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Sunday, August 25, 2013

Bad Timing? Files Show U.S. Helped Saddam As He Used Chem Weapons

Not exactly the best news for the White House as it ramps up for attack on Syria.  The reputable Foreign Policy magazine reports this and charges U.S. with "complicity":
The U.S. government may be considering military action in response to chemical strikes near Damascus. But a generation ago, America's military and intelligence communities knew about and did nothing to stop a series of nerve gas attacks far more devastating than anything Syria has seen, Foreign Policy has learned.
In 1988, during the waning days of Iraq's war with Iran, the United States learned through satellite imagery that Iran was about to gain a major strategic advantage by exploiting a hole in Iraqi defenses. U.S. intelligence officials conveyed the location of the Iranian troops to Iraq, fully aware that Hussein's military would attack with chemical weapons, including sarin, a lethal nerve agent....
In contrast to today's wrenching debate over whether the United States should intervene to stop alleged chemical weapons attacks by the Syrian government, the United States applied a cold calculus three decades ago to Hussein's widespread use of chemical weapons against his enemies and his own people. The Reagan administration decided that it was better to let the attacks continue if they might turn the tide of the war. And even if they were discovered, the CIA wagered that international outrage and condemnation would be muted. 
It has been previously reported that the United States provided tactical intelligence to Iraq at the same time that officials suspected Hussein would use chemical weapons. But the CIA documents, which sat almost entirely unnoticed in a trove of declassified material at the National Archives in College Park, Md., combined with exclusive interviews with former intelligence officials, reveal new details about the depth of the United States' knowledge of how and when Iraq employed the deadly agents. They show that senior U.S. officials were being regularly informed about the scale of the nerve gas attacks. They are tantamount to an official American admission of complicity in some of the most gruesome chemical weapons attacks ever launched.

2 comments:

Ken Houghton said...

Well, yes, but 1988 was a Year of Saint Reagan, so that decision was perfect and, of course, had only positive consequences for Mourning in America.

Anonymous said...

Of course sarin etc were not WMD in those days, and it was only the serendipitous reclassification which gave Tony and George the opportunity to consummate their liaison, unfortunately paid for in the war currency - the blood of others. Guess that's why we all love the USA.