It may be a day late, but I suppose late is better than never. Just published on Spellchek yesterday was an expose illustrating the ties the U.S. government has to the Iraqi chemical weapons programs of the 1980’s – https://spellchek.wordpress.com/2014/10/14/isis-check-wmd-check-innocent-people-dying-in-iraq-check-byita-huh-read-on/.
Later the same day, the N.Y. Times published this story drawing the same conclusion – http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/10/14/world/middleeast/us-casualties-of-iraq-chemical-weapons.html?_r=0.
Participants in the chemical weapons discoveries said the United States suppressed knowledge of finds for multiple reasons, including that the government bristled at further acknowledgment it had been wrong. “They needed something to say that after Sept. 11 Saddam used chemical rounds,” Mr. Lampier said. “And all of this was from the pre-1991 era.”
Others pointed to another embarrassment. In five of six incidents in which troops were wounded by chemical agents, the munitions appeared to have been designed in the United States, manufactured in Europe and filled in chemical agent production lines built in Iraq by Western companies.
Now the company line is that the U.S. supplied chemical weapon resources under the pretext of being dual-use(meaning legitimate research programs) and therefore no violations of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention occurred.
Isn’t that refreshing? You didn’t hear any of that when the debate during the run-up to the second Gulf War concerned Iraq’s possession of WMD’s. Bush claimed to be relying upon intelligence reports. I would say that designed in America and built through some good old fashioned crony-corporatism qualifies as having firsthand knowledge, no intelligence reports necessary.
The Times article only goes on to refer to the U.S.-Iraqi WMD program as one of “western roots”. Apparently they can’t bring themselves to connect the dots to the obvious conclusion that the U.S. is unequivocally complicit in the design and construction of the weapons program. The collateral damage injuries the Times story reports on are blood on the hands of the U.S. government. And it isn’t over yet as some of those weapons still remain including those transferred to Syria.
Glad to see you’ve joined the party, N.Y. Times.
Here are some terms to ponder. Complicit. Accomplice. Enabler. Supplier. All apply to the U.S. involvement in the Iraqi WMD program. The inconvenient truth is rearing its ugly head once again as IS (aka ISIS, ISIL) has reportedly utilized confiscated Iraqi WMD’s on the Kurds – http://www.foxnews.com/world/2014/10/13/gruesome-photos-may-show-isis-using-chemical-weapons-on-kurds-says-report/
Disturbing new photos of ethnic Kurds killed by Islamic State fighters are stoking fears the terrorist army may be using chemical weapons seized from Saddam Hussein’s old arsenals, according to a Middle East watchdog.
The fact that the United States was involved in developing the Iraqi WMD program is common knowledge. To what extent is where the partisans split up. And where did IS obtain the WMD’s? We can only speculate at this point. A likely scenario would be the massive Al Muthanna complex.
If Islamic State fighters did indeed gain chemical weapons in Muthanna, it would corroborate a 2007 CIA report that confirmed their presence there.
Here is a link to the report cited – https://www.cia.gov/library/reports/general-reports-1/iraq_wmd_2004/chap5_annxB.html.
As one would expect, the report was well vetted and contains nothing to implicate the U.S. with any direct involvement in developing an Iraqi weapons program. It does, however, cover the compound in detail.
Perhaps of more value would be the expert testimony provided by Professor Gary Milhollin. He directed a research project devoted to tracking and inhibiting the spread of nuclear weapons to additional countries. He published a three year report in 1991 concerning exporting weapons to Iraq. Here is a link to his congressional testimony on the issue – http://www.wisconsinproject.org/pubs/testimonies/1992/10-27.html.
The Committee has asked me to answer the question whether American exports aided Iraq’s effort to build weapons of mass destruction.
The answer is “yes.” Saddam Hussein is the first monster with imported fangs. Although the West Germans supplied the canines, Americans supplied some of the lesser teeth. Both governments knew what was going on, but chose not to stop it.
Spellchek published a blog post just over a year ago asking if the Syrian WMD’s were supplied by America – https://spellchek.wordpress.com/2013/09/15/were-the-syrian-wmds-supplied-by-america/.
There you’ll find further links including the infamous 1994 Riegle Report which illustrates the extensive involvement of the United States in developing WMD’s.
This issue is very relevant today as we continue our practice of arming dangerous groups overseas if they align with our present tactical goals. Usually, that practice comes back to haunt us and bite us in the ass (the BYITA acronym explained). To wit, al-Qaeda.
While in no way exonerating IS from their alleged guilt in utilizing WMD in Iraq, it just goes to reinforce the old axiom about dangerous bedfellows.
The U.S. will take full advantage of the political capital provided by such gruesome displays whenever WMD’s are used. You can view them here if you wish – WARNING GRAPHIC – http://www.gloria-center.org/2014/10/meria-special-report-did-isis-use-chemical-weapons-against-the-kurds-in-kobani-warning-graphic-content/.
As your queasy stomach churns, just remember who was a complicit accomplice in supplying and enabling their use.