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-   -   Tony Blair is a Lying Liar who tells Lies (https://thetfp.com/tfp/tilted-politics/44119-tony-blair-lying-liar-who-tells-lies.html)

Strange Famous 02-03-2004 04:55 AM

Tony Blair is a Lying Liar who tells Lies
To borrow Al Franken's phrase.

Whether the war was right or not, the 45 minutes claim was a lie.

All available intelligence told us this:

Iraq probably had the will to produce chemical weapons, and if they had them they probably would use them as a last defence if invaded.

It was very unlikely Iraq would launch an attack of any kind other than in self defence against an invasion.

Iraq possibly had some parts of its chemical weapons programme surviving.

Iraq did not have the ability to launch a chemical attack at short notice, they lacked both the delivery system and available weapons.

For Blair to approve the 45 minute claim, at best he was a fool, incredibly naive and unintelligent, who allowed hawks to convince him that Iraq had the power to launch a chemical attack at 45 minutes when all available intelligence said that this was not true - and the only supporting intelligence to the claim was from one singular and unreliable source.

More likely, it was a lie - condoned by Blair, to justify his war on Iraq. You dont have to be a pacifist to have a problem with this. Blair could have said "Hussain is a murderer" (this is true), many people in Iraq reject Hussian (Which is true, although they equally reject American/UK imperialism, we cannot claim Hussain was not a hugely corrupt and unpopular leader), we know that he has used chemical weapons in the past, and we fear he may be trying to develop them again... these would be justifications for war in many people's mind.

Instead, Blair lied. It does not matter what the Hutton report says, we know the government can make a report say whatever it wants - the claim that Iraq had chemical weapons they could launch offensively at 45 minutes was a lie. Blair is a liar. This lie was published because, at Blair's request, the document needed to be "sexed up"

The Hutton report is a joke. We can leave out discussions as to whether or not David Kelly was murdered or killed himself - and just make the facts that we know to be the case clear. Either Blair is a monumental dunce, a peerless simpleton, for believing the 45 minute claim which all of the credible intelligence sources told us was incorrect and in the face of all sensible advice and reasoning, or he lied.

Secondly, Blair made a statement to the press while on a plane to Hong Kong, in which he said he had had no part in the name of Dr Kelly being leaked to the press. Dr Kelly was the source who told the BBC that Blairs dodgy dossier did not represent the views of the intelligence that was available - that the 45 minutes claim in the dossier was untrue, and that Blair reasonably must know it to be untrue - and as we have said - he was either unbelievably stupid to believe it to be true when all evidence told him it was not, or he was a liar. As we know, Kelly is now dead, apparently by suicide - although we know that he spoke of the fact he would fear for his life if his name was leaked to the press as the BBC's source.

We know for a fact that this is a lie. The Blair did play a part in the decision to leak Kelly's name to the press. Michael Howard has tried to make Blair repeat the statement in the Commons but he refuses because he knows he would be forced to resign if he did. Quite simply, it is a lie, Blair is a liar.

opinion polls show that roughly 90% of the British people do not trust Blair and believe he is a lying liar - it is a very difficult position for a country to be in. When you cannot trust your leader to tell the truth, when you always suspect that whatever he says may be a lie; when the media knows that if they try to tell the truth and reveal these lies, they will be hit hard, punished... of course, the situation is not unique. In communist Russia, the untruthfullness of the leaders and the weakness of the media was even greater than the UK - but it is a dangerous position we are in, and Blair is becoming more arrogant, he believes now that he is unstoppable - but he must be stopped, the people of Britain must reject Blair and his party of liars.

aphex140 02-03-2004 05:36 AM

i agree

he hoped the hutton report would act as a smokescreen for this, but america has forced it to the surface, haha

Yout time is now Blair

Phaenx 02-03-2004 05:46 AM

Shit, even having the ability to produce said weapons and not telling us about it/deconstructing program was a violation of 1441. What if he decided to sell that information/material to terrorists? It really wouldn't matter what he used it for, some people will attack us whether we attack them or not.

Also, did you know thanks to Georgie boy and Blair Saddams thugs didn't rape/kill anyone tonight? Those bastards.

Strange Famous 02-03-2004 07:34 AM

Phaenx - I am not trying to argue in this thread about the validity of the war, or if Iraq was breaking UN resolutions on chemical weapons.

While I do not believe that US Military rule is good for Iraq, I completely accept that Saddam Hussain was rotten, corrupt, unpopular, and a murderer. Going to war to liberate Iraq from Saddam Hussain would be accepted as a valid reason by many people.

I am not even disputing that there is some evidence that Iraq was breaking the rules enforced after the previous Gulf War, and that they may have had the intention to build chemical weapons.

What I am saying, and what is true, is that the 45 minute claim - the claim made in Blair's Dodgy Dossier, that Iraq could launch chemical weapons at 45 minutes - was untrue, that it was presented misleadingly (the 45 minute claim came from one source, that was not reliable, that was contradicted by more realible sources, and only refered to battlefield weapons), and that based on the intelligence Blair had, he knew or by any reasonable standard would be expected to know, that the claim was false.

I am arguing that Blair lied, to support his war - that he deliberately and intentionally mislead the British people. This doesnt mean the war is wrong (necessarily) and it does not mean Saddam Hussain is not a monster - what it does mean, to repeat myself, is that Tony Blair is a lying liar who tells lies - and furthermore, the vast majority of the British people believe that he is a liar.

Dragonlich 02-03-2004 10:39 AM

Even if the 45 minute claim was false, that does not imply that Blair lied. It merely implies that the information he provided was incorrect.

Suppose for a moment that Blair did not know that the claim was false... would he still be lying then? Isn't there need for an *intent* there?

Strange Famous 02-03-2004 10:47 AM

If Blair did not know the 45 minute claim was false, then he is subnormally unintelligent, a complete dunce - but the statement made to the journalists is still an outright lie.

It is reasonable to assume someone with Blair's background, education, and access to all the intelligence knew that the 45 minute claim was wrong - it is far more likely he intended to mislead people than he believed something that reasonably no sensible person could.

Seaver 02-03-2004 10:55 AM

But you dont know... so your argument holds no water.

Kagh't 02-03-2004 10:58 AM

I agree with strange, but i feel i must point out that all the evidence does point to tony having sub-par intelligence.

Unfortunatly, i have a strong feeling that no matter how hard the world tries to prove tony and bush knew the 45-min claim was a lie, theres going to be a lot of white washing a la Lord Hutton, and our 'leaders' having a lot of ammunition to use against their critics because they havn't been found guilty.

All we can do is hope the opposition wins the next general election, and then we can launch proper inquiries without the PM using his weight to 'adjust' the findings...

Arc101 02-03-2004 11:48 AM


i feel i must point out that all the evidence does point to tony having sub-par intelligence.
Nope he is very intelligent. However he is also a lying devious shit who’s only concern is to stay in power and to kiss Bush’s arse every 5 mins.

Lebell 02-03-2004 12:20 PM


Originally posted by Arc101
Nope he is very intelligent. However he is also a lying devious shit who’s only concern is to stay in power and to kiss Bush’s arse every 5 mins.

I'm just curious: If he would have been against the war would he have been kissing Chiraq's ass?

Strange Famous 02-03-2004 12:26 PM

Or maybe just the vast majority of other international leaders that opposed the war?

The_Dude 02-03-2004 12:27 PM

the guy was practically repeating word-per-word what gwb said. they had numerous press conferences together and blair was always the first foreign leader to support any action that bush took.

Dragonlich 02-03-2004 01:16 PM


Originally posted by Strange Famous
If Blair did not know the 45 minute claim was false, then he is subnormally unintelligent, a complete dunce - but the statement made to the journalists is still an outright lie.

And where exactly did you get the information that the claim was false? And more importantly, did you *know* that before the war started, or merely guessed it? You see, gut feelings alone aren't proof enough.


It is reasonable to assume someone with Blair's background, education, and access to all the intelligence knew that the 45 minute claim was wrong - it is far more likely he intended to mislead people than he believed something that reasonably no sensible person could.

It is reasonable to assume that Blair acted on the information he got from the US' and UK's intelligence departments, which did contain that 45 minute claim. How on earth do you suppose Blair should *know* that the claim is false? He has to make decisions on incomplete information, *without* access to "all the intelligence" - typically, most of what you'd know would be comprised of educated guesswork, and loads of patchy data. Sure, some of that data is true, other bits are false, but how on earth are you supposed to make the distinction??? Even highly educated people can get it wrong, FYI.

As an example of that last statement: I found the 45 minute claim to be reasonable at the time - are you suggesting I'm not a sensible person? I'd say, given the patchy knowledge that we had, and given Saddam's posturing, it was pretty unreasonable to assume he did NOT have WMDs. And if you believe he has WMDs, it's not so unreasonable to assume he can launch them in 45 minutes. (And yes, I am highly educated too.)

Just because you don't belief a certain idea does not make the idea unreasonable, nor the people that do belief it stupid. I'd suggest you stop advocating your cause so harshly - you don't have all the answers. Besides, in a few years time, we'll probably end up discovering that we were *all* wrong.

Lebell 02-03-2004 04:00 PM


Originally posted by Strange Famous
Or maybe just the vast majority of other international leaders that opposed the war?
Are you referring to the ones that were bribed or the ones that weren't?

Strange Famous 02-04-2004 01:03 AM


Originally posted by Lebell
Are you referring to the ones that were bribed or the ones that weren't?
A great many countries opposed the war who did not have a commercial interest in Iraq. And America and Britain have no right to claim the moral high ground over France or Russia in this regard - they traded with Hussain, they sold weapons to Hussain. When the *alleged* attack on the Kurds in 1989 using chemical weapons took place - how did America or Britain respond to this atrocity? (I say alleged, not because the event is in doubt, we know that these Kurdish villages where gassed, but some theorists allege that Iran actually carried out the attack)

The fact Hussain was a murderer, the fact he had chemical weapons which he was prepared to use against external and internal enemies - ALL OF THESE FACTS WERE KNOWN IN 1989... why did the UK and US continue to sell arms to Hussain when these facts where known? Where they "bribed" as France and Russia were in 2003 according to your theories?

The first Gulf War began not over an unprovoked attack, but over a border dispute with the equally despotic regime in Kuwait - why does America defend Kuwait, when they will not defend Iran or the Kurdish people of Iraq from Hussain - are the freedoms and lives of Kuwaiti people more valuable - or is there a financial interest - is America "bribed" (again to use your terminology)

The reason, in my opinion, most people did not support the war, internationally - was that they believed America went to war for the wrong reasons, and that it was not the best way to rid the world of an undoubtably monsterous and corrupt dictator. After the first Gulf War, ths US troops could have supported Anti-Hussain forces within the country and Iraq would have had a chance to go forwards into sunlight, instead America abandoned them, allowed Hussain to crush the rebels, and America mounted a campaign of selective bombing and intimidation - while Hussain lived in luxery, his people suffered greatly from sanctions and bombing... the current war finally removes Hussain, but it does not remove the climate that created him, just the individual.

A once proud and free country is reduced to its knees, its infrastructure destroyed, to be rebuilt by American firms (at a good profit of course), the people, who might have seen America as their protectors, hate America... why did America remove Hussain in 2003 rather than 1991? Financial motivation, the desire to "liberate" Iraqi oil, or has their love of freedom grown in those 12 years?

No player in this game has acted purely out of moral interest, although it might have been better for all if they had - the people who opposed the war did not oppose it to save a few million pounds of contracts with a dying dicatator - they opposed it because they believed it was the wrong way for Iraq, that the Iraqi people could not be saved by being bombed and then overtaken by paternalist dictators...

But obviously, as a moderator on this board, I know you are keen to keep the thread on topic, as I am. The morality of the war is really a whole related but different question.

What I think this thread was intended to discus, was the 45 minutes claim - and that it was a lie, and that Blair must have known it was a lie. I am not being facetous (sic), I genuinely dont know how big a deal it is in the USA if a President is caught out in a lie (even if that lie is eventually not so important)... but in the UK, it is the one sin which politicians are never forgiven for... any Prime Minister who lies in parliament would be forced to resign, unless the lie was absolutely necessary for national security. When it can be shown, quite clearly, that the PM is a liar, that he backed this dodgy dossier when he knew some of its claims were lies, when he clearly and undeniably lied to journalists on the plane to Hong Kong, it is very serious indeed. Not only to the individual, Blair, who I firmly believe must be removed within 6 months, but to the office of the Prime Minister, which Blair has disgraced through his lie.

Strange Famous 02-04-2004 01:09 AM


The 45 minute claim came from one source that intelligence officials did not believe was credible. Neither you or I had access to ALL available intelligence, however, let me quote a man who did...


Intelligence chief's bombshell: 'We were overruled on dossier'
By Paul Waugh, Deputy Political Editor
04 February 2004

The intelligence official whose revelations stunned the Hutton inquiry has suggested that not a single defence intelligence expert backed Tony Blair's most contentious claims on Iraqi weapons of mass destruction.

As Mr Blair set up an inquiry yesterday into intelligence failures before the war, Brian Jones, the former leading expert on WMD in the Ministry of Defence, declared that Downing Street's dossier, a key plank in convincing the public of the case for war, was "misleading" on Saddam Hussein's chemical and biological capability. Writing in today's Independent, Dr Jones, who was head of the nuclear, chemical and biological branch of the Defence Intelligence Staff (DIS) until he retired last year, reveals that the experts failed in their efforts to have their views reflected.

Dr Jones, who is expected to be a key witness at the new inquiry, says: "In my view, the expert intelligence analysts of the DIS were overruled in the preparation of the dossier in September 2002, resulting in a presentation that was misleading about Iraq's capabilities."

He calls on the Prime Minister to publish the intelligence behind the Government's claims that Iraq was actively producing chemical weapons and could launch an attack within 45 minutes of an order to do so. He is "extremely doubtful" that anyone with chemical and biological weapons expertise had seen the raw intelligence reports and that they would prove just how right he and his colleagues were to be concerned about the claims.

Downing Street was triumphant last week when Lord Hutton ruled that Andrew Gilligan's claims that the dossier was "sexed up" were unfounded, but Dr Jones's comments are bound to boost the case of the BBC and others that the dossier failed to take into account the worries of intelligence officials. Colin Powell, the US Secretary of State, said yesterday that he might not have supported military action against Baghdad if he had known that Iraq lacked weapons of mass destruction.

Acutely aware of the American inquiry into the war, Mr Blair said that a committee of inquiry would investigate "intelligence-gathering, evaluation and use" in the UK before the conflict in Iraq. Lord Butler of Brockwell, the former cabinet secretary, will chair the five-strong committee, which will meet in private. The Liberal Democrats refused to support the inquiry because they said that its remit was not wide enough.

Dr Jones was the man whose decision to give evidence electrified the Hutton inquiry as he disclosed that he had formally complained about the dossier. The Government attempted to dismiss his complaints as part of the normal process of "debate" within the DIS and claimed that other sections of the intelligence community were better qualified to assess the 45-minute and chemical production claims.

But today Dr Jones makes clear that he was not alone and declares that the whole of the Defence Intelligence Staff, Britain's best qualified analysts on WMD, agreed that the claims should have been "carefully caveated". Furthermore, the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC), which allowed the contentious claims to go into the dossier, lacked the expertise to make a competent judgement on them.

Dr Jones makes clear that it was John Scarlett, the chairman of the JIC, who was responsible for including the controversial claims in the executive summary of the dossier that was used to justify war. It was Mr Scarlett's strong assessment that allowed Alastair Campbell to "translate a probability into a certainty" in Mr Blair's foreword to the document, Dr Jones adds.

He says he foresaw at the time of the Government's dossier in September 2002 that no major WMD stockpiles would be found. He made a formal complaint about the dossier to avoid himself and his fellow experts being cast as "scapegoats" for any such failure.

In his article, Dr Jones warns that intelligence analysts should not be blamed for the lack of any significant finds in Iraq and points out that it was the "intelligence community leadership" _ the heads of MI6 and MI5 and Mr Scarlett _ who were responsible for the dossier. It would be a "travesty" if the DIS was criticised over the affair, he says.

Dr Jones complains that he and others were not allowed to see vital intelligence supporting the 45-minute and chemical production claims.

He reveals, however, that he has discovered from a colleague that the reports from the ground did not meet his and others' concerns about the wording of the JIC's assessments. Also, he says, the Deputy Chief of Defence Intelligence, Tony Cragg, did not see the supposedly clinching intelligence and took on trust assurances from MI6 that it was credible.

The Government yesterday finally slipped out its response to the Intelligence and Security Committee's report last autumn on the intelligence case in the approach to war.

For the first time ministers conceded that they "understand the reasoning" for the committee's criticism that the presentation of the 45-minute claim in the dossier "allowed speculation as to its exact meaning", including the firing of WMD on long-range missiles. But the Government said it had not linked the claim to ballistic missiles.

It also rejected the MPs' call for complaints such as that of Dr Jones to be sent direct to the JIC chairman. "It is important to preserve the line management authority of JIC members," it said.


Lebell 02-04-2004 01:15 AM

You know, I sincerely thought about replying, but then I decided I really don't care too.

If you care to do a search, you can find all the responses I have made in politics that will address your issues.

Good day to you, Strange Famous.

Edit to say,

I will leave you with some more information however:

Weapons sales to Iraq
(derived from: http://projects.sipri.se/armstrade/T...Imps_73-02.pdf)

Total '80 - 02
(in m$US, 1990) % share
USSR 17503 50.78%
France 5221 15.15%
China 5192 15.06%
Czechoslovakia 1540 4.47%
Poland 1626 4.72%
Brazil 724 2.10%
Egypt 568 1.65%
Romania 524 1.52%
Denmark 226 0.66%
Libya 200 0.58%
USA 200 0.58%

Looking at the data, there were NO US arms sales to Iraq after 1988.

So perhaps you should do some research before posting the things you do.

Strange Famous 02-04-2004 01:52 AM

Lebell, without to wishing to get involved in a "yes it is"."no it isnt" type debate, I tapped in the words "Iraq weapons sales" into yahoo and instantly found this article, which clearly states that America sold Iraq chemical weapons at least up until 1989.

This proves that there is a lot of information available which is contradictory. We know that the UK (unofficially, but with the knowledge of some government ministers) tried to sell arms to Iraq (see the whole "Scott Report") right up to the eve of the gulf war.

US Companies Sold Iraq
Billions Of NBC Weapons Materials
By William Blum
The Progressive Magazine
April 1998 Issue

(Note - This four year old article contains extremely relevant information for today...)

The United States almost went to war against Iraq in February because of Saddam Hussein's weapons program. In his State of the Union address, President Clinton castigated Hussein for "developing nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons and the missiles to deliver them."

"You cannot defy the will of the world," the President proclaimed. "You have used weapons of mass destruction before. We are determined to deny you the capacity to use them again."

Most Americans listening to the President did not know that the United States supplied Iraq with much of the raw material for creating a chemical and biological warfare program. Nor did the media report that U.S. companies sold Iraq more than $1 billion worth of the components needed to build nuclear weapons and diverse types of missiles, including the infamous Scud.

When Iraq engaged in chemical and biological warfare in the 1980s, barely a peep of moral outrage could be heard from Washington, as it kept supplying Saddam with the materials he needed to build weapons.

From 1980 to 1988, Iraq and Iran waged a terrible war against each other, a war that might not have begun if President Jimmy Carter had not given the Iraqis a green light to attack Iran, in response to repeated provocations. Throughout much of the war, the United States provided military aid and intelligence information to both sides, hoping that each would inflict severe damage on the other. Noam Chomsky suggests that this strategy is a way for America to keep control of its oil supply:

"It's been a leading, driving doctrine of U.S. foreign policy since the 1940s that the vast and unparalleled energy resources of the Gulf region will be effectively dominated by the United States and its clients, and, crucially, that no independent indigenous force will be permitted to have a substantial influence on the administration of oil production and price."

During the Iran-Iraq war, Iraq received the lion's share of American support because at the time Iran was regarded as the greater threat to U.S. interests. According to a 1994 Senate report, private American suppliers, licensed by the U.S. Department of Commerce, exported a witch's brew of biological and chemical materials to Iraq from 1985 through 1989. Among the biological materials, which often produce slow, agonizing death, 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.

* Clostridium Perfringens, a highly toxic bacteria causing systemic illness.

* Clostridium tetani, a highly toxigenic substance.

Also on the list: Escherichia coli (E. coli), genetic materials, human and bacterial DNA, and dozens of other pathogenic biological agents. "These biological materials were not attenuated or weakened and were capable of reproduction," the Senate report stated. "It was later learned 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."

The report noted further that U.S. exports to Iraq included the precursors to chemical-warfare agents, plans for chemical and biological warfare production facilities, and chemical-warhead filling equipment.

The exports continued to at least November 28, 1989, despite evidence that Iraq was engaging in chemical and biological warfare against Iranians and Kurds since as early as 1984.

The American company that provided the most biological materials to Iraq in the 1980s was American Type Culture Collection of Maryland and Virginia, which made seventy shipments of the anthrax-causing germ and other pathogenic agents, according to a 1996 Newsday story.

Other American companies also provided Iraq with the chemical or biological compounds, or the facilities and equipment used to create the compounds for chemical and biological warfare. Among these suppliers were the following:

* Alcolac International, a Baltimore chemical manufacturer already linked to the illegal shipment of chemicals to Iran, shipped large quantities of thiodiglycol (used to make mustard gas) as well as other chemical and biological ingredients, according to a 1989 story in The New York Times.

* Nu Kraft Mercantile Corp. of Brooklyn (affiliated with the United Steel and Strip Corporation) also supplied Iraq with huge amounts of thiodiglycol, the Times reported.

* Celery Corp., Charlotte, NC

* Matrix-Churchill Corp., Cleveland, OH (regarded as a front for the Iraqi government, according to Representative Henry Gonzalez, Democrat of Texas, who quoted U.S. intelligence documents to this effect in a 1992 speech on the House floor).

The following companies were also named as chemical and biological materials suppliers in the 1992 Senate hearings on "United States export policy toward Iraq prior to Iraq's invasion of Kuwait":

* Mouse Master, Lilburn, GA

* Sullaire Corp., Charlotte, NC

* Pure Aire, Charlotte, NC

* Posi Seal, Inc., N. Stonington, CT

* Union Carbide, Danbury, CT

* Evapco, Taneytown, MD

* Gorman-Rupp, Mansfield, OH

Additionally, several other companies were sued in connection with their activities providing Iraq with chemical or biological supplies: subsidiaries or branches of Fisher Controls International, Inc., St. Louis; Rhone-Poulenc, Inc., Princeton, NJ; Bechtel Group, Inc., San Francisco; and Lummus Crest, Inc., Bloomfield, NJ, which built one chemical plant in Iraq and, before the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in August 1990, was building an ethylene facility. Ethylene is a necessary ingredient for thiodiglycol

In 1994, a group of twenty-six veterans, suffering from what has come to be known as Gulf War Syndrome, filed a billion-dollar lawsuit in Houston against Fisher, Rhone-Poulenc, Bechtel Group, and Lummus Crest, as well as American Type Culture Collection (ATCC) and six other firms, for helping Iraq to obtain or produce the compounds which the veterans blamed for their illnesses. By 1998, the number of plaintiffs has risen to more than 4,000 and the suit is still pending in Texas.

A Pentagon study in 1994 dismissed links between chemical and biological weapons and Gulf War Syndrome. Newsday later disclosed, however, that the man who headed the study, Nobel laureate Joshua Lederberg, was a director of ATCC. Moreover, at the time of ATCC's shipments to Iraq, which the Commerce Department approved, the firm's CEO was a member of the Commerce Department's Technical Advisory Committee, the paper found.

A larger number of American firms supplied Iraq with the specialized computers, lasers, testing and analyzing equipment, and other instruments and hardware vital to the manufacture of nuclear weapons, missiles, and delivery systems. Computers, in particular, play a key role in nuclear weapons development. Advanced computers make it feasible to avoid carrying out nuclear test explosions, thus preserving the program's secrecy. The 1992 Senate hearings implicated the following firms:

* Kennametal, Latrobe, PA

* Hewlett Packard, Palo Alto, CA

* International Computer Systems, CA, SC, and TX

* Perkins-Elmer, Norwalk, CT

* BDM Corp., McLean, VA

* Leybold Vacuum Systems, Export, PA

* Spectra Physics, Mountain View, CA

* Unisys Corp., Blue Bell, PA

* Finnigan MAT, San Jose, CA

* Scientific Atlanta, Atlanta, GA

* Spectral Data Corp., Champaign, IL

* Tektronix, Wilsonville, OR

* Veeco Instruments, Inc., Plainview, NY

* Wiltron Company, Morgan Hill, CA

The House report also singled out: TI Coating, Inc., Axel Electronics, Data General Corp., Gerber Systems, Honeywell, Inc., Digital Equipment Corp., Sackman Associates, Rockwell Collins International, Wild Magnavox Satellite Survey, Zeta Laboratories, Carl Schenck, EZ Logic Data, International Imaging Systems, Semetex Corp., and Thermo Jarrell Ash Corporation.

Some of the companies said later that they had no idea Iraq might ever put their products to military use. A spokesperson for Hewlett Packard said the company believed that the Iraqi recipient of its shipments, Saad 16, was an institution of higher learning. In fact, in 1990 The Wall Street Journal described Saad 16 as "a heavily fortified, state-of-the-art complex for aircraft construction, missile design, and, almost certainly, nuclear-weapons research."

Other corporations recognized the military potential of their goods but considered it the government's job to worry about it. "Every once in a while you kind of wonder when you sell something to a certain country," said Robert Finney, president of Electronic Associates, Inc., which supplied Saad 16 with a powerful computer that could be used for missile testing and development. "But it's not up to us to make foreign policy," Finney told The Wall Street Journal.

In 1982, the Reagan Administration took Iraq off its list of countries alleged to sponsor terrorism, making it eligible to receive high-tech items generally denied to those on the list. Conventional military sales began in December of that year. Representative Samuel Gejdenson, Democrat of Connecticut, chairman of a House subcommittee investigating "United States Exports of Sensitive Technology to Iraq," stated in 1991:

"From 1985 to 1990, the United States Government approved 771 licenses for the export to Iraq of $1.5 billion worth of biological agents and high-tech equipment with military application. [Only thirty-nine applications were rejected.] The United States spent virtually an entire decade making sure that Saddam Hussein had almost whatever he wanted. . . . The Administration has never acknowledged that it took this course of action, nor has it explained why it did so. In reviewing documents and press accounts, and interviewing knowledgeable sources, it becomes clear that United States export-control policy was directed by U.S. foreign policy as formulated by the State Department, and it was U.S. foreign policy to assist the regime of Saddam Hussein."

Subsequently, Representative John Dingell, Democrat of Michigan, investigated the Department of Energy concerning an unheeded 1989 warning about Iraq's nuclear weapons program. In 1992, he accused the DOE of punishing employees who raised the alarm and rewarding those who didn't take it seriously. One DOE scientist, interviewed by Dingell's Energy and Commerce Committee, was especially conscientious about the mission of the nuclear non-proliferation program. For his efforts, he received very little cooperation, inadequate staff, and was finally forced to quit in frustration. "It was impossible to do a good job," said William Emel. His immediate manager, who tried to get the proliferation program fully staffed, was chastened by management and removed from his position. Emel was hounded by the DOE at his new job as well.

Another Senate committee, investigating "United States export policy toward Iraq prior to Iraq's invasion of Kuwait," heard testimony in 1992 that Commerce Department personnel "changed information on sixty-eight licenses; that references to military end uses were deleted and the designation 'military truck' was changed. This was done on licenses having a total value of over $1 billion." Testimony made clear that the White House was "involved" in "a deliberate effort . . . to alter these documents and mislead the Congress."

American foreign-policy makers maintained a cooperative relationship with U.S. corporate interests in the region. In 1985, Marshall Wiley, former U.S. ambassador to Oman, set up the Washington-based U.S.-Iraq Business Forum, which lobbied in Washington on behalf of Iraq to promote U.S. trade with that country. Speaking of the Forum's creation, Wiley later explained, "I went to the State Department and told them what I was planning to do, and they said, 'Fine. It sounds like a good idea.' It was our policy to increase exports to Iraq."

Though the government readily approved most sales to Iraq, officials at Defense and Commerce clashed over some of them (with the State Department and the White House backing Commerce). "If an item was in dispute, my attitude was if they were readily available from other markets, I didn't see why we should deprive American markets," explained Richard Murphy in 1990. Murphy was Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs from 1983 to 1989.

As it turned out, Iraq did not use any chemical or biological weapons against U.S. forces in the Gulf War. But American planes bombed chemical and biological weapons storage facilities with abandon, potentially dooming tens of thousands of American soldiers to lives of prolonged and permanent agony, and an unknown number of Iraqis to a similar fate. Among the symptoms reported by the affected soldiers are memory loss, scarred lungs, chronic fatigue, severe headache, raspy voice, and passing out. The Pentagon estimates that nearly 100,000 American soldiers were exposed to sarin gas alone.

After the war, White House and Defense Department officials tried their best to deny that Gulf War Syndrome had anything to do with the bombings. The suffering of soldiers was not their overriding concern. The top concerns of the Bush and Clinton Administrations were to protect perceived U.S. interests in the Middle East, and to ensure that American corporations still had healthy balance sheets. - William Blum is the author of "Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II" (Common Courage Press, 1995).

Lebell 02-04-2004 02:02 AM


Originally posted by Strange Famous

I agree, I would just as soon not get into such a debate.

So I will only point out that your article contains no sources against which to check, while my information comes from the people (SIPRI) that are usually quoted by others.

At least, SIPRI was cited as a source by no less than 4 of the 6 websites I looked at in relationship to world wide arms sales.

Edited to say,

And even that article never says they US sold chemical weapons to Iraq. It says that we sold the "precursers", i.e. the things that Saddam could turn into weapons. These things can also be used for peaceful research.

So please quit saying things that even your own sources don't say.

Strange Famous 02-04-2004 02:18 AM


The report noted further that U.S. exports to Iraq included the precursors to chemical-warfare agents, plans for chemical and biological warfare production facilities, and chemical-warhead filling equipment
I have to disagree, this statement is a little stronger than saying America sold Iraq possible ingredients for these weapons. The claim is that they sold them the raw materials, the tools to put them together, and the cook book to make them... to me there is no qualitative difference between saying someone has sold Iraq chemical weapons and saying someone has sold Iraq all the materials to build chemical weapons and an instruction book.

And this article is quoting a 1994 US Senate report in this instance, so it is not a case of just some left wing website making conjuncture.

The fact that the article quotes $1.5 billion worth of military and biological weapons material shipped to Iraq between 85-90 alone, while your report quotes only $200 million, shows the power of definition. Selling someone a shell filled with mustard gas may count as selling a weapon, selling mustard gas and instructions on how to make it into a bomb may not be considered a weapon sale by your report - but the effect is the same, the intention is the same - when you you sell people mustard gas (which I only use as an example) you know, reasonably, what they probably want it for.

Boo 02-14-2004 06:01 PM


Originally posted by Seaver
But you dont know... so your argument holds no water.
My feelings exactly.

llama8 02-17-2004 08:04 AM

If people "behind the scenes" are telling you that these weapons do exist what do you do as a leader? Millions of pounds are being spent on the intelligence services and so you must make a valid judgement on what information you are given. Some may be disagreeing and others agreeing. You'll get that in any debate (look here) but if all your close aides are telling you this is a serious threat to national security do you ignore the fact and hope it goes away?

I have a strong feeling that if a NBC attack was 'launched' against the UK with responsibility at Iraq's door you would be complaining "Why wasn't something done sooner?". 20-20 hindsight is a wonderful thing and unfortunately not available when decisions are being made.

buffto 02-17-2004 09:28 PM

ah, al franken. not only was his latest book hilarious, it was also witty and informative. Anybody confused as to which side to take should read "Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them."

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