William Blum: What the New York Times left Out

2002-08-20

Richard Moore

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From: •••@••.•••
Date: Mon, 19 Aug 2002 14:05:38 EDT
Subject: What the NY Times left out
To: •••@••.•••

          What the New York Times left Out

                     by William Blum

It was page one of the New York Times Sunday (August
18), picked up extensively by the international media,
a featured story on America On Line. "Officers Say U.S.
Aided Iraq in War Despite Use of Gas", shouted the
headline.  Senior military officers revealed that the
Reagan administration had provided Iraq with critical
battle planning assistance in waging decisive battles
of the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s.  The assistance was
given at a time when American intelligence agencies
knew that Iraq had already employed chemical weapons
and would likely continue to do so.  This of course
raises obvious questions about the current Bush
administration's near-frenzied demonization of Saddam
Hussein, particularly for his alleged chemical and
biological weapons (CBW) threat.

Readers can be forgiven if they think this is a
revelation of some sort. It isn't.  The story may add a
new detail or two about the precise nature of US
tactical assistance to the Iraqis, but the basic story
has long been known.  Strangely, the Times story leaves
out the most significant part -- the furnishing of
chemical and biological materials by the United States
to Iraq which markedly enhanced Iraq's CBW capability. 
(There is one isolated line in the Times piece, almost
at the very end, hinting at something of the sort:
"Former Secretary of State Shultz and Vice President
Bush tried to stanch the flow of chemical precursors to
Iraq.")

At the risk of sounding like I'm blowing my own horn, I
must point out that I wrote a story on this very
subject in 1998, which was published in several
"alternative" magazines, distributed widely on the
Internet to this day, and won a Project Censored award
in 1999.  As far as I know, the American mainstream
media has never covered this story, and if the Times
article is any guide, the censorship will continue.

    Following is the crux of my article as published in 1998:



In his recent State of the Union address, President
Clinton, in the context of Iraq, spoke of how we must
"confront the new hazards of chemical and biological
weapons, and the outlaw states, terrorists and
organized criminals seeking to acquire them."  He
castigated Saddam Hussein for "developing nuclear,
chemical and biological weapons" and called for
strengthening the Biological Weapons Convention.  Who
among his listeners knew, who among the media reported,
that the United States had been the supplier to Iraq of
much of the source biological materials Saddam's
scientists would require to create a biological warfare
program?

According to a Senate Committee Report of 1994 {1}:
From 1985, if not earlier, through 1989, a veritable
witch's brew of biological materials were exported to
Iraq by private American suppliers pursuant to
application and licensing by the U.S.

Department of Commerce.  Amongst these materials, which
often produce slow, agonizing deaths, were:

  Bacillus Anthracis, cause of anthrax.
  
  Clostridium Botulinum, a source of botulinum toxin.
  
  Histoplasma Capsulatam, cause of a disease attacking
  lungs, brain, spinal cord and heart.
  
  Brucella Melitensis, a bacteria that can damage major
  organs.
  
  Clotsridium Perfringens, a highly toxic bacteria
  causing systemic illness.
  
  Clostridium tetani, highly toxigenic.
  
  Also, Escherichia Coli (E.Coli); genetic materials;
  human and bacterial DNA. Dozens of other pathogenic
  biological agents were shipped to Iraq during the
  1980s.  The Senate Report pointed out: "These
  biological materials were not attenuated or weakened
  and were capable of reproduction." {2}
  
  "It was later learned," the committee revealed, "that
  these microorganisms exported by the United States were
  identical to those the United Nations inspectors found
  and removed from the Iraqi biological warfare
  program."{3}
  
  These exports continued to at least November 28, 1989
  despite the fact that Iraq had been reported to be
  engaging in chemical warfare and possibly biological
  warfare against Iranians, Kurds, and Shiites since the
  early 80s.

NOTES
{1} "U.S. Chemical and Biological Warfare-Related Dual
Use Exports to Iraq and their Possible Impact on the
Health Consequences of the Persian Gulf War,"  Senate
Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs with
Respect to Export Administration, reports of May 25,
1994 and October 7, 1994.
{2} Ibid., May 25 report, pp. 36-47
{3} Ibid., October 7 report, p. 3

Written by William Blum, author of "Killing Hope: U.S.
Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II" and
"Rogue State: A Guide to the World's Only Superpower".
http://members.aol.com/superogue/homepage.htm
-- 

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