied soldiers die of suffocation or are killed by enemy fire when they abandon the safety of the trenches.
1915. Germans initiate covert biological warfare attacks against the Allies horses and cattle on both the western and the eastern fronts. Other attacks included a reported attempt to spread Plague in St. Petersburg, Russia, in 1915.
1916, May. Germans start using Trichloromethyl chloroformate (diphosgene), while the French tried Hydrogen cyanide 2 months later and Cyanogen chloride the same year.
1916. Germans infect Romanian sheep being exported to Russia with Anthrax. The plot is discovered when cultures are confiscated from the German Legation in Romania. German agents also infect horses of the French cavalry, Argentinean livestock intended for export to Allied forces, and attempt to infect U.S. cattle feed and horses bound for the front.
1917. Germany is accused of poisoning wells in the Somme area with human corpses, and ofdropping fruit, chocolate, and childrens toys infected with lethal bacteria into Romanian cities.
1917, July. Germans introduce Mustard agent to provide a persistent vesicant that could attack the body in places not protected by gas masks. To further complicate defensive actions, both sides mixed agents and experimented with camouflage materials (dyes) to prevent quick identification.
1918, 26 February. Germans fire 150 to 250 Phosgene and Chloropicrin projectiles against the Americans near Bois de Remieres, France. The Americans suffered 85 casualties with 8 deaths, approximately 33% of their battalion.
1918, 28 June. The U.S. War Department formally establishes the Chemical Warfare Service (CWS), under Major General William L. Sibert, as part of the National Army (ie, the war-time army, as distinguished from the regular army). The CWS was organized into seven main divisions.
The Research Division was located at American University, Washington, D. C. Most of the weapons and agent research was conducted by this division during the war. The Gas Defense Division was responsible for the production of gas masks and had a large plant in Long Island City, New York. The Gas Offense Division was responsible for the production of chemical agents and weapons, with its main facility located at Edgewood Arsenal, Mary-land. The Development Division was responsible for charcoal production, and also pilot-plant work on mustard agent production. The Proving Ground Division was collocated with the Training Division at Lakehurst, New Jersey. The Medical Division was responsible for the pharmacological aspects of chemical defense.
The offensive chemical unit for the AEF was the First Gas Regiment, formerly the 30th Engineers. This unit was organized at American University under the command of Colonel E. J. Atkisson in 1917, and was sent to France in early 1918.
1920, 1 July. The CWS becomes a permanent part of the Regular Army. Its mission includes development, procurement, and supply of all offensive and defensive chemical warfare material, together with similar functions in the fields of smoke and incendiary weapons.
1922. U.S. destroys all leftover stocks of chemical warfare weapons except for a limited number to be used in testing for defensive measure.
1922. Limitation of Arms Conference, held in Washington, D. C., bans the use of poisonous gases except in retaliation. The United States ratified the limitation, but France declined to ratify the treaty and therefore it was never implemented.
1925. Geneva Protocol for the Prohibition of the Use in War of Asphyxiating, Poisonous or Other Gases, and of Bacteriological Methods of Warfare signed by 28 countries, including the United States. The U.S. Senate, however, refused to ratify the Protocol and remained uncommitted by it. The general policy of the U.S. government, tended toward the discouragement of all aspects of chemical warfare, tempered by a policy of preparedness should chemical warfare occur again. The United States does not ratify the Geneva Protocol until 1975.
1929. The Soviets reportedly established a biological warfare facility north of the Caspian Sea.
In the matter of chemical warfare, the War Department opposes any restrictions whereby the United States would refrain from all peacetime preparation or manufacture of gases, means of launching gases, or defensive gas material. No provision that would require the disposal or destruction of any existing installation of our Chemical Warfare Service or of any stocks of chemical warfare material should be incorporated in an agreement. Furthermore, the existence of a War Department agency engaged in experimentation and manufacture of chemical warfare materials, and in training for unforeseen contingencies is deemed essential to our national defense. - U.S. Army Chief of Staff, General Douglas MacArthur, letter to Secretary of State Henry L. Stimson in 1932.
1933-45. Japan sets up an offensive biological warfare laboratory in occupied Manchuria under the supervision of Dr. Ishii, later designated Detachment 731. Additional biological warfare facilities were established in 1939, the same year that Japanese troops allegedly entered Russia to poison animals with Anthrax and other diseases.
Japanese Army Unit 731 conducts bio-war experiments on human beings outside Harbin, Manchuria. 11 Chinese cities are later attacked with the agents like Anthrax, Cholera, Shigellosis, Salmonella, and Plague. At least 10,000 die.
1935, 3 October. Benito Mussolini launches an invasion of Ethiopia from its neighbors Eritrea, an Italian colony, and Italian Somaliland. Ethiopia protests to the League of Nations, which imposes limited economic sanctions. Marshal Pietro Badoglio, is ordered to finish the war quickly. He resorts to chemical weapons to defeat the Ethiopian troops led by Emperor Haile Selassie. Unprepared Ethiopian troops are devastated and their army routed.
1936. German chemist Dr. Gerhart Schrader of I. G. Farben Company discovered an organophosphorus insecticide, which was reported to the Chemical Weapons Section of the German military prior to patenting. The military assigned the name Tabun to the new substance. 2 years later, Schrader developed a similar agent, eventually called Sarin, which was reportedly 5 times as toxic as Tabun. The United States later designated this agent GB. During the war they would produce 78,000 tons of chemical warfare agents, including 12,000 tons of it tabun and 1,000 tons of Sarin.
1937. Edgewood Arsenal rehabilitates their mustard agent plant and produced 154 tons of mustard agent to increase their stockpile. The same year, the Phosgene plant was renovated for additional production, and the CWS changed phosgene from substitute standard to standard. It also ramps up production of gas masks to 50,000 per year.
1937. Saddam Hussein is born in 1937 in the Tikrit district, north of Baghdad.
1939. Canada initiates biological warfare research under Sir Frederick Banting at Connaught Laboratories, Ile Grosse, and at Suffield. The Canadians started work on Anthrax, Botulinum Toxin, Plague, and Psittacosis.
1939-45. Hitler reportedly issued orders prohibiting biological weapons development in Germany. However, with the support of high-ranking Nazi party officials, German scientists began biological weapons research. Prisoners in Nazi concentration camps were forcibly infected with Rickettsia prowazekii, Rickettsia mooseri, Hepatitis A virus, and Plasmodia spp and treated with investigational vaccines and drugs.
1940. British establish chemical/biological warfare laboratory at Porton Down.
1941. U.S. Army conducts extensive training maneuvers that include chemical warfare scenarios. U.S. decided on no first use policy. By the end of the war the U.S. produces 146,000 tons of chemical weapons, mostly improved Mustard and Cyanogen chloride. None are used.
1942. On Gruinard Island, off the coast of Scotland, the British conduct Anthrax tests on sheep. Today, the uninhabited island is still believed to be infected with Anthrax spores.
We shall under no circumstances resort to the use of such [chemical] weapons unless they are first used by our enemies. - President Roosevelt, 1943.
Any use of gas by any axis power, therefore, will immediately be followed by the fullest possible retaliation upon munition centers, seaports and other military objectives throughout the whole extent of the territory of such axis country. - President Roosevelt, 1943.
I have been loath to believe that any nation, even our present enemies... would be willing to loose upon mankind such terrible and inhumane weapons.... Use of such weapons had been ruled out by the general opinion of civilized mankind. - Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1943.
1943. Ft. Detrick Maryland becomes the head quarters for U.S. Bio Weapons offensive and defensive research. Research is conducted on Anthrax, Botulism, Tularemia, Brucellosis, Venezuelan equine encephalitis, and Q Fever over the course of Detricks history. While the U.S. prepares to use them if attacked in-kind, the U.S. never uses these weapons during WWII. Research slows after the war, but picks up again in the 1950s when U.S. Discovers that the Soviets have a crash research program underway to develop chemical and biological weapons. U-2 over flights identify several large testing facilities and outdoor test ranges Research on vaccines against possible and known enemy bio-weapons is also conducted at Detrick.
1943, 2 December. The SS John Harvey, loaded with 2,000 M47A1 Mustard agent bombs, was destroyed after a German air raid at Bari Harbor, Italy. The only members of the crew who were aware of the chemical munitions were killed in the raid. As a result of the destruction of the ship, mustard agent contaminated the oily water in the harbor and caused more than 600 casualties, in addition to those killed or injured in the actual attack. The harbor clean-up took 3 weeks and used large quantities of lime as a decontaminant.
1945. Iraq joined the United Nations and became a founding member of the Arab League.
1946. Soviets build a factory specializing in Anthrax production. This is spurred by soviet capture of Japanese from germ Unit 731 several years earlier. Others evade Soviet capture and are taken prisoner by the U.S.
1946, August 2. Public Law 607 changed the name of the CWS to the Chemical Corps.
1947. Soviets build a complex for making viral weapons, including Smallpox, just outside Zagorsk.
It required the experiences of World War II to demonstrate that the most important basic factor in a nations military strength is its war production potential and ability to convert smoothly and quickly its industry, manpower, and other economic resources. - Major General Anthony C. McAuliffe, Chief of the Chemical Corps, 1950.
1950. The Chemical Corps began construction of the first full-scale sarin production complex at the Edgewood Arsenal Plant stays in operation 4 years and is shut down.
1950, June. With the onset of the Korean War, the Army Chemical Corps participates in its first military action.
1950-53. While both sides gear up for possible use of chemical weapons, neither side uses them during the war.
Today, thanks to Joe Stalin, we are back in business. - Major General Egbert F. Bullene, the new Chief of the Chemical Corps, 1953.
1955. The Chemical Corps formerly established a new project called Psychochemical Agents. The next year, the program was redesignated "K"-agents. The objective was to develop a non-lethal but potent incapacitants that could be disseminated from airplanes in all environments. The program was conducted at the Army Chemical Center and examined nonmilitary drugs like Lysergic acid (LSD) and Tetrahydrocannabinol (related to marijuana). None of these drugs, however, are found to be of military worth.
1956. Pine Bluff Arsenal, Arkansas. Discovery of Soviet bio-weapons factories spurs to Army build factory for manufacturing of non-lethal bio-weapons using Q-Fever (Coxiella burnetti) and VEE (Venezuelan equine encephalitis). Eggs from nearby farms are injected with the microbes, incubated and then harvested. Arkansas is chosen because it is the nations largest egg producer.
1956. The Baghdad Pact allies Iraq, Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, and the United Kingdom, and establishes its headquarters in Baghdad.
1957. Saddam Hussein joins the Ba'ath Party and becomes one of its thugs.
1958, July. Gen. Abdul Karim Kassem takes power in coup, during which King Faysal II and Prime Minister Nuri as-Said are killed. Kassem ends Iraq's membership in the Baghdad Pact in 1959 and turns to the Soviet Union for support.
1959. After taking part in a failed attempt to assassinate the Iraqi President, Abdul Karim Kassem, Saddam escaped, first to Syria and then to Egypt. In his absence he was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment.
1959. Iraq's nuclear program was established under the Iraqi Atomic Energy Commission. Under a nuclear co-operation agreement signed with the Soviet Union in 1959, a nuclear research center, equipped with a research reactor, was built at Tuwaitha, the main Iraqi nuclear research center. The research reactor worked up to 1991. The surge in Iraqi oil revenues in the early 1970s supported an expansion of the research program. This was bolstered in the mid-1970s by the acquisition of two research reactors powered by highly enriched uranium fuel and equipment for fuel fabrication and handling. By the end of 1984 Iraq was self-sufficient in uranium ore. One of the reactors was destroyed in an Israeli air attack in June 1981 shortly before it was to become operational; the other was never completed.
1960, February 18. Full meeting of the National Security Council. Eisenhower is briefed on Soviet and U.S. Bio-weapons research. Eisenhower is briefed on the U.S. focus on non-lethal incapacitation agents that, instead of killing, cause lethargy, irritation, blackout, paralysis, generalized illness and a lack of will to fight--all effects being temporary so as to reduce repercussions in the international community if used. By contrast, it is noted, most Soviet biological agents under development were lethal.
Eisenhower, who was delighted at the possibilities of non-lethal agents on the battlefield, still worried that their use might be interpreted as full-scale attack by the enemy. Eisenhower and theJoint Chiefs decide that if they ever decide to employ these agents, they will need to immediately notify the world of their non-lethal nature.
1960s. Vietnam. Viet-Cong smear sharpened punji sticks with human excrement to cause infection in soldiers injured by booby-traps.
For hundreds of years it has been impossible to carry on war without firing hot metal capable of blasting off legs and arms and of leaving men blind or mindless for life.... Ironically enough, it can be argued that the only known hope for a relatively humane warfare in the future lies in the chemical and biological weapons. - Brigadier General J. H. Rothschild, "Germ and Chemical Warfare," Survival. March 1962. Quote is in reference to the use of non-lethal agents.
1963, February. Kassem is assassinated when the Arab Socialist Renaissance Party (Ba'ath Party) takes power under the leadership of Gen. Ahmad Hasan al-Bakr as prime minister and Col. Abdul Salam Arif as president.
1963, May. Saddam returns to Baghdad following the coup by the Ba'ath Party. He becomes an interrogator in the Fellaheen and Muthaqafeen detention camps. These are camps where communists and fellow-travellers are kept. The coup against the Communist Kassem is assisted by the CIA which receives several Mig fighter jets and Soviet tanks for helping the Ba'ath Party.
1963, October. Arif leads a coup ousting the Ba'ath government and bringing the Communists back into control of the government.
1966, April. Arif is killed in a plane crash and is succeeded by his brother, Gen. Abdul Rahman Mohammad Arif.
1967. Saddam Hussein takes over responsibility for Ba'ath Party security. Saddam sets about imposing his will on the Party and establishing himself at the center of party power.
1968, July 17. A group of Ba'athists and military elements overthrow the Arif regime. Ahmad Hasan al-Bakr re-emerges as the President of Iraq and Chairman of the Revolutionary Command Council (RCC). Ba'ath party seeks U.S. help in re-arming Iraqi military but is turned down.
1968. A Czech General defects to the United States and reports that U.S. prisoners of war were used for biological tests by the Russians in North Korea.
1969. Saddam became Vice- Chairman of the Revolutionary Command Council, Deputy to the President, and Deputy Secretary General of the Regional Command of the Ba'ath.
1969, November 25. Nixon renounces the U.S. Use of Bio-weapons, stating, The U.S. shall renounce the use of lethal biological agents and weapons, and all other methods of biological warfare. The U.S. will confine its biological research to defensive measures.... [The Human Race] already carries in its hands too many of the seeds of its own destruction. Nixon becomes the worlds leading advocate for a treaty banning such weapons.
I have decided that the United States of America will renounce the use of any form of deadly biological weapons that either kill or incapacitate. Our bacteriological programs in the future will be confined to research in biological defense on techniques of immunization and on measures of controlling and preventing the spread of disease. I have ordered the Defense Department to make recommendations about the disposal of the existing stocks of bacteriological weapons. - President Richard M. Nixon, 1969
1971 to 1973. All remaining biological weapons were destroyed at Pine Bluff Arsenal,Rocky Mountain Arsenal, and Fort Detrick.
1971. An outbreak of Plague in Aralsk is attributed to Soviet testing at Vozrozhdeniye island in Kazakhstan.
1971. Iraq begins chemical warfare research at Rashad to the north east of Baghdad. Research is conducted on a number of chemical agents including Mustard gas, CS (tear gas) and Tabun. Iraq starts biological warfare research in the mid-1970s. After small-scale research, a purpose-built research and development facility was authorized at al-Salman, also known as Salman Pak.
1972. Saddam, knowing that the Soviet Union will re-equip the Iraqi Army, travels to Moscow. Iraq and the Soviet Union sign a treaty of Friendship and Cooperation. Another reason Saddam signs the treaty is because it obligated the local communist party, which is very strong, to co-operate with the Ba'ath Party, which is not so strong at that time.
1972. The United States, the Soviet Union, and more than 100 other nations sign the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention. The accord prohibits the possession of deadly biological agents except for research into such defensive measures as vaccines, detectors, and protective gear. This is the worlds first treaty to ban an entire class of weapons. The Army establishes the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases as successor to its former program at Ft. Detrick.
Unfortunately, the Convention is only a pledge and lacks provisions for inspections or enforcement--while containing numerous loopholes.
1973. Stanford school of medicine researchers Boyer & Cohen use gene splicing to create a viable, penicillin resistant strain of E. coli.
1973. The Soviet Union establishes Biopreparat, which would become the hub of Moscows germ warfare effort. At its peak in the 80s it will employ over 30,000 scientists and technicians at more than 100 facilities across the Soviet Union. Secretly run by the military, it would command annual budgets approaching 1 billion dollars. During its life it would study over 80 different agents and weaponize over a dozen of them, including: Tularemia, various strains of Anthrax, Venezuelan equine encephalitis, Botulinum, Bubonic Plague, Smallpox, Glanders, and Marburg (a virus similar to Ebola which cause hemoragic fever).
1973-1989. Czechoslovakia sells Iraq (81) L-39ZO Albatros Jet trainer aircraft; (750) BMP-1 IFVs; (200) BMP-2 IFVs; (400) T-55 Main battle tanks.
1973, October. Yom Kippur War. Following the Yom Kippur War, the Israelis analyze Soviet-made equipment captured from the Egyptians and Syrians. They discover portable chemical-proof shelters, decontamination equipment for planes and tanks, and that most Soviet vehicles have air-filtration systems on them to remove toxic chemicals.
The indications are that the Soviets are ready for extensive chemical warfare and might actually be planning to initiate chemical warfare in a future war. Soviet division commanders are later thought to already have authority to initiate chemical warfare.
1975. Biological and Toxin Weapons Treaty goes into effect.
1976. The Soviets establish a new germ warfare facility in Siberia known as Vector. The largest and most sophisticated facility of its kind ever built, its primary purpose is to research viruses for possible weaponization. A large part of its research has to do with using recombinant DNA techniques to produce ultra-deadly superbugs impervious to known defensive measures. Research includes germs designed to seize control of the human metabolism, causing the body to self-destruct, and splicing the gene that makes Diphtheria toxin into Plague bacteria, which devastates animal test subjects.
1976. The Secretary of The Army reverses a decision to abolish the Chemical Corps. He cites the heightened awareness of the Soviet Unions capability to wage chemical warfare as the primary reason, and the need to train Army personnel how to counter chemical threats.
Chemical weapons can be tailored to fit the exact requirements of the changing situation. They can effect any necessary type of casualties from incapacitation to death in minutes. - General Frank Stubbs, U.S. Army Chemical Corps.
1970s & 1980s, Biopreparat, an organization under the Ministry of Defense, expands to at least 6 research laboratories, 5 production facilities and employes up to 55,000 military and civilian scientists and technicians. A 1995 report estimated that the Russian program continues to employ 25,000 to 30,000 people.
1977. Last known outbreak of Smallpox occurs in Somalia.
1977-1990. France sell Iraq (23) Mirage F-1C Fighter aircraft; (85) Mirage F-1 Fighter aircraft (various versions); (18) SA-342K/L Gazelle Light helicopters (assembled in Egypt); (5) Super Etendard FGA aircraft for use with AM-39 anti-ship missiles against Iranian warships and oil tankers in the Persian Gulf; (85) AMX-GCT 155mm Self-propelled guns; (100) AMX-10P IFVs; (150) ERC-90 Sagaie Armoured cars; (115) M-3 VTT APCs; (2) Rasit Battlefield radars; (113) Roland Mobile SAM systems; (1) TRS-2100 Tiger Surveillance radar (Fitted in Iraq on an Il-76 transport aircraft designated Baghdad-1); (6) TRS-2230/15 Surveillance radars; (280) AM-39 Exocet Anti-ship missiles For Mirage F-1E and Super Etendard aircraft; (36) AM-39 Exocet Anti-ship missile For AS-332 helicopters; (450) ARMAT Anti-radar missiles For Mirage F-1E FGA aircraft; (240) AS-30L ASMs For Mirage F-1E FGA aircraft; (1,000) HOT Anti-tank missile For SA-342K helicopters and VCR-TH tank destroyers; (534) R-550 Magic-1 AAMs For Mirage F-1C fighter aircraft; (2,260) Roland-2 SAMs; (300) Super-530F AAMs For Mirage F-1C fighter aircraft.
1978-1990. Soviet union sells Iraq (33) Il-76M/Candid-B Transport/tanker aircraft; (37) Mi-17/Hip-H Helicopters; (12) Mi-24D/Mi-25/Hind-D Combat helicopters; (30) Mi-8TV/Hip-F Helicopter; (61) MiG-21bis/Fishbed-N Fighter aircraft; (50) MiG-23BN/Flogger-H FGA aircraft; (30) MiG-25P/Foxbat-A Fighter aircraft; (8) MiG-25RB/Foxbat-B Reconnaissance; (41) MiG-29/Fulcrum-A Fighter aircraft; (46) Su-22/Fitter-H/J/K FGA aircraft; (25) Su-24MK/Fencer-D Bomber aircraft; (84) Su-25/Frogfoot-A Ground attack aircraft; (180) 2A36 152mm Towed guns; (100) 2S1 122mm Self-propelled guns; (100) 2S3 152mm Self-propelled guns; (10) 2S4 240mm Self-propelled mortars; (560) BM-21 122mm MRL; (576) D-30 122mm Towed guns; (576) M-46 130mm Towed guns; (10) SS-1 Scud/9P117M SSM launchers; (100) BRDM-2 Sagger-equipped tank destroyers; (200) PT-76 Light tanks; (60) SA-13/9K35 Strela-10 self-propelled AA systems; (160) SA-9/9P31 self-propelled AA systems; (2,150) T-62 Main battle tanks; (25) SA-6a/2K12 Kvadrat SAM systems; (80) SA-8b/9K33M Osa-AK Mobile SAM systems; (960) SA-13 Gopher/9M37 SAMs; (100) SA-14 Gremlin/Strela-3 Portable SAM; (250) SA-16 Gimlet/Igla-1 Portable SAMs; (840) SA-6a Gainful/3M9 SAMs; (6,500) SA-7 Grail/Strela-2 Portable SAMs; (1,290) SA-8b Gecko/9M33M SAMs; (1,920) SA-9 Gaskin/9M31 SAMs; (800) SS-1c Scud-B/R-17 SSMs; (40) SS-1c Scud-B/R-17 SSMs.
1978. Bulgarian dissident Georgi Markov is assassinated using an umbrella gun that shoots a Ricin laced BB into his thigh. The attack is carried out by the KGB.
1978-1990. Germany (FRG), sells Iraq (28) BK-117 Helicopters (intended for VIP transport and Search & Rescue); (20) Bo-105C Light helicopters.
1979-1989. Brazil sells Iraq (67) Astros-2 MRLs; (350) EE-11 Urutu APCs; (280) EE-3 Jararaca Reconnaissance vehicles; (1,026) EE-9 Cascavel Armoured cars; (13) Astros AV-UCF Fire control radars for use with the MRLs.
1979-1989. Switzerland sells Iraq (2) PC-6B Turbo Porter Light transport aircraft; (52) PC-7 Turbo Trainer Trainer aircraft; (20) PC-9 Trainer aircraft.
1979, April. Sverdlosk military industrial complex suffers a major Bio-weapons accident when a lethal cloud of weaponized Anthrax floats over a nearby village. An estimated 1,000 people eventually die. The soviet military seizes control of the area and begins clean-up operations. The incident is first reported the following October in a Frankfurt based Russian émigré newspaper. Later the next year, eyewitness accounts appear in Bild Zeitung, and intelligence sources confirm the accident which is denied by the Soviets, who claim the deaths were due to a minor outbreak of anthrax from infected meat. In 1992 Boris Yeltsin admits there was an accident. The later, official death toll is 66.
1979, July. Bakr resignes. Saddam Hussein takes over the Presidency of Iraq. Within days, five fellow members of the Revolutionary Command Council are accused of involvement in a coup attempt. They and 17 others are summarily executed.
1979, December. Soviets invade Afghanistan. Before the war, the Afghan population is estimated to have been somewhat more than fifteen million people. Over five million (a third of the country), became refugees, mostly in Pakistan and Iran; the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees called this ``migratory genocide.'' Millions more became refugees within the country, swelling the population of Kabul. Another million people are killed, either in fighting, or in massacres by Soviet troops, or by sheer starvation. Land-mines are effectively employed to make much of the countryside uninhabitable; also to make tens of thousands of people cripples. In a display of really macabre ingenuity, the Soviets take to scattering brightly-colored plastic toys, which explode when picked up by children. There is considerable evidence that, at least in some districts, the Soviets engage in deliberate campaigns of extermination, and make use of chemical weapons.
1979. Reports begin to filter out ot Laos of possible soviet bio-weapons use. Hmong tribesmen report that helicopters flown by Soviet-backed forces are spraying villages with a mysterious substance that causes horrific burns and lesions on the skin, and internal bleeding. Refugees call it yellow rain (trichothecene mycotoxins). Later, reports of this same substance and others filter out of Afghanistan. Attacks in Southeast and Central Asia reportedly cause thousands of deaths between 1974 and 1981. Experts are split on the veracity of reports and the type of agent.
1980. Smallpox is considered to have been eliminated in the world population.
1980. Denmark sells Iraq (3) Al Zahraa Class Landing ships.
1980-1984. Italy sells Iraq (2) A-109 Hirundo Light helicopters; (6) S-61 Helicopters For VIP transport; 1 Stromboli Class Support ship.
1980s. Soviet forces in Afghanistan employ chemical weapons against Muhajidin and civilians in areas under their control. Nerve and mico-toxin agents are the prime suspects. Their use is denied.
1980, September. Saddam renounces a border treaty with Iran in 1975. The treaty ceded half of the Shatt al-Arab waterway to Iran.
1980, September 22. The armed forces of Iraq launch an invasion against Iran. The Iraqi army, trained and influenced by Soviet advisers, has organic chemical warfare units and possesses a wide variety of delivery systems. When neither side achieves dominance, the war quickly stalemates. To stop the human-wave attacks by the Iranians, Iraq employs home-produced chemical agents as a defensive measure against the ill-prepared Iranians.
The first reported use of chemical weapons is in November 1980 (probably CS). For the next several years, reports circulate of additional chemical attacks.
During the war with Iran, I remember telling someone [that] Khomeini isn't the only person who talks to god. Saddam Hussein thinks he talks to god. He has a message--he has to lead Iraq, make it a model for the Arab countries and then attract the rest of the Arab countries and become the sole Arab leader of modern times. - Said Aburish, Saddam Hussein: The Politics of Revenge.
1980-88. Chemical weapons are used extensively during Iran-Iraq war. Most are used by Iraq. Saddam is also believed to have used them against his own people, primarily Kurdish and Shiia minorities. First use during the war is by Iraq. By 1985 Iraq is producing 1,000 tons of various chemical weapons agents annually.
During the war, Saddam appoints his cousin, Ali Hasan al-Majid, as his deputy in the north. In 1987-88, al-Majid led the "Anfal" campaign of attacks on Kurdish villages. All villages within 20 kilometers of the Iranian border are ruthlessly destroyed, and many are attacked with chemical weapons. Amnesty International estimates that more than 100,000 Kurds were killed or disappeared during this period.
During the first half of the war the United States provides Iraq with limited military assistance in the form of satelite imagry of Iranian military dispostions and troop concentrations. Assistance is ended when their use of chemical weapons is confirmed.
1981-1984. Romania sells Iraq (150) T-55 Main battle tanks (transferred via Egypt); (256) T-55 Main battle tanks.
1981-1988. China sells Iraq (4) B-6 Bomber aircraft; (40) F-6 Fighter aircraft; (80) F-7A Fighter aircraft (Assembled in Egypt and transferred via Jordan); (50) Type-83 152mm Towed guns; (1,300) Type-59/T-54 Main battle tanks; (25) Type-653 Armored Recon Vehicles; (1,300) Type-69-II Main battle tanks; (650) YW-531C & YW-701/Type-63 APC; (100) CAS-1 Kraken/C-601 Anti-ship missiles For Tu-16/B-6 bomber aircraft; (1,000) HN-5A Portable SAMs.
1981-1988. UK sells Iraq (29) Chieftain Armoured Recon Vehicles; (10) Cymbaline Mk-1 Arty locating radars.
1981-1989. Egypt sells Iraq (80) EMB-312 Tucano Trainer aircraft; (18) SA-342K/L Gazelle Light helicopters; (300) BM-21 122mm MRLs (multiple rocket launcher); (210) D-30 122mm Towed guns; (96) M-46 130mm Towed guns; (300) Sakr-36 122mm MRLs; (250) T-55 Main battle tanks (Ex-Egyptian Army).
1981-1989. Spain sells Iraq (24) Bo-105C Light helicopters; (2) Al Fao Self-propelled guns.
1981. Israeli jets bomb the French-supplied 40-megawatt Osirak research reactor in Iraq. Experts agree that if this had not been done, Iraq would have had a functioning nuclear weapon by the time of the Gulf War. Iraqi scientists had planned, not to divert the existing French-supplied highly enriched nuclear fuel (enough for one bomb), but rather to blanket the reactor with natural or depleted uranium, which would produce plutonium. That would have made it possible to continue producing, eventually allowing repeated bomb production.
1982. The Soviets build a new germ warfare facility in Stepnogorsk, Kazakhstan to produce their new, more lethal variant of Anthrax. Named the Scientific Experimental and Production Base, it is the most advanced facility of its type ever built, and the only such facility outside of the Russian heartland. In 1991, Kazakhstan gains independence and in 1995 allows U.S. inspectors access to the abandoned facility.
Andy Weber, the chief inspector, calculates that at full capacity the plant could produce 300 tons of Anthrax in a single 220 day production cycle. More than enough to wipe out the entire population of the United States. Stepnogorsk is only one of six such facilities operated by the Soviet Union.
One reason Kazakhstan allows U.S. inspectors to visit, is their anger over the environmental disasters left over from the soviets WMD programs. The Russians used Kazakhstan and neighboring Uzbekistan for open-air tests on advanced chemical, germ and nuclear weapons. These tests have left many in these regions with radiation-related cancers and a host of debilitating diseases.
Vozrozhdeniye Island in the Aral Sea was used for open air tests of biological and chemical weapons on thousands of test animals. These tests also killed as many as 30,000 Taiga Antelope on the Usturt Plateau in western Uzbekistan which lies downwind of Vozrozhdeniye, not to mentions thousands of other game animals and livestock in the region.
1982. Austria sells Iraq (200) GHN-45 Towed guns. Officially ordered by Jordan, but illegally delivered to Iraq.
1982. Libya sells Iraq (400) EE-9 Cascavel Armoured cars.
1982. Iraq also establishes Muthanna State Establishment, also known as al-Muthanna, and operated under the front name of Iraq's State Establishment for Pesticide Production. It has five research and development sections, each tasked to pursue different programs. In addition, the al-Muthanna site is the main chemical agent production facility, and took the lead in weaponizing chemical and biological agents--including all aspects of weapon development and testing in association with the military.
1982-1990. Poland sells Iraq (15) Mi-2/Hoplite Light helicopters; (750) MT-LB APCs; (400) T-55 Main battle tanks; (500) T-72M1 Main battle tanks.
1982, October 27. Iraq's first operational Scud Missile brigade, equipped with 9 launchers, fires its missiles at Iran. During the war, Iraq fires between 333 and 360 Scud missiles at Iran, 183 at Teheran alone. Iraq is known to have purchased over 1,000 Scud missiles from the Soviets during the war. The Iranians return the favor by firing their own Scuds at Baghdad.
1983-1985. USA sells Iraq (31) Bell-214ST Helicopters (Officially bought for civilian use, but taken over by Air Force); (30) Hughes-300/TH-55 light helicopters (Officially bought for civilian use, but taken over by Air Force); (30) MD-500MD Defender light scout helicopters; (26) MD-530F light helicopters. This is the much vaunted sale of U.S. arms to Iraq! Only 26 of these aircraft are military versions and those are light, unarmed scouts.
1983, June. Iraq deploys Mustard Gas and uses it against Iran.
1983. An Army study suggests that Anthrax can be turned into a much easier to control bio-weapon through recombinant DNA by making decay in sunlight. The main drawback to Anthrax is its persistence. U.S. suspects that Soviets are experimenting with recombinant DNA techniques to create Superbugs for Bio-war in violation of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Treaty.
1983, November. Iran complains to the United Nations that Iraq is using chemical weapons against its troops.
1984. Congress created the Chemical Warfare Review Commission to look at several issues related to the militarys chemical warfare preparedness. This committee visited numerous sites, interviewed experts, reviewed policy, and examined intelligence reports. Among their findings, the commission concluded:
that in spite of the approximately $4 billion that the Congress has appropriated since 1978 for defense against chemical warfare, that defense, measured either for purposes of deterrence or for war fighting utility, is not adequate and is not likely to become so. Chemical combat as it would exist in the late twentieth century is an arena in which defense must be nearly perfect to be effective at all, detection is so difficult, and surprise offers such temptationthe offense enjoys a decisive advantage if it need not anticipate chemical counterattack. Defense continues to be important to pursue, because it can save some lives and preserve some military capabilities. But for this country to put its faith in defense against chemical weapons as an adequate response to the Soviet chemical threat would be a dangerous illusion.
1984. Dalles, Oregon. Followers of the Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh commit a biological attack against the town to eliminate opposition in the city council against re-zoning for their ranch/compound. The agent used was Salmonella typhimurium. The attack was carried out by spraying a Salmonella solution into the salad bars of 35 restaurants along Interstate 84, where most locals ate. Between 750 to 1,000 people were affected and became violently ill. While no one died during the attack (a small miracle), one newborn infant whose mother was a victim suffered permanent damage due to the disease. This incident resulted in 751 cases of enteritis and 45 hospitalizations. After a year long investigation an amateur bio-weapons lab was found on the Rajneeshs compound when an employee admitted the attack and told investigators where to look. Among the virulent cultures found were Francissella tularensis, Sallmonella typhi, Salmonella paratyphi, and Shigella dysenteriae. Had these been used, as was planned in a follow up to the first attack, deaths would have been certain. Several cult members are convicted of these crimes in 1986.
1984. South Africa sells Iraq (200) G-5 155mm Towed guns.
1984. Iraq begins producing the nerve agent Tabun and deploys it within the year for use against Iran.
1984. 4000 prisoners are executed at Iraqs Abu Ghraib Prison. 3000 more prisoners are executed at the Mahjar Prison between 1993 and 1998. Women prisoners at Mahjar are routinely raped by their guards.
1984, 1986, 1987. The United Nations dispatches teams of specialists to the area to verify claims of Iraqi use of chemical weapons against Iran. The conclusion from all three trips is the same: Iraq is using chemical weapons against Iranian troops. In addition, the second mission also stressed that the use of chemical weapons by Iraq appeared to be increasing despite the publicity of their use. The reports indicated that Mustard agent and the nerve agent Tabun are the primary agents used, and that they were generally delivered in airplane bombs. The third mission reports the use of artillery shells and chemical rockets, and the use of chemical weapons against civilian personnel. The third mission is the only one allowed to visit Iraq.
The IranIraq War fails to reach a military conclusion despite the use of chemical weapons by both sides. Roughly 5% (20,000) of the Iranian casualties are caused by chemical weapons. Many remain hospitalized to this day.
1984, April. Reagan goes public about suspected Soviet use of chemical and biological weapons in southeast asia and Afghanistan. A few days later the Wall Street Journal prints interviews from Soviet émigrés who allege that Moscow is, in fact, conducting a whole range of recombinant DNA experiment--including viruses containing cobra venom genes that would create deadly toxins inside the victims body after infection.
The United States must maintain a limited retaliatory capability until we achieve an effective ban. We must be able to deter a chemical attack against us or our allies. And without a modern and credible deterrent, the prospects for achieving a comprehensive ban would be nil. - Ronald Reagan.
1985. Jordan sells Iraq (2) S-76 Spirit Helicopters (Ex-Jordanian Air Force).
1985. The U.S. Congress passed Public Law 99-145 authorizing production of binary-chemical weapons. Binary weapons, which use otherwise safe chemicals that only become dangerous when combined are considered safe for storage and disposal, and a necessary deterrent against the Soviet Chemical weapons arsenals. Nuclear deterrence is not considered sufficient, especially in light of soviet treaty violations and chemical warfare military doctrine.
1985. Dr Rihab Taha is selected to head the biological weapons research team at al-Muthanna.
Dr. Spertzel, its not a lie when you are ordered to lie. - Dr Rihab Taha, response to UNSCOM inspectors when asked why she continued to lie in the face of proof, 1995.
1986. Iraq begins producing Sarin nerve agent.
1986. Baghdad University purchased an assortment of germs from the American Type Culture Collection, for medical research.
The collection serves as a global lending library for scientists doing research to combat infectious diseases to improve global health. Overseas customers were required to obtain a Commerce Department export license for the most virulent strains. These licenses had always been a formality since these germs were intended for peaceful research only, and the courtesy was extended to all who asked for legitimate reasons. Moscow, too has a vast collection of infectious diseases.
1987. After admitting for the first time that they possess chemical agents, the Soviets announced the halting of chemical weapons production.
1987, December 16. Production of the M687 binary projectile begins at Pine Bluff Arsenal. This was no small feat considering modern environmental and general public concerns. To resolve political concerns, the M20 canisters were filled and stored at Pine Bluff Arsenal, while the M21 canisters were produced and filled at Louisiana Army Ammunition Plant. The filled M21 canisters and shell bodies were then stored at Tooele Army Depot, Utah. In time of need, the parts could be combined and would provide the army with a chemical retaliatory capability.
Additional delivery systems are the BLU-80/B (BIGEYE) bomb and XM135 Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) Binary Chemical Warhead. Both utilize the binary concept. These systems dispersed the persistent nerve agent VX after mixing two non-lethal chemical agents (designated NE and QL).
1988. Gorbachev orders scientists at Sverdlosk to dispose of the tons of Anthrax it has stored at Zima, near Irkutsk. It is presumed that, in light of his policies of glastnost and perestroika, he nervous that Britain or the U.S. may demand to inspect the facility, revealing Soviet breaches of the 1972 Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention. The Anthrax is taken to the Vozrozhdeniye island test range in Kazakhstan where it is soaked in bleach and buried.
1988. While working at the Vector facility in Siberia, scientist Nikolai Ustinov accidentally infects himself with the Marburg virus while trying to perfect it as a weapon. Marburg, like Ebola, causes hemoragic fever. Ustinov dies, but his colleagues harvest the virus from his body and discover that it has mutated into a more virulent form which they designate Variant U.
1988. Al-Hakam, a large biological agent production facility, goes into operation in Iraq. Botulinin toxin and Anthrax are its main are its main production. By 1991 the plant produces about 125,000 gallons of agents. After stating for years that the plant was used to produce animal feed, the Iraqis admitted in 1995 that the plant was a biological warfare production facility. The admission come only as a result of a high-level defection. The site is supervised by Dr. Tahas staff at Muthanna State Establishment.
In addition to producing biological warfare agents, they also conducted live-agent tests on animals. The Iraqis also later admitted they had prepared about 200 biological missiles and bombs. Still unaccounted for.
Hans Branscheidt a chemical expert says (in 2003), that Iraq purchased eight mobile chemical laboratories from the Federal Republic of Germany. He says that the construction of an Iraqi research center for missile technology "became almost exclusively the work of German companies." This report is confirmed by the head of Germany's intelligence service, August Hanning.
1988, March 17. The village of Halabja was bombarded by Iraqi warplanes. The raid was over in minutes. A Kurd described the effects of a chemical attack on another village: "My brothers and my wife had blood and vomit running from their noses and their mouths. Their heads were tilted to one side. They were groaning. I couldn't do much, just clean up the blood and vomit from their mouths and try in every way to make them breathe again. I did artificial respiration on them and then I gave them two injections each. I also rubbed creams on my wife and two brothers." (From "Crimes Against Humanity" Iraqi National Congress.)
1988, June. The Armed Forces Medical Intelligence Center at Ft. Detrick produces a classified study stating that Iraq is building a bacteriological arsenal. Among the agents identified are Anthrax and Botulinin toxin. The report states that they are also producing germs for assassinations and that Hussein Kamal, Saddams son-in-law and head of Iraq's Intelligence Agency was personally supervising the program.
The report stated that the Iraqis had purchased many of their starter germs from the American Type Culture Collection. The scientific supply company that maintains the collection, the largest collection of germ strains in the world, is located in Maryland and is the same place the Rajneeshee Cult purchased the germs for their pharmacy, which they used in their Bio-attack in Oregon.
The intelligence report goes to the State Department, CIA, and various departments of the military. However, no one thinks to tell the Commerce Department or the American Type Culture not to allow any more purchases by Iraq.
1988, July. Iraq tests new helicopters fitted with aerosol generators for dispersing Anthrax.
1988, August. Iraq finally accepts a United Nations cease-fire plan ending the war with Iran. The only result of the war is a colossal loss of life on both sides.
1988, September. Human Rights Watch reports on Saddams attacks on the Kurds. Estimates vary, but according to Human Rights Watch up to 5,000 people were killed in the areas they are able to visit.
Shortly before, there were rumors that Libya had used chemical weapons obtained from Iran during an invasion of Chad. The United States rushed 2,000 gas masks to Chad in response. There were also reports of the Cuban-backed government of Angola using nerve agents against rebel forces.
1988, September 29. Iraqs Ministry of Trades Technical and Scientific Materials Import Division (TSMID), which American intelligence had recently identified as the front for Iraqs germ warfare program, orders additional germ cultures, one of which was Anthrax strain 11966. In February 1989, further sales to Iraq were banned. The Commerce Department also slammed the door shut on Iran, Libya, and Syria, who were also suspected of trying to develop germ weapons.
This is the supposed help we gave to Iraq. We did not give the Iraqis germ weapons or the equipment to make them. The equipment used to manufacture germ weapons can be purchased off the shelf in over a dozen countries. The same equipment used to make animal feed, yogurt, fertilizer, powdered milk, and dozen of other legitimate products can be used to manufacture bio-weapons, which is why bio-weapons manufacturing facilities are easy to disguise.
Iraq purchased materials and supplies to turn germs into weapons from around the world, but mostly from Europe. Cattle feed stock growing media from Britain, and machinery from France and Germany. Delivery systems from the Soviet Union and others.
1989. South Africa makes the strategic decision to dismantle its covert nuclear weapons program.
Meanwhile, German Karl Schaab helps Iraq smuggle centrifuges into the country. These centrifuges are used to enrich uranium into fissionable material. After the Gulf War, Usncom inspectors will oversee their destruction, but not before Iraq learns how to make copies of the originals. Centrifuge tubes are made either of steel or aluminum.
1989, February. The last Soviet troops leave Afghanistan, just over nine years after they had arrived.
1989, September. The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Between the Government of the United States and the Government of the USSR Regarding a Bilateral Verification Experiment and Data Exchange Related to Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, otherwise known as the Wyoming MOU, started the talks between the two countries for the elimination of chemical weapons.
1989, October. A top Soviet biologist, Vladimir Pasechnik defects to Britain. He reveals that the Soviet Unions bio-weapons warfare program is far larger than anyone suspected, employing as many as 30,000 scientists and specialists--figures later confirmed by other defectors. Pasechnik claims the Soviets have developed long-range missiles to deliver germs as well as nukes.
Before defecting, he had been the director of the Institute for Ultra-Pure Biological Preparations in Leningrad, one of many Soviet front organizations. His instutue had employed some 400 scientists doing research in modifying cruise-missles to spread germs. Pasechnik also claims that the Soviets are engaged in the genetic engineering of super bio-weapons, including a "Super" Plague virus.
1990. U.S. intelligence sources detect increased chemical-development activity in Libya. Libya constructs a chemical weapons plant at Rabta that can produce about 100 tons of chemical agents annualy. Libya claims that the plant was destroyed by a fire. New disclosures surfaced in 1996 that Libya is constructing a second chemical production plant at Tarhunah. U.S. intelligence sources claimed that this would be the largest underground chemical weapons plant in the world, covering roughly 6 square miles and situated in a hollowed-out mountain. With Scud missiles having a range of 180 to 300 miles, this creats a significant threat to Libyas neighbors. Libya strongly denies the accusation.
1990, Spring. Iraq purchases 40 top-of-the-line aerosol generators capable, of disseminating 800 gallons of liquid an hour, from Italy. They are compact enough to fit in the back of a pickup truck, small boat, or single-engined aircraft.
1990, June. American intelligence officials identify Iraqs research center at Al Tuwaitha, near baghdad as a place suspected of engaging in the genetic engineering of bio-weapons. The assessment is made based on the buying patterns of the facility and the fact that Iraqs top military scientists are working there.
Al-Hakam begins producing Anthrax and by December turns out 2,200 gallons.
1990, June 1. The United States and the Soviet Union sign a bilateral chemical weapons destruction agreement. In support of this agreement, the secretary of defense cancels most of the new chemical retaliatory program, and the army decides to mothball its new binary chemical production facilities in 1990.
1990, August. Iraq starts a crash program to develop a single nuclear weapon within a year. The goal is the rapid development of a small 50 machine gas centrifuge cascade to produce weapons-grade HEU using fuel from the Soviet research reactor, which was already substantially enriched, and unused fuel from the reactor bombed by the Israelis. By the time of the Gulf War, the crash program had made little progress. Iraq's declared aim is to produce a missile warhead with a 20-kiloton yield.
1990, August 2. Iraq invades Kuwait. At this time, Iraqs bio weapons arsenal contains some 8500 liters of Anthrax spores, 19000 liters of Botulinum, 4000 liters of Aphlatoxin, and a quantity of Typhoid. They also possess up to 25 Scud warheads and 160 bombs equipped for BW.
1990, August 6. The Navy sends its commanders an intelligence assessment on Iraqs bio-weapons capability warning that Iraqs germ weapons may be effective against ships at distances of up to 25 miles. It also stated that Iraq has substantial amounts of Botulinin toxin, Anthrax, Cholera, and Staphylococcus--among other agents. The CIA warns that Saddam has a significant number of artillery shells, missiles, bombs, rockets and high-performance aircraft equipped with sprayers for dispensing these agents. All modified Soviet equipment.
War planners worry about how to deal with these weapons.
1990, November. CIA analysts warn that if Saddam thought his personal position was hopeless, this could convince him to use bio-weapons against a major Saudi oil facility, or against troops, to shock the coalition into a cease-fire.
Air force planners start targeting all know or suspected chemical weapons production and storage facilities. Plans are made to use bombs that will cause these structure to implode and then follow-up with incendiary bombs to destroy any escaping agents in an effort to reduce civilian casualties near the targets.
Troops are to be immunized against Anthrax, the most likely of his bio-weapons. There is no effective vaccine for Botulinin toxin.
An analysis by U.S. Naval Intelligence notes that Baghdad purchased microbial media sufficient for the production of 74 billion human lethal doses of Botulinum. This same growth media is also used for the production of animal feed which the Iraqis would later claim it was purchased for.
Production of Botulinum toxin begins at the Dawrah veterinary vaccine plant near Baghdad. By December is has produced 1,400 gallons.
1990, December. Iraqi pilots test spray tanks fitted to their fighters at the Abu Obeydi air base. Additional tests are conducted in January 91.
1991. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, funding for its germ warfare programs dry up, leaving many facilities, and those that run them unemployed and destitute. Those that remain employed are paid irregularly if at all.
1991, January. US/UK inspection teams visit Russia to inspect 3 bio-war facilities as a part of a 3-way exchange of inspectors. The US/UK teams find evidence of an extensive offensive weapons program that involves biological agents, such as Smallpox, Anthrax, Marburg virus, and Plague.
In December, Russian inspection teams visit closed U.S. biological facilities and see that the U.S. has ended its offensive program. However, the lead Russian inspector reports back to Moscow that the U.S. continues to have an offensive program and Moscow publicizes this to the world community--apparently as payback for the embarrassment they suffered from US/UK findings. Several member of that team later defect to the U.S. and admit that the reports were a deliberate lie for political reasons.
1991, January 15. Deadline for Iraqs withdrawal from Kuwait.
1991, January 16. Operation Desert Storms air campaign begins. Initial air attacks concentrate on Iraqi chemical production facilities, bunkers, and lines of supply. Iraq launches its first Scud missile against the coalition.
1991, January 21. Coalition bombers strike what Iraq claims is a baby milk factory in
Baghdad. The United States insists that Iraq is using it as a biological weapons development
site. It appears the facility had briefly functioned as a baby milk factory in 1979 and 1980, and then again in the spring and summer of 1990, before the Iraqi regime began to use it as a biological weapons site. The site was defended as a military site at the time of the attack. It is prime example of a dual use facility.
1991, January 28. Saddam Hussein tells Peter Arnett of CNN News that his Scud missiles, which were already hitting Israel and Saudi Arabia, could be armed with chemical, biological, or nuclear munitions. Iraq threatens to use chemical weapons against allied troops if the high levels of bombing against his military continues. He is in turn told that he will be personally targeted if he uses chemical or biological weapons.
During the course of the war, Iraq fires 46 Scuds at Saudi Arabia, 42 at Israel, and 1 at Bahrain. In Israel the missile attacks cause 1-2 deaths and 208 (mostly light) injuries; 4 people die of heart attack and 7 due to incorrect usage of gas masks. In Saudi Arabia a Scud missile hits a U.S. barracks and kills 27 service men and women. Over 100 are injured.
1991, February 23. The ground war against Iraq to liberate Kuwait begins. On 27 February, Allied troops liberate Kuwait City and finish destroying the Iraqi divisions originally in Kuwait. No known chemical and biological attacks were made by the Iraqis, but there are reports of chemical weapons detectors going off. These are thought to be false alarms at the time.
A number of reasons surfaced after war as to why the Iraqis had not initiated large-scale chemical and biological warfare. Three reasons are thought to account for this. The first has to do with the fact that at the beginning of the ground war, prevailing winds shifted such that their use would blow them back onto Iraqi troops. Second, that the speed of the ground war was such that it prevented orders to use them from being carried out. Third, that allied bombing destroyed or prevented most of them from being moved forward to operational areas. General H. Norman Schwarzkopf, commander of Allied forces, mentiones that Iraq might have feared nuclear retaliation.
The Iraqi army fleeing Kuwait sets fire to over 1,160 Kuwaiti oil wells with serious environmental consequences.
Later reports of Gulf War Syndrome indicate the exposure to chemical or biological weapons may, in fact, have occurred. The intense air-polution on the battle-field is also thought to be a contributor.
After the Persian Gulf War, General Colin Powell testified to congress that the United States was vulnerable to biological warfare. One reason was that the United States had been unable to standardize a good biological agent detector.
1991, February 27. President Bush orders a cease-fire, effective at midnight Kuwaiti time. Bush orders the cease-fire under pressure from coalition members like Saudi Arabia and Syria who threaten to withdraw support if U.S. troops move on Baghdad to remove Saddam. Democrats Remind Bush that the war resolutions only call for kicking him out of Kuwait.
Under the Cease-Fire agreement to follow, Saddam agrees to give up all weapons of mass destruction. Later, he would state that his biggest mistake was not waiting till he had a nuclear weapon to attack Kuwait.
1991, March 1. In the wake of the Gulf War, riots break out in the southern city of Basra, spreading quickly to other cities in Shia-dominated southern Iraq. The regime responds by killing thousands. Many Shia tried to escape to Iran and Saudi Arabia. Shiis in the south and Kurds in the North rebel against Saddam. Iraqi troops put down the rebellions. Estimates of the numbers of dead go as high as 500,000 over the course of the next year.
1991, March 4. At the Kamisiyah arsenal, northwest of Basra, the U.S. Army 37th Engineer Battalion blew up the Iraqi munitions storage bunkers. According to newspaper accounts, the engineers claimed that their chemical agent detectors went off during the explosions. Later the same year, a United Nations inspection team reportedly found the remains of chemical rockets and shells in one of the bunkers and found traces of sarin and mustard agent. In 1996, the department of defense acknowledged that one of the bunkers probably contained sarin- and mustard agentfilled munitions, and that as many as 20,000 U.S. soldiers may have been exposed to chemical agents as a result.
1991, April. UNSCR 687, creates the UN Special Commission (UNSCOM) and requires Iraq to accept, unconditionally, "the destruction, removal or rendering harmless, under international supervision" of its chemical and biological weapons, ballistic missiles with a range greater than 150km, and their associated programs, stocks, components, research and facilities. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is charged with destruction of Iraq's nuclear weapons program. UNSCOM and the IAEA must report that their mission has been achieved before the Security Council can end sanctions. They have not yet done so.
1991, April 18. Iraq delivers its first official report to the U.N. on its unconventional weapons. They acknowledge limited production of chemical weapons but do not mention nuclear or biological weapons. It is later learned the top Iraqi official have been ordered by Tariq Aziz to hide all evidence of these weapons, as well their stocks of VX (an advanced nerve agent), from inspectors.
1991, August 2. UNSCOMs first biological inspections team arrives in Iraq. They are given a one-page statement that acknowledges that they performed biological research for defensive military purposes.
Between 1991 and 1998 UNSCOM succeeded in identifying and destroying very large quantities of chemical weapons and ballistic missiles as well as associated production facilities. The IAEA also destroyed the infrastructure for Iraq's nuclear weapons program and removed key nuclear materials. This was achieved despite a continuous and sophisticated program of harassment, obstruction, deception and denial. Because of this UNSCOM concluded by 1998 that it was unable to fulfill its mandate. The inspectors were withdrawn in December 1998.
From Iraqi declarations to the UN after the Gulf War we know that by 1991 Iraq had produced a variety of delivery means for chemical and biological agents including over 16,000 free-fall bombs and over 110,000 artillery rockets and shells. Iraq also admitted to the UN Special Commission (UNSCOM) that it had 50 chemical and 25 biological warheads available for its ballistic missiles.
UNSCOM discovers samples of indigenously-produced highly enriched uranium, forcing Iraq's acknowledgment of uranium enrichment programs and attempts to preserve key components of its prohibited nuclear weapons program.
1991, September. CIA identifies 8 sites suspected of germ production. On the list is Al Hakem which the Iraqis claim is just a warehouse, but is surrounded by security fences spaced 2 miles apart. When inspectors arrive the Iraqis change their story and say that it is a factory for making animal feed. At the time of their visit it is in fact making animal feed, but suspicions are aroused because of medical quality of the equipment and the fact that the plant is staffed by highly trained micro-biologists. It would later be proved that this facility had been one of Iraq's primary bio-weapons production lines, making tons of Botulinin and Anthrax. It is a perfect example of a dual-use facility.
1991. A Russian scientist claims that Russia had developed a new, highly toxic, binary nerve agent called "Novichok". According to the scientist, the nerve agent is undetectable by U.S. chemical detectors and may have been used in the Persian Gulf War by Iraq to produce some of the Gulf War Syndrome symptoms.
1991, mid-year. The U.N. Security Council demanded that Iraq return all prisoners from Kuwait and other lands. Iraq's regime agreed. It broke its promise. Last year the Secretary General's high-level coordinator for this issue reported that Kuwaiti, Saudi, Indian, Syrian, Lebanese, Iranian, Egyptian, Bahraini, and Omani nationals remain unaccounted for--more than 600 people. One American pilot is among them.
1991, December. Iran purchases two tactical nukes which have been smuggled out of the Soviet Union. The claim is made by an exiled Iranian scientists who bolsters his claim with documents he smuggled out of Iran. Those same documents indicate that the Iranians cannot use them because they do not know how to remove the safety covers without disabling the devices. The devices, if the Iranians have them, are considered to be non-functional, but a possible source of material for another device or a dirty bomb.
1992. Dr. Kanatjan Alibekov, former first deputy director of Biopreparat (the civilian arm of the Soviet Union's biological warfare program) defects to the United States (where he changes his name to Ken Alibek). He confirms many of the West's suspicions of Russia's offensive biological program, including the fact that Russia has used its Smallpox stock to make weapons and has used recombinant DNA techniques to produce super bugs. One such research project included efforts to combine Ebola with Smallpox. Many of the hybrids are designed to defeat western vaccines and anti-biotics.
Other revelations by Alibek include the fact that Moscow has secretly produced tons of Anthrax, Smallpox, and Plague germs meant for use against the United States. He also discloses that Biopreparat operated over 40 bio-war research and production sites spread across Russia and Kazakhstan which employed as many as 30,000 scientists and technicians. He also points out that Sverdlosk was the Soviets busiest Anthrax production facility, producing it in industrial quantities.
While working as a researcher at the Stepnogorsk facility, he developed Anthrax strain No. 836. This strain was strain was three times as deadly in both dry and liquid forms than the strains responsible for the Sverdlosk accident, and required fewer spores for infection.
The Soviet Union has two main directorates responsible for developing and manufacturing biological weapons. Biological weapons were stored at the Minister of Defense facilities. For example, [the] Kirov facility was responsible for storing Plague, about 20 tons of Plague. The Zagorsk facility (now it's Sergiev Posad) was responsible for storing smallpox biological weapons, about 20 tons, as well. And the Ekaterinburg facility (at that time Sverdlovsk) was responsible for continuous manufacturing [of] anthrax biological weapons. The amount of this weapon produced was hundreds of tons. - Dr. Kanatjan Alibekov, First Deputy Director of Biopreparat from 1988 to 1992. Interview with Frontline, 1998.
According to the Soviet Union's philosophy... smallpox, plague and anthrax were considered strategic operational biological weapons. In future wars, if Marburg was finished, Marburg was to be used as a strategic weapon. But what was complete and ready for application were the smallpox biological weapons, plague biological weapons and anthrax biological weapons. - Dr. Kanatjan Alibekov, First Deputy Director of Biopreparat from 1988 to 1992. Interview with Frontline, 1998.
1992. Sergei Popov defects to britain. Popov worked at both Vector in Siberia and Oblensk. His work included designer germs that casue the symptoms of Lupus and Rheumatiod arthritis, in which the bodys auto-immune system causes the body to self-destruct. His team had inserted into viruses genes that make protein fragments of Myelin (which makes up the sheaths around nerves). The result is a way to rapidly produce Multiple-Sclerosis, a degenerative disease of the nervous system, in victims that become infected.
By splicing myelin into Legionella (Legionnaires disease), they created a bug that caused brain-damage, paralysis and death. The recombinant Legionella was very infectious and lethal with only a few a few cells. At Oblensk they had managed to splice into the Plague bacteria the gene that makes Diphtheria toxin, creating a highly virulent and deadly strain.
1992, August. United Nations establishes a no-fly zone along the 32nd parallel after Iraq launches renewed attacks against Shiite Muslims. The United States and its allies begin patrolling the no-fly zone, operations which continue today. In December, the U.S. planes intercept and shoot down an Iraqi MIG-25 that violates the no-fly zone. Since the establishment of the no-fly zones, Iraq has fired on coalition aircraft on a regular basis. Numerous anti-aircraft sites have been destroyed by coalition aircraft.
1993. The Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) is established. It prohibits the research and production of offensive chemical agents, similar to the BWC.
1993. The Iraqi Intelligence Service (IIS) directs and pursues an attempt to assassinate, through the use of a powerful car bomb, former U.S. President George Bush and the Emir of Kuwait. Kuwaiti authorities thwart the terrorist plot and arrest 16 suspects, led by two Iraqi nationals.
1993, January. The United States accuses Saddam Hussein of moving missiles into southern Iraq. Iraq refuses to remove the missiles. Allied planes and ships attack the missile sites and a nuclear facility near Baghdad. In June, following the discovery of a plot to assassinate former President George Bush, U.S. ships fire 24 cruise missiles at intelligence headquarters in Baghdad.
1993, February 27. A bomb explodes at the World Trade Towers in New York City. Some analysts suspect the bomb was laced with cyanide that failed to ignite. Six people are killed and hundreds injured. Islamic terrorists are responsible.
1994. Saddam Hussein moves troops to the Kuwaiti border. The forces withdraw after the United States deploys a carrier group, warplanes and 54,000 troops to the Persian Gulf region.
Saddam's son Udayy creates a militia which uses swords to execute victims outside their own homes. He has personally executed dissidents. He also maintains a private torture chamber, known as the Red Room, in a building on the banks of the Tigris disguised as an electricity installation.
1995. A U.S. citizen is sentenced under the Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act of 1989, to 33 months in prison for possession of 0.7 grams of Ricin.
1995. After four years of deception, Iraq finally admits it had a crash nuclear weapons program prior to the Gulf War. Were it not for that war, the regime in Iraq would likely have possessed a nuclear weapon no later than 1993. Iraq still employs capable nuclear scientists and technicians and retains physical infrastructure needed to build a nuclear weapon. Iraq has made several attempts to buy high-strength aluminum tubes used to enrich uranium for a nuclear weapon.
In July, after being presented with proof that they have been lying, Iraq admits that Al-Hakam is, in fact, a bio-weapons facility that had been used to produce Botulinum and Anthrax. They present what they claim is a complete disclosure of their program. In it they claim all stockpiles were destroyed after the war with Iran.
A month later, Lieutenant General Hussein Kamael, a son-in-law of Saddam, and the man who had run Iraqs bio-weapons program defects to Jordan. Assuming he is about to spill his guts to the U.N. (incorrectly it turns out), Iraqi officials claim they have discovered a new cache of documents on a chicken-farm owned by Kamel. It detailed the weaponization of thousands of liters of Anthrax, Botulinum toxin, and Aflatoxin for use with Scud warheads, aerial bombs and aircraft.
Iraq also admits in that a MIG-21 remote-piloted vehicle tested in 1991 was intended to carry a biological weapon spray system. Iraq perviously denied any connection between UAV programs and chemical or biological agent dispersal.
We know they [the inspectors] are playing an intelligence role. The way they are conducting their inspections and the sites they are visiting have nothing to do with weapons of mass destruction. But we are cooperating with inspection teams in a positive way in order to expose the lies of those who have bad intentions. - Iraqi Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan.
1995. Saddam's sons-in-law Hussein and Saddam Kamil had defect. They return to Iraq from Jordan after the Iraqi government announces amnesties for them. They were executed in February 1996. Some 40 of Saddam's relatives, including women and children, have been killed.
A cousin of Saddam, Ala Abd al-Qadir al-Majid, fled to Jordan from Iraq citing disagreements with the regime over business matters. He returned to Iraq after the Iraqi Ambassador in Jordan declared publicly that his life was not in danger. He was met at the border by Tahir Habbush, Head of the Directorate of General Intelligence (the Mukhabarat), and taken to a farm owned by Ali Hasan al-Majid. At the farm Ala was tied to a tree and executed by members of his immediate family who, following orders from Saddam, took it in turns to shoot him.
Saddam uses prisoners as test subjects for chemical and biological warfare experiments. 1,600 death-row inmates are transfered to a special unit for this purpose. An eye witness sees prisoners tied down to beds, experiments conducted on them, blood oozing around the victim's mouths and autopsies performed to confirm the effects.
1995. At a scientific conference in Winchester, England, Russian biologists Andrei Pomerantsev and Nikolai Staritsin reveal that they have genetically engineered a more virulent strain of Anthrax by inserting into it virulence genes from Bacillus cereus, a bacteria that attacks blood cells but is not normally deadly. The new pathogen is nearly 100% deadly, even against test subjects (hamsters) vaccinated with Russias current Anthrax vaccine. They claim the experiments are not part of a military weapons program.
1995, March 20. The Aum Shinrikyo cult, founded in 1987, and which counts several biochemists among its 50,000 members (some in the U.S.), releases Sarin nerve gas in a Japanese subway--12 people die and over 5,000 are injured. The cult was found to possess rudimentary biological weapons including Anthrax, Botulinum, and Q-fever. Prior to this attack, in 1994, they reportedly release nerve agent in a residential area of Matsumoto, Japan, killing 7 and injuring 500. The cult also staged unsuccessful attacks on American navals bases at Yokohama and Yokosuka and the Japanese Imperial Palace using Anthrax. These attacks had gone unnoticed but were revealed in courtroom testimony.
They were found to posses B anthracis and botulinum toxin and had sent members to Zaire during 1992 to obtain the Ebola virus for weapons development. The cult had also developed a helicopter to spray toxins, and a drone for unmanned chemical and biological attacks.
1995, April. UNSCOM reports to the UN Security Council that Iraq had concealed its biological weapons program and had failed to account for 3 tons of growth material for biological agents.
1995, April 19. Oklahoma City bombing of the Alfred Murrah building kills 95 people. Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols are convicted of the crime. The Clinton administration asserts they were the masterminds of the incident and denies involvement of foreign terrorists.
Jayna Davis, a former Oklahoma television reporter, is one of the first reporters on the spot of the bombing. She conducts a major investigation which turns up credible evidence (presented to and discounted by the FBI), that Timothy McVeigh, a Gulf War veteran, had ties to, and received help from, Iraqi agents operating in the U.S. who entered as refugees after the Gulf War.
1996. Congress tightens control over labs and companies selling pathogens to scientists and medical researchers.
1996, June 25. Islamic militants in Saudi Arabia detonate a truck bomb near the Khobar Towers, an apartment building housing hundreds of American servicemen. 19 Americans are killed and as many as 500 wounded. Saudi officials are accused of hampering the investigation and hunt for the perpetrators.
1996. In August, Saddam Hussein sends forces into northern Iraq and captures city of Irbil, a key city inside the Kurdish haven established above the 36th parallel in 1991. The following month, U.S. ships and airplanes attack military targets in Iraq to punish the Iraqi military and President Clinton extends the no-fly zones closer to Baghdad.
1997. Andrew Weber, a U.S. diplomat involved in arranging inspections and scientific exchanges between Russia and the U.S., talks to two scientists from the Oblensk State Research Center of Applied Microbiology while visiting Moscow. He is told that a delegation of Iranians had recently visited the Oblensk and and Vector facilitie as well as others. The Iranians were on a recruiting mission, offering $5,000 per month salaries to Russian microbiologist willing to come to work in Iran. Similar delegations from Iraq, Libya and North Korea have visited Russia. Several Russian scientists are known to have accepted these offers. The exact number is not known, but the whereabouts of many former Biopreparat employees is unknown.
1997. Soil samples from Vozrozhdeniye island, where the Soviets had disposed of tons of weaponized Anthrax a decade earlier, and where they had tested many chemical and biological weapons, shows that some of the bleach-soaked spores are still alive and potentially dangerous.
1997. UNSCOM discoveres evidence that Iraq is producing Ricin in quantity.
1997, April 25. An envelope marked "antrachs" is discovered in the mailroom of the world headquarters of B'nai B'rith in Washington DC. The fire department seals off the building for what turns out to be a hoax.
1997, May. The Russian ministry of Science and Technology sponsors a biotechnology trade fair in Teheran.
1997, June. UNSCOM reports that one of their Iraqi escorts attempted to wrest the controls of a U.N. helicopter from its Chilean pilots to keep it from flying over a suspected arms site and even threatened to shut off the fuel pump to the engine, stating he would, do whatever he could to stop the aircraft from flying."
In another case an Iraqi helicpoter blocked the progress of a U.N. helicopter by flying dangerously close to it.
1997, October. A protracted confrontation with Saddam Hussein begins after Iraq accuses U.S. members of the U.N. inspection teams of being spies and expels the majority of U.S. participants. The U.N. Security Council threatens renewed economic sanctions. The confrontation continues into November as Iraq expels the remaining six U.S. inspectors and the United Nations withdraws other inspectors in protest. Inspectors are readmitted after the United States and Great Britain again begin a military build-up in the Gulf. However, in November, Iraq announces it will not allow inspectors access to sites designated as "palaces and official residences." U.N. officials protest, having long suspected that such sites were being used to conceal possible weapons of mass destruction.
1998, March. The Defense Department begins an vaccination program to immunize all military personnel against Anthrax.
1998, October 31. Iraq cuts off all work by U.N. monitors. The United States and Great Britain warn of possible military strikes to force compliance. A renewed military build-up in the Persian Gulf begins.
1998, November 5. The U.N. Security Council condemns Iraq for violating agreements signed after the end of the 1991 Persian Gulf War.
1998, November 11. U.N. weapons inspectors are kicked out of Iraq by Saddam. Based on the UNSCOM report to the UN Security Council in January 1999 and earlier UNSCOM reports, when the UN inspectors left Iraq they were unable to account for: up to 360 tonnes of bulk chemical warfare agent, including 1.5 tons of VX nerve agent; up to 3,000 tons of precursor chemicals, including approximately 300 tons of which, in the Iraqi chemical warfare program, were unique to the production of VX; growth media procured for biological agent production (enough to produce over three times the 8,500 liters of anthrax spores Iraq admits to having manufactured); over 30,000 special munitions for delivery of chemical and biological agents.
During their tenure, UNSCOM turns up several cookbooks for chemical and biological weapons.
1998, November 14. With B-52 bombers in the air and within about 20 minutes of attack, Saddam Hussein agrees to allow U.N. monitors back in. The bombers are recalled before an attack occurs. Weapons inspectors return to Iraq a few days later.
1998, December 8. Chief U.N. weapons inspector Richard Butler reports that Iraq is still impeding inspections. U.N. teams begin departing Iraq.
1998, December 15. A formal U.N. report accuses Iraq of a repeated pattern of obstructing weapons inspections by not allowing access to records and inspections sites, and by moving equipment records and equipment from one to site another.
1998, December 16. The United States and Great Britain begin a massive air campaign (Operation Desert Fox) against key military targets in Iraq. Targets include the Castor Oil Production Plant at Fallujah, which was damaged, but has been rebuilt. The residue from the castor bean pulp can be used in the production of the biological agent Ricin
1999, January. The UN Special Commission reports that Iraq failed to provide credible evidence that 550 mustard gas-filled artillery shells and 400 biological weapons-capable aerial bombs had been lost or destroyed.
UNSCOM concludes that Iraq has not accounted for 1.5 tons of VX, a powerful nerve agent. Former UNSCOM head Richard Butler wrote that a missile warhead of the type Iraq has made and used can hold some 140 liters of VX... A single such warhead would contain enough of the chemical to kill up to 1 million people.
1999, March. The Pentagons Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), Launches project Bacchus. Its purpose is to determine if it can set up a working germ-factory by purchasing readily available, off-the-shelf technology in the U.S. and overseas. By buying both new and used equipment they set up a working facility at the Nevada Test Site and produce about 2 lbs. of simulated anthrax. None of the purchases are detected by any reporting agency. Later, the site is used to train anti-terrorism teams how to assault a bio-weapons lab without causing an outbreak or infecting themselves--a feat that turns out to be much more difficult than first thought.
1999, April. A man claiming to be Saddams former personal driver publishes a book in Britain. He quotes Saddam as saying he might one day use the West Nile virus against his enemies.
1999, August. An outbreak of West Nile Virus strikes New York. 62 people become ill and seven die. Most doctors are stumped by the flu-like symptoms, but an astute lab-technician notifies the CDC which confirms West Nile. The Mayor orders spraying the city for mosquitoes, which prevents a wider outbreak. This is the first known outbreak in North America. Experts still dont know how the virus found its way to New York from the Middle-East.
2000. Iraqi authorities reportedly introduced tongue amputation as a punishment for persons who criticize Saddam Hussein or his family, and on July 17, government authorities reportedly amputate the tongue of a person who allegedly criticized Saddam Hussein. Authorities perform the amputation in front of a large crowd. Similar tongue amputations also reportedly occurred.
Iraq attempts to procure dual-use chemicals for the reconstruction of civil chemical production at sites formerly associated with the chemical warfare program. Iraq also tries to procure dual-use materials and equipment which could be used for a biological warfare program.
145 male prisoners were executed at Abu Ghraib prison. Dozens of women accused of prostitution were beheaded without any judicial process. Some were accused for political reasons. Prisoners at the Qurtiyya Prison in Baghdad and elsewhere are kept in metal boxes the size of tea chests. If they do not confess they are left to die.
Other methods of torture used in Iraqi jails include using electric drills to mutilate hands, pulling out fingernails, knife cuts, dripping with acid, sexual attacks and 'official rape'.
2000, Spring. George Tenet, director of the CIA reports to a panel of experts that Osama bin-Laden has been training his operatives in the use of chemical and biological toxins.
2000, June. A former Iraqi general reportedly received a videotape of security forces raping a female family member. He subsequently received a telephone call from an intelligence agent who stated that another female relative was being held and warned him to stop speaking out against the Iraqi Government.
2000, May. Federal officials stage the largest emergency-preparedness exercise ever. The scenario is the hypothetical release, by a lone-terrorist, of a Pneumonic Plague virus in Denver. The exercise lasts five days and is ended when the results show that spread of the virus has overwhelmed the ability of emergency worker to respond and it has spread out of control into neighboring states. The death-toll estimates for the period of the exercise range between 1,000 and 2,000. The simulated outbreak not only overwhelms Colorado health services, but the CDCs ability to respond as well.
2000, October. The U.S.S. Cole, a modern warship is crippled and nearly sunk by suicide bombers piloting a dinghy packed with explosives. 17 Sailors are killed and scores injured.
2001. An Iraqi defector, Adnan Ihsan Saeed al-Haideri, says he has visited twenty secret facilities for chemical, biological and nuclear weapons. Mr. Saeed, a civil engineer, supports his claims with stacks of Iraqi government contracts, complete with technical specifications. Mr. Saeed said Iraq uses front companies to purchase dual-use equipment with the blessing of the United Nations and then secretly used the equipment for their weapons programs.
2001. Iraq announces that it will begin renovating the al-Dawrah Foot and Mouth Disease Vaccine Facility, one of two known bio-containment, level-three, facilities in Iraq that have an extensive air handling and filtering system. Iraq has admitted that this was a biological weapons facility. Iraq starts the plant without UN approval, ostensibly to produce vaccines that it could more easily and more quickly import through the UN.
2001, January. The Department of Defense reports that Iraq has continued to work on its weapons programs, including converting L-29 jet trainer aircraft for the delivery of chemical or biological weapons.
2001, February. Australian scientists announce that they have inadvertently killed dozens of lab mice by making a virus that had cripples their immune system. They had been trying to make mice infertile by inserting into Mousepox the mouse gene that controls production of interleukin-4. Mice injected with the virus become infertile--then die. Researchers find that even mice inoculated against Mousepox die of the new virus. Humans also have the interleukin-4 immune system gene.
2001, March. American and Italian scientists report in the journal of Nature Immunology that they accidentally triggered a mechanism that caused mice to self-destruct in a severe allergic reaction in which the immune system tries to destroy its own tissues. These results are similar to the experiments conducted by Soviet germ warfare researchers and Australian scientists.
2001. August. Amnesty International reports that Saddam Hussein has the world's worst record for numbers of persons who have disappeared and remain unaccounted for.
2001, September. The Iraqi Government expels six UN humanitarian relief workers without providing any explanation.
2001, September 11. Al-Qaeda terrorists hijack four passenger jetliners. Two are piloted into the World Trade Towers in New York, bringing them down. A third is crashed into the Pentagon and fourth crashes in a Pennsylvania field when passengers attempt to retake the plane from the highjackers. Al-Qaeda, led by Osama Bin-Laden has its base in Afghanistan. Bin-Laden takes credit for the attack. Bin-Laden, like most of the highjackers, is a Saudi national. Approximately 3,000 people are killed and many injured.
2001, October. Anthrax is diseminated through the U.S. mail system. Letters containing powdered anthrax are sent to several politicians. Several postal workers contract the disease. Post offices around the country must be shut down for decontamination, as is the Capitol Building. The clean-up costs millions and panics the nation. The origin of the Anthrax is not confirmed. Genetic markers suggest it may have come from seed germs on file at the American Type Culture.
2001, November 6. Frontline interviews an Iraqi defector Lt. General Sabah Khodada. The general reports that in 1995 and 2000 he witnessed terrorists training in a Boeing 707 next to Iraqs Salman Pak chemical warfare research facility south of Baghdad. The general feels that these exercises may have been training for 9/11. He says they were definitely Islamic extremists, though he cannot say for sure which group they were with. His story is corraborated by former Iraqi Army Captain.
U.S. Intelligence sources confirm terrorist training at Salman Pak, but do not think the training is connected to 9/11. U.N. Inspectors have confirmed the existence of the Boeing 707 outside the facility.
2001, December. Adnan Saeed al-Haideri, a specialist in Iraqs nuclear program defects. al-Haideri identifies 300 separate clandestine sites used by Iraq to hide biological and chemical weapons, and nuclear materials. Some of the equipment is hidden in lead containers stored in fake wells lined with concrete. Al-Haideri an advanced epoxies specialist said he was called in to seal cracks in the concrete because the Iraqis feared U.S. surveillance satellites would pick up the slightest radioactive emissions.
Iraq now is believed to be operating a miniature uranium-enrichment "cascade" at a clandestine location, hermetically sealed to prevent telltale emissions.
2002. A former Iraqi intelligence officer responsible for setting up front companies for illegal overseas purchases claims that Iraq has arranged to purchase nuclear weapons material (including uranium) from Armscor, South Africas state armaments directorate. During the Iran-Iraq war Armscor supplied Iraq with advanced 155mm howitzers. These sales are handled through a front company in Jordan.
For five years he personally ran a procurement network based in Dubai for the Special Security Organization, the elite of Saddam's vast intelligence apparatus, in charge of overseas procurement and responsible for hiding key equipment and material for Saddam's weapons programs. He was arrested by the regime in 1998, viciously tortured, given an injection of thalium and dumped on the street. Bleeding from his nose, mouth and stomach, he managed to escape to Northern Iraq and ultimately to Turkey, where human-rights workers treat him successfully for thallium poisoning Thalium poisonig a favorite method of the regime for executing its enemies, becasue it causes a slow, painful death.
2002, April. Saddam Hussein increases from $10,000 to $25,000 the money offered to families of Palestinian homicide bombers. The rules for rewarding homicide bombers are strict and insist that only someone who blows himself up with a belt of explosives gets the full payment. Payments are made on a strict scale, with different amounts for wounds, disablement, death as a martyr and $25,000 for a suicide bomber. Mahmoud Besharat, a representative on the West Bank who is handing out to families the money from Saddam, said, You would have to ask President Saddam why he is being so generous. But he is a revolutionary and he wants this distinguished struggle, the intifada, to continue." Baghdad also trains Palestine Liberation Front members in small arms and explosives.
2002, September. Iraq is again caught trying to import high-quality aluminum tubes. These tubes are required for making uranium enrichment centrifuges. Dr. Hamza (former head of Iraqs nuclear program), reports that Iraq already has 1.3 tons of low-enriched uranium it purchased from Brazil. Centrifuges will allow it to be enriched into fissile material. Iraq also possesses up to 10 tons of yellow-cake uranium, which has been extracted from large supplies of phosphates dotted around the country. Nuclear inspectors had been shown 162 tons of the material, but Dr Hamza said there were several other phosphate sites that were not inspected.
2002, September 5. An editorial in the Iraqi newspaper Al-Iqtisadi, which is owned by Saddam Hussein's eldest son Uday, called for the formation of suicide [fidaiyoon] squads to launch broad-based sabotage operations against the United States, its friends, and interests.
2002, September 9. A new report released from the International Institute for Strategic Studies, an independent research organization, concludes that Saddam Hussein could build a nuclear bomb within months if he were able to obtain enough fissile material.
2002, November 29. Pakistani Imam Syed Abdullah Bukhari addresses Delhi's muslims, saying Islamic countries have to acquire nuclear weapons. Bukhari is known to have, in the past, made pro-Taliban and pro-Osama Bin Laden statements.
2003, January 1. Six Iraqi women who say they or their families were brutalized by the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein called for the Iraqi leader to be indicted for war crimes and say regime change is the only way to save their desperate nation.
"The Iraqi people have been living in a state of war for 30 years," said Nazand Beghakani, a founder of the International Kurdish Women Study Network. "I'm calling on the international community to stop this war that has been forced on the Iraqi people."
The women report numerous horrors, including; the systematic beheading of innocent women belonging to families suspected of opposing Saddam's regime, and rape and the use of torture against opponents and their families as tools of intimidation.
2003, January 16. Previously undisclosed warheads for chemical weapons are discovered by UN inspectors. A joint UNMOVIC/IAEA team also find a significant cache of documents related to Iraqs uranium enrichment program in the home of Iraqi scientist Faleh Hassan.
2003, January 29. The United Nations announces that Iraq will chair the May 12-June 27 United Nations conference on disarmament. This will be the 25th anniversary session of the conference.
2003, February. Two German nationals are charged with attempting to smuggle over 2,000 missile parts into Iraq.
2003, February 5. Secretary of State Colin Powell address the U.N. He presents to that body proof, in the form of voice intercepts, spy-satalite, U-2 imagery, and eye-witness accounts, of Saddams violations of of U.N. resolutions and his continuing efforts to thwart them. He also provides proof that Saddam is training terrorists, including al-Queada.
At least ten nations reportedly have the ability to create bio-weapons. James Woolsey, former CIA Director, notes that growing biological agents takes little more expertise than brewing beer and is within the reach of countries or terrorists that have the money and access to scientific expertise.
Mustard Gas: Mustard is a liquid agent, which gives off a hazardous vapor, causing burns and blisters to exposed skin. When inhaled, mustard damages the respiratory tract; when ingested, it causes vomiting and diarrhea. It attacks and damages the eyes, mucous membranes, lungs, skin, and blood-forming organs.
Tabun, sarin and VX are all nerve agents of which VX is the most toxic. They all damage the nervous system, producing muscular spasms and paralysis. As little as 10 milligrams of VX on the skin can cause rapid death.
Anthrax: Anthrax is a bacteria. It has a spore form that makes it extremely resistant to the environment. It is highly infectious and lethal when inhaled. The symptoms may vary, but can include fever and internal bleeding. The incubation period for anthrax is 1 to 7 days, with most cases occurring within 2 days of exposure. It is a one-time agent--it does not spread from person to person. An anthrax vaccine does exist, but is not readily available.
Smallpox: Smallpox is a virus. It is highly contagious, transmits through the atmosphere very easily and has a high mortality rate; 10-100 viruses per infective dose. A worldwide vaccination program eliminated smallpox in the 1970s. Both the United States and the former Soviet Union officially maintained small quantities of the virus at two labs. However, there is the suspicion that it may have been or is still researched and developed at other labs either within Russia or in other countries, thus increasing the concern of smallpox being used as a biological weapon. Mortality in 3% of vaccinated and 30% of unvaccinated.
Plague: 100-500 bacteria infective dose, 2-3 day incubation, pneumonic plague highly contagious; antibiotics within 24 hr or 100% fatal (pneumonic form); plague pneumonia, respiratory failure, etc.
Ebola: Ebola is a viral hemoragic fever caused by a virus. It is extremely lethal and its symptoms are profuse bleeding from the orifices. There is no cure or treatment.
Marburg: Marburg is another hemoragic fever caused by a virus. It is extremely lethal and its symptoms are profuse bleeding from the orifices. There is no cure or treatment.
Botulism: One of the deadliest toxins caused known to man, is a by-product of a bacteria; 0.1 microgram lethal to adult, 1-5 days onset (10 times more toxic than Sarin). The first symptoms of poisoning may appear as early as 1 hour post exposure or as late as 8 days after exposure, with the incubation period between 12 and 22 hours. Blocks neurotransmission; paralysis leads to death by suffocation.
Brucellosis: 10-100 bacteria per infective dose, 5-60 day incubation, not contagious unless draining lesions appear; antibiotics but no vaccine; "only" 5% fatalities if untreated (central nervous system infections); recovery may take 1 yr.
Tularemia: Tularemia is a bacteria. It causes non-lethal diseases that are extremely incapacitating such as weight loss, fever, headaches and often pneumonia.
Aflatoxins: Fungal toxins, which are potent carcinogens. Most symptoms take a long time to show. Food products contaminated by aflatoxins can cause liver inflammation and cancer. They can also affect pregnant women, leading to stillborn babies and children born with mutations.
Ricin: Derived from the castor bean and can cause multiple organ failure leading to death within one or two days of inhalation or ingestion.
A typical nuclear fission weapon consists of: fissile material for the core which gives out huge amounts of explosive energy from nuclear reactions when made "super critical" through extreme compression. Fissile material is usually either highly enriched uranium (HEU) or weapons-grade plutonium. HEU can be made in gas centrifuges. Plutonium is made by reprocessing fuel from a nuclear reactor.
A detonation of a 20-kiloton nuclear warhead over a city might flatten an area of approximately 3 square miles. Within 1.6 miles of detonation, blast damage and radiation would cause 80% casualties, three-quarters of which would be fatal. Between 1.6 and 3.1 miles from the detonation, there would still be 10% casualties.
Inspectors going in now will have an almost impossible task to discover whats going on in the nuclear field.... Since the inspectors left, Saddam has had four years at least to hide what needs to be hidden. Now hes well on the road, his game will be to stall and stall if America lets him. - Dr Hamza, Former head of Iraqs Nuclear development program.
The contrast to nuclear weapons illustrates why many call germ weapons the poor mans atom bomb. A nation that obtains plans for a crud nuclear device is at the beginning of a complex technical challenges that requires staggering and easily detectible investments in mines, factories, and nuclear reactors. But scientists like Bill Patrick or Ken Alibek say they could teach a terror group how to make devastating germ weapons from a few handfuls of backyard dirt and some widely available lab equipment. - Judith Miller, Germs, 2001.
Iraq appears not to have come to a genuine acceptance, not even today, of the disarmament which was demanded of it. - Dr. Hans Blix.
Time is on my side. - Saddam Hussein.
Germs, by Judith Miller, 2001. (this one I consider a must read).
Breaking With Moscow, Arkady Schevchenko, 1985.
The Collapse of Communism, ed.by Bernard Gwerlzman & Michael T. Kaufman, 1990.
Counter-Terrorist, Sam Hall, 1987.
Inside Spetznaz: Soviet Special Operations, Maj. William H. Burgess III, 1990.
KGB: The Inside Story Of Its Foreign Operations From Lenin To Gorbachev, Christopher Andrew & Oleg Gordievsky, 1990.
Medieval Warfare, H.W. Koch, 1985.
The Middle East Conflicts: From 1945 to the Present, John Pimlott, 1983.
The Mongols, David Morgan, 1986.
The Rape of Kuwait, Jean P. Sassan, 1991.
Saddam Hussein and The Crisis In The Gulf, Judith Miller & Laurie Myloroie, 1990.
Saddams Bomb Maker, Dr. Khidhir Hamza, 2002.
Soviet Strategic Deception, Brian D. Daily & Patrick J. Parker, 1987.
Target America, by Yoseff Bodansky, 1993.
TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: biological; biowarfare; bioweapons; chemical; chemicalweapons; gulf; iraq; prewardocs; saddam; saddamhussein; sovietunion; terrorism; un; unitedstates; unmovic; unscom; war; weapons; wmd
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Need more convincing?
posted on 02/20/2003 10:29:31 PM PST
To: Marine Inspector; sleavelessinseattle; 2Trievers; swarthyguy; Lazamataz; MistyCA; spetznaz; ...
posted on 02/20/2003 10:30:21 PM PST
posted on 02/20/2003 10:34:33 PM PST
(oh, did I say that out loud?)
Hey PsyOps what kind of custom cars do ya make ? Also as always Awesome Work ! A keeper. Printed out and added to my PsyOps binder...........
Stay Safe !
posted on 02/20/2003 10:47:08 PM PST
(If the speed limit is 75 mph, why are vehicles made to go 76 mph or faster ?........:o)
posted on 02/20/2003 11:45:24 PM PST
(const vector<tags>& theTags)
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Feel better now? As you say it is incomplete. As is your information. There are a lot cases to be made. In the interests of time I was only trying to make one, not write and entire book that would glaze people's eyes before they were more than a page through it.
And, I managed to do it without the insulting condesencion. The point is what to do about the current problem, not argue incessently about the past. Move on.
BTW. Thank you for the additional links. I'm sure they'll be helpful to those wanting to learn more, you're snide attitude notwithstanding.
posted on 02/21/2003 8:19:11 AM PST
To: *Bio_warfare; Ernest_at_the_Beach
posted on 02/21/2003 8:20:21 AM PST
by Free the USA
(Stooge for the Rich)
Ignore all that. Let's go GET SADDAM!!!!!!!
First of all, I've never said ignore it. A lot of very ignorant mistakes were made. But you seem to think those mistakes are prima facia evidence that we should make another, bigger mistake by letting Saddam have them. I disagree. Two wrongs don't make a right as the saying goes. People are supposed to learn from mistakes.
And stop trying to attribute opinions to me that I do not hold. Everything I put in that thread is fact. I presented as such. Had I been trying to spin things there is plenty there that I could have left out, but didn't.
Your vitriol towards me is misplaced. I welcome anyone providing additional FYI information, just try to keep the childish personal attacks out of it.
posted on 02/21/2003 8:56:13 AM PST
...until NOW, that is...! whatever, ...details, details...
Good information. And it only bolsters the case for making sure Saddam, who has shown a willingness to use these weapons, never gets a chance to give them to terrorists.
As for Clinton, who was so obssesed by the novel "Cobra Event" (by all accounts a good, well written, and well researched book), to the point that he gave away copies and mentioned at every meating on terrorism--all clinton did is talk about fighting terrorism. He did precious little to effect that end. Because doing so would have upset his friend Yasser.
posted on 02/21/2003 9:04:31 AM PST
Germs: Biological Weapons and America's Secret War by Judith Miller, et. al. Publisher: Simon & Schuster Published: Oct 2002.
Read it. something you'd know if you'd bothered to actually read the thread in its entirety before launching. I also read her other book on Saddam and Iraq.
posted on 02/21/2003 9:07:11 AM PST
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