And the plot thickens....
Interesting timeline for flights vs. suspicion of trip timing:
WASHINGTON (October 27) U.S. Rep. Benjamin A. Gilman (20th-NY), Chairman of the House International Relations Committee, sent the following letter today to Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright concerning sanctions against Iraq:
October 27, 2000
Dear Madam Secretary:
We suspect that you are extremely concerned, as we certainly are, about the increasing number of sanctions-violating flights into Iraq. Needless to say, it is not surprising that these flights have been initiated by Russia and France, both of which are permanent members of the Security Council.
Following the lead of Russia and France, other countries have likewise flown into Iraq. Among these countries are recipients of significant amounts of U.S. foreign aid.
This, Madam Secretary, is outrageous.
Since August, Russia has permitted three direct commercial flights to Baghdad, requesting permission for only two of those flights from the U.N. Sanctions Committee. We understand that Russia does not view these flights as sanctions violations.
In your testimony last month before the Foreign Relations Committee, you emphasized that this is not the U.S. position; specifically, you made clear that the United States believes "that these flights need approval, and . . . I think that absent any new kind of consensus, the [Sanctions Committee] will continue . . . to operate under practices of the last 10 years, that these flights require approval, not just notification."
Sanctions are a vital tool in denying Saddam Hussein the funding and supplies necessary for him to pursue weapons of mass destruction. Vigilance is all the more urgent, given the absence of weapons inspectors in Iraq for nearly two years.
Being fully committed, as we are, to ensuring that this despot does not develop the weapons to threaten the United States, our allies, or our interests, we acknowledge that this will be increasingly difficult if Saddams neighbors (and our allies and aid recipients) continue to violate the sanctions intended to protect them.
Madam Secretary, two points: 1) In your view, absent permission from the sanctions committee, do these flights constitute sanctions violations? And (2) Under the terms of Section 534 of the Foreign Operations Appropriations Act of 2000, do you agree that no assistance should be provided to nations in violation of U.N. sanctions on Iraq?
Please let us hear from you as to how Section 534 applies to the countries in violation of UN sanctions, and in particular to Russia and Egypt, two flagrant violators who receive billions in U.S. foreign aid.
We urgently need your response, Madam Secretary.
JESSE HELMS BENJAMIN A. GILMAN
posted on 03/27/2003 7:44:18 PM PST
And the plot further thickens: http://www.iraqwatch.org/search/view_record.asp?sc=endusers&id=82
Iraqi Entity: Kimadia
Entity Name: Kimadia
Activity Memo: Part of the Ministry of Health; site to which biological growth media from Al-Hakam was declared by Iraq to have been transferred; inspectors reportedly found a freeze-drier labeled smallpox at its maintenance shop in the mid-1990s.
Also Known As: State Company for Drugs and Medical Appliances Marketing
Date Entered: 10/2/2000 4:03:00 PM
posted on 03/27/2003 7:58:29 PM PST
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